Crime and Life Satisfaction: Evidence from South Africa - Gauteng Province

  • Martinique Cordeiro
  • Prudence KwendaEmail author
  • Miracle Ntuli


This study explores the relationship between life satisfaction and crime in South Africa. Using 2011 and 2015 Quality of Life Survey data we estimate ordered probit models for the Gauteng province. The analysis is based on four subjective well-being measures (i.e., satisfaction with: life as a whole, neighbourhood of residence, standards of living, and safety/security provided by the government in place of residence) and five crime-related measures (i.e., crime rate, being a victim of crime, day, night and safety perceptions). The key findings of this study are that crime has a negative effect on subjective well-being. Strong effects are identified for crime victimization on all subjective well-being measures while weak and statistically insignificant effects are estimated for a broader measure of crime (i.e., the crime rate in the neighbourhood of residence). The study also uncovers the importance of safety perceptions in determining the subjective well-being of Gauteng residents. Notably, as feelings of safety deteriorate subjective well-being tends to reduce as well; a result that is generally consistent across all measures of subjective well-being. Our findings call for concerted efforts to reduce crime levels in the Gauteng Province and the Republic at large.


Subjective well-being Life satisfaction Crime Safety perceptions 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have adhered to ethical standards and have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© The International Society for Quality-of-Life Studies (ISQOLS) and Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Martinique Cordeiro
    • 1
  • Prudence Kwenda
    • 1
    Email author
  • Miracle Ntuli
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Economic and Business SciencesUniversity of the WitwatersrandJohannesburgSouth Africa

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