Crime overlays poverty

A map of poverty in Richmond, marked with 2009 homicide locations

A map of poverty in Richmond, marked with 2009 homicide locations

Criminologists have long agreed that the concentration of poverty tends to concentrate other social ills, like violent crime. The map above shows this relationship graphically in the city of Richmond.

The map was created for Richmond Confidential using data from the 2000 census, the most recent census data available for Richmond, to create a visual portrayal of poverty in the city. Areas with the highest levels of poverty are shown in red and those with the lowest levels of poverty are in dark green. As the map indicates, poverty is concentrated heavily, but not solely, in the Iron Triangle district.

The black dots mark the location of homicides in the city. Using data supplied by the Richmond Police Department, the dots indicate each homicide committed between January 1, 2009 and August 31, 2009.

The map shows that homicides in Richmond do occur in green areas, but that most homicides are committed in and around neighborhoods where people are living in the greatest poverty.

Filed under: Crime, Front

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3 Comments

  1. Cool map. It would be interesting to know how the kinds of crimes in the wealthier areas differ. best, lc

  2. Heather Gilligan Post author

    You can see the location and details of each 2009 homicide (to November) on Richmond Confidential’s homicide map:

    http://richmondconfidential.org/2009/11/09/city-has-recorded-45-homicides-to-date/

    I do agree, though, that it would be best to have all of the information on one map.

  3. It would be helpful to plot the schools on this map. Peter Ellis, director of Community Crime Prevention Associates of Alameda, did a study of school attendance areas in San Jose and Oakland a number of years ago that found that there were schools where the ratio of paroled or released felons in the attendance area was one-to-one with the student body. I would bet you will see an overlay of high poverty areas, high crime areas, and the most troubled schools if you look at similar data for Richmond.

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