A hate crime, also known as a bias crime, is a criminal offense committed against a person, property, or society that is motivated, in whole or in part, by the offender’s bias against a race, religion, disability, sexual orientation, or ethnicity/national origin.
In response to mounting national concern over crimes motivated by bias, Congress enacted the Hate Crime Statistics Act of 1990. The law directed the Attorney General to collect data “about crimes that manifest evidence of prejudice based on race, religion, sexual orientation, or ethnicity.” The Attorney General delegated the responsibility for developing and implementing a hate crime data collection program to the Director of the FBI, who assigned the task to the Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program. In September 1994, Congress passed the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act, which amended the Hate Crime Statistics Act to include both physical and mental disabilities. The UCR Program began collecting statistics on offenses motivated by bias against physical and mental disabilities in January 1997. The Church Arson Act of 1996 mandated that hate crime data collection become a permanent part of the UCR Program.
Those who developed the guidelines for hate crime data collection recognized that hate crimes are not separate, distinct crimes; instead, they are traditional offenses motivated by the offender’s bias. After much consideration, the developers decided that hate crime data could be derived by capturing the additional element of bias in those offenses already being reported to the UCR Program. Attaching the collection of hate crime statistics to the established UCR data collection procedures, they concluded, would fulfill the directives of the Hate Crime Statistics Act without placing an undue additional reporting burden on law enforcement and, in time, would develop a substantial body of data about the nature and frequency of bias crimes occurring throughout the Nation. As a result, the law enforcement agencies that participate in the national hate crime program collect details about an offender’s bias motivation associated with the following offense types: murder and nonnegligent manslaughter, forcible rape, aggravated assault, simple assault, intimidation, robbery, burglary, larceny-theft, motor vehicle theft, arson, and destruction/damage/vandalism of property. The law enforcement agencies participating in the National Incident-Based Reporting System also collect data on additional bias-motivated crimes against persons or crimes against property (e.g., fraud) and publishes these crimes as Other.
Law enforcement’s support
Law enforcement’s support and participation have been the most vital factors in moving the hate crime data collection effort from concept to reality. The International Association of Chiefs of Police, the National Sheriffs’ Association, the former UCR Data Providers Advisory Policy Board (which is now part of the Criminal Justice Information Services Advisory Policy Board), the International Association of Directors of Law Enforcement Standards and Training, and the Association of State UCR Programs all have endorsed the UCR Program’s hate crime program. In addition to this support, thousands of law enforcement agencies nationwide make crucial contributions to the Program’s success as the officers within these agencies investigate offenses and report as known hate crimes those they determine were motivated by biases.Agencies contributing data
Agencies that participated in the hate crime program in 2006 represented over 255 million inhabitants, or 85.2 percent of the Nation’s population, and their jurisdictions covered 49 states, the District of Columbia, and Outlying Areas (Guam).
The national UCR Program views each hate crime as an incident, which may have multiple offenses, victims, and offenders. When aggregating the number of hate crime offenses committed against individuals, the UCR Program counts one offense for each victim. The offense types of murder, forcible rape, aggravated assault, simple assault, and intimidation are crimes against persons. When counting crimes against property, the UCR Program allots one offense for each distinct incident regardless of the number of victims. Robbery, burglary, larceny-theft, motor vehicle theft, arson, and destruction/damage/vandalism comprise the offense types that the Program considers crimes against property .
Reporting agencies identified 7,330 known offenders in 7,722 bias-motivated incidents in 2006. In the Uniform Crime Reporting Program, the term known offender does not imply that the suspect’s identity is known. The term indicates that some aspect of the suspect was identified, thus distinguishing the suspect from an unknown offender. Law enforcement agencies specify the number of offenders and, when possible, the race of the offender or offenders as a group.Known Offender's Race, 2006
Total 7,330 White 4,293 Black 1,513 American Indian/Alaskan Native 75 Asian/Pacific Islander 84 Multiple Races, Group1 421 Unknown Race 944
1 The term multiple races, group is used to describe a group of offenders comprised of individuals of varying races.
The great majority of hate crime incidents involve a single bias, although the hate crime program accepts reports of multiple-bias incidents. By definition, a multiple-bias incident is one in which two or more offense types were motivated by two or more bias types. Of the 7,649 incidents reported by law enforcement agencies in 2004, 7 were multiple-bias incidents.
Law enforcement investigators found that racial prejudice motivated more than half of all the reported single-bias incidents (52.9 percent). They attributed 18.0 percent of the incidents to a religious bias, 15.7 percent to a sexual-orientation bias, and 12.7 percent to an ethnicity/national origin bias. The remaining incidents were ascribed to a disability bias.Single-Bias Incidents
An analysis of the 7,720 single-bias incidents reported in 2006 reveals the following:
Offenses by Bias Motivation within Incidents
- 51.8 percent were racially motivated.
- 18.9 percent were motivated by religious bias.
- 15.5 percent resulted from sexual-orientation bias.
- 12.7 percent stemmed from ethnicity/national origin bias.
- 1.0 percent were prompted by disability bias.
Of the 9,076 single-bias hate crime offenses reported in the above incidents:
- 52.2 percent were motivated by racial bias.
- 17.6 percent resulted from religious bias.
- 15.6 percent were motivated by sexual-orientation bias.
- 13.6 percent were motivated by ethnicity or national origin bias.
- 1.0 percent were the consequences of biases against disability.
In 2006, law enforcement agencies reported that 4,737 single-bias hate crime offenses were racially motivated. Of these offenses:
- 66.2 percent were motivated by anti-black bias.
- 21.3 percent were motivated by anti-white bias.
- 6.1 percent were driven by bias against groups of individuals consisting of more than one race (anti-multiple races, group).
- 4.9 percent resulted from anti-Asian/Pacific Islander bias.
- 1.5 percent were motivated by anti-American Indian/Alaskan Native bias.
Hate crimes motivated by religious bias accounted for 1,597 offenses reported by law enforcement. A breakdown of the bias motivation of religious-bias offenses showed:
- 64.3 percent were anti-Jewish.
- 12.0 percent were anti-Islamic.
- 8.8 percent were anti-other religion.
- 5.5 percent were anti-multiple religions, (i.e., groups of individuals of varying religions).
- 5.1 percent were anti-Catholic.
- 3.9 percent were anti-Protestant.
- 0.5 percent were anti-Atheism/Agnosticism.
In 2006, law enforcement agencies reported 1,415 hate crime offenses based on sexual- orientation bias. Of these offenses:
Ethnicity/national origin bias
- 62.3 percent were classified as anti-male homosexual biased.
- 20.7 percent were classified as anti-homosexual biased.
- 13.6 percent were classified as anti-female homosexual biased.
- 2.0 percent were classified as anti-heterosexual biased.
- 1.5 percent were classified as anti-bisexual biased.
Of the single-bias incidents, 1,233 offenses were committed based on the perceived ethnicity or national origin of the victim. Of these offenses:
- 62.4 percent were anti-Hispanic biased.
- 37.6 percent were anti-other ethnicity/national origin biased.
- There were 94 reported hate crime offenses committed based on disability bias.
- 74 offenses were classified as anti-mental disability.
- 20 offenses were classified as anti-physical disability.
Offenses by Crime Category
Among the 9,080 hate crime offenses reported:
Crimes against persons
- 60.0 percent were crimes against persons.
- 39.6 percent were crimes against property.
- Approximately 0.4 percent were crimes against society.
Law enforcement reported 5,449 hate crime offenses as crimes against persons. By offense type:
Crimes against property
- 46.0 percent were intimidation.
- 31.9 percent were simple assaults.
- 21.6 percent were aggravated assaults.
- 0.2 percent consisted of 3 murders and 6 forcible rapes.
- 0.3 percent involved the offense category other, which is collected only in the National Incident-Based Reporting System.
Crimes against society
- The majority of the 3,593 crimes against property (81.0 percent) were acts of destruction/damage/vandalism.
- The remaining 19.0 percent of crimes against property consisted of robbery, burglary, larceny-theft, motor vehicle theft, arson, and other crimes.
Thirty-eight offenses were crimes against society (e.g., drug or narcotic offenses or prostitution).
In the Uniform Crime Reporting Program, the victim of a hate crime may be an individual, a business, an institution, or society as a whole. Nationwide in 2006, law enforcement agencies reported that there were 9,652 victims of hate crimes. Of these victims, ten were victimized in two separate multiple-bias incidents.By Bias Motivation
An analysis of data for victims of single-bias hate crime incidents showed that:
- 52.1 percent of the victims were targeted because of the offender’s bias against a race.
- 18.1 percent were victimized because of a bias against a religious belief.
- 15.3 percent were targeted because of a bias against a particular sexual orientation.
- 13.5 percent were victimized because of a bias against an ethnicity/national origin.
- 1.0 percent were targeted because of a bias against a disability.
Among the single-bias hate crime incidents in 2006, there were 5,020 victims of racially motivated hate crime.
- 66.4 percent were victims of an offender’s anti-black bias.
- 21.0 percent were victims of an anti-white bias.
- 4.8 percent were victims of an anti-Asian/Pacific Islander bias.
- 1.5 percent were victims of an anti-American Indian/Alaskan Native bias.
- 6.4 percent were victims of a bias against a group of individuals in which more than one race was represented (anti-multiple races, group).
Of the 1,750 victims of an anti-religion hate crime:
- 65.4 percent were victims of an offender’s anti-Jewish bias.
- 11.9 percent were victims of an anti-Islamic bias.
- 4.9 percent were victims of an anti-Catholic bias.
- 3.7 percent were victims of an anti-Protestant bias.
- 0.5 percent were victims of an anti-Atheist/Agnostic bias.
- 8.4 percent were victims of a bias against other religions (anti-other religion).
- 5.3 percent were victims of a bias against groups of individuals of varying religions (anti-multiple religions, group).
In 2006, of the 1,472 victims targeted due to a sexual-orientation bias:
Ethnicity/national origin bias
- 62.0 percent were victims of an offender’s anti-male homosexual bias.
- 20.9 percent were victims of an anti-homosexual bias.
- 13.7 percent were victims of an anti-female homosexual bias.
- 2.0 percent were victims of an anti-heterosexual bias.
- 1.4 percent were victims of an anti-bisexual bias.
Hate crimes motivated by the offender’s bias toward a particular ethnicity/national origin were directed at 1,305 victims. Of these victims:
- 62.8 percent were targeted because of an anti-Hispanic bias.
- 37.2 percent were victimized because of a bias against other ethnicities/national origins.
Of the 95 victims of a hate crime due to the offender’s bias against a disability:
By Crime Category
- 74 were targets of an anti-mental disability bias.
- 21 were victims of an anti-physical disability bias.
Of the 9,652 victims of a hate crime in 2006, 56.5 percent were victims of crimes against persons and 43.2 percent were victims of crimes against property. Less than one percent were victims of crimes against society.
By Offense Type
Crimes against persons
There were 5,449 victims of hate crimes against persons in 2006. Regarding these victims and offenses:
Crimes against property
- Three persons were murdered and six were forcibly raped.
- 46.0 percent experienced intimidation.
- 31.9 percent were victims of simple assault.
- 21.6 percent were victims of aggravated assault.
- Less than one percent (0.3) were victims of other types of offenses, which are collected only in the National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS).
In 2006, there were 4,165 hate crime victims of crimes against property. Of these:
Crimes against society
- 80.4 percent were victims of destruction/damage or vandalism.
- 6.8 percent were victims of larceny-theft.
- 4.8 percent were victims of robbery.
- 4.2 percent were victims of burglary.
- 1.2 percent were victims of arson.
- 1.1 percent were victims of motor vehicle theft.
- 1.5 percent were victims of other hate crime offenses, which are collected only in the NIBRS.
Thirty-eight victims of hate crimes were victims of crimes against society.
Reporting agencies identified 7,330 known offenders in 7,722 bias-motivated incidents in 2006. In the Uniform Crime Reporting Program, the term known offender does not imply that the suspect’s identity is known. The term indicates that some aspect of the suspect was identified, thus distinguishing the suspect from an unknown offender. Law enforcement agencies specify the number of offenders and, when possible, the race of the offender or offenders as a group.By Race
An analysis of available race data for the 7,330 known hate crime offenders revealed that:
- 58.6 percent were white.
- 20.6 percent were black.
- 5.7 percent were groups made up of individuals of various races (multiple races, group).
- 1.1 percent were Asian/Pacific Islander.
- 1.0 percent of known offenders were American Indian/Alaskan Native.
- 12.9 percent were unknown.
By Crime Category
Crimes against persons
Of the 5,770 known hate crime offenders who committed crimes against persons in 2006:
Crimes against property
- 36.7 percent committed simple assault.
- 35.0 percent intimidated their victims
- 27.8 percent committed aggravated assault.
- 0.2 percent murdered or raped their victims.
- 0.3 percent committed other types of offenses, which are collected only in the National Incident-Based Reporting System.
A total of 1,912 known hate crime offenders committed crimes against property in 2006. Of these offenders:
Crimes against society
- 63.4 percent committed destruction/damage/vandalism.
- 16.3 percent committed robbery.
- 9.5 percent committed larceny-theft.
- 5.9 percent committed burglary.
- 1.6 percent committed arson.
- 0.9 percent committed motor vehicle theft.
- 2.5 percent committed other types of bias-motivated offenses.
In 2006, 58 known offenders committed 38 crimes against society involving 38 victims. Crimes against society are collected only in the National Incident-Based Reporting System.
Incidents, Offenses, Victims, and Known Offenders by Bias Motivation, 2006
Bias motivation Incidents Offenses Victims1 Known offenders2 Total 7,722 9,080 9,652 7,330 Single-Bias Incidents 7,720 9,076 9,642 7,324 Race: 4,000 4,737 5,020 3,957 Anti-White 890 1,008 1,054 1,074 Anti-Black 2,640 3,136 3,332 2,437 Anti-American Indian/Alaskan Native 60 72 75 72 Anti-Asian/Pacific Islander 181 230 239 181 Anti-Multiple Races, Group 229 291 320 193 Religion: 1,462 1,597 1,750 705 Anti-Jewish 967 1,027 1,144 362 Anti-Catholic 76 81 86 44 Anti-Protestant 59 62 65 35 Anti-Islamic 156 191 208 147 Anti-Other Religion 124 140 147 63 Anti-Multiple Religions, Group 73 88 92 49 Anti-Atheism/Agnosticism/etc. 7 8 8 5 Sexual Orientation: 1,195 1,415 1,472 1,380 Anti-Male Homosexual 747 881 913 914 Anti-Female Homosexual 163 192 202 154 Anti-Homosexual 238 293 307 268 Anti-Heterosexual 26 28 29 26 Anti-Bisexual 21 21 21 18 Ethnicity/National Origin: 984 1,233 1,305 1,209 Anti-Hispanic 576 770 819 802 Anti-Other Ethnicity/National Origin 408 463 486 407 Disability: 79 94 95 73 Anti-Physical 17 20 21 17 Anti-Mental 62 74 74 56 Multiple-Bias Incidents3 2 4 10 6
1 The term victim may refer to a person, business, institution, or society as a whole.
2 The term known offender does not imply that the identity of the suspect is known, but only that an attribute of the suspect has been identified, which distinguishes him/her from an unknown offender.
3 In a multiple-bias incident, two conditions must be met: (a) more than one offense type must occur in the incident and (b) at least two offense types must be motivated by different biases.Incidents, Offenses, Victims, and Known Offenders by Offense Type, 2006
Offense type Incidents1 Offenses Victims2 Known offenders3 Total 7,722 9,080 9,652 7,330 Crimes against persons: 4,378 5,449 5,449 5,770 Murder and nonnegligent manslaughter 3 3 3 3 Forcible rape 6 6 6 8 Aggravated assault 860 1,178 1,178 1,606 Simple assault 1,447 1,737 1,737 2,116 Intimidation 2,046 2,508 2,508 2,018 Other4 16 17 17 18 Crimes against property: 3,593 3,593 4,165 1,912 Robbery 142 142 200 311 Burglary 155 155 177 112 Larceny-theft 261 261 283 182 Motor vehicle theft 25 25 44 17 Arson 41 41 51 30 Destruction/damage/vandalism 2,911 2,911 3,348 1,212 Other4 58 58 62 48 Crimes against society4 38 38 38 58
1 The actual number of incidents is 7,722. However, the column figures will not add to the total because incidents may include more than one offense type, and these are counted in each appropriate offense type category.
2 The term victim may refer to a person, business, institution, or society as a whole.
3 The term known offender does not imply that the identity of the suspect is known, but only that an attribute of the suspect has been identified, which distinguishes him/her from an unknown offender. The actual number of known offenders is 7,330. However, the column figures will not add to the total because some offenders are responsible for more than one offense type, and they are, therefore, counted more than once in this table.
4 Includes additional offenses collected in the NIBRS.Agency Hate Crime Reporting by State, 2006
Participating state # of participating agencies Population covered Agencies submitting reports Total # of incidents reported Total 12,620 255,086,543 2,105 7,722 Alabama 42 693,540 1 1 Alaska 2 284,014 1 6 Arizona 80 5,889,288 24 149 Arkansas 257 2,739,473 42 113 California 728 36,457,549 250 1,297 Colorado 220 4,724,991 45 138 Connecticut 99 3,504,130 51 131 Delaware 53 853,476 17 48 District of Columbia 2 581,530 2 57 Florida 491 18,045,007 91 216 Georgia 61 1,145,950 4 13 Idaho 105 1,460,666 12 23 Illinois 66 5,264,133 49 187 Indiana 124 2,796,935 15 39 Iowa 223 2,929,952 15 28 Kansas 359 2,135,498 49 109 Kentucky 320 3,731,141 28 64 Louisiana 108 2,291,563 13 22 Maine 148 1,321,574 31 59 Maryland 153 5,615,727 34 212 Massachusetts 328 6,040,017 85 379 Michigan 598 9,981,189 185 653 Minnesota 289 4,306,199 53 137 Mississippi 62 830,449 0 0 Missouri 309 3,532,150 26 78 Montana 93 923,589 14 24 Nebraska 197 1,472,246 10 56 Nevada 34 2,495,529 11 125 New Hampshire 134 987,279 20 34 New Jersey 513 8,724,560 225 759 New Mexico 46 1,220,005 5 20 New York 277 15,094,282 41 522 North Carolina 434 8,381,485 40 100 North Dakota 72 570,642 9 16 Ohio 493 8,638,061 87 300 Oklahoma 294 3,568,374 28 51 Oregon 169 3,697,193 32 141 Pennsylvania 954 11,740,668 27 97 Rhode Island 47 1,067,610 12 19 South Carolina 476 4,318,330 56 110 South Dakota 91 599,756 7 76 Tennessee 459 6,036,872 65 202 Texas 996 23,483,201 68 245 Utah 111 2,516,523 21 35 Vermont 78 612,273 10 21 Virginia 399 7,621,121 91 341 Washington 253 6,393,124 56 177 West Virginia 340 1,707,846 18 34 Wisconsin 371 5,556,506 25 84 Wyoming 62 503,327 4 5