From terror attacks to natural disasters, U.S. history is replete with examples of Americans of different backgrounds unifying in the face of hardship. Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic will not likely be remembered as such an occasion. The virus, which originated in China, ushered in a surge of violence directed at Asian Americans at a time when hate crimes were already at their highest level in over a decade.
According to the FBI, hate crimes are those motivated by prejudice and committed against victims based on their race, color, religion, or national origin, as well as based on biases of actual or perceived sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, or gender.
In Michigan, there were 495 hate crimes reported in 2019, or 5.0 for every 100,000 people â the fifth highest hate crime rate among states. Meanwhile, there were 8,559 incidents nationwide, or 2.6 for every 100,000 people. Of all reported incidents of hate in the state, 72.1% were motivated by race, ethnicity, or ancestry, 11.8% were motivated by religion, and 11.8% were motivated by sexual orientation.
Though hate crimes appear to be more common in Michigan than they are nationwide, the higher hate crime rate is likely due in part to more comprehensive reporting. There are 638 agencies in the state that track and report hate crime data, covering 99.8% of the population. Nationwide, 93.0% of the population are covered by agencies tracking and reporting hate crimes.
All data used in this story is from the FBI’s Uniform Crime Report. States were ranked based on the number of reported hate crimes per 100,000 residents in 2019. It is important to note that reporting practices and standards related to hate crimes vary by state, and in many parts of the country, reported hate crime figures may not be an accurate reflection of the true prevalence of hate crimes.
|Rank||State||Hate crimes per 100,000 people; 2019||Total hate crimes; 2019||Participating agencies reporting hate crimes||Pop. covered by agencies reporting hate crimes (%)|