I am investigating a hypothesis that there is a direct correlation between a state’s income level and their violent crime rate, specifically the higher the income, the lower the occurrence of violent crime. I believe this is an important topic to study because if we can find a way to automatically increase one poor situation in a country (such as a high crime rate) by increasing another poor situation (such as low per capita income/poverty) it would be highly beneficial for the international community to support a state that will find multiple benefits from solving a single problem.
I believe that income is closely associated with human development index; however I am using income in this hypothesis due to the fact that a large percentage of violent crime is also associated with or originated as robbery. I have also experienced a phenomenon where people in wealthier, more developed countries do not tend to be exceedingly happier that people in less developed countries. The outcome/ dependent variable I will attempt to explain is the crime rate of a state and the predictor/independent variable is a state’s per capita income.
I am attempting to explore how levels of income influence the total violent crime rate in a state. Here I will define the violent crime rate of a state as unlawful death inflicted on a person by another person as a rate of occurrences per 100,000 people. I extracted this data from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. For income of a state I am using GDP per capita. “GDP per capita is gross domestic product divided by midyear population. GDP is the sum of gross value added by all resident producers in the economy plus any product taxes and minus any subsidies not included in the value of the products.
It is calculated without making deductions for depreciation of fabricated assets or for depletion and degradation of natural resources. Data are in current U. S. dollars” (WorldBank). The crime rate of each state was collected from the year 2008 except in the cases of Cape Verde (2007), Iran (2009) and Malaysia (2006). The income of each state was collected from the year 2012 except in the cases of Afghanistan (2011), Andorra (2011 estimate), French Guiana (2010 estimate), Iran (2011), Lybia (2009) and Monaco (2011).
I picked all of my cases at random by placing them in alphabetical order in 5 rows and selecting a random row. This selection process gave me 43 countries. After selecting the cases I briefly reviewed them to ensure that there were a wide range of different types of countries in size, population, geographic location, etc. For example, ensuring that along with European microstates there were also African and Asian microstates. After reviewing I have observed that the cases I have chosen are a very random group.
My findings have shown that there is in fact, little to no statistical association between income level and crime rate with a Q=. 27. The majority of all cases ended up in the low income and low crime rate category (22), with almost ? of all cases ending up having a low crime rate (29). Over ? of these cases had a low income (33). The only correlation I found for a state’s crime rate was its location with every single state with a high crime rate being located in the Latin American/Caribbean realm or the Sub-Saharan African realm.
There was not even a correlation between higher income and lower crime rate between any of the states in each individual box. I have concluded that there being little to no correlation between crime rate and income requires further research to find a different solution to the problem of high crime rates. Unfortunately there is no way to boost a countries’ economy and have a lower crime rate automatically follow. It is also unfortunate that it seems from my research that high crime rates are apparently a cultural phenomenon.
This would agree with the Seville Statement on Violence that war (or in this case simply murder) is a human invention, which follows cultures or peoples rather than being forced by poor living conditions. This would dictate that a new study must be done to find a possible cause or solution for crime rates within these two realms. Seeing as there is a relationship between a regions culture and its crime rate, the solution to this problem will be much more difficult than simply improving the economic conditions of an individual state.