U.S. hate crimes
Details of attacks motivated by hatred
of religion or sexual orientation.
Accuracy of hate crime statistics.
What is the faith of the victims of religious hate crimes?
In 2005, the breakdown of religiously
motivated hate crimes by religion were:
the U.S. of each religion
|Incidents per million
|Atheism, Agnosticism, etc
|The number of Muslims in the U.S. is a controversial topic. The estimate
used is from ARIS data. It is a telephone survey
and probably underestimates the number of Muslims. Some Muslim groups claim
6 or 7 million total membership including children. |
|There were almost equal numbers of Catholic and Protestant victims (58
|It appears that Atheists, Agnostics, Humanists,
Secularists, Ethical Culturalists, and those not identifying with any
religion may be the safest from victimization. This may be mainly because
they are not easily recognized; they don't tend to wear a Star of David,
cross, crucifix or hijab.|
What is the sexual orientation of the U.S. victims of hate crimes?
||Adult population (in millions).
||Incidents per million
|Data based on the FBI hate crime report for 2005, and assumes a adult population
of 217.8 million.|
|It is based on the assumption that 92% of U.S. adults are heterosexual,
5% are homosexual and 3% are bisexual. Some religious and social
conservatives believe that the percentage of homosexuals is much lower; many
do not fully recognize bisexuals. Some gay-positive groups believe that the
percentage is much higher.|
|We assume that all victims were adults -- 18 years or older.|
|Based on FBI data, a homosexual is about 850 times more likely to be the
victim of a hate crime motivated by his/her sexual orientation than is a
Accuracy of hate crime statistics:
One study of gay, lesbian and bisexual adults showed that 41% reported
being a victim of a hate crime at sometime during their life after the age of 16. 2 Assuming that
all adults are either homosexual or bisexual, this would mean
that about seven million of them had been victimized during their lifetime
out of a total of about 17 million homosexuals and bisexuals.
However, only about 1,200 hate crimes based on sexual orientation are actually recorded by police per
year. One is forced
to conclude that a miniscule percentage of hate crimes are actually reported to the police by gays
Hate crimes targeting gays and lesbians appear to be even higher in England. A 2003 country-wide survey showed that 38%
of gays and lesbians report having been the victim of a hate crime in the
preceding twelve months. 3
The population of London is approximately seven million. 4 The percentage of gays and
lesbians in that city is probably about 10% -- double the rate of the country as
a whole. One can estimate that 700,000 homosexuals live there. Again, assuming
that the rate of hate crimes in London is similar to that in the country
generally, one would expect on the order of 250,000 offences. Yet only 1,097 homophobic offences were recorded by
London police during 2002. Again, it appears that very few hate crimes are
Needless to say, those:
|Opposed to equal rights for gays and lesbians
emphasize that the actual number of offenses reported to the FBI is quite small.
|Fighting for equal rights for persons of all sexual orientations emphasize the percentage homosexuals
who report having been victims of hate crimes.|
This web site is one of the few places where you can see a comparison of the
two measuring methods.
The following information sources were used to prepare and update the above
essay. The hyperlinks are not necessarily still active today.
- "Hate Crime Statistice 2005," FBI, 2006-OCT, at:
- Gregory Herek,et. al., "Hate crime victimization among lesbian, gay and
bisexual adults," Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 12(2): Pages
Nigel Morris, "Homophobic attacks to be 'hate crimes'," 2003-OCT-31,
Independent News, UK, at:
"London city (state capital), population," Greatest Cities?
Copyright © 1999 to 2009 by Ontario Consultants on
Latest update: 2009-JUL-22
Author: B.A. Robinson