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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 93104 Find in a Library
Title: Are Crime Rates Increasing? A Study of the Impact of Demographic Shifts on Crime Rates in Canada
Journal: Canadian Journal of Criminology  Volume:26  Issue:1  Dated:(January 1984)  Pages:29-41
Author(s): G W Lee
Date Published: 1984
Page Count: 13
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: Canada
Annotation: This study provides a general picture of patterns and trends of recorded criminal activities in Canada and the extent to which age and sex variables affect the overall incidence of crime.
Abstract: Using relevant dates from 1949 through 1968, the study finds that the level of criminal activity in Canada appears to be influenced by age and sex structure. The age-standarized crime rates produce a different pattern than the crude crime rates (CCR). The CCR is computed by dividing the number of crimes reported during the time period by the population size during the time period, multiplied by 100,000. The age-specific conviction rates (ASCR) are calculated for each age and sex by dividing the number of persons convicted in each age group by the population size of each age group, multiplied by 100,000. The total crime rate (TCR) is another age-sex adjusted measure and is the sum of the ASCR's. To determine the extent to which age structure influences the level of criminality, direct standardization is performed using the 1949 population as the base. The TCR and the standardized conviction rate (SCR) differs from CCR both in trend pattern and in the rate of growth, which indicates the effect of age structure on the level of criminality. The male rates particularly show notable differences: 23 percent of the increment during the 1949 to 68 period is accounted for by the shift in age structure. For females, the impact of age structure shift is negative and relatively small. Each age group exhibits different trends over the years, and the cohort analysis confirms the sex difference in trends of criminal activity. For the 16 to 34 age group, two consecutive male cohorts produce similar levels of crime rates, which are less than the rates of synthetic cohorts. Males have not changed much in terms of crime involvement, whereas female cohorts produce varying levels of crime rates, with the later cohort having higher rates. Study limitations are explored, and graphic and tabular data are provided, along with 29 references.
Index Term(s): Age group comparisons; Canada; Crime patterns; Crime Rate; Crime rate studies; Demography; Estimated crime incidence; Male female offender comparisons
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