Background Injuries impact adolescents and young adults in unique ways. The purpose of this study was to determine the incidence rate of nonfatal injuries, and identify characteristics and risk factors for the injuries among adolescents and college students in Shenzhen, China. Methods A total of 4,138 students from 79 classes were selected using a purposive sampling method in 2010. The questionnaire included personal demographics, behavioral factors, and self-perceived agrypnia. Stepwise multivariate logistic regression models were used to explore the risk factors of injury. Results The annual incidence rate of nonfatal injuries was 13.5%. Injuries were significantly correlated with gender (boys vs. girls, adjusted odds ratio [OR], 1.58, 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.30-1.93) and self-perceived agrypnia (sometimes vs. no, adjusted OR, 1.64, 95% CI, 1.31-2.05; often vs. no, adjusted OR, 2.34, 95% CI, 1.74-3.14), attending PE class ( >2 classes/week vs. ≤ 2 classes/week, adjusted OR, 1.25, 95% CI, 1.04-1.51), sexual behaviors (yes vs. no, adjusted OR, 1.46, 95% CI, 1.03-2.07), physical fighting (yes vs. no, adjusted OR, 1.84, 95% CI, 1.49-2.28), alcohol consumption (yes vs. no, adjusted OR, 1.29, 95% CI, 1.06-1.59), unsafe cycling (yes vs. no, adjusted OR, 1.47, 95% CI, 1.20-1.80) and skating in unsafe places (yes vs. no, adjusted OR, 1.57, 95% CI, 1.10-2.24). Additionally, falls were the leading cause of injuries, and gymnasiums of schools were the most-reported places where injuries occurred. Conclusions Nonfatal injuries have turned into a pressing public health problem among adolescents and college students in Shenzhen, China. Strategies targeting the risk factors may be effective for the prevention of injuries.