Author & Librarian

Resources for Ethnicity and Crime

The following report contains resources for a client interested in aggregated data, microdata, and statistical information on ethnicity and crime in Canada and United States. The client has not specified the exact information they want on ethnicity and crime, or the kinds of data analysis they wish to derive from the data, so these resources try to encompass different possible approaches. The resources provided try to provide data that attempts to establish a relationship between ethnicity and crime in some shape or form. The data are presented from victims, offenders, and officers, offering a wide selection of information. The currency dates of the data are based on public accessibility. The resource is not completed, nor should it be considered as such. This report is rather a guideline to assist and guide the client’s research in ethnicity and crime.

Before beginning, it is important to know that when researching and collecting statistical data on crime and ethnicity, the only available data on offenders in Canada is for Aboriginal people, children and youth, seniors, and women. This means essentially that any actual data on the ethnicity of the offender publicly available is about Aboriginal people. However, there are few historical aggregated studies and data that can be used to learn about offenders’ ethnicity. In addition, data on ethnicity in relation to crimes is reliably available for statistics on hate crimes. Although this study does not reveal the offender or victim’s ethnicity, it provides an insight into how Canadians view and treat other ethnicities.

The United States, on the other hand, collects and publishes the ethnicity/race of its offenders and victims. It is also important to recognize that in the United States, ethnicity is not used in the manner as it is used Canada. The definition of race and ethnicity collected for these resources is based on the U.S. Office of Management and Budget (OMB)’s definition. And based on the OMB’s categories, there are only two kinds of ethnicity: “Hispanic origin” or “Not of Hispanic origin.” This means that in order to have a comprehensive analysis, race is used alongside with ethnicity in surveys. Knowing these distinctions should contribute to the comprehension of the resources provided.

Canada                                                      United States