snopes.com Post new topic  Post a reply
search | faq | forum home

  next oldest topic   next newest topic
» Hello snopes.com » Archived Forums » Crime Archive » Crime Statistics

 - UBBFriend: Email this page to someone!    
Author Topic: Crime Statistics
arluquin
I'll Be Home for After Christmas Sales


Icon 402 posted      Profile for arluquin         Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
During a visit to Roger Ebert's website I happened to read his Answer Man column. One reader sent him a letter in response to a Ebert & Roeper review of the film "Michael Moore Hates America".

quote:
you blurted out an erroneous opinion, expressing your doubts about the film's claim that the Canadian crime rate is double the U.S. rate.
The writer then goes on to say that he checked with Statistics Canada and the US Department of Justice Bureau of Justice Statistics and says that these sites support the claim.

Ebert's response is:

quote:
For the year 2003, per 100,000 population, Canada had 8,530 crimes, and the U.S. 4,267. For crimes of violence, 958 vs. 523. For property crimes, 4,275 vs. 3,744.
Being the curious and skeptical person that I am, I went to both of these sites and could not find the numbers that Ebert is using. I found comparable numbers to his Canadian stats, but nothing was close to his US numbers. Perhaps I am not looking at the same data, and maybe someone can find what he's referencing.

Aside from the statistical analysis, has anyone heard similar claims that the US is not as violent and crime riddled as we have been led to believe? And that is does not have the highest crime rate compared to other industrialized nations?

-arluquin

Posts: 122 | From: Calgary | Registered: Jan 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Jason Threadslayer
Let There Be PCs on Earth


Icon 1 posted      Profile for Jason Threadslayer     Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
Hmm... "Since the death penalty was reinstated by the Supreme Court in 1976, more than half of those under sentence of death have been white."

--------------------
All posts foretold by Nostradamus.

Turing test failures: 6

Posts: 5481 | From: Decatur, GA | Registered: Nov 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Jason Threadslayer
Let There Be PCs on Earth


Icon 1 posted      Profile for Jason Threadslayer     Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
Found what the source of the number was. "ARRESTING CRIME With Integrated Justice Technology":
quote:
The 1999 crime index rate — 4,267 offenses per 100,000 population — was 8 percent lower than in 1998. Compared with the 1990 rate, 1999’s was more than a quarter lower at 27 percent, and 19 percent lower than the 1995 rate. Overall, the FBI has recorded eight straight years of crime-rate decreases.


--------------------
All posts foretold by Nostradamus.

Turing test failures: 6

Posts: 5481 | From: Decatur, GA | Registered: Nov 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Four Kitties
Layaway in a Manger


Icon 1 posted      Profile for Four Kitties   E-mail Four Kitties   Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Jason Threadslayer:
Hmm... "Since the death penalty was reinstated by the Supreme Court in 1976, more than half of those under sentence of death have been white."

But the population of the country is what, 80% white? When you measure the death penalty and race IMHO you should compare to the relative proportions of population.

For instance, from your DOJ link the numbers on death row in 2003 were 1878 white, 1418 black, and 78 other; this works out to 55.7% white, 42% black, and 2.3% other. Yet according to the US Census Bureau, the population of the country in 2003 was 80.5% white, 12.8% black, and 6.7% other. Why are 42% of the folks on death row black when they make up only 12.8% of the population?

Four Kitties

--------------------
If swimming is so good for your figure, how do you explain whales?

Posts: 13275 | From: Kindergarten World, Massachusetts | Registered: Jul 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Jason Threadslayer
Let There Be PCs on Earth


Icon 1 posted      Profile for Jason Threadslayer     Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
I was told that the vast majority of people on death row were non-white.

--------------------
All posts foretold by Nostradamus.

Turing test failures: 6

Posts: 5481 | From: Decatur, GA | Registered: Nov 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Four Kitties
Layaway in a Manger


Icon 1 posted      Profile for Four Kitties   E-mail Four Kitties   Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
Whoever told you that was wrong, at least on the national level.

--------------------
If swimming is so good for your figure, how do you explain whales?

Posts: 13275 | From: Kindergarten World, Massachusetts | Registered: Jul 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Four Kitties
Layaway in a Manger


Icon 1 posted      Profile for Four Kitties   E-mail Four Kitties   Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
A little more info....

In Texas, there are currently 448 people on death row: 142 (31.7%) are white, 178 (39.7%) are black, 123 (27.5%) are hispanic, and 5 (1.1%) are other (mostly asian). This adds up to 306 non-white versus 178 white, which I'd agree is a "vast majority."

Four Kitties

--------------------
If swimming is so good for your figure, how do you explain whales?

Posts: 13275 | From: Kindergarten World, Massachusetts | Registered: Jul 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
First of Two
The Bills of St. Mary's


Icon 1 posted      Profile for First of Two   Author's Homepage   E-mail First of Two   Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Four Calico Kitties:
A little more info....

In Texas, there are currently 448 people on death row: 142 (31.7%) are white, 178 (39.7%) are black, 123 (27.5%) are hispanic, and 5 (1.1%) are other (mostly asian). This adds up to 306 non-white versus 178 white, which I'd agree is a "vast majority."

Four Kitties

For comparison, Texas population statistics: 2000 Census
http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/48000.html

Black or African American persons, 11.5%
American Indian and Alaska Native persons, 0.6%
Asian persons, 2.7%
Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander, 0.1%
Persons of Hispanic or Latino origin, percent, 32.0%
White persons, not of Hispanic/Latino origin, 52.4%

By population, then, blacks are overrepresented, whites and hispanics and "other" are underrepresented.

What this disparity acually means remains open for debate.

--------------------
"Liberalism is a philosophy of consolation for western civilization as it commits suicide." - Jerry Pournelle

Posts: 14567 | From: Pennsylvania | Registered: Jan 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Pogue Ma-humbug
Happy Christmas (Malls are Open)


Icon 1 posted      Profile for Pogue Ma-humbug   E-mail Pogue Ma-humbug   Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Jason Threadslayer:
I was told that the vast majority of people on death row were non-white.

Either you were told wrong, or you misunderstood.

In addition to what Four Kitties said, the main racial component to the death penalty is the race of victims, not defendants. The vast majority of those executed since 1976 in the United States were convicted of killing whites.

Pogue

--------------------
Let's drink to the causes in your life:
Your family, your friends, the union, your wife.

Posts: 11325 | From: Kentucky | Registered: Nov 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Rhiandmoi
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


Icon 1 posted      Profile for Rhiandmoi   E-mail Rhiandmoi   Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/cvictgen.htm

Canadian Statistics you have to pay for:
http://www.fedpubs.com/subject/law/cdncrim.htm

--------------------
I think that hyperbole is the single greatest factor contributing to the decline of society. - My friend Pat.

What is .02 worth?

Posts: 8745 | From: California | Registered: Jul 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Jason Threadslayer
Let There Be PCs on Earth


Icon 1 posted      Profile for Jason Threadslayer     Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by First of Blue:
For comparison, Texas population statistics: 2000 Census
http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/48000.html

Wouldn't it be more meaningful to compare race and sentence?

--------------------
All posts foretold by Nostradamus.

Turing test failures: 6

Posts: 5481 | From: Decatur, GA | Registered: Nov 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
opusair
The Red and the Green Stamps


Icon 602 posted            Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
In regards to the question in the OP, at first glance, Canada does seem to a much higher crime rate than the US, according to the OP's links.

However, the Statscan numbers report all crimes, including attempted murder and three levels of assaults. The US numbers only report index crimes. For 2002, the Violent Crime rate for the US, according to this , was 494.6 per 100,000, while for Canada, it was 969.2. However, the US stats specifically exclude attempted murder, and only includes aggravated assaults while specifically excluding simple assaults. It is a subset of crimes the Canadian stats report.

Here are US stats that report more complete stats. From Table 59. "Percent distribution of incidents, by type of crime and time of occurrence", we find total incidents for 2002 is 22,462,270. The 2002 population of the US is 288,368,698. This gives us a rate per 100,000 of 7,789 for all incidents. The violent crime rate, using the numbers from Table 59, is 1707 per 100,000. Note that Table 59 excludes murders, as murder victims cannot be surveyed.

Comparing stats such as crime rates between 2 countries is going to be difficult at best because of the differences in reporting and in what is considered a crime. However, we can see that the overall crime rate is virtually identical between the US and Canada for 2002. We can also see that the violent crime rate is much higher in the US, with a homicide rate about 3 times as high as Canada's

I think Mr. Ebert needs to post another letter.

IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
pinqy
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


Icon 1 posted      Profile for pinqy   E-mail pinqy   Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
You're running into some statistical problems opusair. In your second paragraph, you're linking to the 2 aggragate surveys on reported crime (Uniform Crime Report)...each country requires police departments to submit reports that are used for these surveys. Both also have a secondary survey of incident based reporting as well. But in your 3rd paragraph, you're citing the US Crime Victimization survey, which is a household survey. The UCRs are basically censuses...all reported crimes that meet certain criteria (I think it's about 95% coverage). The NCVS is a sample household survey of reported and unreported crime. There have been occasions where the 2 surveys show opposite trends. Which to use is entirely dependent on what you're looking for. You can't fairly compare the NCVS to the Canadian UCR. You will get more incidents from the NCVS. And of course, definitions of crimes make comparison difficult.

StatsCan did do a paper on comparing crime rates based on UCR surveys. Feasibility Study on Crime Comparisons Between Canada and the United States They do not recommend a comparison of total crime rates but do allow a comparison of the total of 7 crimes at the incident level: homicide, robbery, aggravated assault, break and enter, theft, motor vehicle theft, and arson.

pinqy

--------------------
Don't Forget!
Winter Solstice Hanukkah Christmas Kwanzaa & Gurnenthar's Ascendance Are Coming!

Posts: 8671 | From: Washington, DC | Registered: Feb 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
   

Quick Reply
Message:

HTML is not enabled.
UBB Code™ is enabled.

Instant Graemlins
   


Post new topic  Post a reply Close topic   Feature Topic   Move Topic   Delete topic next oldest topic   next newest topic
 - Printer-friendly view of this topic
Hop To:


Urban Legends Reference Pages

Powered by Infopop Corporation
UBB.classic™ 6.7.2