Objectives. We investigated how racial/ethnic shifts in the urban landscape influence race-specific violence by considering changes in the size of the Hispanic population, racial/ethnic contact, and racial segregation patterns. Methods. We used a time-series approach incorporating 4 decennial periods (1980, 1990, 2000, and 2010) to determine whether racial/ethnic demographic changes in 144 US cities influenced White and Black homicide rates. Sources included census and Uniform Crime Reports Supplemental Homicide Report data. Results. The growing diversity in the residential population of US cities contributed to the dramatic decline in homicide rates over time, but the effects differed by racial group. Exposure between Hispanics and Blacks and the growing presence of Hispanics led to a reduced Black homicide trend but had no impact on Whites, after adjustment for economic shifts and other important structural features in US cities. Conclusions. Our research highlights the importance of paying closer attention to exposure and integration between immigrants and existing racial groups. Failure to consider racial/ethnic contact and the racial nature of urban violence may produce misleading results in studies of associations between Hispanic immigration and crime.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health