Differences by race and Hispanic origin*
In 2017, among male high school students, non-Hispanic white students were the most likely to report carrying a weapon (29 percent), followed by Hispanic males (18 percent), and non-Hispanic black males (15 percent). Among female high school students, there were no noticeable differences by race/ethnicity, with between 6 and 8 percent reporting in all three groups (Appendix 1).
In the 1990s, non-Hispanic black students were significantly more likely to report carrying weapons than white students (33 versus 25 percent, in 1991, when the gap was greatest). Although the percentage of Hispanic students was similar to that of non-Hispanic white students in 1991, the gap between these groups grew, reaching a peak in 1997. In that year, 23 percent of Hispanic students and 17 percent of white students had carried a weapon in the past 30 days. Since then, however, weapon-carrying among black and Hispanic students has continued to decline, while it has remained steady among white students in recent years (Appendix 1).
* Hispanic students may be of any race. Totals for white and black students in this report do not include Hispanic students.