Different than the Sum of Its Parts: Examining
the Unique Impacts of Immigrant Groups
on Neighborhood Crime Rates
Charis E. Kubrin
John R. Hipp
Published online: 21 September 2016
Ó Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016
Examining the immigration-crime nexus across neighborhoods in the South-
ern California metropolitan region, this study builds on existing literature by unpacking
immigration and accounting for the rich diversity that exists between immigrant groups.
Using data from a variety of sources, we capture this diversity with three dif-
ferent approaches, operationalizing immigrant groups by similar racial/ethnic categories,
areas or regions of the world that immigrants emigrate from, and where immigrants co-
locate once they settle in the U.S. We also account for the heterogeneity of immigrant
populations by constructing measures of immigrant heterogeneity based on each of these
classiﬁcations. We compare these novel approaches with the standard approach, which
combines immigrants together through a single measure of percent foreign born.
The results reveal that considerable insights are gained by distinguishing between
diverse groups of immigrants. In particular, we ﬁnd that all three strategies explained
neighborhood crime levels better than the traditional approach.
The ﬁndings underscore the necessity of disaggregating immigrant groups
when exploring the immigration-crime relationship.
Keywords Immigrants Á Immigration Á Neighborhoods Á Crime
& Charis E. Kubrin
Department of Criminology, Law and Society, University of California, Irvine, Social Ecology II,
Irvine, CA 92697, USA
Department of Sociology, University of California, Irvine, Irvine, CA, USA
J Quant Criminol (2018) 34:1–36