That amazing decline in crime rates in New York in the 1990s? A University of Colorado sociologist suggests that a jump in immigration played a big part. Sure, Giuliani’s police-state approach to crime probably had something to with it, as did the flourishing economy (duh), but Tim Wadsworth looked at a bunch of American cities between 1990 and 2000 and found that dropping crime rates had a direct relationship with rising immigration rates.
Of course, this makes perfect sense to anyone who lives in a big city with dense immigrant enclaves, areas that generally feel safer, cleaner and like more of a community (Bay Ridge Norwegians represent!). As Wadsworth tells the Journal:
The reality of it is that if you go into most immigrant enclaves — whether they be Italian or Mexican or any other — if there is a lot of homogeneity in terms of ethnic background, these places tend to be some with the lowest crime rates.