Immigration responsible for lower crime rates?

A study published in last month in Social Science Quarterly by a Colorado University professor must be driving the anti-immigrant zealots crazy. This is from a story on the website ScienceDaily:

ScienceDaily (May 13, 2010) — During the 1990s, immigration reached record highs and crime rates fell more precipitously than at any time in U.S. history. And cities with the largest increases in immigration between 1990 and 2000 experienced the largest decreases in rates of homicide and robbery, a University of Colorado at Boulder researcher has found.

Tim Wadsworth, an assistant professor of sociology, has tested the hypothesis, famously advanced by Harvard sociologist Robert J. Sampson, that the rise in immigration could be related to the drop in crime rates….

‘Cities that experienced greater growth in immigrant or new-immigrant populations between 1990 and 2000 tended to demonstrate sharper decreases in homicide and robbery,’ Wadsworth writes. ‘The suggestion that high levels of immigration may have been partially responsible for the drop in crime during the 1990s seems plausible….’

Wadsworth’s research suggests that, controlling for a variety of other factors, growth in the new immigrant population was responsible, on average, for 9.3 percent of the decline in homicide rates, and that growth in total immigration was, on average, responsible for 22.2 percent of the decrease in robbery rates.”

7 Comments

  1. Neill

    June 9, 2010 at 5:01 pm

    Right, it couldn’t have been because of the the NRA’s tireless efforts to defend the rights of citizens to keep and bear arms. Did the study factor this in?

  2. Rob Schofield

    June 9, 2010 at 5:12 pm

    That’s it!! You’ve hit on the solution. If we just issue all new immigrant families a firearm, we can undoubtedly cut the crime rate even further.

    Thanks for the comment.

  3. Jerimee

    June 9, 2010 at 7:15 pm

    I wouldn’t joke Rob; NRA members truly do believe that if every good Christian was issued a weapon that the ensuing Mexican standoff would ensure perpetual peace.

  4. WILLIAM MURRAT

    June 10, 2010 at 7:19 am

    Drive through the mean streets of Hispanic Los Angeles and tell me if you agree with this article.

  5. Rob Schofield

    June 10, 2010 at 10:23 am

    Uh Bill, which “Hispanic Los Angeles” would that be? L.A. County has 10 million people — almost half of whom are “Hispanic.”

  6. WILLIAM MURRAT

    June 10, 2010 at 8:02 pm

    There are parts of East LA that the police won’t even go into. To call them Third World would actually be a compliment. I’m sure the study was done in the comfortable confines of an academic institution.

  7. ferpstein

    June 23, 2010 at 1:08 am

    Tthe crime rate in Los Angeles is lower than it has been in decades, all while the Hispanic population has risen to be higher than ever before.
    http://freethinkingeconomist.com/2010/03/04/los-angeles-murder-rate-in-vertiginous-decline/