Elder crime patterns and current trends, 1980-2004

Ben Feldmeyer, Darrell Steffensmeier

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Using the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)'s Uniform Crime Reports (UCR) arrest statistics for the 1980 to 2004 period, we use age-standardization and Dickey-Fuller time-series techniques to examine recent trends in elderly crime (age 55+), both alone and compared to younger age groups. We find that (1) elderly arrest rates have either declined or remained essentially stable across the majority of UCR offense categories; (2) proportionate criminal involvement of the elderly is about the same now as 25 years ago, but where change has occurred, the trend is toward a smaller elderly share of criminal offending; (3) there has been very little change in the profile of the elderly offender, with elder arrests continuing to be overwhelmingly for minor offenses and alcohol-related violations. Shifts in elderly crime have generally been paralleled by similar trends among the nonelderly, indicating that recent social, economic, and legal changes have had similar impacts on arrest patterns across age groups.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)297-322
Number of pages26
JournalResearch on Aging
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2007

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Psychology
  • Health(social science)
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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