Special Report

States With the Most Hate Groups per Capita


Source: Shawn Breen / Wikimedia Commons

7. Mississippi
> Hate groups in 2019: 4.03 per million people (total: 12)
> Hate groups in 2010: 13.47 per million people — the highest (total: 40)
> Pct. pop. identifying as white: 58.0% — 4th lowest
> Pct. pop. foreign born: 2.1% — 2nd lowest
> Median household income: $45,792 — the lowest

Though the number of hate groups in Mississippi has significantly decreased –from 40 in 2010 to 12 in 2019 — the state still ranks in the top 10 of states with the most active hate groups per capita. Almost half of the groups are KKK. There are five known KKK groups active in the state, the highest concentration of the infamous white supremacist organization of any state. Other hate groups in the state include the American Family Association, an anti-LGBT group in Tupelo, and League of the South, a neo-Confederate group operating in Holly Springs, and four Black separatist groups.

Hate groups tend to be concentrated in poorer and less educated areas. About one in every five Mississippi residents live in poverty, the highest poverty rate of any state. Additionally, 22.3% of people in the state have a bachelor’s degree or higher, the second lowest share of all states.

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6. Virginia
> Hate groups in 2019: 4.22 per million people (total: 36)
> Hate groups in 2010: 3.61 per million people — 23rd highest (total: 29)
> Pct. pop. identifying as white: 67.0% — 11th lowest
> Pct. pop. foreign born: 12.7% — 15th highest
> Median household income: $76,456 — 10th highest

There are 36 known hate groups active in Virginia, or 4.2 per 1 million people, up from 29 or 3.6 per million residents in 2010. Most of the currently active hate groups hold a white supremacist ideology. Six others are Black separatist, according to SPLC.

Hatred is not exclusively racially motivated in Virginia. There are two known anti-immigrant groups in the state, Arlington-based ProEnglish and the Americans for Immigration Control group in Monterey. In Virginia, 12.7% of residents were born outside of the United States, a larger immigrant population than in the majority of states.

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5. Louisiana
> Hate groups in 2019: 4.52 per million people (total: 21)
> Hate groups in 2010: 5.50 per million people — 14th highest (total: 25)
> Pct. pop. identifying as white: 61.8% — 6th lowest
> Pct. pop. foreign born: 4.2% — 9th lowest
> Median household income: $51,073 — 4th lowest

Nearly half of the 21 active hate groups in Louisiana are Black separatists — including three New Black Panther Party groups and three Nation of Islam groups. Louisiana, which has the second highest share of Black residents in the U.S., is also home to three active white nationalist groups, one KKK group, and one neo-Confederate group.

Hate groups tend to be concentrated in less educated areas with high levels of poverty. The poverty rate in Louisiana is 19.0%, the second highest in the country. One in four residents has a bachelor’s degree, the fourth lowest share in the U.S. and far less than the 33.1% of Americans nationwide.

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4. South Dakota
> Hate groups in 2019: 4.52 per million people (total: 4)
> Hate groups in 2010: 2.45 per million people — 18th lowest (total: 2)
> Pct. pop. identifying as white: 84.1% — 14th highest
> Pct. pop. foreign born: 4.1% — 8th lowest
> Median household income: $59,533 — 18th lowest

South Dakota is one of three states with no hate crime laws. In the period between 2010 and 2019, the number of hate groups has doubled in the state, from two to four. The other three states with four active hate groups have much larger populations and do not rank on this list. Two of the hate groups in South Dakota — the white nationalist American Identity Movement and The Right Stuff — operate statewide.

South Dakota is far less racially diverse than the country as a whole. About 84.1% of state residents are white, compared to 72.0% of the U.S. population.

Source: DenisTangneyJr / E+ / Getty Images

3. Arkansas
> Hate groups in 2019: 4.97 per million people (total: 15)
> Hate groups in 2010: 9.93 per million people — 3rd highest (total: 29)
> Pct. pop. identifying as white: 76.7% — 23rd lowest
> Pct. pop. foreign born: 5.1% — 15th lowest
> Median household income: $48,952 — 3rd lowest

Like South Dakota and Wyoming, Arkansas has no hate crime laws (though a legislation was proposed in August). A third of the 15 hate groups active in Arkansas are headquartered in the small city of Harrison, not far from the Missouri border. Those groups include the neo-Confederate League of the South, two Christian identity groups, and the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, the only known KKK chapter active in the state.

Hate groups tend to be concentrated in poorer, less educated areas. The typical household in Arkansas earns just $48,952 a year, about $17,000 less than the typical American household and the third lowest in the U.S. Additionally, just 23.3% of adults in Arkansas have a bachelor’s degree compared to 33.1% of adults nationwide.

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