An Empirical Analysis of Violent Crimes Committed by Foreign Nationals in South Korea

Soojung Kim, Woosik Yu


As the number of foreigners residing in South Korea has increased, the overall scale of crimes committed by non-Korean nationals and the associated public anxiety have both risen. This paper seeks to explore the trends in violent crimes committed by foreigners in Korea by examining crime statistics from the Korean National Police Agency and immigration data from the Korean Ministry of Justice. Additionally, this paper empirically examines the attributes of the home countries of foreign criminals who are arrested in Korea. The results of our analysis, based on the violent crime statistics for foreign nationals of twelve types from 2003 to 2019, reveal that foreigners from higher-income countries with better educational environments are more likely to be involved in violent criminal activities. Individuals from countries with relatively strong law enforcement are less likely to engage in violent crime while residing in South Korea.


criminology; crime statistics; foreign criminals in Korea; nationality of foreign criminals; country-level panel analysis

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ISSN: 2062-087X

DOI: 10.14267/issn.2062-087X