NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Hate Crimes Statistically Rare

October 1, 2001

Crimes motivated by hatred for a person's race, religion or other characteristics remain an extremely small percentage of all offenses, according to the Justice Department's Bureau of Justice Statistics. According to the report:

  • There were 2,976 hate crimes reported to the FBI's National Incident-Based Reporting System between 1997 and 1999.
  • That represents a tiny fraction of one percent of the nation's 5.4 million crimes reported over the three years.

So-called hate crimes have attracted special attention since the September 11 terrorist attacks in New York and Washington because hundreds of Americans of South Asian or Middle Eastern descent -- or just people with beards, turbans or veils -- have been victims of threats and beatings. The FBI is investing about 90 such incidents.

The 2,976 incidents were categorized as hate crimes when police could determine the victim was targeted based on race, religion, sexual orientation, disability or national origin.

Source: Associated Press, "Hate Crimes in U.S. are Statistically Rare," Washington Times, October 1, 2001.


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