On January 8, 1998, the FBI released the following hate crime statistics for 1996:
During 1996, 8,759 bias-motivated criminal incidents were reported to the FBI by the 11,354 law enforcement agencies in 49 states and the District of Columbia which voluntarily participated under the Hate Crimes Statistics Act of 1990. These agencies represent 223 million United States inhabitants, or 84 percent of the population. Of the 8,759 incidents reported, an actual total of 10,706 offenses occurred, with a reported number of 11,039 hate crime victims.
In response to the Hate Crimes Statistics Act of 1990, the Attorney General designated the FBI's Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program to develop and implement a data collection system for its voluntary law enforcement agency participants. The FBI first released hate crime statistics in January, 1993, furnishing data regarding hate crime incidents which occurred in 1991.
The agencies participating in the hate crime data collection program in 1996 submitted summary and incident-based data to the FBI either through state-level UCR Programs or directly from individual agencies in states without Programs. The number of participating agencies which submitted statistical data for the year 1996 represents an increase of more than 18 percent over the 1995 agency participation level. Due to the substantial increase in the number of participating law enforcement agencies, an accurate comparison between the data submitted for 1995 and 1996 is not feasible.
Of the 8,759 reported incidents, 5,396 were motivated by racial bias; 1,401 by religious bias; 1,016 by sexual-orientation bias; 940 by ethnicity/national origin bias; and 6 by multiple biases.
Crimes against persons composed 69 percent of the 10,706 offenses reported. Intimidation was the single most frequently reported hate crime among all offenses measured, accounting for 39 percent of the total. Destruction/damage/vandalism of property accounted for 27 percent of the total; followed by simple assault at 16 percent and aggravated assault at 13 percent.
Eight of every 10 of the 11,039 reported hate crime victims were individuals, while the remaining victims were businesses, religious organizations, or various other targets. Six of every 10 victims were attacked because of their race, with bias against blacks accounting for 42 percent of the total. Of the total number of victims of religious bias crimes, 66 percent of victims were targets of crimes against property.
In 1996, the majority of hate crime incidents, 31 percent, occurred in/on residential properties. Incidents perpetrated on highways/roads/alleys/streets accounted for 21 percent, while 9 percent occurred at schools or colleges. The remaining incidents were widely distributed among various locations.
Although not sufficient to allow valid national or regional measures of the volume and types of hate crimes, these data offer a perspective on the general nature of hate crime occurrences.