STATE OF HATE
The Release of Hate Crime Statistics 2003...and What the Numbers Tell Us
old saying, "What you measure, you manage."
why the FBI makes an annual accounting of hate crimes across the U.S.
for the entire law enforcement community and for the nation.
The FBI has been
investigating hate crimes—traditional offenses like murder, arson,
and vandalism with an added element of bias—as far back as the
early 1920s, in connection with the
Ku Klux Klan. In 1990, Congress asked the Attorney General—who
turned to the FBI—to start collecting and publishing hate crime
statistics every year.
So what does
this year's report-- more than 150 pages worth of charts, statistics,
and analysis-- say about the state of hate crimes in the U.S.?
Here's a few insights:
- The total
number of hate crimes reported is holding steady at one of its lowest
levels in the past decade. The 7,489 incidents last year are
just 27 more than 2002. And the 2002 stats were the lowest since
- Most of the
9,100 total victims were targeted because of their race. Just
over 52%, in fact. Religion and sexual orientation were a distant
second, at 16% each.
murders, thankfully, are few and far between. Last
year, 14 individuals were murdered—less than two-tenths
of one percent of all victims.
and destruction are the preferred methods of attack. They represent
83% of hate-driven property crimes and 35% of all hate crimes.
was the most frequently reported hate crime. It accounted for
nearly half of the total crimes against persons last year.
- Location? Nearly
one third of all incidents last year took place in or near a home or
For 13 years
running, our annual report on hate crimes has been used by
everyone from community leaders to elected officials ... from civil
rights activists to law enforcement analysts ... to better understand
and potentially prevent crimes of bias.
For more information: Check out the full
2003 report and press
release. You can also review all Hate Crime Statistics publications
since 1995 on our Uniform Crime Reports
webpage. And please visit our Civil