Special Report

12 States With the Most Hate Groups

3. Tennessee
Hate groups per 1 million:
6.26
Number of hate groups: 41 (5th most)
Adults with at least a bachelor’s degree: 25.3% (11th lowest)
Pct. pop. identifying as white: 74.5% (23rd highest)

There are 41 hate groups operating in Tennessee, amounting to roughly 6.3 groups for every million residents, a higher concentration than in nearly every other state. Three anti-muslim groups are located in Nashville and 16 chapters of the KKK are spread out throughout the state.

Tennessee is an especially violent state. Each year, more than 608 violent crimes are reported for every 100,000 state residents, considerably more than the national violent crime rate of 366 incidents per 100,000 people. Many violent crimes in the state are hate crimes. Last year, four U.S. marines were killed by Islamist radicals in Chattanooga.

2. Mississippi
Hate groups per 1 million:
6.35
Number of hate groups: 19 (18th most)
Adults with at least a bachelor’s degree: 21.1% (2nd lowest)
Pct. pop. identifying as white: 57.2% (12th lowest)

Nearly 38% of Mississippians identify as black, a higher share of the population than in any other state. In certain parts of the Mississippi, blacks outnumber whites. Potok explained that this can engender fear among some parts of the white population. Many hate groups have sprouted out of that fear over the years. The state is home to seven chapters of the KKK as well as four groups identifying as white nationalists.

Members of hate groups tend to be less educated. In Mississippi, a state with more hate groups per capita than any other state with the exception of Arkansas, only 21% of adults have a bachelor’s degree, a smaller share than in every other state except for West Virginia.

1. Arkansas
Hate groups per 1 million:
7.42
Number of hate groups: 22 (12th most)
Adults with at least a bachelor’s degree: 21.4% (3rd lowest)
Pct. pop. identifying as white: 73.4% (25th lowest)

Arkansas is home to more hate groups per capita than any other state in the country. There are more than seven hate groups for every million state residents, considerably more than across the United States, where there are roughly 2.8 hate groups per 1 million people. Members of hate groups are typically less educated, and Arkansas has one of the lowest educational attainment rates in the country. Only 21.4% of adults in the state have a bachelor’s degree, a much smaller share than the 30.1% of American adults with a college degree. The 22 hate groups in the state include black separatists in Pine Bluff, two anti-semitic and racist Christian identity groups in Harrison, and a white pride homeschool resource center in Bergman, among others.

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