Do white people commit hate crimes at the highest rate of any race?

Wednesday, May 25, 2022
By Jacob Alabab-Moser

According to Justice Department statistics, while white people commit the most hate crimes in raw numbers, Black people commit hate crimes at a higher rate relative to their population size.

In 2020, the FBI reported that white people accounted for 55% of 6,780 known hate-crime offenders while making up 61.6% of the U.S. population. In contrast, Black people accounted for 21.2% of the offenses while making up 12.4% of the population.

The Hate Crime Victimization Survey found that between 2015 and 2019, 45% of hate crimes were "perceived by the victim" to be committed by white people while 33% were perceived by the victim to be committed by Black people.

Caveats to the data include that:

  • The race of many offenders is unknown.
  • Black people are less likely to report hate crimes than white people.
  • Law enforcement isn't required to report incidents.
  • Incidents later determined by prosecutors to be hate crimes are not included.
  • Black people are more likely to be falsely accused of crimes.

Black people were the most likely to experience a hate crime in 2020, comprising 56% of victims. White people committed 73% of these anti-Black hate crimes.

This fact brief is responsive to conversations such as this one.
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