On the Prevalence of Running Away from Home

Research Report

On the Prevalence of Running Away from Home

May 12, 2010


Nearly one in five U.S. youths will run away from home before age 18. Almost 30 percent of these youth will do so three or more times, greatly increasing their risk of violence, crime, drugs, prostitution, STDs, and many other problems. Employing new methodology to yield estimates not available elsewhere, this paper follows a nationally representative sample of 12-year olds through their 18th birthday to discover how many youth run away from home, the number of times they ran away, and the age they first run away. Female and black youth are found to run away the most often.

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