Journal of Social, Behavioral, and Health Sciences


The purpose of this correlational panel study was to test Shaw and McKay’s theory of social disorganization by examining the relationship between demographic diversity and hate crime rates. The study focused on the relationship between the level of diversity, residential mobility, unemployment, family disruption, proximity to urban areas, and population density in all 21 New Jersey counties and hate crime rates. The existing data of Federal Bureau of Investigations’ hate crime rates and the U.S. Census Bureau’s demographic diversity were operationalized as the percentage of Whites over all other races, and social disorganization from the 21 counties of New Jersey between the years 2007 through 2011, for a total sample size of 105 cases of reported hate crimes. Results of the multiple linear regression analysis indicate that ethnic diversity did not significantly predict hate crimes; residential mobility and population density had positive effects on hate crime rates. Concentrated disadvantage, characterized by the number of reported unemployment rates, had a negative effect on hate crime rates. The results of the study supported social disorganization theory in reference to residential mobility and population density.