Publication Date

Spring 5-7-2022

Document Type


First Advisor

Chen, Xuwei

Degree Name

B.S. (Bachelor of Science)


The severity of the crime is often the most intuitive reflection of whether a region is safe and the top factor for the public when evaluating a region. Economist's list of the safest cities in seven major North American cities, Chicago was ranked at six, just above Dallas. Chicago scored the lowest in personal security, which is closely tied to the crime. Against the backdrop of higher unemployment and prices, this study is interested in how property-based crimes are related to the economic decline in Chicago geographically. The study used the heterogeneity analysis tool Geodetector to investigate the correlation between property-related crimes and selected economic indicators; examine the interactions of economic indicators on the selected crimes and estimate the likelihood of occurrence of the crimes base on classifications of the economic indicators.

The results show that robbery, burglary, and Motor Vehicle Theft are less likely to occur in areas with stable economic environments such as high income, low housing vacancy rates, and low unemployment rates than in other areas, but not in Larceny. The spatial distribution of Larceny is not highly correlated with the distribution of either Median Household Income, Vacant Rate, or Unemployment Rate, but is correlated with the Median Household Income & housing vacancy rate and housing vacancy rate & unemployment rate. but is highly correlated with the spatial distribution of the combination of Median Household Income & housing vacancy rate and housing vacancy rate & unemployment rate. Higher burglary crime risk is likely associated with higher unemployment rates whereas robbery and Motor Vehicle Theft have a greater association with the unemployment rate and housing vacancy than with the other factors.

The rates of vacant homes and unemployment are higher from 2015 to 2020. There is some level of association between higher crime risk and low income, high vacancy, and high unemployment rates in general, the increase in unemployment rates in 2020 is the dominant factor associated with high crime risk. Geodetector is not only able to identify the spatial associations between crimes and individual EIs but also how the interactions between EIs would affect crime risk at different levels.


Department of Geographic and Atmospheric Sciences