Hate Crime Statistics 

Logo for the FBI's Hate Crime Statistics data collection, part of the Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) program.

On April 23, 1990, Congress passed the Hate Crime Statistics Act, 28 U.S.C. § 534, which required 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 responsibilities of developing the procedures for implementing, collecting, and managing hate crime data to the Director of the FBI, who in turn, assigned the tasks to the Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program. Under the direction of the attorney general and with the cooperation and assistance of many local and state law enforcement agencies, the UCR Program created a hate crime data collection to comply with the congressional mandate.

For more than two decades, thousands of city, county, college and university, state, tribal, and federal law enforcement agencies have voluntarily submitted data to the UCR Hate Crime Statistics Program on crimes motivated by prejudice based on race, gender and gender identity, religion, disability, sexual orientations, or ethnicity. While facts and figures cannot convey the suffering experienced by victims of hate crimes, they demonstrate the dedication and commitment of the law enforcement community to recognize and document crimes that are prompted by hate. Without the courage of the victims who come forward and the diligence of the agencies who contribute the data law enforcement and government agencies, researchers, academics, and the public at large can gain awareness of the nature and frequency of this phenomena and further their plans to deal with it. 

The uses for hate crime data vary widely among the different sectors of society. The statistics may assist law enforcement agencies in addressing potentially problematic issues for their particular locales or provide lawmakers with justification for certain legislation. The data may supply the media with credible information or simply show hate crime victims that they are not alone. Analyses of these data can also aid researchers in determining trends in hate crimes. Whatever the use of the statistics may be, the goal of the Hate Crime Statistics Program is to enable these data users to create an awareness about hate crime and advance the study of this complex facet of crime.

Frequently Asked Questions About the Hate Crime Statistics Program 

1. What is a hate crime?

The FBI’s UCR Program defines hate crime as a committed criminal offense which is motivated, in whole or in part, by the offender’s bias(es) against a race, religion, disability, sexual orientation, ethnicity, gender, or gender identity.

Note: For FBI UCR Program purposes, even if the offender was mistaken in his or her perception that the victim was a member of the group he or she was acting against, the offense is still a bias crime because the offender was motivated by bias against the group.

2. What are the different biases that can motivate a hate crime in UCR?

The FBI UCR Program’s Hate Crime Data Collection gathers data on the following biases:

Race/Ethnicity/Ancestry

  • Anti-American Indian or Alaska Native
  • Anti-Arab
  • Anti-Asian
  • Anti-Black or African American
  • Anti-Hispanic or Latino
  • Anti-Multiple Races, Group
  • Anti-Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander
  • Anti-Other Race/Ethnicity/Ancestry
  • Anti-White

Religion

  • Anti-Buddhist
  • Anti-Catholic
  • Anti-Eastern Orthodox (Russian, Greek, Other)
  • Anti-Hindu
  • Anti-Islamic
  • Anti-Jehovah’s Witness
  • Anti-Jewish
  • Anti-Mormon
  • Anti-Multiple Religions, Group
  • Anti-Other Christian
  • Anti-Other Religion
  • Anti-Protestant
  • Anti-Atheism/Agnosticism/etc.

Sexual Orientation

  • Anti-Bisexual
  • Anti-Gay (Male)
  • Anti-Heterosexual
  • Anti-Lesbian
  • Anti-Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, or Transgender (Mixed Group)

Disability

  • Anti-Mental Disability
  • Anti-Physical Disability

Gender

  • Anti-Male
  • Anti-Female

Gender Identity

  • Anti-Transgender
  • Anti-Gender Non-Conforming

3. What type of hate crime data does the FBI collect?

The types of hate crimes reported to the FBI are broken down by specific categories. The aggregate hate crime data collected for each incident includes the following:

  • Incidents and offenses by bias motivation: Includes crimes committed by and crimes directed against juveniles. Incidents may include one or more offense types.
  • Victims: The types of victims collected for hate crime incidents include individuals (adults and juveniles), businesses, institutions, and society as a whole.
  • Offenders: The number of offenders (adults and juveniles), and when possible, the race and ethnicity of the offender or offenders as a group.
  • Location type: One of 46 location types can be designated.
  • Hate crime by jurisdiction: Includes data about hate crimes by state and agency.

4. What types of incidents are collected in the FBI’s UCR hate crime data set?

The FBI UCR Program collects data about both single-bias and multiple-bias hate crimes.

A single-bias incident, is an incident in which one or more offense types are motivated by the same bias.

A multiple-bias incident, is an incident in which one or more offense types are motivated by two or more biases.

5. What type of offenses are collected as hate crimes?

The FBI UCR Program accepts crime data from participating law enforcement agencies (LEAs) through the Summary Reporting System (SRS) or through the National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS).

SRS collects details about hate crime associated with 13 offense types:

  • Crimes against persons: murder and non-negligent manslaughter, rape, aggravated assault, simple assault, intimidation, human trafficking - commercial sex acts, and human trafficking - involuntary servitude.
  • Crimes against property: robbery, burglary, larceny-theft, motor vehicle theft, arson, and destruction/damage/vandalism.

Additionally, LEAs submitting data via NIBRS collect data on other crimes against persons and crimes against property offenses. These data appears in the Hate Crime Statistics publication under the category of Other. NIBRS agencies also collect hate crime data on crimes against society.

  • Crimes against persons: kidnapping, fondling, and sex offenses - nonforcible.
  • Crimes against property: bribery, counterfeiting/forgery, embezzlement, extortion/blackmail, fraud offenses, larceny-theft offenses, and stolen property offenses.
  • Crimes against society: drug and narcotic offenses, gambling offenses, prostitution, offenses, and weapon law violations.

6. What are the top three bias-motivated offense types most frequently reported in UCR?

The top three bias motivated offenses reported in the FBI UCR Program’s hate crime data set are destruction/damage/vandalism, intimidation, and simple assault.

7. What are the victim types collected in the FBI’s UCR hate crime data set?

In the FBI UCR Program, the victim of a hate crime can be an individual, a business, an institution, or society as a whole. Law enforcement can also indicate the number of individual victims, the number of victims 18 years of age and older, and the number of victims under the age of 18.

8. What information is collected on the offender(s) in the FBI’s UCR hate crime data set?

In the FBI UCR Program, the term known offender does not imply the suspect’s identity is known; rather, the term indicates some aspect of the suspect was identified, thus distinguishing the suspect from an unknown offender. LEAs specify the number of offenders (adults and juveniles) and, when possible the race and ethnicity of the offender or offenders as a group. 

9. What are the Race and Ethnicity categories captured for offenders in UCR?

The FBI UCR Program collects the following racial designations in the hate crime data set: White, Black or African-American, American Indian or Alaska Native, Asian, and Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander. Additionally, the FBI UCR Program uses the ethnic designations of Hispanic or Latino and Not Hispanic or Latino.

10. How many biases can be reported per offense type in UCR?

LEAs can report up to five bias motivations per offense type.

11. Are local, state, tribal, and federal LEAs mandated to participate in the FBI’s UCR hate crime data set?

Participation in the FBI UCR Program is mandated for federal LEAs, but is voluntary for local, state, and tribal LEAs.

12. Where can users find the FBI UCR Program’s Hate Crime Statistics publication?

The publication can be found at https://ucr.fbi.gov/hate-crime