The only way to fight racial, sexual or religious hatred is understand and know the reach and extent of the problem. Here, by the numbers, is a snapshot of hate crime in America in 2014.
How many ‘hate groups’ are there?
There are 939 active hate groups in the United States – a 56 percent increase since 2000, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center. The number of such groups surged in response to President Barack Obama’s election and the economic downturn – growing from 888 in 2008 to 1,007 in 2012 – before falling back slightly last year, according to Mark Potok, who tracks extremist groups for the SPLC. Members of these groups and others were involved in 5,796 “incidents” in 2012, the most recent year for which the FBI has compiled data. While that number declined from the 6,222 incidents reported in the prior year, 7,164 people were victimized.
What is a hate crime?
As defined by the Hate Crime Statistics Act of 1990, hate crimes are “crimes that manifest evidence of prejudice based on race, gender or gender identity, religion, disability, sexual orientation, or ethnicity.”
For reporting purposes, it does not matter whether or not the perpetrators of the crime were ever charged with a hate crime.
How often do hate crimes occur?
The FBI is charged under the Hate Crime Statistics Act with compiling statistics on hate crimes. In its most recent report, for 2012, it counted 5,796 incidents resulting in 7,164 victims. That was a decline from the previous year, in which the FBI tallied 6,222 incidents.
Separately, the Bureau of Justice Statistics has been collecting data on crimes motivated by hate since 2003 for its National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS). That survey, which includes data on crimes believed by the victims to have been motivated by hate but not reported to police, showed a spike in hate crimes from 2011 to 2012.
What trends do the data show?
According to the FBI’s data for 2012, most hate crime is motivated by race, accounting for 48 percent of all such reports.
Here are some other trends from the data since 1995:
Overall incidence of hate crimes
The number of hate crimes has fallen by about one-fourth over the years from 1995 through 2012, the latest year for which numbers are available. In 1995, the FBI counted 7,947 incidents. The count remained generally steady, with ups and downs, until the late 2000s, when it dipped into the 6,000s before hitting 5,796 in 2012. These changes could be attributable, in part, to variations in the agencies reporting to the FBI from year to year.
Average incidents per year
Over the entire period, the average number of incidents reported per year was 7,573, with an average of 9,455 victims per year. For the latest year, 2012, the numbers are 5,796 incidents with 7,164 victims.
To read more Click Here