Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Mexican-Americans are the most arrested of all ethnic groups: In my post on bad behavior, readers would have liked to see more ethnic groups and more serious behavior. Crime was suggested, so let's look at the percent ever arrest. Let's set the minimum sample size to 50:

Percent ever arrested (sample size in parentheses):

Mexicans 17.4 (195)
Spanish 17.2 (64)
Blacks 16.4 (714)
French Canadians 16.3 (92)
American Indians 14.6 (315)
Italians 14.2 (508)
French 13.2 (189)
Scots 11.5 (278)

USA 11.1

Puerto Ricans 11.0 (73)
Danes 11.0 (73)
Irish 10.4 (969)
Germans 10.2 (1,613)
Swedes 9.6 (146)
English/Welsh 8.8 (1,213)
Russians 8.4 (155)
Poles 8.3 (291)
Czechs 8.3 (121)
Hungarians 7.9 (76)
Dutch 7.8 (153)
Austrians 6.5 (77)
Finns 5.3 (75)
Jews 5.1 (237)
East Asians 1.7 (60)

Since some samples are small, it's advisable to look for regional patterns. Poor non-whites are toward the top of the list. So are those from southern European countries. In the earlier post on bad behavior, Catholics did poorly, but here it's more divided: southern Europeans are arrested at high rates, but those from central and eastern Europe are very law-abiding (Poles, Czechs, Hungarians, and Austrians). The Irish fall into the middle ranks. Northern Europeans have few arrests, except for those angry Scots--a trait that gets you arrested. Jews are second from the bottom: they didn't do as well on my "bad behavior index" because they had high numbers on things that don't get you arrested: thinking cheating on taxes is okay; ethnocentricity; homosexuality; infidelity; and promiscuity. East Asians were Chinese, Japanese, and Filipinos combined. Only one person in the sample (Filipino) reported an arrest. The sample is still small, and I don't know about you, but I think the estimate is basically correct.


  1. Anonymous2:01 PM

    What's the deal with "French Canadians"?

  2. I'll try to figure that out. I know many live in MA which is a low crime state.

  3. Anonymous2:42 PM

    Something is a little wrong here when Puerto Ricans are tied with Danes. C'mon now. In the northeast, PR's were second only to blacks when it came to crime. That might still be the case as Pr's are much more belligerant than Mexicans. It probably cant be measured, but I think there is some correlation with belligerany and criminal behavior.

  4. Anon: Belligerence certainly raises the risk of getting arrested. Of course, these numbers depend of the accuracy of statements, and there is always the possibility that some groups are less truthful than others. Some research on delinquency has concluded that young blacks underreport their contact with police. (What they say is checked against police records).

  5. Anonymous12:21 PM

    ok, now this is more like it, however:

    East Asians are probably closer to Jews becuase of their involvement in "Rising Sun" style street gangs.

    As for Jews doing "worse in other areas" - that wouldn't be unusual. As a high income earning group, their males have more options; thus making them more likely to do what the rest of us wish we could do. And the lack of Christian moralism might play a role too i suppose.

    Also, I'm willing to bet most Jewish arrests consist of college kids getting busted with pot or acid. We're not talking "thugs" here. I live near Cherry Hill, NJ, and their familial values are to be admired. No out of wedlock births or alcoholism from what I can gather.


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