There are many different motives to commit a crime, but a hate crime is often treated differently. It is because the motive to commit the crime is based on a bias or hatred toward a specific group of people. In many jurisdictions, if a crime is motivated by hate, it adds an enhancement to the potential penalties the perpetrator may face.
The US Congress defines a hate crime as a criminal offense against a person or property that is motivated either in whole or in part by the offender’s bias against a race, religion, disability, ethnic origin, or sexual orientation.
In the United States, hate crime statistics are collected on an annual basis, but is not frequently updated. These statistics are based on data that was reported on a national level from 2015, with some local data from specific jurisdictions from 2016.
Facts About Hate Crime
1. Hate crime rose in the United States by 6.8% from 2014 to 2015. This increase was largely driven by more attacks that targeted Muslims. (Quartz)
2. 47% of the hate crimes that are reported to law enforcement are racially motivated. Another 21% are because of a sexual orientation bias, while 1 in hate crime incidents are motivated by a religious bias. (Do Something)
3. A disability bias accounts for about 1% of all hate crime incidents in the United States annually. (Do Something)
4. On the average day in the United States, 8 African-Americans will become a hate crime victim. So will 3 people of the LGBTQIA+ community, 3 Jewish people, 1 Muslim, and 1 Latino person. (Do Something)
5. Encompassing all bias and hatred, Black or African-American individuals are victims of hate crimes 52.7% of the time in the United States. In comparison, White or Caucasian individuals are the target of a hate crime 18.2% of the time. (Quartz)
6. More than 3,000 state and local law enforcement agencies don’t report hate crimes to the FBI as part of their annual survey of crime in the US. The state of Hawaii is not included in any of this data because 0 agencies in the state file a report. (Associated Press)
7. 1 hate crime is committed in the United States, on average, every hour of every day. (Do Something)
8. 9 states in the US do not have formalized laws regarding hate crime. (Do Something)
9. In the 10 days after the 2016 US Presidential Election, nearly 900 hate incidents were reported to the Southern Poverty Law Center. By comparison, from 2010-2015, there were about 36,000 hate crimes reported to the FBI. That means the average daily number of events potentially rose from 16 per day to 90 per day. (FiveThirtyEight)
10. In 2015, the FBI reported a total of 5,850 incidents that it categorized as hate crimes. In 2014, there were 5,479 incidents that were categorized in the same way. (Reason)
11. About 3 out of 5 hate crime incidents involve a crime against a person. Another 1 in 2 incidents are classified as a crime against property. Incidents that involve both are reported in both categories. (Reason)
12. 65 of the hate crimes that were classified by the FBI in 2015 were categorized as being a “crime against society.” (Reason)
13. 73% of the crimes that occur against property and are hate-related involved vandalism. Robbery, burglary, and larceny account for 22% of crimes, while arson represents 1.3% of the total.
14. For crimes against people, intimidation made up 41% of the total incidents that were reported. Simple assault accounted for another 39% of the reported incidents, while aggravated assault occurred in about 1 in 5 incidents. (Reason)
15. Hate crimes against Muslims spiked 67% in the last year in the United States. (Mother Jones)
16. When a hate crime involves a gender bias, women are the target of the incident 70% of the time. In 2015, the total number of gender incidents that were reported to the FBI was 23. (Reason)
17. As of 2014, there were 939 active hate groups that were known to be operating in the United States. That is a 56% increase in the total number of active groups compared to data released in 2000. (Atlanta Black Star)
18. From 2004-2012, the number of hate crimes that were motivated by a religious bias nearly tripled. In 2004, the FBI reported that 10% of incidents had a religious bias. In 2012, 28% of incidents involved a religious bias. (Atlanta Black Star)
19. Because of the gaps in reporting actual incidents, the Bureau of Justice Statistics believes that there are an estimated 260,000 hate crime incidents that occur annually in the United States. This means that more than 250,000 incidents are not reflected in the official data in any given year that the FBI releases. (Mother Jones)
20. Federal prosecutors pressed forward on just 13% of hate crime cases that were presented to them from January 2010 thru August 2015. (Mother Jones)
21. In a 2013 study, the Bureau of Justice Statistics found that only 4% of state-level hate crimes result in an arrest. (Mother Jones)
22. More that 50% of the cases that are rejected for prosecution that involve a hate crime are done so because there is a lack of evidence. Only a handful of jurisdictions, including Phoenix, New York City, and Boston, have designated units which investigate hate crimes on a full-time basis. (Mother Jones)
23. There are more than 5,300 known hate crime offenders that are reported by the FBI. 54.6% of them are White or Caucasian and 23.3% of them are Black or African-American. In the known offenders group, only Blacks or African-Americans are over-represented at such a high level compared to their portion of the general population. (Atlanta Black Star)
24. About half of all the hate crimes that are committed in the United States are by an offender between the ages of 15-24. (Atlanta Black Star)
25. In 2013, there were 109 violent acts against the homeless that were reported, with 72% of the incidents involving a perpetrator that was under the age of 30. Just 7 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, as well as cities like Los Angeles and Seattle, have protections in place for the homeless against targeting due to hate. (Atlanta Black Star)
26. To compare the US to other jurisdictions, in the 2012-2013, the Metropolitan Police in the UK recorded over 42,00 hate crime offenses. In Australia, Muslims experience discrimination at 3 times the rate of other Australians (Metropolitan Police/ABC)
These hate crime statistics show that there has been an improvement in some areas over the last 20 years, but there is still a long way to go to eliminate hate. By understanding facts like these and then sharing them, we take one step closer toward stopping hate before it can start.