Special Report

12 States With the Most Hate Groups

9. Virginia
Hate groups per 1 million:
3.84
Number of hate groups: 32 (9th most)
Adults with at least a bachelor’s degree: 36.7% (6th highest)
Pct. pop. identifying as white: 63.0% (16th lowest)

The 32 hate groups in Virginia are spread throughout the state, though they tend to be clustered around metropolitan areas. There are two neo-Nazi groups operating in the Richmond area, two white nationalist groups in the Washington D.C. metro area, and two anti-semitic groups around Norfolk, among others. All told, there are more than 3.8 hate groups for every million state residents.

Unlike most states with a high concentration of hate groups, Virginia has an exceptionally high educational attainment rate. Nearly 37% of adults in the state have at least a bachelor’s degree, a considerably larger share than the national college attainment rate of 30%.

8. Georgia
Hate groups per 1 million:
3.86
Number of hate groups: 39 (7th most)
Adults with at least a bachelor’s degree: 29.1% (23rd highest)
Pct. pop. identifying as white: 54.2% (7th lowest)

Birthplace of Martin Luther King Jr., Georgia has been a symbol of racial tensions in the United States. Today, nearly 31% of Georgia’s 10 million residents are black, a higher share than in all but two other states and more than double the 12% share of Americans who identify as black. Georgia is also home to a much higher concentration of hate groups than most other other states — hate groups that primarily define themselves along black and white racial lines. Of the 39 hate groups operating in the state, 14 are either racist skinhead, white nationalist, neo-confederate, or affiliated with the KKK. Another 14 hate groups identify as black separatists.

Hate groups are more likely to spring up in places with poor economic conditions. In Georgia, 18.3% of residents are living in poverty, and 7.2% of the workforce is out of a job — each some of the highest rates in the country and considerably larger than the comparable national figures.

7. Oklahoma
Hate groups per 1 million:
4.38
Number of hate groups: 17 (21st most)
Adults with at least a bachelor’s degree: 24.2% (8th lowest)
Pct. pop. identifying as white: 67.0% (21st lowest)

While hate groups tend to thrive in areas with large black populations, they can also exist in areas with relatively little diversity. In Oklahoma, only about 7% of state residents identify as black, a much smaller share than the 12% of Americans who identify as black. More than half of the 17 hate groups in the state are associated with the Ku Klux Klan.

Hate groups tend to be more highly concentrated in areas with relatively low educational attainment rates. Adults in the state are less likely to have completed college than most adults in the country. Only 24% of adults in Oklahoma have a bachelor’s degree, a considerably lower share than the 30% of American adults with such a degree.

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