EVALUATING THE IMPACT OF AMENITIES ON COUNTY CRIME RATES
There is a widely held belief that improving the community environment will decrease crime rates. Cultural amenities such as libraries, museums or theaters are expected to reduce crime by spurring development in neighborhoods. However, no statistical evidence has yet been found that indicates what kinds of neighborhood amenities affect local crime rates. Previous studies about relations between neighborhood characteristics and crime rates focus on demographic factors such as population size and income level, not on amenities. This study presents statistical models that include a set of amenities, measured by certain types of businesses in the county, and estimates their effect on neighborhood crime. The models in this study suggest that parking lots and hospitals are the types of amenities that are related to higher crime rates, while other amenities such as retail stores, restaurants, bars, and schools do not have a significant effect on crime rates. However, the results also suggest that higher population density and higher median household income are correlated with lower crime rates, and that the share of population that is under 20 are associated with higher crime rates.
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