Social Indicators Research

, Volume 121, Issue 3, pp 849–872 | Cite as

The Effect of Fear of Crime and Crime Victimization on Subjective Well-Being in Africa

  • Iddisah Sulemana


A relatively limited number of studies have examined the effect of fear of crime and crime victimization on subjective well-being. This paper examines how fear of crime and crime victimization affect the well-being of people in Africa using data from the Round 4 of the Afrobarometer Surveys conducted in 20 countries. Consistent with the findings of previous studies, results from ordered probit and OLS regressions indicate that, each of fear of crime, theft victimization, and physical assault negatively influences well-being. In addition, the paper compares men and women on the basis of these effects, and finds that while fear of crime and theft victimization are significantly correlated with the well-being of women, neither has an effect on the well-being of men. However, physical assault significantly diminishes well-being for both men and women. The paper recommends that African governments pursue public policies that would improve labor market conditions, as lower unemployment could reduce crime, and increase well-being.


Africa Crime victimization Fear of crime Happiness Subjective well-being 



I wish to express my sincere gratitude to the Editor in Chief of this journal, Filomena Maggino, and two anonymous reviewers for useful comments and constructive suggestions that helped focus and strengthen the paper. I also wish to thank Afrobarometer for making their data public. All remaining errors are mine.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Agricultural and Applied EconomicsUniversity of MissouriColumbiaUSA

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