The US is currently experiencing the second largest increase in crime since statistics began to be tabulated, the largest increase in crime being in the 1960s and 1970s. From “Crime in California 2016” Table 5, page 9 in document, page 13 in PDF, the total number of forcible rapes in California increased by 49.3% between 2014 (8,562) to 2016 (12,785). From Table 1, page 5 in the document, page 9 in the PDF:
- Homicides increased 13.7% between 2014 (1,697) and 2016 (1,930)
- Robberies increased 12.6% between 2014 (48,650) and 2016 (54,769)
- Aggravated Assault increased 13.8% between 2014 (91,681) and 2016 (104,307)
To better understand the massive US crime wave, I decided to calculate crimes committed by various ethnic groups.
This article will use California crime data since US national level data on crime for Latino Americans and Asian Americans is usually not publicly released by the US government; perhaps for fear of what such data would show. I suspect that US and Canadian nationwide data would show similar trends. California demographic data by ethnicity is taken from 2015 US Census Bureau estimates. From “Crime in California 2016” Table 30, page 33 in document, page 37 in PDF, “Felony and Misdemeanor Arrests” 2016:
- Caucasions were 4.99 times more likely to be arrested than Asians
- Hispanics were 5.91 times more likely to be arrested than Asians
- Blacks were 17.04 times more likely to be arrested than Asians
- Non Asian Others (mostly native Americans) were 3.38 times more likely to be arrested than Asians
Arrest data by Asian country are also available; but Asians commit so few crimes that such data would be skewed by the law of small numbers. However you are free to research it yourself. The spreadsheet used for these calculations is available upon request.
Total crimes committed by caucasions, hispanics, blacks and “other” are released by category. “Other” is not broken down into Asian and non Asian other. However if we assume that non Asian others commit 3.38 times as much crime as Asians (a stretch to be sure), then:
Total homides by race from “Crime in California 2016” Table 31, page 34 in document, page 38 in PDF:
- Caucasions were 2.44 times more likely to commit homicide than Asians
- Hispanics were 4.44 times more likely to commit homicide than Asians
- Blacks were 17.23 times more likely to commit homicide than Asians
Total robbery by race:
- Caucasions were 4.63 times more likely to commit robbery than Asians
- Hispanics were 7.96 times more likely to commit robbery than Asians
- Blacks were 44.19 times more likely to commit robbery than Asians
Total rape by race:
- Caucasions were 3.13 times more likely to commit rape than Asians
- Hispanics were 5.44 times more likely to commit rape than Asians
- Blacks were 12.24 times more likely to commit rape than Asians
Total assault by race:
- Caucasions were 4.44 times more likely to commit assault than Asians
- Hispanics were 5.48 times more likely to commit assault than Asians
- Blacks were 15.44 times more likely to commit assault than Asians
Total kidnapping by race:
- Caucasions were 3.92 times more likely to commit kidnapping than Asians
- Hispanics were 6.52 times more likely to commit kidnapping than Asians
- Blacks were 18.42 times more likely to commit kidnapping than Asians
If we assume that non Asian others are 3.38 times more likely to be incarcerated than Asians, then from 126.96.36.199:
- Caucasions were 4.18 times more likely to be incarcerated than Asians
- Hispanics were 5.8 times more likely to be incarcerated than Asians
- Blacks were 25.2 times more likely to be incarcerated than Asians
Note that in 2016, the proportion of California prisoners convicted of a violent, serious, or sexual offense was 91%. Only a small percentage of California (or US wide) prisoners are incarcerated for nonviolent drug crimes.
There were 9,933 violent assaults against California police officers in 2016 from “Crime in California 2016” Table 48, page 61 in document, page 65 in PDF. But no breakdown of attackers by ethnicity is available. Police in the US are assaulted by attackers at an astronomically high rate.
4.6% of all California inmates were female at the end of 2017. Females appear to commit far less crime than males for genetic and cultural reasons, and it is unrealistic to reduce male committed crime to female committed crime levels. However is it realistic to reduce crime committed by caucasions and caucasion incarceration to Asian American levels? If so, crime rates would decline sharply. This would be large positive technological shock to the economy, sharply increasing labor productivity and wages. Location based structural unemployment in formerly high crime areas would decline sharply. US taxpayers would save over 50 billion dollars in prison expenses and the quality of life for Americans would improve sharply. Can this be done?
Can American culture be changed to reduce crime? If American culture is not changed, might the next generation of Asian Americans commit crime and go to prison at caucasion rates?
What else can America do to reduce crime other than change culture?
Why does everyone think US crime has increased sharply in recent years? Culture? Anything else?
Some might argue that the dramatic improvement in the US economy is driving the crime wave. (US unemployment tied the lowest level since 1969 in May.) When people are loaded with money perhaps life becomes boring, causing people to commit violent crime. But crime decreased during the 1982-1990, 1991-2001, 2001-2007 booms. Crime also decreased during the economic slowdowns of the 1980s, 1990s and 2000s. It is hard to make a case that the dramatic improvement in the US economy has driven the large increase in US crime.
What else could be driving the large increase in US crime?
This issue is particularly relevant to Asian Americans since the vast majority of crime committed against Asian Americans are committed by non Asian Americans. By contrast the vast majority of crime against caucasions are committed by other caucasions.
Could the radical change in American culture described by Jonathan Haidt be driving increased American crime?:
2015 US Census Bureau estimates are used for California’s 2015 population breakdown by race and ethnicity
- The above pdf link is “Crime in California 2016“
Spreadsheet with crime data can be e-mailed upon request