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Analysis of Property Crimes in the Us

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TO: David Phillis, Manager, Bureau of Justice Statistics

FROM: Statistician

DATE: 8/21/2011

SUBJECT: Analysis of Determinants of Property Crimes in the US

I have analyzed the data on Property Crime rates in the 50 states and the proposed determining factors as you requested. I have found that of the eight selected possible determining factors of property crime rates throughout the US, the three most significant factors are the high school dropout rate (DROPOUT), the overall density of the state's population (DENSITY), and the percentage of a state's residents who live in urban areas (URBAN). My findings are outlined below.

Background: The data for this case come from a variety of US government sources and was originally collected by Louis J. Moritz. The data includes the following categories from each of the 50 states:

* Property crime rate per hundred thousand inhabitants in 1988 (CRIMES)

o Property crimes include burglary, larceny, theft and motor vehicle theft

* Per capita income (PINCOME)

* 1987 high school dropout rate (DROPOUT)

* Average precipitation in inches in the major city in each state (1951-80)(PRECIP)

* 1987 percentage of public aid recipients (1987) (PUBAID)

* Population/total square miles (DENSITY)

* Public aid for families with children, dollars per family (KIDS)

* Percentage of unemployed workers (UNEMPLOY)

* Percentage of the residents living in urban areas (URBAN)

Findings The average property crime rate per hundred thousand inhabitants using the state by state data is 4,559.2 per state with the highest rates occurring in the states of Florida, Texas and Arizona; while the lowest rates occurred in the states of North Dakota, South Dakota and West Virginia. I feel that it is important to point out that this does not represent the average number of property crimes per 100,000 inhabitants throughout the US, but just the per state average.

The analysis using all of the available data revealed that the percentage of people living in urban areas, the percentage of high school dropouts and the population density all have a significant relationship to the increased level of property crimes (see Exhibit 1 attached). This analysis also shows that per capita income, percentage of public aid, public aid for families with children, average precipitation and unemployment are not significant factors contributing to the rate of property crime.

After eliminating the five categories that were not



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