By Ross Perez 02 Jun, 2010

Special Note: Dan Murray of InterWorks created this visualization of crime in the US to help viewers look into the supposed increase in crime from immigration.

From DM:

The new immigration law in Arizona is controversial. The triggering event for the enactment of the law was the murder of a police officer. I wondered if the influx of illegal aliens in Arizona correlated with increased crime in the last decade. See for yourself. How does your state compare?


I speculate that drug trafficking has more to do with violent crime than illegal immigration. What do you think? The data on drug crime seems a little sketchy to me. Do any of you know about any reliable data sets on crime related specifically to drug trafficking?

Data from FBI Uniform Crime Reports.



I feel the need to clarify something regarding this viz. Although it is generally accepted that "illegal" immigration in Arizona, Texas, California, Florida is higher than most other places in the USA (common sense would also support that due to their proximity to Mexico and Cuba.

I was unable to find solid numbers regarding illegal immigration. If anyone can point me to a realiable source for that sort of information, please share it.

I think that this information would be interesting to see (illegal immigration/drug trafficking vs. violent crimes), though I doubt you could say there is a direct correlation (if any).

Sadly, I this viz has nothing at all to do with immigration. All that I see is data on violent crime. It fails to answer the question that was asked "...if the influx of illegal aliens in Arizona correlated with increased crime in the last decade." I'm not sure how one could measure illegal immigration correctly, but without displaying some sort of data I have no way of seeing a correlation between immigration and crimes (unless I choose to).

I'm not saying that its worthless, I found it very interesting; a great way to look at violent crime data. The late 80's early 90's was a bad time it seems, if I remember correctly that is when the crack explosion happened on the west coast. Sadly, here in Wisconsin, violent crime is still on the rise (well its trending upwards anyway). Big spike in '06 for some reason.

There is a generational component to the data. What you are looking at is the boomer(b. 1944-1960) and gen X(b. 1961-1981) cohorts coming into and leaving their peak crime committing years (late teens-30's). According to Strauss and Howe, both generations had a decreasing amount of parental protection when they were in childhood and adolescence. This could be a contributing factor.