October 27th, 2008
The FBI just released its hate crime report for 2007. While hate crimes overall decreased slightly from 2006, crimes based on sexual orientation increased during the same period. Hate crimes based on sexual orientation also continue to be the most violent, with more than half of all hate crime murders in 2007 attributed to sexual orientation.
Hate crimes based on biases against transgender persons are not explicitly included in the FBI’s hate crimes statistics. It is unclear whether any of the bias crimes tracked according to sexual orientation include gender identity or expression.
|Hate Crime Offenses, 2006||Hate Crime Offenses, 2007|
|Totals don’t add up due to additional
multi-category hate crime offenses.
Percentages don’t add to 100%
due to rounding errors.
Overall, hate crime offenses in 2007 went down slightly from 2006. Hate crime offenses based on religion fell by 8% from 2006. More than two-thirds of those reports are anti-Jewish offenses. Hate crime offenses based on sexual orientation now statistically tie those based on religion.
Of nine murders logged as hate crime incidents in 2007, five were attributed to sexual orientation, two to race, and two to ethnicity/national origin. In 2006 there were only three hate crime murders reported by the FBI. All of those were on the basis of race. But as we reported last year, a number of known hate crime murders based on sexual orientation did not make it into the FBI’s hate crime statistics that year.
Hate crime offenses based on sexual orientation continue to be the most physically violent:
|Total Hate Crime Offenses, 2007||Violent Crimes, percentage of total|
|Violent crimes include:
Murder and non-negligent manslaughter,
forcible rape, aggravated assault
and simple assault.
These FBI statistics rely on the voluntary cooperation of local law enforcement agencies to report hate crimes which occur in their jurisdictions. This reporting is neither mandatory nor funded. So not all agencies participate, and those that do often do so inconsistently. For more information on how this occurs, please see our report, Federal Hate Crime Statistics: Why the Numbers Don’t Add Up.
This year, there were 13,241 law enforcement agencies participating in the Hate Crimes reporting system, covering 260,229,972 of the U.S. population. That compares to 12,620 law enforcement agencies in 2006 covering 255,086,543 of the U.S. population.
Of the five bias categories tracked by the FBI, two of them are not covered by the current federal hate crimes law. Disability is one of those categories. Can you guess the other one?
Update: I’ve updated this post to reflect that the statistics are these statistics are of hate crime offenses. The FBI maintains three sets of statitics: Hate crime incidents, offenses and victims. Multiple offenses (i.e. assault and robbery) can occur in the same hate crime incident involving one or more victims. The breakout for each category is as follows:
|Total Hate Crime Incidents, 2007||Total Hate Crime Offenses, 2007||Total Hate Crime Victims, 2007|
|Totals don’t add up due to additional
multi-category hate crime incidents, offenses and victims.
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