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Impact of Victimization on Residential Mobility: Explaining Racial and Ethnic Patterns Using the National Crime Victimization Survey

NCJ Number
Date Published
November 2014
35 pages
Drawing from current literature, this study tested the hypothesis that criminal victimization would have a stronger effect on moving decisions for Whites than for Blacks or Hispanics, and that racial/ethnic residential segregation would moderate the impact of victimization on mobility.
Criminal victimization is known to influence households’ moving decisions, but theories suggest that the processes leading to a moving decision can vary across racial and ethnic groups. Using a longitudinal sample of 34,134 housing units compiled from the National Crime Victimization Survey for the 40 largest metropolitan areas in the United States (1995–2003), the current study found results that both support and contradict the hypotheses. Specifically, White residents displayed consistent evidence that victimization is a significant predictor of household mobility. Blacks and Hispanics, in contrast, were more varied in their moving behavior after victimization. In addition, significant differences existed among these groups in responses to victimization and in how mobility is influenced by residential segregation. Higher levels of residential segregation play a part in the victimization–mobility relationship among Blacks in a way that is more complex than the study hypothesized. (Publisher abstract modified)
Date Published: November 1, 2014