National Institute on Aging

The FBI Releases New Data on Hate Crimes in the United States

The Federal Bureau of Investigation has issued its annual study of reported hate crimes in the United States. In 2016, there 6,121 hate crime incidents reported to the federal agency by local law enforcement agencies.

Of the reported hate crime incidents, 57.5 percent were motivated by race or ethnicity. Of these racially motivated hate crimes, African Americans were the victims in about one half of the incidents.

In hate crime incidents where the race or ethnicity of the offender was known, Whites made up 61.5 percent of the perpetrators. Blacks were 25.6 percent of the known offenders.

There were 107 hate crimes related to race or ethnicity on college campuses that were reported to the FBI.

It must be noted that federal hate crime statistics do not present an accurate picture of what transpires across the country. Local law enforcement agencies are not required to report hate crimes to the FBI. Only 11.6 percent of law enforcement agencies nationwide reported any hate crimes in 2016.

Thus, there are huge discrepancies on reporting hate crimes. In California, there were more than 1,100 reported hate crimes. Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Louisiana, Mississippi, and South Carolina all reported fewer than 35 hate crimes. Massachusetts reported 444 hate crimes, nearly four times as many as Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Louisiana, Mississippi, and South Carolina combined.

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