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Unsafe and unequal: a decomposition analysis of income inequalities in fear of crime in northern Sweden
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Epidemiology and Global Health.
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Epidemiology and Global Health.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-7234-3510
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Epidemiology and Global Health.
2018 (English)In: International Journal for Equity in Health, ISSN 1475-9276, E-ISSN 1475-9276, Vol. 17, article id 110Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

BACKGROUND: Fear of crime is not solely an individual concern, but as a social determinant of health structured by gender it also poses a threat to public health. Social inequalities are thought to represent a breeding ground for fear of crime, which subsequently may contribute to social inequalities in health. However, little research has focused on social inequalities in fear of crime, particularly in Sweden where the level of fear of crime and income and gender inequalities are comparatively low. With a conceptual model as a point of departure, the present study aimed to estimate and decompose income-related inequalities and explore gender differences in fear of crime in northern Sweden.

METHODS: Participants (N = 22,140; 10,220 men and 11,920 women aged 16 to 84 years) came from the Health on Equal Terms cross-sectional survey with linked register data, carried out in the four northernmost counties of Sweden in 2014. Disposable income was used as the socio-economic indicator, fear of crime as the binary outcome variable, and sociodemographic characteristics, residential context, socio-economic and material conditions and psychosocial conditions as explanatory factors. Concentration curve and concentration index were used to estimate the income inequality in fear of crime, and decomposition analysis to identify the key determinants of the inequalities, in collapsed and gender-stratified analyses.

RESULTS: Substantial gender differences were found in the prevalence of fear of crime (20.8% in women and 3.5% and men) and among the contributing factors to fear of crime. Additionally, the analyses revealed considerable income inequalities in fear of crime in the northern Swedish context (C = - 0.219). Gender, socio-economic and material, and psychosocial conditions explained the most in income inequalities of fear of crime in the total population.

CONCLUSIONS: The existing gender and socio-economic inequities need to be approached as a greater structural problem to mitigate inequalities in fear of crime. Further research is needed to reveal more aspects of income inequalities in fear of crime and to develop efforts to create safe environments for all.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018. Vol. 17, article id 110
Keywords [en]
Concentration index, Decomposition analysis, Fear of crime, Gender, Income inequality, Sweden
National Category
Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology Social Work
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-150575DOI: 10.1186/s12939-018-0823-zISI: 000440468000001PubMedID: 30068322OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-150575DiVA, id: diva2:1238256
Funder
Forte, Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life and Welfare, 2014–0451Available from: 2018-08-13 Created: 2018-08-13 Last updated: 2018-09-04Bibliographically approved

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San Sebastian, MiguelGustafsson, Per E.

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