White, black, and Latino homicide rates: Why the difference?

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Abstract

The racial homicide differential in the United States is extraordinarily large, with minorities exhibiting much higher homicide rates than non-Latino whites. Several sociological explanations for crime suggest that if whites were subjected to the same structural pressures as minorities, white homicide rates would approach levels currently experienced among minorities. Based on 1990 data for 129 U.S. metropolitan areas, this study quantifies the extent to which differences in structural characteristics among the non-Latino white, non-Latino black, and Latino populations contribute to the homicide differential. The analysis reveals that all of the white-Latino homicide differential and about half of the white-black homicide gap could be reduced if the characteristics of minorities were improved to levels currently exhibited by whites.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)349-373
Number of pages25
JournalSocial Problems
Volume49
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2002
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Sociology and Political Science

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