Visualizing Two Decades of Reported Hate Crimes in the U.S.

Visualizing Two Decades of Reported Hate Crimes in the U.S.

Across the U.S., thousands of hate crimes are committed each year, with many different motivating biases.

In 2020 alone, more than 10,000 unique hate crime incidents were reported to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)—and it’s likely that thousands more were committed that didn’t get reported to law enforcement.

What are the most commonly reported motivating biases, and how have hate crime rates evolved over the years? This graphic uses data from the FBI to visualize two decades of reported hate crime incidents across America.

What is Considered a Hate Crime?

Before diving in, it’s important to determine what constitutes a hate crime.

According to the U.S. Department of Justice, a hate crime is a crime that’s “committed on the basis of the victim’s perceived or actual race, color, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, or disability.”

These types of crimes are a threat to society, as they have a broader impact on communities than other types of crimes do. This is because hate crimes can foster fear and intimidate large groups of people or marginalized communities, making them feel unwelcome, unsafe, or othered.

Hate Crimes on the Rise

Hate crimes have been rising across the U.S. in nearly every year since 2014. By 2020, reported crimes across America reached record-level highs not seen in over two decades.

Year Number of Reported Incidents % Change (y-o-y)
2001 9730 18.4%
2002 7485 -23.1%
2003 7545 0.8%
2004 7685 1.9%
2005 7411 -3.6%
2006 7715 4.1%
2007 7625 -1.2%
2008 8039 5.4%
2009 6613 -17.7%
2010 6633 0.3%
2011 6299 -5.0%
2012 6594 4.7%
2013 6044 -8.3%
2014 5599 -7.4%
2015 5871 4.9%
2016 6276 6.9%
2017 7321 16.7%
2018 7170 -2.1%
2019 7892 10.1%
2020 10299 30.5%

And sadly, these figures are likely a vast undercount. Law enforcement submit this data to the FBI of their own volition, and in 2020, thousands of agencies did not submit their crime statistics.

Race-Related Hate Crimes are Most Common

Historically, the most reported hate crimes in the U.S. are related to race. In 2020, about 66% of incidents were motivated by discrimination against the victim’s race or ethnicity.

Type of Bias Total Number of Crimes (2020) % of Total
Race/Ethnicity 6793 66.0%
Religion 1626 15.8%
Sexual Orientation 1311 12.7%
Other 569 5.5%
Total 10299

While race is the most commonly reported hate crime, incidents related to gender and gender identity are on the rise—in 2020, there was a 9% increase in gender-related incidents, and a 34% increase in gender identity-related incidents, compared to 2019 figures.

The post Visualizing Two Decades of Reported Hate Crimes in the U.S. appeared first on Visual Capitalist.

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