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Socioeconomic Differences in Crime and Victimization: A Register-Based Study

NCJ Number
Mikko Aaltonen
Date Published
602 pages
This dissertation presents the results of a study on socioeconomic differences in crime and victimization.
Major findings from the four parts of the study include the following: 1) the bivariate associations between the four measures of socioeconomic status (SES) and violent crime, property crime, and driving while intoxicated (DWI) were strong, with education being the strongest predictor; 2) no association was found between employment status and crime, more specifically, unemployment was no longer associated with violent crime and DWI yet property crime rates were positively associated with higher rates of unemployment; 3) for both men and women, low SES and prior criminality were stronger predictors of violence in private places as compared to public venues; and 4) differences in SES were more sensitive to the seriousness of the violence being measured in the study. The findings from the study suggest a strong connection between the SES of both the perpetrators and victims of serious crime in Finland, with crime committed by young adults in Finland being heavily concentrated among individuals with lower SES. This study was conducted following a literature review that revealed a lack of research on the association between SES and crime in Finland. Data for the study were obtained from a dataset developed as part of the Risk Factors of Crime in Finland (RFCF) project. The RFCF was started as a feasibility study to investigate the possibility of conducting register-based research on determinants of crime in Finland. The dataset used in this study was developed from a random sample of 150,010 Finnish residents. Additional data for the study were obtained from the National Research Institute of Legal Policy, the Finnish Tax Administration, the Social Insurance Institution of Finland, and Statistics Finland. Tables, figures, references, and appendix