Social Policy and Society


Inequality and Crime across England: A Multilevel Modelling Approach

Adam Whitwortha1

a1 Department of Geography, University of Sheffield E-mail:


The link between inequality and negative social outcomes has been the subject of much debate recently, brought into focus by the publication of The Spirit Level. This article uses multilevel modelling to explore the relationship between inequality and five crime types at sub-national level across England. Controlling for other factors, inequality is positively associated with higher levels of all five crime types and findings are robust to alternative inequality specifications. Findings support the sociological – but not economic – theories and highlight the importance of policies to tackle broader social and economic inequalities.