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New 2018 FBI data: Jews were 2.7X more likely than blacks, 2.2X more likely than Muslims to be hate crime victim

AEIdeas

Members of which of these groups were most likely to be a victim of a hate crime in 2018: Muslims, Blacks or Jews? Based on media coverage, you would probably say Muslims or Blacks. According to a Google news search for the term “hate crimes” along with the name of each of those three groups, there are 1.85 million results for “hate crimes” + black (or 165,000 results for “hate crimes + black American“), 80,800 results for “hate crimes” + Muslim and only 65,400 results for “hate crimes” + Jew. Based on news reports, you might think that blacks were far more likely than Jews to be the victim of a hate crime and that Muslims were somewhat more likely to be a hate crime victim compared to Jews.

Hate crime data released today by the FBI for 2018 reveal that there were 2,426 black/African-American victims of hate crimes last year, 920 Jewish victims and 236 Muslim victims. Adjusting for the population size of each group (43.84 million blacks in 2018 according to the Census Bureau and 6.2 million Jews and 3.6 million Muslims based on Pew Research Center data, the hate crime victimization rates last year per 100,000 population of each group were 14.8 for Jews, 6.6 for Muslims and 5.5 for blacks (see chart above). Therefore, adjusted for population by group, American Jews were 2.7 times more likely than blacks to be a victim of a hate crime last year, and more than twice as likely than a Muslim to be a hate crime victim.

The FBI data for 2018 on anti-religion hate crimes also reveal that of the 1,617 victims of anti-religious hate crimes last year in the US, 920 were Jews (56.9% of the total) and 236 victims were Muslims (14.6% of the total). Obviously, since more than half (53.7%) of the anti-religious hate crime incidents in 2018 were against Jews, there were more hate crime incidents last year of anti-religious hate crimes against Jews (920) than incidents of hate crimes against all other religious groups combined (397). The FBI data also show that there were more Jewish hate crime victims last year than gay men who victims of hate crimes (863).

Without any adjustments for population, there were nearly four times as many Jewish hate crime victims (920) last year as Muslim victims (236). And yet there are 23.5% more media reports on hate crimes against Muslims than news reports on hate crimes against Jews.

Question: Based on hate crime victimization rates and the fact that Jews are so disproportionately targeted in hate crimes compared to blacks and Muslims, is it fair to say that hate crimes against Jews are routinely under-reported by the media relative to the reporting of hate crimes against blacks and Muslims?

Discussion (3 comments)

  1. Zachriel says:

    • Mark J. Perry: “Hate crime data released today by the FBI for 2018 reveal that there were 2,426 black/African-American victims of hate crimes last year, 920 Jewish victims and 236 Muslim victims.”

    Minor quibble. The crimes are identified by bias, not the victim’s characteristics. So if a Sikh is attacked because the attacker thought the victim was Muslim, then that would counted as an anti-Muslim crime. Similarly with anti-Arab and anti-Muslim bias crimes. Bigots aren’t always particularly particular. This doesn’t change your larger point. Anti-Jewish crimes are still largely underreported.

    Of note, there were also 1,038 victims of anti-White hate crimes, and 154 victims of (various) anti-Christian crimes.

  2. Ron H. says:

    Hate crimes are thought crimes. It doesn’t matter who the victim actually is, it only matters who the assailant thinks they are.

  3. Nancy Ray says:

    Is that because Muslim Ms are commiting most of the crimes?

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