Sunday, September 29, 2019

Data suggests Hispanic criminality is similar to that of blacks

Over the years, people like me have disagreed with Ron Unz that the rate of serious crime by Hispanics is not much different than that of whites.

Analysts typically rely on police or imprisonment data to estimate Hispanic/White differences, but Hispanics are significantly less likely than whites to report crimes to the police. Since Latinos are typically victimized by other Latinos (crime is typically intra-ethnic), there is an undercount of crime committed by Hispanics.

Using victim data is a method around this problem.  The National Crime Victimization Survey contacts tens of thousands of people each year to ask them about being victimized.  We can use these statistics as proxies of crime rates for various races/ethnicities. I took the estimates for 2014-2018 and averaged them since there is quite a bit of annual error, especially in a group as small as Asians.  Here are the percentages of people who were victimized by serious crime in the past year:

Percent victimized
Blacks  2.1
Hispanics  2.1
Whites  1.6
Asians  1.0
Other  3.1

See how the rates for Hispanics and blacks are the same. Prevalences for whites and especially Asians are significantly lower.

I doubt serious criminality among Latinos is exactly the same as blacks. While most crimes are intra-racial, some of the victimizations of whites, Latinos, and Asians are by blacks committing robbery or assault.

By the way, I assume that the "Other" category is mostly American Indians. Their very high prevalence is consistent with Cochran and Harpending's hypothesis that racial groups with deep histories of agriculture and powerful states experienced selection for docile and self-disciplined individuals.  Criminological research has found that criminals tend to be impulsive and disagreeable.  As people with shorter histories under agrarian states, Native Americans might have a higher percentage of these types.

1 comment:

  1. My impression is that Hispanic crime rates are more amenable to government control than black crime rates. When America was liberal in the 1970s, there was a lot Latino crime in California. But when America got more conservative on crime and started punishing it hard, Latinos tended to get the message and knocked it off. But that's just my theory.

    You can see something similar in Latin America, where crime rates tend to go up and down based on political considerations.


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