Where do hate crimes happen in the US?

on January 7, 2010

It's not the sixties anymore, but unfortunately hate crimes are still a common occurrence in the United States. Explore this viz below to learn about the prevalence of certain offenses and the locations where they happen. Leave preconceptions aside, the data is surprising.

This data set offers a rare view into the darker corners of American society. As one might expect, the less harshly punished non-violent crimes constitute the bulk of the reported offenses- intimidation and vandalism alone account for well over half of the occurrences. There are some surprises in the data. For instance, simple assault is relatively more common in South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Maine and Vermont- not necessarily states one associates with violent crimes.

This dataset is part of the Open Government Initiative, and was downloaded from the FBI at Data.gov.


Interesting - a couple of points. The overlapping of the circles, even with the transparency, shows the need for the ability to color shapes (i.e. states/counties).

In lieu of this, I've seen maps before where they plotted each incidence, in this case crime, and added a random variable to move the point somewhere within the state. The small dots then allow for a much better picture. You obviously need to inform people that you've done this.

The other comment that I have is the need to help people understand where the data comes from - where does the FBI get their data - from their own investigations (most reliable), through to self reporting from local police or state agencies (perhaps less reliable when you want to do intra-state comparisons)? That could account for the perhaps unexpected distribution, or maybe the data does show that there are unfair stereotypes.

I am not trying to down play the seriousness of hate crimes in our great state of South Dakota but I do have one small argument with the map shown! First it is a shame that we are even on this map, secondly that our state ranks among the highest in the country! My problem is that this article focuses on the crimes by whites! I have a friend that was stabed on the flandrue reservation by a group of natives wielding screwdrivers.y friend is white and from what was said to him before he was stabed repeatedly in the face , back arms legs chest, the only reason he was attacked is because he is white! I am not saying that the natives of this state are the only ones committing these crimes but us "whites" aren't the only ones committing them either. If your going to show a study of hate crimes in our state break it down to show that it isn't only whites who are hateful, in my opinion this article is just as racist and hateful as the natives that tried to murder my friend and were never charged. It is completely one sided and doesn't show all statistics of who is committing these hate crimes
Natives are committing as many if not most of the hate crimes in this state, I see and hear it every day!

Hi Jason,

Actually this data shows crimes committed by all ethnic groups and people of all sorts of political backgrounds. "Hate" crimes do not necessarily have to be racially motivated. Furthermore, when hate crimes are committed they may be committed by those of any race or background. The data and visualization reflect that (even if race is not shown).

Appreciate your comment.