10 States With the Most Hate Groups

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4. New Jersey
> Hate groups per 1 million:
4.5
> Number of hate groups: 40 (4th most)
> Adults with at least bachelor’s degree: 36.6% (5th largest)
> Pct. pop. identifying as white: 68.2% (10th lowest)

Unlike most of the states with the highest concentrations of hate groups, New Jersey has a relatively wealthy, highly-educated population. Median household income in New Jersey is $70,165, and 36.6% of adults have at least a bachelor’s degree, each ranking in the top five among all states. New Jersey has 40 separate active hate groups, the fourth most in the country. Numerous hate groups may have increased the likelihood of hate crimes — 447 hate crimes were reported in New Jersey in 2013, the third most in the country. The figure includes 187 racially-motivated hate crimes and 121 religiously-motivated hate crimes. Less than 45% of the state’s law enforcement reports hate crimes, which means that number of hate crimes was likely significantly higher. The majority of the state’s hate groups, 22 in all, are skinhead organizations, including 14 chapters of AC Skins and three chapters of the American Front.

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3. Idaho
> Hate groups per 1 million:
6.2
> Number of hate groups: 10 (24th fewest)
> Adults with at least bachelor’s degree: 26.2% (13th smallest)
> Pct. pop. identifying as white: 91.5% (5th largest)

Idaho has one of the highest concentrations of hate groups in the country. It is one of the least populous states in the country yet it has 10 active hate groups — as many as its neighbor, Washington, which has more than four times Idaho’s population. Almost all of the state’s hate groups are white supremacist, including two Aryan Nations branches, neo-Confederate group The League of the South, and the skinhead organization Northwest Hammerskins. The high concentration of white supremacists likely is due in large part to Richard Butler, a founder and leader of the Aryan Nations. Butler moved to the state in 1974 and urged other whites sympathetic to his cause to join him in creating an exclusively white sovereign territory. One of the reasons Butler gave for locating in Idaho was an absence of nonwhite people. Even today, there is relatively little diversity in the state: only 0.6% of Idaho’s population identifies as black, a smaller proportion than any other state but Montana.

2. Arkansas
> Hate groups per 1 million:
6.8
> Number of hate groups: 20 (14th most)
> Adults with at least bachelor’s degree: 20.6% (3rd lowest)
> Pct. pop. identifying as white: 77.9% (3rd smallest)

With 20 active hate groups and just under 3 million residents, Arkansas is home to the second highest ratio of hate groups per million residents in the country. In the city of Harrison alone, there are four distinct Ku Klux Klan chapters, including Knights of the KKK and Knights Party Veterans League. There appears to be a relationship between poor rates of educational attainment and the presence of racist groups. Just over 20% of Arkansas residents have a bachelor’s degree or higher, the third lowest rate in the country.

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1. Mississippi
> Hate groups per 1 million:
7.4
> Number of hate groups: 22 (12th most)
> Adults with at least bachelor’s degree: 4 (20.4% 2nd smallest)
> Pct. pop. identifying as white: 59.0% (3rd lowest)

With a population of 3 million and 22 active hate groups, Mississippi has the highest concentration of hate groups in the country. Poorly educated populations are among the most likely to participate in hate groups. Only 20.4% of adults in the state have a bachelor’s degree or higher, the second smallest share in the U.S. The Council Of Conservative Citizens, a white nationalist group, has chapters in four cities across the state, while the black separatist group Nation of Islam has chapters in three.