Special Report

10 States With the Most Hate Groups

Aerial view of factory in Gary, Indiana
Source: Thinkstock

10. Indiana
> Hate groups: 3.9/million
> Number of hate groups: 26
> Pct. pop. identifying as white: 84.0% (19th highest)
> Pct. pop foreign born: 4.9% (20th lowest)

The SPLC identified 26 hate groups operating in Indiana in 2016 — a 63% increase over the previous year. Adjusting for the population, there are 3.9 hate groups for every 1 million state residents, one of the highest concentrations of such groups in the country.

Many hate groups in the state operate in Indianapolis. The capital city is home to a KKK chapter, a neo-Nazi group, two black separatist organizations, and a racist skinhead organization called American Vikings. There are over a dozen groups operating in the rest of the state, including a neo-Nazi organization called Gallows Tree Wotansvolk Alliance.

St Louis, Missouri skyline at sunset
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9. Missouri
> Hate groups: 3.9/million
> Number of hate groups: 24
> Pct. pop. identifying as white: 82.4% (20th highest)
> Pct. pop foreign born: 4.0% (13th lowest)

Like many states with a high concentration of hate groups, Missouri has a long history of racial strife. Admitted to the Union in 1820, Missouri’s initial status as a slave state was the subject of bitter national debate. The atrocity of slavery provides a backdrop for racial hatred in the state today. The SPLC identified 24 active hate groups in the state in 2016, including four KKK chapters, four white nationalist groups, and two racist skinhead organizations. The vast majority of the state’s hate groups are either scattered throughout the southern half of the state or clustered in and around St. Louis.

Like many states with especially high concentrations of hate groups, Missouri has a higher share of white residents than the nation as a whole. Some 82.4% of state residents identify as white, compared to 73.1% of all Americans.

Windy country road in the Shenandoah Valley, Virginia.
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8. Virginia
> Hate groups: 4.6/million
> Number of hate groups: 39
> Pct. pop. identifying as white: 68.2% (12th lowest)
> Pct. pop foreign born: 12.2% (14th highest)

Virginia is home to some 39 active hate groups, ranging from KKK chapters to black separatist organizations. As is the case across much of the country, anti-Muslim groups are on the rise in the state. Currently, there are six anti-Muslim hate groups operating in Virginia, twice as many as there were in 2015. Groups primarily motivated by hate of people of a specific religion do not stop there. The state is also home to a number of anti-Semitic Christian groups as well as a neo-Nazi organization.

Another recent trend identified by the SPLC is the rise in anti-immigrant sentiment nationwide. Virginia is home to two anti-immigration groups, one in Arlington and another in Monterey. Animosity towards immigrant populations may be stoked by the relatively high influx of foreign-born residents to the state. Virginia added 330 green card holders for every 100,000 residents in 2015, a larger share than the majority of states.