Individual demographic characteristics and aggregate population processes are central to many theoretical perspectives and empirical models of criminal behavior. Recent research underscores the importance of criminal and deviant behavior for understanding the demography of the life course and macrolevel population processes. We review research that explores the multiple linkages and reciprocal relations between criminal and demographic behavior at both microsocial and macrosocial levels. In reviewing research on how demography affects crime, we describe current debates over the impact of age, sex, and race on criminal behavior, and we distinguish between compositional and contextual effects of demographic structure on aggregate crime rates. Our review of how crime affects demography focuses on the intersection of criminal and demographic events in the life course, and the influence of criminal victimization and aggregate crime rates on residential mobility, migration, and population redistribution. Directions for future research on the many linkages between criminal and demographic behavior are discussed.

Keyword(s): deviancefamilylife coursemigrationrace

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  • Article Type: Review Article
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