Analyzing the Influence of Ethnic Composition and Immigrant Residents on the Spatial Distribution of Violent Crime

  • Matthew QuickEmail author
  • Jane Law
Part of the Advances in Geographic Information Science book series (AGIS)


The spatial distribution of violent crime is influenced by small-area characteristics. The social disorganization theory proposes that neighbourhood-scale characteristics, including ethnic composition and immigrant residents, indirectly influence crime through social control. Recent spatial demographic changes in urban areas, including increased immigration and ethnic heterogeneity in city peripheries, have motivated reconsiderations of social disorganization. Using exploratory spatial data analysis and spatial regression methods, this research identifies violent crime hotspots and analyzes the influence of ethnic composition and immigrant resident concentration on violent crime in Toronto, Ontario, at the census tract scale. Results suggest that violent crime hotspots are located in downtown and north Toronto and that ethnic heterogeneity is positively associated with violent crime rate while immigrant resident concentration is negatively associated. This research provides novel insight into the spatial dimensions of crime and the effects of spatial demographic changes on violent crime and social disorganization in contemporary cities.


Spaital analysis Violent crime Spatial regression Social disorganization Demography 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of WaterlooWaterlooCanada

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