Monday, April 30, 2007

Limits to Murder

The maximum violent crime rate of 1,299 per 100,000 people per year predicted in my stress model can be explained easily as the maximum average number of people per year over a lifetime (100,000 people divided by 77 years per lifetime). At this rate, every person in a fixed population would eventually be a victim of violent crime.

Interestingly, the predicted maximum murder rate is 17 per 100,000 per year. This is equal to the maximum violent crime rate divided by the number of years in a lifetime (77). It is as if the violent crimes in a single year were instead murders, and distributed evenly over a lifetime.

Worldwide, the average number of murders per year (over a lifetime) should not exceed the size of the population divided by the square of the average life expectancy in years. A good test of the model would be to find out if the number of people killed in wars and crime exceeds this amount (I think it’s reasonable to consider casualties of war as victims of murder). Since violent crime is more difficult to measure than casualties, the number of worldwide murders could be used as an indicator of global stress.

1 comment:

BradJ1001 said...

During the 20th century, the worldwide homicide rate was 3, while the total death rate from human causes – including war casualties – was 67.