Counties With Walmarts Have Higher Crime Rates

The Mysterious Link Between Walmart And Crime  A new study finds that where Walmart builds, crime rates stagnate.

The latest addition to the world of Walmart scholarship is not a mark in the company’s favor. A recent study in the British Journal of Criminology links the appearance of Walmart stores to less of a decline in crime rates, compared with similar counties where Walmart didn’t move in.

Overall, there was a sharp decline in crime in the U.S. in the 1990s. It also happened to be a period of growth for Walmart. Looking at more than 3,000 U.S. counties, the researchers, from the University of South Carolina and Sam Houston State University, found that where Walmart expanded, crime rates tended to stagnate, where they otherwise would have been expected to fall.

“If the corporation built a new store, there were 17 additional property crimes and two additional violent crimes for every 10,000 persons in a county,” according to Scott Wolfe, the study’s lead author. His study doesn’t argue that Walmart causes higher crime rates, but the statistics may reveal a pattern in the places the company chooses to build stores. “There is something unique about the counties that Walmart selects,” Wolfe said in a press statement. For one thing, the company tended to expand in counties that already had higher than average crime rates.


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