Exploring the Association Between Immigration and Crime in Columbus, Ohio: A New Immigrant Destination

Paola Echave , The Ohio State University

In spite of the negative prevailing perceptions of immigrants, a growing body of research continues to find that increases in immigrant concentration are actually associated with lower levels of crime. Previous studies primarily offer information about historical immigrant destinations like Chicago, Los Angeles and New York City that have sustained large immigrant populations over the past century. However, much less is known about the impact of immigration development in new immigrant destinations, such as Columbus, OH where immigrant populations are only recently settling. Using arrest data from the Columbus Police Department covering the years 2005-2014 and a variety of other data sources to measure immigration and immigrant community characteristics, I find evidence that increases in immigrant concentration in a relatively recent immigrant destination (Columbus, OH) are associated with decreases in violent and property crime rates across 204 census tracts.

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 Presented in Session 7. Migration & Urbanization