Hate Crime Statistics 2017

Today the FBI released Hate Crime Statistics, 2017, to the Uniform Crime Reporting Program’s latest compilation about bias-motivated incidents throughout the nation. The number of hate crime incidents reported to the FBI increased about 17 percent in 2017 compared with the previous year. The 2017 data, submitted by 16,149 law enforcement agencies (up from 15,254 agencies in 2016), provide information about the offenses, victims, offenders, and locations of hate crimes.

Law enforcement agencies submitted incident reports involving 7,175 criminal incidents (up from 6,121 in 2016) and 8,437 related offenses as being motivated by bias toward race, ethnicity, ancestry, religion, sexual orientation, disability, gender, and gender identity. The report, Hate Crime Statistics, 2017, includes hate crime information for last year, broken down by location, offenders, bias types, and victims. The UCR Program does not estimate offenses for the jurisdictions of agencies that do not submit reports.

According to the 2017 report, the most common bias categories in single-bias incidents were race/ethnicity/ancestry (59.6 percent), religion (20.6 percent), and sexual orientation (15.8 percent). In addition to the 7,106 single-bias incidents reported last year, there were also 69 multiple-bias hate crimes reported.

About 5,000 of the hate crimes reported were categorized as crimes against persons, such as intimidation or assault. About 3,000 were considered crimes against property, such as vandalism, robbery, or burglary. (Some hate crime incidents are classified as both crimes against persons and crimes against property.)

The FBI is working with law enforcement partners across the country to encourage reporting of hate crime statistics. Next year, FBI personnel will provide training for law enforcement officers on how to identify bias-motivated incidents and report that data to the FBI’s UCR Program. Additionally, the Department of Justice launched a new hate crimes webpage, which has information for law enforcement on reporting incidents.

Reporting hate crime data to the UCR Program allows the public, researchers, community leaders and local government to raise awareness of the issue and gain a more accurate picture of hate crimes. It also allows law enforcement agencies to develop data-focused strategies and preventative measures.

Hate crimes are the highest investigative priority in the FBI’s civil rights program.

Highlights of Hate Crime Statistics, 2017  follow.

Victims of Hate Crime Incidents

  • There were 7,106 single-bias incidents involving 8,493 victims. A percent distribution of victims by bias type shows that 59.6 percent of victims were targeted because of the offenders’ race/ethnicity/ancestry bias; 20.6 percent were targeted because of the offenders’ religious bias; 15.8 percent were victimized because of the offenders’ sexual-orientation bias; 1.9 percent were victimized because of the offenders’ disability bias; 1.6 percent were targeted because of the offenders’ gender identity bias; and 0.6 percent were victimized because of the offenders’ gender bias. (Due to rounding, percentage breakdowns may not add to 100.0 percent.)
  • Sixty-nine (69) multiple-bias hate crime incidents involved 335 victims.

Offenses by Crime Category

  • Of the 5,084 hate crime offenses classified as crimes against persons in 2017, 44.9 percent were for intimidation, 34.3 percent were for simple assault, and 19.5 percent were for aggravated assault. Twenty-three rapes, 15 murders, and one offense of human trafficking—commercial sex acts were reported as hate crimes. The remaining 27 hate crime offenses were reported in the category of other.
  • There were 3,115 hate crime offenses classified as crimes against property. The majority of these (74.6 percent) were acts of destruction/damage/vandalism. Robbery, burglary, larceny-theft, motor vehicle theft, arson, and other offenses accounted for the remaining 25.4 percent of crimes against property.
  • Two hundred thirty-eight (238) additional offenses were classified as crimes against society. This crime category represents society’s prohibition against engaging in certain types of activity such as gambling, prostitution, and drug violations. These are typically victimless crimes in which property is not the object.

Known Offenders

  • In the UCR Program, the term known offenderdoes not imply that the suspect’s identity is known; rather, 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. Beginning in 2013, law enforcement officers may also report whether suspects were juveniles or adults, as well as the suspect’s ethnicity when possible.
    • Of the 6,370 known offenders, 50.7 percent were white, and 21.3 percent were black or African-American. Other races accounted for the remaining known offenders: 0.8 percent were American Indian or Alaska Native; 0.7 percent were Asian; less than one-tenth of 1 percent were Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander; and 7.5 percent were of a group of multiple races. The race was unknown for 19.1 percent.
    • Of the 5,131 known offenders for whom ethnicity was reported, 25.0 percent were not Hispanic or Latino, 8.8 percent were Hispanic or Latino, and 1.6 percent were in a group of multiple ethnicities. Ethnicity was unknown for 64.5 percent of these offenders.
    • Of the 4,895 known offenders for whom ages were known, 83.0 percent were 18 years of age or older.

Locations of Hate Crimes

Law enforcement agencies may specify the location of an offense within a hate crime incident as one of 46 location designations. In 2017, most hate crime incidents (27.5 percent) occurred in or near residences/homes. Seventeen (17.0) percent occurred on highways/roads/alleys/streets/sidewalks; 10.5 percent occurred at schools/colleges; 5.8 percent happened at parking/drop lots/garages; and 4.1 percent took place in churches/synagogues/temples/mosques. The location was reported as other/unknown for 11.5 percent of hate crime incidents. The remaining 23.7 percent of hate crime incidents took place at other or multiple locations.