Immigration and Crime in Germany
By Horst Entorf and Claus Larsen
Immigrants and crime are often linked in the public debate, and the topic is of a
controversial nature, but crime is also an aspect of living conditions in the same
way as education, work, and social and economic conditions, all of which are dealt
with in other chapters of this book. Criminal behaviour is linked to the main topic
of this book, that is, the employment situation of immigrants, in important ways.
A person may commit a crime because he cannot get a job or an education, but the
reverse can also be true, namely that it is difﬁ cult to get a job if you have committed
a crime. Job applicants are required to have speciﬁ c job qualiﬁ cations, but having
a clean criminal record is just as important. The aim of the following sections is to
evaluate the level and pattern of crime among foreigners living in Denmark and
Germany in comparison with that for native Danes and Germans.
Criminologists agree upon a certain number of factors that are correlated with
crime. In general, criminals are relatively young, most of them are male, they are
less educated, they more probably grew up in disrupted families, and they often
face problems resulting from a lack of integration into society. The simultaneous
existence of multiple risk factors seems to inﬂ uence the criminal behaviour of immi-
grants and descendants, at least when they come from non-Western countries. The
disadvantaged backgrounds of immigrants need to be kept in mind when we look at
the relatively high crime rates among foreigners in Germany as well as in Denmark.
However, since immigrants of working age are seen by many as one of the solutions
to the problems caused by ageing Western nations, ignoring the problem of immi-
gration and crime, for example, because of its controversial and difﬁ cult nature is
counterproductive and would lead to xenophobic myths and sentiments as well as
to costly social exclusion.
* We wish to thank Phil Savage, Institut für Volkswirtschaft, Technische Universität Darmstadt,
for helpful assistance and proofreading.
40240_migrants_kap09_1k 1 19/02/04, 13:54:26
*) Darmstadt University of Technology, **) Rockwool Foundation
in: Tranaes, T. and K.F. Zimmermann (eds.), Migrants, Work,
and the Welfare State, 2004, 285-317.
Migrants, Work and the Welfare State2
Our results conﬁ rm the importance of taking differences in age and sex distri-
bution into account, but even when controlling for such differences as well as for
education, citizens with a foreign background are still over-represented in crime
statistics. These results challenge future research to focus on issues of integration
and social networks.
Section 9.2 of this chapter presents existing descriptive evidence about ‘crime and
national origins’ in the case of Germany, while descriptive evidence for Denmark is
presented in Section 9.3. The presentations are made to be as comparable as possible,
but differences in concepts and deﬁ nitions still exist and have to be taken into con-
sideration. Similarities and differences between the two countries are summarized
in Section 9.4, while Section 9.5 deals with the question of crime prevention based
on the existing literature on causes of immigrant crime, with a special emphasis on
the importance of education. Section 9.6 sums up and concludes, and points to the
need for further research.
9.2 Immigration and Crime in Germany: Descriptive Evidence
Providing hard statistical facts about crime and immigration is a challenging task.
Preliminary (and misleading) ﬁ gures give the impression that offence rates among
immigrants are about three times as high as those for German citizens: popu-
lation statistics reveal that by the end of the year 2000 (31 Dec. 2000) the share
of non-German citizens in the population was 8.8% (Statistisches Bundesamt,
2002a), whereas the ratio of non-German crime suspects among all crime suspects
arrested by the police was 24.9% (see Table 9.1). However, it is difﬁ cult to attri-
bute crimes to immigrants, as non-German crime suspects might be tourists or
illegal migrants without (legal) residence in Germany. The proportions of crimes
committed by immigrants can thus only be estimated (see Table 9.4). Ofﬁ cial sta-
tistics (PKS, 2001) published by the German Federal Police Ofﬁ ce (‘Bundeskrimi-
nalamt’) avoid this delicate task by only differentiating between ‘German’ and
‘non-German’ crime suspects. In the present chapter on crime and immigration
in Germany, crime by ‘immigrants’ refers to immigrants with legal residency
status but without a German passport, a deﬁ nition that includes asylum seekers,
and which corresponds to the deﬁ nition of the ‘Foreign Population’ in ofﬁ cial
population statistics of the German Statistical Ofﬁ ce (‘Statistisches Bundesamt’).
Ethnic Germans from abroad (so called ‘Aussiedler’ from historic German settle-
ment areas, mainly from Russia, Ukraine, Romania, Poland), that is, ‘immigrants
with a German passport’, a s t h e y are called according to PRC (2001), p. 26, are not
considered here, because this German experience does not have counterparts in
other international statistics, although these persons seem to face similar problems
of illegal behaviour and integration as do immigrants without a German passport
(see PRC (2001), p. 26 and PSB (2001), Chapter 2.11.2 for details).
40240_migrants_kap09_1k 2 19/02/04, 13:54:28
Immigration and Crime in Germany and Denmark 3
‘Crimes’ are deﬁ ned as (illegal) activities of people who are deemed to be ‘crim-
inals’ by society because of their deviant activities. A deﬁ nition of this kind seems
to be superﬂ uous, but it hints at the fact that legal norms differ between societies
and that migration leads to problems when a clash of cultures creates a problem of
integration of immigrants.
Most statistics used in this chapter are based on ofﬁ cial statistics, so-called
‘reported’ or ‘documented’ crime, published by the German Federal Ofﬁ ce, in par-
ticular PKS (2001). Thus, what becomes deﬁ ned as crime depends on the reporting
behaviour of the population and on the administrative efforts and capacities of the
police. ‘More crimes’, therefore, might simply reﬂ ect a more effective and complete
administration of criminal ‘cases’. It should be noted that immigrants are more often
subject to police control activities, so that the probability of getting away with a crime
might be lower for immigrants than for natives.
Moreover, since we are interested
in the residency status of criminals, we are restricted to the use of ‘solved’ criminal
cases, where ‘solved’ means that a crime suspect has been arrested (which does not
necessarily imply that a later conviction or punishment ensues; see PKS (2001), p.12
for the ofﬁ cial deﬁ nition of clear-up rates used in German crime statistics). As usual
in criminological research, road trafﬁ c offences are excluded from the analysis.
Table 9.1 shows the trends in crime and crime suspects in Germany. Crime rates
were in a state of permanent increase until 1993, when the maximum was reached at
the level of 8,337 cases per 100,000 inhabitants (8.3%). Since then the burden of crime
has remained at almost the same level (it was 7.7% in 2001), which is much higher
than it was in the 1960s and 1970s (it was 3.0% in 1965). The number of (potentially)
identiﬁ ed criminals (crime suspects) is not perfectly parallel to the number of cases,
which shows that the clear-up rate was higher in the late 1990s and in the most
recent years than before. The clear-up rate was 53.1% in 2001 compared to 43.8%
in 1993 (PKS, 2001, p. 65). The proportion of non-German suspects among all sus-
pects known to the police increased after the 1980s, and reached its maximum in
1993 when the share amounted to 33.6%. Since then we observe a steady downward
movement to 24.9% in 2001.
The very high number in 1993 and adjacent years is affected by the high inﬂ ow of
asylum seekers, which was highest in 1992/1993 (1992: 1.5 millions, 1993: 1.3 mil-
lions; PSB (2001), p. 307). According to PKS (2001), p. 119, 33.2% of all non-German
crime suspects belonged to the group of asylum seekers in the year 1993, but a sub-
stantial share of the criminal cases involving asylum seekers were simply to do with
their unclear residency status as ‘non-Germans’. The same is the case with respect
to illegal migrants who are detected by the police; their breaches of the residency
1 On the other hand, the higher control density among immigrants might be a rational strat-
egy since the share of undetected crimes is possibly higher among immigrants than among
40240_migrants_kap09_1k 3 19/02/04, 13:54:29
Migrants, Work and the Welfare State4
laws are also included in the crime statistics. Therefore Table 9.1 includes a column
showing an adjusted share of non-German crime suspects which is corrected for
violations of the German Asylum Procedure Act (‘Asylverfahrensgesetz’) and of the
Aliens Act (‘Ausländergesetz’). Ever since 1995 the corrected share has been quite
stable at about one ﬁ fth of all crime suspects.
Table 9.2 takes a closer look at non-Germans in the German crime statistics.
Compared to 1984, the importance of illegal immigrants (21.6% in 2001) and asylum
seekers (14.4% in 2001) has increased, though the contribution of asylum seekers to
the overall non-German crime ﬁ gures has decreased substantially following restric-
tions in the German asylum law and after the Schengen Agreement of 1995. A large
and growing group is characterised as ‘others’ in ofﬁ cial statistics. It consists mainly
of unemployed immigrants, asylum seekers who have not been granted asylum and
who are still awaiting a decision, and refugees.
Criminal behaviour is mainly observed for younger people (men), whose crime-
prone age is between 18 and 21 years. The distribution of German crime suspects
by age groups is shown in Table 9.3. Moreover, the table gives information about the
proportions of non-German crime suspects among all suspects of the age groups
considered. Since 1993 these proportions have been falling across more or less all
age groups, but non-Germans are highly over-represented in the age groups 18-21
and 21-25, particularly during the years 1993-1997, that is, during the period of high
inﬂ ux of asylum seekers.
Table 9.1. Crime and crime suspects in Germany, 1984-2001
ber of crime
Notes: 1) 1984-1989: West Germany, 1993-2001: Germany; 2) Number of reported cases/100
inhabitants; 3) Non-German crime suspects without violations of the Asylum Procedure Act
(‘Asylverfahrensgesetz’) and violations of the Aliens Act (‘Ausländergesetz’).
Sources: Crime rates: PKS (2001), p. 26; Crime suspects: PKS (2001), p. 107.
40240_migrants_kap09_1k 4 19/02/04, 13:54:31
Immigration and Crime in Germany and Denmark 5
Table 9.2. ‘Non-Germans’ in German crime statistics, 1984-2001.
1984 1998 2001
Number of non-German crime suspects (100%)
Illegal immigrants (percent)
Persons staying legally (percent)
- Asylum seekers
- Students, School pupils
- Self-employed, employers
- Armed forces and relatives
Note: 1) ‘Others’
refers to a heterogeneous group mainly consisting of unemployed people,
asylum seekers who have not been granted asylum and who are still awaiting an ofﬁ cial
notice, and refugees.
Source: PKS (2001), p. 118.
Table 9.3. Age-crime proﬁ le of all crime suspects/ percentage shares
of non-German crime suspects in various age groups, 1984-2001.
Age group (… to under … years of age; per cent)
8-14 14-18 18-21 21-25 ≥21
Notes: Distribution of crime suspects by age groups/ share of non-German suspects out of all
crime suspects in each age groups.
Sources: PKS (2001), Tables 34, 36, 38, 40, 42.
40240_migrants_kap09_1k 5 19/02/04, 13:54:33
Migrants, Work and the Welfare State6
It seems to be obvious that the reason behind the high proportion of non-German
offenders presented in Table 9.1 is the relatively high ratio of immigrants to Ger-
mans among the young cohorts. It is higher than the comparable proportions in
other (older) age groups. The proof of this is presented in Table 9.4, which shows
the proportions of the total number of crime suspects among the number of inhab-
itants by age groups. These ﬁ gures are arrived at by combining information from
German police statistics and resident population statistics. Starting with the native
population ﬁ rst, we see that the proportion of German crime suspects among the
overall age group of 8 years and older is 2.5%. A naive and preliminary estimate
for the comparable proportion among immigrants would amount to 8.7%. However,
since the intention of this work is to compare the number of arrests of Germans and
immigrants, we have to subtract illegal immigrants
, transients, tourists and asylum
seekers accused of violating the German Asylum Procedure Act or the Aliens Act
from the number of non-German crime suspects. The adjusted ratio is then reduced
to 5.9% which is 2.4 times the German rate. Compared to that ﬁ gure, it is not true
that young immigrants are involved in criminal activities to a much greater extent
than their German counterparts: the proportion of suspects within the German age
group 14 to under 18 years of age is 7.4%, whereas it is 10.4% for the corresponding
group of immigrants. This gives a ratio of 1.4 (and for the group aged 18-21 years,
the ratio is 7.4% to 12.2%, or 1.6).
The results presented in Table 9.4 are indirect estimates that must be inter-
preted with caution. However, they correspond surprisingly well with the more
direct results of a special survey carried out by Bavarian police statisticians which
is based on Bavarian raw data and was made in 1999 (see PSB (2001), p. 313, for
details). According to this source, the (unadjusted) ratio ‘non-German crime sus-
pects/ immigrant residents above 8 years of age’ is 4.9 times the corresponding ratio
of German (Bavarian) crime suspects to German (Bavarian) citizens above 8 years
of age. In Table 9.4 the analogous overall German ratio is 3.5. The Bavarian ratio is
reduced to 2.4 when offences that could only be committed by non-Germans as a
consequence of their illegal residency status are ignored (that is, prosecutions for
offences against the Aliens Act and the Asylum Procedure Act). Almost the same
ratio (2.46) is reached from the data in Table 9.4.
Which crimes are committed by immigrants? With the exception of some crime
categories, there are no signiﬁ cant differences compared to crimes committed by Ger-
mans. Non-Germans have higher shares in the number of crime suspects accused of
murder and manslaughter (30.4%), rape and sexual constraint (30.9%), pickpocketing
(55.3%), illegal trade and smuggling of heroin (37.3%) and cocaine (60.6%) as well as
for document forgery (52.2%) (for more details, see PKS (2001), p. 120).
2 According to PKS (2001), p. 118 92% of all persons belonging to the group of suspected illegal
immigrants are accused because of violations of the German Asylum Procedure Act or viola-
tions of the German Aliens Act.
40240_migrants_kap09_1k 6 19/02/04, 13:54:37
Immigration and Crime in Germany and Denmark 7
The largest proportion among all non-German crime suspects are of Turkish
nationality (see Table 9.5). If we correct national shares for distortions arising from
violations of the Asylum Procedure and Aliens Acts (which only applies in the cases
of 13.7% of accused Turks, see PKS (2001), p. 115), the Turkish fraction among all
non-German arrests was 24.8% in 2001. This high portion is not surprising: it is even
somewhat below the proportion of Turks among the non-German resident popula-
tion (26.7%). The second largest group comes from the former Yugoslavia (10.9% in
2001), followed by Polish (6.6%) and Italian (6.4%) crime suspects (all ﬁ gures refer to
adjusted ratios for the year 2001). 12.4% of all crime suspects have their origin in EU
member states, which is well below their representation in the overall non-German
resident population (25.5%).
Table 9.4. Rates of German crime suspects by age group, 2001.
Age Group (… to under … years of age; percent)
In parentheses: percentage of males out of all crime suspects
( ≥ 8 years) 8-14
14-18 18 -21 ≥ 21
Notes: 1) In German crime statistics, offences committed by children are counted for children
from 8 to under 14 years of age. Since statistics of the non-German population are available
only for the age group 6-14, 5/7
of the latter population group was assigned to the offence
group of interest, that is, to the group of 8-14 years. Analogous calculations have been made to
determine the number of all immigrants above 8 years of age living in Germany.
values’ are calculated as ‘number of non-German crime suspects in a well-deﬁ ned age group’
divided by ‘number of non-German inhabitants in the corresponding age group’.
‘Ad j u s t e d
values’ are calculated by subtracting all accused illegal immigrants, transients and tourists
(PKS (2001), p. 118) and the subset of 13.9% of all arrested asylum seekers who are accused
of violating the German Asylum Procedure Act or the Aliens Act (PKS (2001), pp. 119, 120)
from the number of all non-German crime suspects. The allocation of this number (185,010)
to different age groups has been made under the assumption that the age-crime proﬁ le of
illegal migrants, tourists, transients and asylum seekers does not differ from that of other
non-German crime suspects.
Sources: (Absolute) Numbers of German and non-German crime suspects: PKS (2001), p. 73;
percentages of German crime suspects: PKS (2001), p.73; resident population of immigrants:
German Statistical Ofﬁ ce (Statistisches Bundesamt, 2002a); own calculation of rates among
40240_migrants_kap09_1k 7 19/02/04, 13:54:39
Migrants, Work and the Welfare State8
The discrepancy between offender rates among citizens from EU member states
and among immigrants from non-member states reveals the much more advan-
taged socio-economic background of citizens coming from Western industrialised
countries. The simultaneous existence of many confounding risk factors seems to
inﬂ uence crimes committed by those groups of immigrants who to a large extent
left their home countries for economic reasons. Some ﬁ gures presented in ‘The First
Periodical Report on Crime and Crime Control in Germany’ (PSB, 2001; PRC, 2001)
illustrate the unequal situations of native Germans and labour migrants (PSB, 2001,
pp. 310-311). Immigrants in Germany are, on average, younger, and the proportion
of males in the population of immigrants is higher than the respective proportion in
the German population (ﬁ gures as of 1999): for Germans, the proportion of the total
population of the age group of 8 to 30 years is 23.1%, whereas it is 36.6% for non-
Germans. For Germans, the proportion of males in the population is 48%; among
foreigners it is 54%. Moreover, the majority of immigrants faces a higher risk of
unemployment, and they have lower social status: the unemployment rate among
non-Germans was 19.2% in 1998, which is almost twice the rate of that for Germans.
The proportion of Germans who are entitled to social assistance transfers is about
3%, whereas it is 9% for foreigners living in Germany. It is important to note that
almost 50% of young immigrants of the age group 20 to 30 have not ﬁ nished any
vocational training or higher education. Moreover, 48% of all immigrants, but only
29% of all Germans, live in cities with more than 100,000 inhabitants (PSB, 2001, p.
313), which might be a relevant observation, since crime problems are more likely
associated within urban areas.
Table 9.5. Non-German crime suspects by national origin
(percent of all non-German suspects), 1997-2001.
1997 1999 2000 2001 2001
Russia and Ukraine
EU Member states
Notes: 1) Crime suspects excluding those accused of violations of the Asylum Procedure Act
and the Aliens Act; 2) Former Yugoslavia; 3) According to PKS (2001), p. 114 there might be
inconsistencies in classifying offenders from the former Soviet Union.
For comparison purposes: Proportions (percent) of immigrants living in Germany (as of 31
Dec. 2001; source: Statistisches Bundesamt, 2002b): Turkey: 26.7, former Yugoslavia: 8.6, Poland:
4.2, Italy: 8.4, Russia and Ukraine: 3.3, Greece: 5.0, EU member states: 25.5.
Sources: PKS (2001), Tables 71, 72, 74.
40240_migrants_kap09_1k 8 19/02/04, 13:54:42
Immigration and Crime in Germany and Denmark 9
Immigrants are more often victims of crime than German residents, though
only local evidence on this different view of criminality is available (unfortunately,
Germany does not participate in the regular International Crime Victimisation Sur-
vey (ICVS); see van Kesteren (2001) for the results of the most recent survey in 17
industrialised countries). According to the special survey by the Bavarian police
referred to above, in 1999 there were 11% of non-Germans among all victims of
crime, whereas the proportion of immigrants in the Bavarian population was only
8.4% (PSB, 2001, p. 311). The proportion of unreported crimes is possibly higher
among immigrants, in particular in the group of asylum seekers who are exposed
to the risk of expulsion. Immigrants are more often victims of violent crimes, in the
majority of cases (where suspects were identiﬁ ed) the attackers were immigrants
themselves (PSB, 2001, p. 311).
It is very difﬁ cult to consider all the social factors that distinguish immigrants
from non-immigrants, and only some of the factors suspected of increasing the prob-
ability of committing crimes have been controlled for above. Family background,
however, is one of the most relevant factors for crime (see, for instance, empirical evi-
dence collected by Entorf and Spengler, 2002). Since criminal behaviour often arises
in disrupted families and as a consequence of violence experienced in childhood, a
survey conducted by ‘Kriminologisches Forschungsinstitut Niedersachsen’ among
school pupils (juveniles) in the German cities Hamburg, Hanover, Munich and
Leipzig during the year 2000 deserves special attention. According to this source,
19.0% among all German juveniles, but actually 34.5% of all Turkish and 29.7% of all
juveniles from former Yugoslavia reported that they had experienced severe violence
and maltreatment during their childhood (PSB, 2001, p. 505).
9.3 Immigration and Crime in Denmark: Descriptive Evidence
The aim of this section is to present a short overview of the results of Danish reg-
ister-based descriptive analyses of ‘crime and national origin’. Such analyses have
been carried out by Statistics Denmark (1998, 2002a) and the Ministry of Justice
(Kyvsgaard, 2000) covering the years 1995, 1998, and 2000, and by the Rockwool
Foundation Research Unit (Larsen, 2000) covering the years 1993-1998.
These analyses compare crime rates among ‘immigrants’ (persons born abroad to
parents who are both either non-Danish citizens or born abroad), ‘descendants’ (per-
sons born in Denmark to parents neither of whom are Danish citizens born in Den-
mark), and ‘Others’. Here the expression ‘Danes’ has been used for the latter group,
which comprises more than 90% of the total population. These deﬁ nitions (see also
3 It is not clear, however, whether crime arises because of the particular climate of cities, or
whether it is urbanity that attracts criminals.
4 The source is Statistics Denmark’s statistical register of crime based on reports from the police.
40240_migrants_kap09_1k 9 19/02/04, 13:54:45
Migrants, Work and the Welfare State10
Appendix Figure 2.1 of Chapter 2) based primarily on the nationality and place of
birth of the parents of the person in question are now predominant in ofﬁ cial Danish
statistics rather than deﬁ nitions based on citizenship, as they are considered more
appropriate for the purposes of analysis. Neither tourists nor asylum seekers nor
persons staying illegally in Denmark are included in the deﬁ nitions, as such people
do not have civil registration numbers, which is the key to the population register. A
few summary statistics based on citizenship, and thus more comparable with those
of other countries, have been published and are presented in subsection 9.3.2.
The criminality rate is deﬁ ned as the number of persons found guilty of one
or more offences as a percentage of the total number of persons in the group in
question (immigrants, descendants, Danes, the total population, etc.). Less empha-
sis has been placed on people charged with crimes (crime suspects). Persons reg-
istered are those who have been found guilty according to criminal law of one
or more violations of the Penal Code (that is, sexual offences, crimes of violence,
offences against property, and ‘other offences’, for example, crimes against the
state and drug trafﬁ cking), the Road Trafﬁ c Act or special laws. Special laws are
laws not falling under the terms of the Penal Code, but nevertheless being within
the criminal law system, which means that violations may be punished with ﬁ nes
or imprisonment. In that sense of the word the Road Trafﬁ c Act is also a special
law, but violations are – due to their large number and special character – always
mentioned separately. Examples of what is included under the heading ‘special
laws’ are the Euphoriants Act, the Aliens Act, the Firearms Act and the Income
Tax and Fiscal Acts (termed ‘ﬁ scal legislation’ below). Of the special laws, the
Euphoriants Act, which prohibits the buying and selling as well as the posses-
sion and making of euphoriants, is the one with the highest number of reported
violations (Statistics Denmark, 2002d, p. 14). Violations of the Euphoriants Act can
be punished with up to 2 years imprisonment but may be termed ‘small-scale’
compared with the more serious, large-scale cases of trafﬁ cking and smuggling
of drugs, which come under the Penal Code.
The calculation of the criminality rate is based on court decisions and deci-
sions made by the prosecution or the police leading to unsuspended or suspended
imprisonment, ﬁ ne, withdrawal of charges, no charge (with the exception of cases
where evidence is not strong enough and further investigation therefore cannot be
expected to lead to the person being found guilty, Administration of Justice Act
and other decisions (except acquittal) (Statistics Denmark, 2002a, p. 2). The
5 Obviously, the decision ‘no charge’ in cases where the charge is unfounded (Administration
of Justice Act § 721,1,1) is not included, either. Left out of account is also, in the analyses by the
Rockwool Foundation Research Unit, the decision ‘no charge’ in cases where the difﬁ culties,
expenses, or time spent in connection with the prosecution of the case can be expected to be out
of proportion to the importance of the case and, as a consequence, with the sanction (Admin-
istration of Justice Act § 721,1,3).
40240_migrants_kap09_1k 10 19/02/04, 13:54:46
Immigration and Crime in Germany and Denmark 11
statistics include all decisions on violations of the Penal Code and the Euphoriants
Act, while for other laws, minor ﬁ nes and the like are usually not included (Statis-
tics Denmark, 2001, p. 29). ‘Decisions’ is the term used in Danish crime statistics but
here, to emphasize that the person has been found guilty of an offence, irrespective
of the sanction and though the decision has not necessarily been made by a judge,
all decisions included will be referred to as ‘convictions’.
9.3.1 Criminality Rates Among immigrants, Descendants, and Danes –
As was noted above, younger persons and men are more likely to be registered in
the crime statistics than older persons and women. Of those in the age group 15
(the age of criminal responsibility) to 64 inclusive, in 2000, 60% of immigrants and
86% of descendants were between 15 and 39 years old, as compared to only 51% of
Danes. Additionally, 32% of descendants were between 15 and 19 years old, this
being the case for less than 8% of immigrants and Danes (Statistics Denmark, 2002a,
The ﬁ gures in Table 9.6 conﬁ rm the importance of taking these differences in
age and sex distributions into account. But even when this is done, men as well as
women with a foreign background are still over-represented in the crime statistics
– and this tendency seems to have increased from 1995 to 2000. For instance, in 1995,
10.0% of 15-19-year-old male immigrants received a conviction for violation of the
Penal Code, Road Trafﬁ c Act, or special laws, but the ﬁ gure was11.3% in 2000, while
the corresponding ﬁ gures for the total population were 6.6% and 6.5%.
Table 9.7 divides immigrants and descendants by national origin into either Western
or non-Western countries – the overall grouping used in this book – resulting in two
different pictures of the crime level compared with Danes. ‘Western’ countries are
EU countries, Iceland, Lichtenstein, Norway, Switzerland, the USA, Canada, Austra-
lia, and New Zealand. All other countries are termed ‘non-Western’.
Immigrants and descendants from non-Western countries – with the exception of
male descendants in the age group 30-39 years – have an above-average risk of being
convicted of a crime. The younger the age group in question, the more pronounced
this general picture becomes. Immigrants and descendants from Western countries
are closer to the average, with male immigrants being below the average up until the
age of 40, and female immigrants until the age of 30, after which the proportions are
slightly higher than among Danes. Male descendants from Western countries lie, for
6 See Chapter 2 for the sex and age distribution of foreign citizens living in Denmark and Ger-
40240_migrants_kap09_1k 11 19/02/04, 13:54:48
Migrants, Work and the Welfare State12
the most part, above Danes of the same age, the exception being the age group 20-29
years, while there are too few female descendants registered in the crime statistics
in the sample underlying the table
to say anything conclusive about their behaviour
as far as crime is concerned.
The ﬁ gures in Tables 9.6 and 9.7 may be compared with the evidence for Ger-
many in Table 9.4, which revealed that the German rate of crime suspects among the
groups of young immigrants (males as well as females) aged 14-18 and 18-21 was
10.4% and 12.2% in 2001, whereas it was 7.4% among both age groups of German
nationality in that year. The criminality rates (males) in 2000 shown in Table 9.6 were
in Denmark by sex, age and immigrant status
, 1995 and 2000. %.
-------------------- Men ------------------- ------------------- Women ------------------
15-19 10.0 11.9 6.6 … 2.0 1.9 1.0 …
20-29 9.5 15.1 8.3 … 1.8 2.5 1.2 …
30-39 7.5 7.9 6 . 5 … 1. 8 .. 1. 3 …
40-49 5.9 4.8 4.5 … 1.4 .. 1.0 …
50-59 3.8 .. 3.1 … 1.1 .. 0.7 …
60-64 1.8 .. 1.7 … 0.8 .. 0.4 …
15-19 11.311.9 6.5 6.0 2.0 1.7 1.1 1.0
20-29 10.9 18.58.38.01.73.01.51.5
8.5 8.1 6.7 6.5 1.8 .. 1.7 1.7
40-49 6.5 5.2 4.7 4.6 1.7 .. 1.3 1.2
50-59 4.0 .. 3.2 3.1 1.1 .. 0.8 0.8
60-64 2.1 .. 2.0 2.0 1.0 .. 0.5 0.5
Notes: … Information not conclusive (too few observations) … Not published. 1) Proportion
in the group with a conviction for violation of the Penal Code, Road Trafﬁ c Act, or special
laws. 2) As deﬁ ned in the text.
Sources: Statistics Denmark (1998), p. 9 and (2002a), p. 4.
7 While the tables from Statistics Denmark are based on the total population – aged 15-64 years
– the tables from Larsen (2000) are based on total counts of non-Western immigrants and
descendants, a 25% sample of Western immigrants and descendants, and a 2% sample of the
total population – 16-70 years.
40240_migrants_kap09_1k 12 19/02/04, 13:54:49
Immigration and Crime in Germany and Denmark 13
11.9% and 18.5% among descendants aged 15-19 and 20-29 respectively as compared
to 11.3% and 10.9% among immigrants from the same countries and 6.0% and 8.0%
among Danes. If we consider only immigrants and descendants from non-Western
countries, as shown in Table 9.7, on average for the years 1993-1998 the correspond-
ing proportions were 17.3% and 18.5% among descendants aged 16-19 and 20-29
respectively, as compared to 13.9% and 11.7% among immigrants from the same
countries and 7.6% and 8.0% among Danes.
Calculating ratios of ‘criminality rates of immigrants’/ ‘criminality rates of Danes’
based on Table 9.6 we ﬁ nd 11.3/6.0 = 1.9 for young males aged 15-19, 10.9/8.0 = 1.4
for males aged 20-29, and 8.5/6.5 = 1.3 for the corresponding age group 30-39. Such
ratios are higher for descendants/ Danes, amounting to 2.0, 2.3, and 1.2 for corres-
ponding groups of males aged 15-19, 20-29 and 30-39, respectively.
Considering the fact that descendants were born and grew up in Denmark,
these ﬁ ndings may seem surprising, as the immediate expectation would be lower
crime rates in that section of the population than among immigrants. A number
of background variables may contribute to the explanation of this, and it must be
remembered that only the most obvious ones – age and sex – have been controlled
The calculation of identical ratios on the basis of individual register data to
those for Denmark is impossible for German statistics. If we look instead at pro-
portions of crime suspects in the respective age groups, the criminality rate was
2.5% among all Germans aged 8 years or older in 2001, while it was 5.9% among
non-nationals – that is, 2.4 times the German rate. Among the 14 to under 18 years
age group the ﬁ gures are 7.4% and 10.4% respectively (1.4 times higher), and in the
Table 9.7. Criminality rates
in Denmark by sex, age,
and national origin 2), average 1993-1998. %.
Immigrants Descendants Danes Immigrants Descendants Danes
------------------- Men -------------------- ------------------- Women ------------------
6.7 17.3 11.2 7.6 2.2 .. 2.3 .. 1.2
20-29 11.7 3.9 18.5 7.6 8.0 2.0 1.1 3.0 .. 1.4
30-39 9.1 5.1 6.4 7.46.42.01.7.. .. 1.4
6.8 4.6 .. 5.2 4.1 1.6 1.4 .. .. 0.9
50-59 4.0 3.4 .. .. 3.0 1.3 0.9 .. .. 0.7
60-70 1.7 1.4 .. .. 1.3 0.8 0.5 .. .. 0.3
Notes: See Table 9.6.
Source: Larsen (2000), p. 268.
40240_migrants_kap09_1k 13 19/02/04, 13:54:53
Migrants, Work and the Welfare State14
group 18 to under 21 years 7.4% and 12.2% respectively (1.6 times higher). Finally,
in the age group 21 years and over the ﬁ gures are 2.0% and 5.5% respectively (2.8
Thus, the general impression is that the ratios do not differ much between the
two countries, but in Germany young immigrants (aged 14-18) seem to be somewhat
‘less deviant’ relative to ‘national’ German juveniles than Danish immigrants and
descendants are relative to Danes of the (almost) corresponding age group 15-19.
Note that in spite of the resemblance found between Germany and Denmark, a
direct comparison is not possible because of the differences in statistical presenta-
tion. The Danish percentages are based on convictions, whereas German percent-
ages are calculated using charges. Moreover, data from the Danish population are
here limited to males and do not include asylum seekers or others without a formal
residence permit. Also Danish data only include persons of 15 years old and over
and are based on violations of the Penal Code as well as of the Road Trafﬁ c Act
and (other) special laws, whereas 8 years is the lower age limit in the German data,
which, furthermore, omit violations of the Road Trafﬁ c Act and offences against the
German Asylum Procedure Act and the Aliens Act (cf. the ‘adjusted’ ratio described
in Section 9.2).
The most detailed overview of criminality rates by national origin has been
published by Statistics Denmark (2002a) using the United Nations’ deﬁ nition of
developed and less developed countries. Table 9.8 shows the ﬁ gures for the years
1995, 1998 and 2000. Calculations are standardised by age – that is, they are made
as if all the groups had the same age distribution – in order to compensate for the
differences in age distribution mentioned above. The over-representation of immi-
grants and descendants shown in Table 9.6 can be quantiﬁ ed to 33% and 90% for
male immigrants and descendants respectively, and 23% and 70% for women. The
highest criminality rates are, thus, found among descendants – for 20-29-year-old
male descendants, more than twice the average level of the total population (not
shown in the table).
The different pictures outlined in Table 9.7 of the risk of being involved in crime
depending on national origin in either a Western or a non-Western country are also
further illustrated. Note that the group of more developed countries comprises all
the countries which are here termed Western, plus a number of others – especially
Eastern and Central European. Men from less developed countries lie about two
thirds above the average, women from more and less developed countries 25% and
29% above respectively. Of single groups of countries Africa, especially, along with
Europe outside the EU, and Asia show high levels among men as well as women.
The ﬁ gures for men from more developed countries lie near the average level of
the total population, while those for men and – less markedly – women from EU
countries and America lie below the average level. Immigrants and descendants of
Turkish origin make up 17.0% of the convicted with a foreign background (and 11.8%
40240_migrants_kap09_1k 14 19/02/04, 13:54:58
Immigration and Crime in Germany and Denmark 15
of all 15-64-year-old immigrants and descendants living in Denmark), followed by
the present Federal Republic of Yugoslavia at 7.5% (4.5%)
, Pakistan 7.5% (4.5%), and
Lebanon 6.7% (3.8%). The ﬁ gure for immigrants and descendants from EU-member
states is 11.2% (21.1%) (Statistics Denmark, 2002a, pp. 5, 8-9).
Like Table 9.6, Table 9.8 shows the changes in criminality rates from 1995 to 2000,
and shows that there has been an increase in the over-representation of men – espe-
cially descendants – with a foreign background, while for women with a foreign
background the index is lower in 2000 than in 1995. Note that such an increase or
decrease in an index only tells how the criminality rates of different groups change
in relation to each other, not whether there has been an increase or a decrease in
the shares registered. Information about the actual shares is presented in Tables 9.6
and 9.7. The ﬁ gures in Table 9.8 also show that while the increase among men can
be attributed to those from less developed countries, the decrease among women is
more evenly distributed.
The ﬁ ndings in Table 9.8, that criminality rates among persons from EU member
states are similar to criminality rates of Danes, while higher rates are found among
citizens from parts of the world other than the Western industrialised countries, cor-
respond to what was found for Germany (see Table 9.5). The largest groups among
non-German crime suspects are Turks, ex-Yugoslavs, Poles, Italians, Russians and
Table 9.8. Index for criminality rates
in Denmark by sex, national origin
status 2), 1995, 1998 and 2000. Index, 100 = the total population.
Year More Less Europe Africa America Asia Foreign background
Men, 15-64 years
2000 101 167 73 157126 157 73 161 133 190 138
1998 102 160 77 151 122 159 71 156 129 186 134
1995 102 143 92 136 119 152 73 134 121 164 124
Women, 15-64 years
2000 125 129 96 127 117 239 85 304 123 170 127
1998 142 141 114 149 137 284 101 352 140167142
1995 142 149 127 145 138 208 121 152 143 180 146
Notes: See Table 9.6.
Source: Statistics Denmark (2002a), p. 15.
8 Bosnia-Herzegovina (4.1% and 5.1%) and other parts of former Yugoslavia are calculated sepa-
40240_migrants_kap09_1k 15 19/02/04, 13:54:59
Migrants, Work and the Welfare State16
Ukrainians, and Greeks, which to a large extent also reﬂ ects the respective groups’
relative proportional size in the total foreign resident population.
So far in this section, violations of the Penal Code, the Road Trafﬁ c Act, and spe-
cial laws have been treated together, but obviously the seriousness of these violations
– in the general public opinion as well as measured by the sentencing – is not the
same, and in analyses of the causes of crime, as well as in international comparisons,
violations of the Road Trafﬁ c Act are normally omitted. Table 9.9 shows the changes
in the distribution on different types of offences among those convicted.
While in Denmark there are certain offences against property and crimes of vio-
lence and other crime categories where immigrants and descendants differ from
Danes, it was the general impression that in Germany there were no signiﬁ cant dif-
ferences except for some crime categories such
as murder and manslaughter, rape
and sexual constraint, pickpocketing, illegal trade and smuggling of heroin and
Generally, as shown in Table 9.9, in Denmark the overall percentage of per-
sons registered for violations of the Penal Code with a conviction has decreased
for all groups, but is still markedly higher among immigrants and descendants
registered in the crime statistics with a conviction than the average for the total
population – primarily due to the large proportions with convictions for offences
against property. This is especially so among women of foreign origin. In 2000,
theft alone constituted about 50% of all violations of the Penal Code among immi-
grant women, about one third among descendants, and 16% among Danes (details
are not shown in Table 9.9 and neither are ﬁ gures for Danes). As far as men are
concerned, convictions for crimes of violence constituted 8.5% among immigrants,
11.1% among descendants, and 4.7% among Danes with convictions for violations
of the Penal Code in 2000.
On the other hand, immigrants and descendants violate the Road Trafﬁ c Act
to a much lesser extent than Danes, especially with respect to violations involving
alcohol. Violations of the Road Trafﬁ c Act made up 54.4% among all male immi-
grants registered, 45.8% among descendants, and no less than 68.9% among Danes.
The total number of criminal law convictions has increased for both immigrants
and descendants from 1995 to 2000 while it remained constant for the total popula-
tion, implying a decrease among Danes (Statistics Denmark, 2002a, pp. 4-5, 15-16).
Note that the share of immigrants and descendants in the total population has also
increased during the period: from 5.3% in 1995 to 7.1% in 2000 (Larsen and Mat-
thiessen, 2002, p. 37).
Fines are the most common sanction in all three groups, but there has been a
particular increase in the number of descendants, male as well as female, who are
sentenced to imprisonment. In 2000 the shares were 27.1% of male and 13.1% of
female descendants registered, as compared to 19.6% and 8.7% among immigrants
and 15.4% and 8.3% among Danes (Statistics Denmark, 2002a, pp. 5-6, 16).
40240_migrants_kap09_1k 16 19/02/04, 13:55:02
Immigration and Crime in Germany and Denmark 17
9.3.2 Trends in Crime Levels Measured with Danish Data Adjusted to German
The above-mentioned statistics, analyses and reports all use the deﬁ nitions of immi-
grants, descendants, and Others (Danes), which are now predominant in the publica-
tions of Statistics Denmark, but internationally only a few countries (Norway, Swe-
den, and the Netherlands) use similar, though not identical, deﬁ nitions. It is common
practice to distinguish between nationals and non-nationals. Furthermore, crime
rates in the Danish statistics are now calculated on the basis of convictions rather
than charges, but international comparisons would in most cases require the latter.
In this subsection an attempt will be made to present statistics which are as
comparable as possible with the German crime statistics. An overall measure of the
Table 9.9. Persons with a conviction for a violation of the Penal Code, Road Trafﬁ c Act, or
special laws by sex, age and immigrant status
, Denmark, 1995, 1998, and 2000.
Immigrants Descendants Total population
1995 1998 2000 1995 1998 2000 1995 1998 2000
Men, no. of persons
7, 2 0 2 8 ,9 3 7 9, 9 0 5 9 2 7 1, 2 2 8 1,478 99,444 99,137 99,486
Total 100.0 100.0100.0100.0100.0100.0100.0100.0100.0
Penal code 44.5 38.0 34.7 57.4 47.2 42.7 28.3 25.3 23.6
– Sexual offences 0.6 0.6 0.8 1.0 0.3 0.5 0.4 0.4 0.5
– Crimes of violence 7.7 7.7 8.5 9.7 10.4 11.1 4.8 4.6 5.2
– Offences against
33.8 27.6 23.1 44.2 34.1 27.5 21.5 18.7 16.3
– Other offences 2.5 2.1 2.2 2.5 2.4 3.6 1.6 1.5 1.6
Road Trafﬁ c Act 41.2 50.0 54.4 31.3 40.1 45.860.864.5 67.1
Special laws 14.2 12.1 10.9 11.3 12.6 11.5 10.9 10.2 9.2
Women, no. of persons
1,507 1,776 2,035 156 179 235 18,382 18,476 21,711
Total 100.0 100.0100.0100.0100.0100.0100.0100.0100.0
Penal code 66.7 65.3 57.9 52.6 62.0 46.0 52.6 37.6 28.6
– Sexual offences .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. ..
– Crimes of violence 2.0 2.0 2.5 1.9 3.9 2.6 1.9 1.6 1.7
– Offences against
63.1 61.8 53.7 48.7 54.7 41.7 48.7 34.4 25.6
– Other offences 1.5 1.5 1.6 1.9 3.3 1.7 1.9 1.5 1.2
Road Trafﬁ c Act 22.2 28.7 35.7 30.8 31.8 48.9 30.856.566.2
Special laws 11.1 6.0 6.4 16.7 6.1 5.1 16.7 6.0 5.2
Note: 1) As deﬁ ned in the text.
Source: Statistics Denmark (2002a), p. 15.
40240_migrants_kap09_1k 17 19/02/04, 13:55:03
Migrants, Work and the Welfare State18
level of crime is reported offences, that is, offences which have come to the atten-
tion of the police. Ignoring violations of the Road Trafﬁ c Act, Table 9.10 shows the
changes in crime levels since the mid-1980s measured as the number of reported
violations of the Penal Code and of special laws per 100 inhabitants (per 100 inhab-
itants aged 15 years – the age of criminal responsibility – and over in parentheses).
For the years 1985-1989 the number of foreign citizens with a conviction as well as
the number of foreign citizens charged have been published by Statistics Denmark.
Since then, such statistics of charges by nationality have only been published once
– by the Commissioner of Police (1995) for the year 1994. Statistics of convictions by
nationality have not been published for the period 1990-1996, but are available again
as from 1997. Statistics of convictions and charges in Table 9.10 refer to violations of
the Penal Code and the most important special laws other than the Road Trafﬁ c Act:
the Euphoriants Act, the Firearms Act and ﬁ scal legislation.
Two principal ﬁ ndings may be obtained from the table. First, there were more or
less steady increases in reported violations of the Penal Code and especially of
special laws until 1993, when the number of cases per 100,000 inhabitants reached
10,557 and 1,545 respectively. After 1993 decreases set in. The 2001 level for vio-
lations of the Penal Code is lower, while violations of special laws remain at a
higher level than in 1985. However, the number of reported violations of the Penal
Code per 100,000 inhabitants in 2001 is still about twice as high as in the 1960s
and about 40% higher than in the 1970s. Secondly, the table shows an increasing
share of foreign citizens in the crime statistics. This is parallel to the long-term
trend in Germany, where the incidence of crime has also fallen slightly since 1993,
but where current rates much higher than in the 1960s and 1970s. In Germany, the
number of reported crimes per 100 inhabitants has fallen from 8.3 in 1993 to 7.7 in
the year 2001 (see Table 9.1).
The right-hand column of Table 9.10 represents an attempt to construct what in
the German section was referred to as the ‘adjusted’ share of (non-German) suspects
among all persons charged – that is, ignoring violations of the Asylum Procedure
Act and the Aliens Act. According to Table 9.1, the proportions of foreign citizens
of the total number of persons charged seem to have been almost twice as high in
Germany as in Denmark in the years for which (approximately) comparable data
exist: 13.7% and 26.7% in Germany in 1984 and 1993, compared with 8.9% in 1984
and 13.3% in 1994 in Denmark. Since 1995, however, the adjusted share has remained
quite stable at about one ﬁ fth of all crime suspects in Germany, which is a little
higher than the reported – also rather stable – level of 17% in Denmark. The latter,
however, refers to convictions, as statistics based on charges have not been published
since 1994, and the level could therefore be expected to be somewhat higher if it was
based on charges, as in Germany.
As mentioned above, asylum seekers, tourists, and others without an actual
residence permit are not included in Statistics Denmark’s population register, and
40240_migrants_kap09_1k 18 19/02/04, 13:55:06
Immigration and Crime in Germany and Denmark 19
normally not in publications based on the statistical register of crime either. An
exception is the ﬁ gures in (Table 9.10 and) Table 9.11, which shows the shares made
up of, on the one hand, Danish nationals and, on the other, of foreign citizens with
and without a residence permit in Denmark. The share of Danish nationals is rather
stable at about 83% over the 5-year period, while the share of asylum seekers seems
to have increased, and the share of foreign citizens with a residence permit to have
decreased. The register data available to this project do not offer the possibility of
including asylum seekers and others without a residence permit, as such people do
not have a civil registration number.
Table 9.10. Reported violations of the Penal Code and of the Euphoriants Act, the Firearms
Act, and ﬁ scal legislation in Denmark, and the share of foreign citizens of the total number
of persons with convictions and charges, 1985-2001.
Year Reported violations
per 100 inhabitants
(per 100 inhabitants
15 years and over) of:
Violations of the Penal Code, the
Euphoriants Act, the Firearms Act,
and of ﬁ scal legislation.
Share of foreign citizens of
total number of persons:
1985 9.34 (11.4) 1.00 (1.2) 7.7 8.9
1986 10.02 (12.2) 1.03 (1.3) 9.1 9.5
1987 10.23 (12.4) 1.12 (1.4) 10.3 10.0
1988 10.47 (12.7) 1.23 (1.5) 10.1 10.2
1989 10.46 (12.6) 1.31 (1.6) 10.6 10.8
1990 10.27 (12.4) 1.25 (1.5) … …
1991 10.10 (12.1) 1.39 (1.7) … …
1992 10.40 (12.5) 1.51 (1.8) … …
1993 10.56 (12.7) 1.55 (1.9) … …
1994 10.53 (12.7) 1.39 (1.7) …
1995 10.33 (12.5) 1.31 (1.6) … …
1996 10.06 (12.2) 1.27 (1.5) … …
1997 10.07 (12.2) 1.21 (1.5) 1)17.1 …
1998 9.43 (11.5) 1.17 (1.4) 1)16.5 …
1999 9.30 (11.4) 1.20 (1.5) 16.7 …
2000 9.46 (11.6) 1.24 (1.5) 17.2 …
2001 8.85 (10.8) 1.24 (1.5) 17.1 …
Notes: 1) Weighted average of shares with a conviction/ charged for violation of the Penal Code
and of one of the special laws, as the same persons may appear in both statistics for 1997 and
1998, unlike other years. 2) Fiscal legislation not included.
Sources: Statistics Denmark: ‘Kriminalstatistik’, ‘Kriminalitet’ (various years) and the
Commissioner of Police (1995), p. 31.
40240_migrants_kap09_1k 19 19/02/04, 13:55:07
Migrants, Work and the Welfare State20
Compared with the structure of non-nationals in German crime statistics – again
based on charges or crime suspects – ﬁ rst of all, the share of illegal immigrants in
the number of foreign crime suspects amounts to more than one ﬁ fth in Germany,
but to just under 5% in Denmark in 1998 and 2001. The proportions made up by ‘asy-
lum seekers’ in Germany are 17.8% (1998) and 14.3% (2001) respectively. This group
comprises for instance persons with a so-called ‘Duldung’, while those whose cases
are still being processed are included in the group ‘Others’. Foreigners ‘with a resi-
dence permit’ in Denmark make up three quarters of non-Danes in the crime statis-
tics in 1997 and two thirds in 2001. Not included in these ﬁ gures are those deﬁ ned as
asylum seekers in a Danish context – 10.2% in 1998 and 14.5% in 2001 (calculated on
the basis of Table 9.11 as percentage share of non-Danes the various years). Unlike
Germany, in Denmark only persons who are still awaiting ofﬁ cial notice (or have
been denied asylum) are deﬁ ned as asylum seekers. In the German statistics tour-
ists have made up about 7% of the crime suspects over the whole period since 1984,
while in Denmark the percentage made up of ‘tourists/ foreign citizens with a visa’
is about twice as high (only 1997-2001).
The last table to be presented in this Danish section is Table 9.12, which shows
the change in the proportions of crime suspects among Danish nationals and non-
nationals from Western and non-Western countries respectively during the period
1993-2001. Only men are included in the table. By using these deﬁ nitions based on
citizenship of subgroups of the population in Denmark, and by using charges as a
measure of crime, two of the main problems of comparability between the statistics
of the two countries are accounted for.
Table 9.11. Danes and non-Danes in Danish crime statistics with convictions for violations of
the Penal Code, the Euphoriants Act, the Firearms Act, or ﬁ scal legislation, 1997-2001. %.
1999 82,8 2,2 0,9 11,3 2,7 0,1 100
2000 82,6 2,8 0,9 11,1 2,5 0,1 100
2001 82,8 2,5 0,8 11,4 2,4 0,1 100
Notes: 1) Weighted average of shares with a conviction for violation of the Penal Code or of
one of the three special laws, as the same person may appear in both parts of the statistics for
1997 and 1998, unlike other years.
Sources: Statistics Denmark: ‘Kriminalstatistik’, ‘Kriminalitet’ (various years).
40240_migrants_kap09_1k 20 19/02/04, 13:55:09
Immigration and Crime in Germany and Denmark 21
Table 9.12 indicates either an overall downward tendency or an unchanged level dur-
ing the period from 1993, which might be expected on the basis of the statistics for
convictions and reported crime, but with an upward movement from 1999 to 2000
for some groups. The highest criminality rates are still found among foreign citi-
zens from non-Western countries, though the levels decrease somewhat in the age
groups 25 years and over. Criminality rates are in the interval 4-6% for the young-
est Danes in the age group 16-19 years, and 3-4% in the 20-24 years age group. The
corresponding ﬁ gures among non-nationals from non-Western countries are – on
average – about two and a half to three times higher. Relatively large differences
– up to just over four times higher among non-Western immigrants than among
Danish nationals – remain in the older age groups, but at lower levels. In general,
comparing the adjusted Danish ratios from Table 9.12 to German evidence based on
Table 9.4 conﬁ rms the above-mentioned conclusions based on convictions, though
the use of charges instead of convictions reveals that also in Denmark ratios for
‘foreign citizens/ nationals’ are higher for older age groups than for younger age
groups (in Germany, the crime ratio ‘immigrants/ nationals’ for the group older than
21 was 2.8). Again, tables are not directly comparable, mainly because Danish data
refer to male immigrants by nationality in either Western or non-Western countries,
whereas German data are based on males and females for the group of all (Western
and non-Western) immigrants. The corresponding ﬁ gures for Western nationals in
most cases lie around or even below the level for Danish nationals.
Table 9.12. Crime suspects 1) by age and nationality 2), men, 1993-2001. %.
16-19 20-24 25-29 30+
1993 5.7 5.5 14.2 4.2 4.8 10.6 3.7 3.0 8.7 1.5 2.8 6.2
5.2 7.2 14.4 4.1 3.3 11.5 3.5 3.2 9.0 1.4 2.6 6.2
1995 4.6 7.3 14.4 4.1 3.0 11.2 3.1 2.3 8.6 1.4 2.3 6.1
1996 5.5 7.7 15.5 4.3 3.7 11.0 3.0 3.1 9.3 1.4 2.3 6.1
1997 4.9 12.9 15.4 4.0 2.8 10.8 2.7 2.6 8.2 1.4 1.9 5.4
1998 4.6 10.2 15.1 4.2 3.6 11.4 2.8 1.8 8.6 1.3 2.1 5.2
1999 4.6 7.6 14.9 3.53.610.52.51.88.0 1.2 1.7 5.2
2000 6.6 8.4 17.0 4.1 3.5 10.42.91.18.01.2 1.5 5.1
2001 5.3 10.1 16.4 3.9 3.9 11.0 3.0 1.8 7.6 1.1 1.7 5.2
Notes: 1) Shares charged with violations of the Penal Code and/ or special laws (except the
Road Trafﬁ c Act and the Aliens Act). 2) As ex<