More crime in cities?

On the scaling laws of crime and the inadequacy of per capita rankings - a cross-country study

Crime rates per capita are used virtually everywhere to rank and compare cities. However, their usage relies on a strong linear assumption that crime increases at the same pace as the number of people in a region. In this paper, we demonstrate that using per capita rates to rank cities can produce substantially different rankings from rankings adjusted for population size.

Researchers from the University of Exeter analyze the population–crime relationship in cities across 12 countries and assess the impact of per capita measurements on crime analyses, depending on the type of offence. Results reveal that per capita rankings can differ from population-adjusted rankings such that they disagree in approximately half of the top 10 most dangerous cities in the data analyzed here.

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