A year after the violent insurrection at the U.S. Capitol building on Jan. 6, 2021, over 700 suspected participants have been arrested, with more than 150 pleading guilty as of December 2021.
Some of those arrested are known members of hate groups like the Proud Boys or Oath Keepers. At least one neo-Nazi group was spotted, while others brandished symbols of other far right and anti-government conspiracy theories and ideologies.
Shortly after the attack on the Capitol, a Washington Post analysis of those arrested showed that the rioters hailed from nearly every state, demonstrating the pervasiveness of extremist ideologies among Americans. The Southern Poverty Law Center reported in 2020 that there were 838 known hate groups in the U.S. — equivalent to 2.5 hate groups for every million people. In some states, the concentration of hate groups is far greater.
24/7 Wall St. reviewed data from the Southern Poverty Law Center, a legal advocacy organization with a focus on civil rights, to identify the states with the most hate groups per capita.
The hate groups considered for this list harbor a wide array of extremist views — antisemitic groups like the Nation of Islam, white nationalists like Patriot Front, or anti-LGBTQ groups like the Westboro Baptist Church.
Though the number of hate groups has decreased in the last few years, these groups have become more fragmented and difficult to track as they communicate online through encrypted platforms. Many of those who stormed the Capitol were not necessarily members of any particular hate group, but rather people who believed former President Donald Trump’s false claims that he won the election and sought to stop Congress from certifying Joe Biden’s victory.
States with higher rates of hate groups per capita tend to have relatively high shares of residents who identify as white alone and low immigrant populations. Many of these states also tend to have low incomes and high poverty rates. These are America’s richest and poorest states.