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NCJ Number: 207895 Find in a Library
Title: Establishing the Statistical Relationship Between Population Size and UCR Crime Rate: Its Impact and Implications
Journal: Journal of Criminal Justice  Volume:32  Issue:6  Dated:November/December 2004  Pages:547-555
Author(s): James J. Nolan III
Date Published: November 2004
Page Count: 9
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: After establishing the statistical relationship between crime rate and population size, this study analyzed crime rates in jurisdictions of various sizes and in a variety of population-based strata based on data from the Uniform Crime reports (UCR).
Abstract: For decades, research on the impact of population on crime focused on population characteristics. What prompted the current study was the lack of clarity in the literature regarding whether a jurisdiction's crime rate (volume of crime per defined population unit) was also related in a consistently positive way to the jurisdiction's population size. The study reported in this article first calculated area crime rates and average crime rates in examining the direction of the relationship between crime rate and population size. The UCR data were then subjected to a linear regression to confirm the direction and determine the strength of the relationship between the two variables. The analysis of the 2000 UCR crime data for the 1,294 cities with populations over 25,000 revealed a significant positive relationship between crime rate and population size, indicating that the cities with higher populations reported higher crime rates. When these cities were disaggregated into population strata, and the crime rate was disaggregated into violent and property crimes, however, the relationship between crime rate and population size became more complex. The relationship between crime rate and population size was not constant, in that it depended on the group of jurisdictions involved in the study. Thus, understanding the exact nature of the relationship between crime rate and population size may be helpful to professionals who use UCR crime data for research and analysis, who manage large crime databases, and who sometimes must make responsible comparisons among jurisdictional crime rates. 3 tables, 6 notes, 25 references, and appended supplementary analyses
Main Term(s): Criminology
Index Term(s): Crime patterns; Crime Rate; Crime rate studies; Demographic analysis of crime
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