Instituto Fernand Braudel de Economia Mundial - Associado à FAAP

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Crime and Population Variation in 1995 and 2002

Coeffients for homicides, theft, robbery and vehicle theft (grand theft auto) per 100,000 inhabitants

Author: José Peres Netto | April 2003

This work considers the 235 most populous municipalities in the state of São Paulo, which together represent almost 92% of the state’s population. Using 2002 population estimates, a division was made between large municipalities (greater than 100 thousand inhabitants), the medium-sized municipalities (between 40 and 100 thousand inhabitants) and small municipalities (between 20 and 40 thousand inhabitants). Each group shows the population growth between 1995 and 2002; the coefficients and “rankings” of municipalities in 1995 and 2002 for homicides, theft, robbery and vehicle theft (grand theft auto) per 100,000 inhabitants, along with the calculated percentage increase or decrease in the coefficients and the resulting variation in 2002 “rankings” compared to those of 1995.

The capital is among the large municipalities, however it is not shown in the ranking because it is 10 times larger than the second largest municipality. We have 62 large municipalities, 76 medium-sized, and 97 small.

The work consists of 15 tables, 3 in alphabetical order and 12 in order of decreasing crime.

The tables in decreasing order have the best analytical view. We need to analyze them individually, as the coefficients change over time and between groups of municipalities.

For example, considering only robberies, we can see that between the large municipalities only two (Jacareí and Itapevi) experienced reductions in their coefficients. Amongst the medium-sized, five municipalities showed reductions in their coefficients. Amongst the small municipalities fourteen experienced reductions. Only 21 municipalities amongst the 235 studied, or less than 9% of the municipalities analyzed, reduced their coefficients for robbery, signifying a disheartening increase in robberies for 91% of the municipalities researched.

It is important to emphasize the care that must be taken with percentage variations, especially in reference to small numbers. Consider the case of robberies in Fernandópolis: in 1995 its coefficient was 3 cases per 100,000 inhabitants, the last in the ranking. In 2002, robberies increased to 44.5 cases per 100,000 inhabitants, the greatest percentage increase in robberies for a municipality, with a growth of 1.198%. Despite this, Fernandópolis’ new coefficient is only the 3rd last in the 2002 rankings.

Finally, the data presented provides exceptional material for study, analysis and reflection about crime and violence in the state of São Paulo.

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