February 12, 2012

The solution for unwanted statistics

Earlier, I was whining about how the CIA no longer bothers to update its fascinating table in the CIA World Factbook on countries' military expenditures as a percent of GDP. For example, the U.S. number still says, comically, "2005, est." Heckuva job, CIAie!

There's another federal website featuring unpopular data that would be too embarrassing to delete, to which the feds have found a similar solution: just let it wither on the vine by never updating it. That's the Bureau of Justice Statistics' page on Homicide Trends. It's still there, but the latest data is for 2005. I started looking at it when debating Steven Levitt in 1999, and it was annually updated with each year's new numbers. But, now, it doesn't appear to have been updated in a half decade.

I'll just paste the top part of this Justice Department webpage right here:

Trends by race

Racial differences exist, with blacks disproportionately represented
among homicide victims and offenders

In 2005, homicide victimization rates for blacks were 6 times higher
than the rates for whites.

To view data, click on the chart.
For more information about racial patterns in violent victimization
see Key Facts at a Glance.

In 2005, offending rates for blacks were more than 7 times higher
than the rates for whites

To view data, click on the chart.
Homicide Offending by Race

The genius behind this is that if the Obama Administration simply deleted it, Rush Limbaugh would have a field day. But by never updating it, it's increasingly not news. It's so far out of date that it gives the news media an excuse to ignore it. Who knows what could have happened since 2005? Maybe whites have higher homicide rates than blacks today. Who can say? So, best to just ignore the whole subject until the feds post some newer numbers, whenever that might be.

P.S., You can find the Homicide Offending by Race graph extended out through 2008 by downloading this PDF, and then paging down to p. 11. What could be more convenient? Apparently, PDF is the hot new technology sweeping aside outmoded HTML. It's so much easier to cut and paste!

55 comments:

Anonymous said...

Did Steven Pinker look at post-2005 data for his book?

Anonymous said...

I suppose they just don't want to admit that the overall rate of crime has declined, that's just so not news.
Robert Hume

Who believes in doing good and doing right? said...

FOIA? I seriously doubt they've failed to continue /gathering/ this info. Could be a whole new mine of /exclusive data/ for you, Steve.

Anonymous said...

Isn't the raw data available?

Defeated said...

Off topic, but timely.
Somebody here must be interested in the idea that Whitney destroyed her life and career to keep her ghetto license.

""Sometimes it gets down to that, you know?" she told Katie Couric in 1996. "You're not black enough for them. I don't know. You're not R&B enough. You're very pop. The white audience has taken you away from them."
 
Some saw her 1992 marriage to former New Edition member and soul crooner Bobby Brown as an attempt to refute those critics. It seemed to be an odd union; she was seen as pop's pure princess while he had a bad-boy image and already had children of his own. (The couple only had one daughter, Bobbi Kristina, born in 1993.) Over the years, he would be arrested several times, on charges ranging from DUI to failure to pay child support.

Davis said...

So in 1980 blacks were killing people at 10x the rate of whites and now its around 6x the rate. The gap is closing! The gap is closing!

Anonymous said...

"I suppose they just don't want to admit that the overall rate of crime has declined, that's just so not news."

The news aspect would be "hey prison works great after all."

anony-mouse said...

Hanlon's razor, Steve.

The fact that both set of stats ends in 2005 would tend to confirm a more mundane explanation. In 2005 probably some idiot/costcutter said, 'who needs new stats when the old ones have numbers too.'

Jehu said...

Davis,
The FBI used to break out Hispanics as a class of offenders. Now they're lumped in with whites. That artificially raises the white homicide rate and thereby lowers the ratio. Back when Hispanic was a category of offender, their rate was to my recall @3x the white rate. Blacks were @9x. The deletion of the category was NOT an accident.

sunbeam said...

It'd be interesting to see up to date numbers.

My sense is crime rates look flat on that graph, but may have declined since 2005.

I don't have anything to say or speculate on about a white/black comparison on crime, or whether the ratios are still skewed.

My feeling is that it has declined for both ethnic groups.

People just seem more and more disconnected from everything all the time, even from commiting crime. And while it may be my personal life it sure seems like it is happening with society in general.

I honestly think I blame the internet. It is everywhere now, among any group of people you can imagine. Well maybe not the Amish (so much anyway).

Easier-for-Them Association, Chicago branch said...

FT had an article "The end of email" about the big firms switching to internal-network messaging software and just plain briefing-in-person style, since the other stuff was all fodder for litigation discovery of course. Isn't this the same corporate philosophy essentially? You hold the press conference about "the most transparent Administration in history" but occasionally shuffle that follow-up order to the bottom of the pile.

Anonymous said...

The long and the short of it, is that blacks commit violence and crime at rates that dwarve all other races. And this is true everywhere in the world where there are blacks. It is NOT just a USA phenomenon.

agnostic said...

That's nothing compared to the Statistical Abstract, which they're shutting down entirely.

Not like the web interface will go away and you'll need a hard copy. Like, they aren't even going to pull together the data anymore.

Cost-cutting.

SF said...

If you want to emphasize how large a particular ratio is, state it in number per 100,000. If you want to lowball it, express it as a percentage. An Atlantic online post on how incarceration rates are so high gives us the figure of 751 per 100,000. Of course, that is also zero point seven five one percent. I bet if all the crooks that should be in prison were, the number would go up by a factor of at least three.

Anonymous said...

Pinker is right.

Violence has declined so much they're not even bothering collecting the data. It's negligible.

We live in the best of all possible worlds...

Anonymous said...

I suppose they just don't want to admit that the overall rate of crime has declined

Maybe but of course we are interested in relative rates between groups, and thats the news they dont want circulating.

RKU said...

Davis: So in 1980 blacks were killing people at 10x the rate of whites and now its around 6x the rate. The gap is closing! The gap is closing!

Well, a huge fraction of all murders tend to be committed by urban males. And from some figures I've seen floating around here and there, I think something like one-third of all urban black males are currently dead or in prison. Which I suppose is one way to close the gap...

Lugash said...

I am Lugash.

Has anyone asked Jared Taylor about this? He hasn't updated The Color of Crime since the 2005 edition.

The flat line of the white crime rate versus the highly variable black rate has always been as interesting as the discrepancy between the two. It seems to indicate that there's a white criminal class, but if the government goes soft on crime or the economy goes south, there isn't a set of criminals waiting in the wings. With Blacks, once the government backs off, the amatuers come out in force.

Sticking the statistics in a PDF makes it marginally less likely that a casual web surfer won't find data that is politically incorrect.

@Who believes

I'm pretty sure the data is still collected. The graphs were pulled from the FBI's Uniform Crime Reports, which are still collected.

Chicago's UCR data is supposed to be so garbled, massaged or incomplete that the FBI doesn't use it.

I am Lugash.

Anonymous said...

i'm suprised they would even write that. The SPLC would label it hate if posted on a blog.

Anonymous said...

" I am Lugash."
ha. were you from, Ukraine?

Anonymous said...

You notice the spin put on it.

Firstly, the 'victimization' figures are given - and a sob story about blacks being the victims of murders given in the first few sentences.
The fact that blacks victimize other blacks is simply ignored, just like the fact that blacks victimize whites with a large disparity is lost in 'graphical noise' - you have to tease that fact out by doing a bit of detective work and counting squares.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, it's interesting that ever since President Obama got elected back in 2005 he has refused to update these web sites.

Reg C├Žsar said...

I am Goulash.

In 2005, homicide victimization rates for blacks were 6 times higher
than the rates for whites.


Anyone who said "twice...than" would be rightly regarded as an illiterate and a buffoon. So how come it's "6 times... than"?

These people are educated-- or rather schooled-- and work for the government. I guess illiteracy and buffoonery are a job requirement now.

I am Goulash.

Georgia Resident said...

"Yeah, it's interesting that ever since President Obama got elected back in 2005 he has refused to update these web sites."

Bush wasn't known for being the best friend of white interests either (McCain-Kennedy amnesty, anyone?). Also, didn't Alberto Gonzales become AG in Bush's second term? Perhaps he had something to do with it. "The GOP can show how NAM-friendly it is by not publishing crime statistics by race".

Anonymous said...

"So in 1980 blacks were killing people at 10x the rate of whites and now its around 6x the rate. The gap is closing! The gap is closing!"

More likely the percentage of "whites" who are actually mestizo Hispanics is increasing.
Robert Hume

Anonymous said...

"Yeah, it's interesting that ever since President Obama got elected back in 2005 he has refused to update these web sites."

But Steve wrote "P.S., You can find the Homicide Offending by Race graph extended out through 2008 by downloading this PDF, and then paging down to p. 11. What could be more convenient? "

So Obama was elected in 2008, and no statistics since then.
Robert Hume

dogzma said...

Speaking of homicide statistics, do Catholics actually believe that birth control qualifies as preemptive murder?

An aside, I know plenty of Catholics with only two children. Knowing Catholics don't use birth control, especially after marriage, I can't help thinking that even fertile women suffer some damage to their ovaries. The tragedy of it all only truly revealed when placing the fertility statistics side by side with the abortion ones.

John Mansfield said...

Another one is California abortion. All by itself, California used to account for over a quarter of U.S. abortions, but a dozen years ago California quit counting. Since 1998 or so, CDC reports aggregating abortion data have to make do without California.

Anonymous said...

Violent crime rates explode after desegregation c. mid-60s

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Violent_Crime_Rates_in_the_United_States.svg

Incarceration rates grow in response but lag the growth in violent crime by c. ten years.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:U.S._incarceration_rates_1925_onwards.png

Eventually incarceration rates catch up and crime goes down.

So prison works short term.

If the incarceration rate was maintained at a high enough level for long enough and the worst were the ones locked up then eventually the scale of the problem would reduce over time as the worst had fewer kids...(but only if the US wasn't making the problem worse by importing more people every year.)

So prison would work long-term too.

///

Interesting stat from a Chicago po-leece blog who are apparently currently swamping ghetto areas with officers:
- shootings down 36%
- homicides down 63%

The gangstas who keep their eyes open when they're shooting people seem to be disproportionately keeping their heads down.

europeasant said...

The homicide rate is probably low at this point because the next generation of feral blacks has not reached maturity yet! But soon watch out I think it is already starting to spike up.Plus many of them have been dispersed to the outlying suburbs. Give that suburb group time to grow and fester and then watch out. But hey, the grand experiment continues. All the people I know have left the urban areas and moved to areas that are 90% white. It is these same people who claim that we are all created equal, while they continue running for the hills!

MQ said...

The notion that this is some kind of dramatic conspiracy is laughable. These stats come from an anonymous personal survey (National Crime Victimization Survey), not from administrative data. Except for a few very high-priority, well-funded surveys like the unemployment survey, it always takes several years for government to process those surveys and get a report up. The 2010 NCVS data is already going up (http://bjs.ojp.usdoj.gov/content/pub/pdf/cv10.pdf ) however it does not have crime by race of offender, which no doubt is the highest priority for some here.

Black Death said...

here's a link to relatively current (2011) military expenditures as a percentage of GDP, from the SIPRI Yearbook:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_military_expenditures

The US leads the pack in total expenditures, of course, coming in at $698 billion, or about 43% of all the world's military expenditures. China is a distant second at $119 billion, and Russia comes in at $59 billion.

Anonymous said...

There's been an interesting picture circulating around the AltRight internet of Texas' Most Wanted. All the names are obviously of hispanic origin (Sanchez, Gomez, etc) but the ethnicity is listed as "white male".

As others have pointed out, I'm sure this has something to do with driving down the murder ratio.

Rainforest Giant said...

"But Mr Dent, the plans have been available in the local planning office for the last nine months."

"Oh yes, well as soon as I heard I went straight round to see them, yesterday afternoon. You hadn't exactly gone out of your way to call attention to them, had you? I mean, like actually telling anybody or anything."

"But the plans were on display ..."

"On display? I eventually had to go down to the cellar to find them."

"That's the display department."

"With a flashlight."

"Ah, well the lights had probably gone."

"So had the stairs."

"But look, you found the notice didn't you?"

"Yes," said Arthur, "yes I did. It was on display in the bottom of a locked filing cabinet stuck in a disused lavatory with a sign on the door saying 'Beware of the Leopard'."

Those of you who think this has anything to do with Obama are not paying attention. The establishment does not want to admit the statistics. Both parties are complicit.

In this day of the internet any statistics should be available nearly as quickly as they are gathered. Yet here we are with inconvenient facts ignored or obscured. What happens when ink and paper books become rare?

Pournelle was a prophet as far as information dissemination goes.

Rainforest Giant said...

Steve,

If someone published the 'Arthur Dent' deal before me, please put mine first. I figure I've earned it as a long time reader and because I am likely taller than the other guy. Which matters if you are a caveman and since we're all part Neandertal, it should matter.

Anonymous said...

New national crisis developing. W. St.Paul, MN city councilman is hanging a Confederate flag outside his house.

http://news.yahoo.com/minn-city-councilman-defends-confederate-flag-outside-home-154818571.html
A Minnesota city councilman has a Confederate flag hanging outside his home and says he's not taking it down, no matter what people say.
"It's my house," West St. Paul Councilman Ed Hansen told the Pioneer Press. "What's the problem?"

Scipio Africanus said...

Defeated, Whitney was always "Hood" and very familiar with the rougher side of life. The public just wasn't aware of that until later.

Mr. Anon said...

"Anonymous said...

I suppose they just don't want to admit that the overall rate of crime has declined, that's just so not news."

THe overall crime rate may have declined up through 2005. There is however plenty of evidence to suggest that the crime rate has increased substantially since 2008. To judge by the police blotter and the nightly news where I live, property crimes - including armed robbery and home invasion - have become much more common over the last few years. An economic depression really does have consequences.

Anonymous said...

"That's nothing compared to the Statistical Abstract, which they're shutting down entirely."


What percent of workers in on that project are NAM's vs. white male nerds? Cutting costs there is a no brainer. They kick those guys out of government because they will find employment elsewhere, pay taxes, so the gov't can hire more NAM's.

As My Whimsy Takes Me said...

"Somebody here must be interested in the idea that Whitney destroyed her life and career to keep her ghetto license."

Cry me a river.

She destroyed "The Star-Spangled Banner" and "I Will Always Love You" by giving them the ghetto treatment. That's of far more importance to me than anything she may have done to herself by "keepin' it real" in order to placate "her people".

Marlowe said...

I didn't realise that Douglas Adams is a pseudonym of Jerry Pournelle.

Wow. Perhaps The Mercenary and West of Honor were actually intended humorously.

Is Newt Gingrich one of his alter egos as well?

agnostic said...

"THe overall crime rate may have declined up through 2005. There is however plenty of evidence to suggest that the crime rate has increased substantially since 2008. To judge by the police blotter and the nightly news where I live, property crimes - including armed robbery and home invasion - have become much more common over the last few years. An economic depression really does have consequences."

The national property crime rate has continued to fall every year since the early '90s peak, right through latest year that data are available, 2009, well into the recession.

Changes in prosperity are unrelated to changes in violent or property crime rates. Just another lame excuse for sociopaths -- they were hard-up.

Remember that the whole crime wave kicked off in 1959, during the post-WWII "Long Boom".

Whiskey said...

Not all crime is equal, and not all military spending is equal.

Stuff like burgling people's homes while they are away, or their cars, or various frauds, are far less costly than murders. Murders have been ballparked (cannot remember the source, too lazy to look it up) at around $25 million or so social cost total for each murder. Murders also tend to drive away any and all business investment if they are sustained in a pattern.

By the same token, much of US military spending goes for wages, housing, medical benefits, and the like not hardware, men under arms, and the other stuff. ADJUSTED Chinese-US military spending would show an increasingly closing gap, because the Chinese pay PLA people wages akin to their factory workers. Using that raw number is as deceptive as lumping White and Hispanic crime rates together.

The US is likely in terminal military decline, vs. China, and likely to be treated in the future, much like the Philippines or Vietnam is by China today. That is a subservient, dominated nation ordered about by Beijing, or one facing constant threats.

Anonymous said...

Remember that the whole crime wave kicked off in 1959, during the post-WWII "Long Boom".

That's because of black employment and migration.

Instead of being out in the boonies, with lower pop. density (fewer potential victims) and more nature (less property around), blacks were now in environments with more opportunity for crime. Coupled with the social behavior and sexual revolution and new permissiveness unleashed in the 60s, and greater allowance for black assertiveness and less controls on their behavior, you had an explosive brew.

The earlier black migration northward isn't really a counterexample. The blacks probably did increase the crime back then, but there were more controls on their behavior and behavior overall.

agnostic said...

"That's because of black employment and migration."

Wrong. The crime wave was national, even in places where there was little or no blacks, like Utah and Vermont.

It was also international, again even where there were no blacks, like Switzerland and Sweden.

Then there's the crime decline since the '90s -- there are only more NAMs in sheer numbers, as a fraction of the population, and geographically more spread out than in the '40s and '50s.

You can't explain an increase without explaining a decrease. If more blacks, or more spread-out blacks, caused crime rates to soar, then plummeting crime rates must be explained by a shrinking number of blacks or having them shrunk back to their '40s-'50s borders, neither of which has happened.

agnostic said...

It's one thing to note that blacks commit crime at greater rates than whites. That reminds us that cries of racism, disparate impact, etc., in crime control are just whining.

But there's a tendency among too many HBD types to unravel any national problem as a rise in the black population, their fraction of the whole population, or how spread out they are. (Maybe that will include Mexicans too.)

This other kind of innumeracy blurs out the picture of misbehaving whites, as though Utah or Vermont could never be struck by an epidemic of child molesters, kidnappers, serial killers, along with the more mundane criminals. After all, they were certified NAM-free during the '60s through the '80s, so nothing could have gone wrong.

Ditto for the international picture -- Sweden or Switzerland during that time period. Or any Western European country during the 1580-1630 violence wave, and the 1780-1830 wave. Certified NAM-free.

It's not just the intellectual laziness that has grown tiresome in that line of thinking, but the stubborn refusal to self-reflect, to ask what could go wrong even in a supposedly utopian context, and so on.

It's sheer hubris to think that most of our problems only came into being because blacks moved next door, not that that wouldn't make them even worse of course.

Anonymous said...

The pdf came out in November 2011. The second sentence of it notes that detailed data on 2009 and 2010 isn't available yet. There's a time lag on statistics. Perhaps the time lag in this case comes from the fact that establishing who offenders are may require some people to get convicted. I bet if you called up BJS, you could fairly easily get both an explanation of why there's a time lag and an estimate of when more recent numbers will become available.

Anonymous said...

"So in 1980 blacks were killing people at 10x the rate of whites and now its around 6x the rate. The gap is closing! The gap is closing!"

It's harder to kill people in prison.

Harry Baldwin said...

By the same token, much of US military spending goes for wages, housing, medical benefits, and the like not hardware, men under arms, and the other stuff. ADJUSTED Chinese-US military spending would show an increasingly closing gap, because the Chinese pay PLA people wages akin to their factory workers.

I agree with the implication Whiskey is putting forth. I'm sure the Chinese spend their military dollars far more shrewdly than we do. In the U.S., military spending is determined on a political basis. Thus, we keep building multi-billion dollar aircraft carriers while the Chinese develop million-dollar missiles that can sink them. How many troops in the PLA are being supported while on maternity leave? How's open homosexuality doing in the PLA?

TGGP said...

RKU, black people have been in the U.S for centuries. I expect the dead vastly outnumber the living. How do you estimate "a third" are dead or incarcerated?

Mr. Anon said...

"agnostic said...

The national property crime rate has continued to fall every year since the early '90s peak, right through latest year that data are available, 2009, well into the recession."

Of course it's also possible that law enforcement agencies have become less assiduous about collecting statistics or have disuaded people from filing reports.

In any event, the national rates don't reflect what is going on in any particular locality. It's also possible that the crime has been on the increase in some ares, just as it has decreased in others, possibly following shifts in population.

Kylie said...

"This other kind of innumeracy blurs out the picture of misbehaving whites, as though Utah or Vermont could never be struck by an epidemic of child molesters, kidnappers, serial killers, along with the more mundane criminals. After all, they were certified NAM-free during the '60s through the '80s, so nothing could have gone wrong."

I can't speak for anyone else but that has never been my position. Indeed, I've long believed that whites have enough pathology and criminality of their own to deal with. I'm not interested in whites policing--or having to police--any other race.

"It's sheer hubris to think that most of our problems only came into being because blacks moved next door, not that that wouldn't make them even worse of course."

If you mean problems of any kind, sure. But if you mean the problems associated with worsening neighborhood conditions, I'm not so sure about that.

RKU said...

TGGP: RKU, black people have been in the U.S for centuries. I expect the dead vastly outnumber the living. How do you estimate "a third" are dead or incarcerated?

My apologies for such an embarrassing lack of language precision in my casual blogsite comment. I was obviously referring to the fraction of the current adult urban male age-cohort which is already dead or in prison, particularly the prime-crime age-cohort of something like 20-50.

And I certainly can't guarantee the correct figure is actually one-third, since I've never tried to precisely calculate it. I first became aware of this rather astonishing (possible) statistic some years back, when reading a very lengthy NYT article describing the great difficulties faced by black NYT women seeking marriage. After recounting endless obstacles, there was a throw-away sentence near the bottom explaining that in NYC there were 1.5 adult black women for each adult black man, the "missing" men all being dead or in prison. Some time afterward, an NYT article about black travails in Baltimore provided the same ratio. The national statistics seem (very roughly) consistent with this general estimate.

Since the American MSM operates much like Pravda or Izvestia, the shocking banner-headline facts are thus often buried in a short sentence at the bottom of a human-interest story on page A24. Presumably, when the Bubonic Plague exterminated one-third of Europe's population during the Middle Ages, the NYT of that era would have reported it as an implied aside in a human interest story about French peasants facing fewer crowding problems in their living conditions.

Anonymous said...

agnostic

"You can't explain an increase without explaining a decrease....neither of which has happened."

Prison.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Incarceration_in_the_United_States

If black criminals are locked up in proportion to their amount of crime - particularly the worst ones - not only will it reduce curent crime it will slowly reduce the future problem by reducing how many kids the worst ones had. Most populations have already gone through a process like this in their past which is why everyone else's violent crime rate is so hugely lower.

Obviously it won't work if new people with the same frequency of violent traits keep being imported.

Rainforest Giant said...

Marlow,

Yes I used a quote from one of Adam's books to illustrate a point and mentioned Pournelle alluding to the BuTech without specifically mentioning it by name.

I figured isteve readers would figure it out for themselves and be familiar with both. My mistake.