Everyone knows that when the economy gets worse and more people are out of work, the crime rate goes up. Except it's not true. The crime rate has been dropping nationwide for decades independent of economic downturns. According to FBI statistics released today, Oregon's crime rate will be hitting it's lowest mark in 40 years. This, even though our economy generally and our unemployment rate specifically just keep getting grimmer. Oregon Live. There are lots of hypotheses for the falling crime rate but, to my mind, the most compelling ones start with this fact pointed out by Craig Prins of the Criminal Justice Commission, cited in the above article:
[Prins] showed a graphic that revealed how the state's crime rate decline also has mirrored a drop in Oregon's male population between the ages of 15 and 39, between 1989 and 2008. Most crime is committed by males in that age range, and the proportion of this group in the total population is commonly used as a predictor of crime.
h/t Chris O'Connor