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Index for my Toronto Budget 2004 project
Fact-Checking The Post: Uh, That Would Be Last, Not Second
24/02/2004

Following up on my previous post, I've analyzed the G7 violent crime numbers for the most recent year available. This is in reference to the National Post's claim that "America now has the second-lowest per-capita rate of violent crime in the G7, ahead of only Japan".

Summing up the Interpol 2001 numbers for violent crime -- murder, sexual assault, serious assault, and robbery and violent theft -- I get the following rankings:

  1. USA, 504.43 violent crimes per 100,000
  2. France, 493.16
  3. Canada, 319.38
  4. UK, 284.65
  5. Germany, 283.24
  6. Italy, 127.08
  7. Japan, 41.83

However, the number for the United States should actually be higher in relation to the others. The USA is the only country that reports rape instead of sexual assaults, and rape numbers are usually a few times lower.

Anyway, the National Post is most likely wrong, unless something amazing happened between 2001 and 2003.

Furthermore, it seems very likely that the source for their claim is this document, which ranks high on Google but is misleading, is not from a great source, and doesn't even refer to "violent crime" anyway. It looks like the Post was eager to support an argument and did shoddy research looking for a reference.


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