Home Hate Crime 2013 Resource Pages Methodology

Methodology

Download Printable Document

The Hate Crime Statistics Program of the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program collects data regarding criminal offenses that were motivated, in whole or in part, by the offender’s bias against a race, gender, gender identity, religion, disability, sexual orientation, or ethnicity, and were committed against persons, property, or society. (See below for information concerning new bias types, such as gender and gender identity, and other changes to the hate crime data collection.) Because motivation is subjective, it is sometimes difficult to know with certainty whether a crime resulted from the offender’s bias. Moreover, the presence of bias alone does not necessarily mean that a crime can be considered a hate crime. Only when law enforcement investigation reveals sufficient evidence to lead a reasonable and prudent person to conclude that the offender’s actions were motivated, in whole or in part, by his or her bias, should an agency report an incident as a hate crime.

Changes to the Data Collection

This section provides the updated collection criteria that participating agencies used to submit hate crime data to the Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program in 2013. It includes information about the new and revised collection standards for gender bias, gender identity bias, the involvement of juveniles, revised sexual-orientation bias types, multiple biases per offense, revised race and ethnicity categories, and the revised rape definition. (Forthcoming changes to the hate crime data collection will include additional religious bias types and the addition of an Anti-Arab bias type; data concerning these changes will be available in future publications.) Changes that became effective on January 1, 2013, follow.

Addition of Gender and Gender Identity Bias Categories

In response to the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2009 (Shepard/Byrd Act), the FBI began accepting data on crimes motivated by gender (male and female) bias and gender identity (transgender and gender nonconforming) bias from contributors.

Involvement of Juveniles

Also in response to the Shepard/Byrd Act, the FBI modified its data collection so that reporting agencies could indicate whether hate crimes were committed by, or directed against, juveniles. Therefore, in addition to reporting the number of individual victims, law enforcement began reporting the number of victims who are 18 years of age or older and the number of victims under the age of 18 in 2013.

Revision of Sexual-Orientation Bias Types

Following the passage of the Shepard/Byrd Act, the FBI updated select sexual-orientation bias types at the recommendation of the Criminal Justice Information Services (CJIS) Advisory Policy Board (APB) and with input from the Hate Crime Coalition. The sexual-orientation bias types were revised from Anti-Male Homosexual, Anti-Female Homosexual, Anti-Homosexual, Anti-Heterosexual, and Anti-Bisexual to Anti-Gay (Male); Anti-Lesbian; Anti-Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (Mixed Group); Anti-Heterosexual; and Anti-Bisexual.

Additional Bias Types per Offense

At the recommendation of the CJIS APB and with the approval of the FBI Director, the UCR Program began permitting law enforcement agencies to report four additional bias types per offense instead of one.

Revision of Race and Ethnicity Categories

To comply with a directive from the U.S. Government’s Office of Management and Budget, the UCR Program expanded its race categories and changed its ethnicity categories. The race categories were expanded from four (White, Black, American Indian or Alaskan Native, and Asian or Other Pacific Islander) to five (American Indian or Alaska Native, Asian, Black or African American, Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander, and White). The ethnicity categories changed from “Hispanic” and “Other Ethnicity/National Origin” to “Hispanic or Latino” and “Not Hispanic or Latino.”

Revision to the Definition of Rape

At the recommendation of the CJIS APB and with the approval of the FBI Director, the UCR Program initiated the collection of rape data under a revised definition and removed the term “forcible” from the offense name in 2013. The changes bring uniformity to the offense in both the Summary Reporting System (SRS) and the National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS) by capturing data (1) without regard to gender, (2) including penetration of any bodily orifice by any object or body part, and (3) including offenses where physical force is not involved. Beginning in 2013, the UCR Program defined rape as follows:

  • Rape (revised definition): Penetration, no matter how slight, of the vagina or anus with any body part or object, or oral penetration by a sex organ of another person, without the consent of the victim. (This offense includes rape, sodomy, and sexual assault with an object.)
  • Rape (legacy definition): The carnal knowledge of a female forcibly and against her will.

From the NIBRS

For all law enforcement agencies that submitted their hate crime data via the NIBRS in 2013, the UCR Program combined the agencies’ totals for the offenses of rape (which includes both male and female victims), sodomy, and sexual assault with an object to derive rape figures in accordance with the broader revised definition. (See the NIBRS User Manual, Version 1.0 [1/17/2013] for the definitions of those individual offenses.) In addition, the UCR Program published any offenses of fondling, incest, and statutory rape submitted via the NIBRS in the Crimes Against Persons category of Other. 

From the SRS

The UCR Program’s revised definition of rape is the same definition adopted specifically for the SRS and includes the offenses of rape, sodomy, and sexual assault with an object (without any breakdowns for individual offenses). Likewise, the UCR Program’s legacy definition of rape is the same definition formerly used in the SRS as forcible rape. Although some SRS agencies were able to apply the revised definition to their data collection procedures, not all agencies were able to do so. Therefore, the UCR Program published the rape data of law enforcement agencies that submitted their hate crime data via the SRS electronic record layout, the Microsoft Excel Workbook Tool, or paper forms in accordance with the rape definition (revised or legacy) the agency applied in 2013.

Data collection

Incident types

The UCR Program collects data about both single-bias and multiple-bias hate crimes. A single-bias incident is an incident in which one or more offense types are motivated by the same bias. Beginning in 2013, law enforcement agencies could report up to five bias motivations per offense type. Therefore, the definition of a multiple-bias incident has been revised to an incident in which one or more offense types are motivated by two or more biases.

Offense types

The law enforcement agencies that voluntarily participate in the Hate Crime Statistics Program collect details about offenders’ bias motivations associated with 13 offense types already being reported to the UCR Program: murder and nonnegligent manslaughter,  rape (revised and legacy), aggravated assault, simple assault, intimidation, human trafficking—commercial sex acts, and human trafficking—involuntary servitude (crimes against persons); and robbery, burglary, larceny-theft, motor vehicle theft, arson, and destruction/damage/vandalism (crimes against property). The law enforcement agencies that participate in the UCR Program via the National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS) collect data about additional offenses for crimes against persons and crimes against property. These data appear in Hate Crime Statistics in the category of other. These agencies also collect hate crime data for the category called crimes against society, which includes drug or narcotic offenses, gambling offenses, prostitution offenses, and weapon law violations. Together, the offense classification other and the crime category crimes against society include 33 Group A offenses that are captured in the NIBRS, which also collects the previously mentioned 13 offense types. (The National Incident-Based Reporting System [NIBRS] User Manual, Version 1.0 [01/17/2013], provides an explanation of the 48 Group A offenses.)

In 2013, only law enforcement agencies that submitted hate crime data to the UCR Program via the NIBRS could report human trafficking offenses. However, none of those agencies reported any human trafficking offenses with a bias motivation.

Crimes against persons, property, or society

The UCR Program’s data collection guidelines stipulate that a hate crime may involve multiple offenses, victims, and offenders within one incident; therefore, the Hate Crime Statistics Program is incident-based. According to UCR counting guidelines:

  • One offense is counted for each victim in crimes against persons.
  • One offense is counted for each offense type in crimes against property.
  • One offense is counted for each offense type in crimes against society.

Victims

In the UCR Program, the victim of a hate crime can be an individual, a business, an institution, or society as a whole. Law enforcement can indicate the number of individual victims, the number of victims 18 years of age and older, and the number of victims under the age of 18.

Offenders

According to the UCR Program, the term known offender does not imply that the suspect’s identity is known; rather, the term indicates that some aspect of the suspect was identified, thus distinguishing the suspect from an unknown offender. Law enforcement agencies specify the number of offenders (adults and juveniles) and, when possible, the race and ethnicity of the offender or offenders as a group.

Race/ethnicity

In 2013, the UCR Program used the following five racial designations in its Hate Crime Statistics Program: American Indian or Alaska Native, Asian, Black or African American, Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander, and White. In addition, the UCR Program used the ethnic designations of “Hispanic or Latino” and “Not Hispanic or Latino.”

Data reporting

Law enforcement agencies report hate crimes brought to their attention monthly or quarterly to the FBI either through their state UCR Programs or directly. These agencies submit hate crime data electronically in a NIBRS submission, the hate crime record layout, or a Microsoft Excel Workbook Tool. (Until July 2013, agencies could also submit hate crime data on the printed forms of the Hate Crime Incident Report and the Quarterly Hate Crime Report.)

Reporting via the NIBRS

Agencies that report offense data to the FBI via the NIBRS use a data element within their reporting software to indicate whether an incident was motivated by bias. Because the NIBRS is an incident-based, comprehensive data collection system, these agencies report considerably more information about a hate crime than is captured in the other electronic record, the Microsoft Excel Workbook Tool, or on the paper forms. For example, the data element that indicates bias motivation applies to 48 Group A offenses, and agencies can report information such as the age, sex, race, and ethnicity of victims, offenders, and arrestees. Although the additional data collected via the NIBRS are not maintained in the hate crime database, they are available in the NIBRS flat files. When agencies submit a Group A Incident Report with a bias indicator of “None,” a Group B Arrest Report (because no offenses [bias-motivated or otherwise] occurred in their respective jurisdictions), or a Zero Report (because no offenses [bias-motivated or otherwise] or arrests occurred), the FBI records zero hate crime incidents for that agency for the reporting period.

Reporting via the electronic hate crime record layout

Law enforcement agencies that do not report via the NIBRS may use the hate crime record layout specified in the publication Hate Crime Technical Specification, Version 1.1 (09/16/2014).

Reporting via Microsoft Excel Workbook Tool or printed forms

Agencies that use the Excel Workbook Tool (and those that previously used the Hate Crime Incident Report and the Quarterly Hate Crime Report in paper form) capture the following information about each hate crime incident:

  • Offense type and the respective bias motivation
  • Number and type of victims
  • Location of the incident
  • Number of known offenders
  • Race and ethnicity of known offenders
  • Number of adult or juvenile victims and offenders

For each calendar quarter, law enforcement agencies submit a Hate Crime Incident Report for each bias-motivated incident as well as a Quarterly Hate Crime Report, which summarizes the total number of incidents reported for the quarter. Agencies could also use a Quarterly Hate Crime Report to delete any previously reported incidents that were determined through subsequent investigation not to be bias motivated. If no hate crime incidents occurred in their jurisdictions that quarter, the agencies still submit a Quarterly Hate Crime Report to report zero hate crime incidents.

Population figures and area designations

Population estimation

For the 2013 population estimates, the FBI computed individual rates of growth from one year to the next for every city/town and county using 2010 decennial population counts and 2011 through 2012 population estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau. Each agency’s rates of growth were averaged; that average was then applied and added to its 2012 Census population estimate to derive the agency’s 2013 population estimate.

Universities and colleges

The figures listed for universities and colleges are student enrollments that were provided by the United States Department of Education for the 2012 school year, the most recent available. The enrollment figures include full-time and part-time students.

County designations

Based on the Office of Management and Budget’s standards for defining Metropolitan Statistical Areas, the UCR Program refers to suburban counties as metropolitan counties and to rural counties as nonmetropolitan counties.

Caution to users

Valid assessments about crime, including hate crime, are possible only with careful study and analysis of the various conditions affecting each local law enforcement jurisdiction. (See Uniform Crime Reporting Statistics: Their Proper Use.) In addition, some data in this publication may not be comparable to those in prior editions of Hate Crime Statistics because of differing levels of participation from year to year. Therefore, the reader is cautioned against making simplistic comparisons between the statistical data of this program and that of others with differing methodologies or even comparing individual reporting units solely on the basis of their agency type.

Table methodology

To be included in this publication, law enforcement agencies must have submitted either of the following: (1) at least one NIBRS Group A Incident Report, a Group B Arrest Report, or a Zero Report for at least 1 month of the calendar year or (2) at least one Hate Crime Incident Report and/or a Quarterly Hate Crime Report. The published data, therefore, do not necessarily represent reports from each participating agency for 12 months or 4 quarters of the calendar year. In addition, the UCR Program does not apply offense estimation procedures to account for missing data from agencies that do not participate in the Hate Crime Statistics Program.

When examining the data contained in this report, data users should be aware that the first line following each table number presents that table’s unit of analysis: incident, offense, victim, or known offender. The tabular presentation that follows briefly describes the data sources and the methods used to construct Tables 1–14.

 

(1) Table

(2) Database

(3) Table Construction

(4) General Comments

Participation

All law enforcement agencies participating in the Hate Crime Statistics Program.

This table presents the number of law enforcement agencies participating in the Hate Crime Statistics Program and their jurisdictions’ aggregate population for 2013 distributed by population group.

 

For the 2013 population estimates used in this table, the FBI computed individual rates of growth from one year to the next for every city/town and county using 2010 decennial population counts and 2011 through 2012 population estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau. Each agency’s rates of growth were averaged; that average was then applied and added to its 2012 Census population estimate to derive the agency’s 2013 population estimate.

 

1

All law enforcement agencies participating in the Hate Crime Statistics Program.

This table presents the number of incidents, offenses, victims, and known offenders distributed by bias motivation.

 

2

All law enforcement agencies participating in the Hate Crime Statistics Program.

This table presents the number of incidents, offenses, victims, and known offenders distributed by offense type.

Because incidents may include more than one offense type, the column figures will not add to the total number of incidents.

Because some offenders are responsible for more than one offense type, the column figures will not add to the total number of known offenders.

 

The offense definition of rape, as well as the collection and presentation of rape data, have changed. See Changes to the Data Collection in this Methodology section for more details.

3

All law enforcement agencies participating in the Hate Crime Statistics Program.

This table presents the number of offenses distributed by the known offender’s race, known offender’s ethnicity, and offense type.

The offense definition of rape, as well as the collection and presentation of rape data, have changed. See Changes to the Data Collection in this Methodology section for more details.

 

4

All law enforcement agencies participating in the Hate Crime Statistics Program.

This table presents the number of offenses distributed by the offense type and bias motivation.

The offense definition of rape, as well as the collection and presentation of rape data, have changed. See Changes to the Data Collection in this Methodology section for more details.

5

All law enforcement agencies participating in the Hate Crime Statistics Program.

This table presents the number of offenses distributed by the known offender’s race, known offender’s ethnicity, and bias motivation.

The total number of offenses by the known offender’s ethnicity will not be equal to the total number of offenses by the known offender’s race because not all agencies that submit offender race data also submit offender ethnicity data.

6

All law enforcement agencies participating in the Hate Crime Statistics Program.

This table presents the number of offenses distributed by the victim type and offense type.

The victim type Society/Public is collected only in the NIBRS.

7

All law enforcement agencies participating in the Hate Crime Statistics Program.

This table presents the number of victims distributed by the offense type and bias motivation.

 

This table also provides the number of juvenile and the number of adult victims.

The offense definition of rape, as well as the collection and presentation of rape data, have changed. See Changes to the Data Collection in this Methodology section for more details.

 

The individual victim age total does not equal the victim total because this table includes all victim types. In addition, not all agencies report the age of individual victims.

8

All law enforcement agencies participating in the Hate Crime Statistics Program.

This table presents the number of incidents distributed by the victim type and bias motivation.

A multiple-bias incident includes one or more offense types motivated by two or more biases.

9

All law enforcement agencies participating in the Hate Crime Statistics Program.

This table presents the number of known offenders distributed by the known offender’s race, ethnicity, and the total number of juvenile and adult known offenders.

The total number of known offenders by ethnicity and the total number of known offenders by age will not add to the total number of known offenders because not all agencies submit offender ethnicity and age data.

10

All law enforcement agencies participating in the Hate Crime Statistics Program.

This table presents the number of incidents distributed by the bias motivation and location.

 

11

All law enforcement agencies participating in the Hate Crime Statistics Program.

This table presents the number of offenses distributed by the offense type and reporting state.

The offense definition of rape, as well as the collection and presentation of rape data, have changed. See Changes to the Data Collection in this Methodology section for more details.

 

Hawaii does not participate in the Hate Crime Statistics Program.

 

Readers should take into consideration relevant factors in addition to the areas’ crime statistics when making any valid comparisons of crime among different locales. UCR Statistics: Their Proper Use provides more details concerning the proper use of UCR statistics.

12

All law enforcement agencies participating in the Hate Crime Statistics Program.

This table presents the total number of participating agencies, the population represented, the number of agencies that submitted data about hate crime incidents, and the number of incidents reported.

 

For the 2013 population estimates used in this table, the FBI computed individual rates of growth from one year to the next for every city/town and county using 2010 decennial population counts and 2011 through 2012 population estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau. Each agency’s rates of growth were averaged; that average was then applied and added to its 2012 Census population estimate to derive the agency’s 2013 population estimate.

Hawaii does not participate in the Hate Crime Statistics Program.

 

Readers should take into consideration relevant factors in addition to the areas’ crime statistics when making any valid comparisons of crime among different locales. UCR Statistics: Their Proper Use provides more details concerning the proper use of UCR statistics.

13

All law enforcement agencies participating in the Hate Crime Statistics Program.

This table presents the data from those agencies that reported one or more hate crime incidents occurred in their respective jurisdictions during one or more quarters in 2013. The data are distributed by bias motivation and quarter.

 

For the 2013 population estimates used in this table, the FBI computed individual rates of growth from one year to the next for every city/town and county using 2010 decennial population counts and 2011 through 2012 population estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau. Each agency’s rates of growth were averaged; that average was then applied and added to its 2012 Census population estimate to derive the agency’s 2013 population estimate.

 

The figures used for universities and colleges are student enrollments that were provided by the United States Department of Education for the 2012 school year, the most recent available. The enrollment figures include full-time and part-time students.

Blanks in any of the four columns under Number of incidents per quarter indicate that an agency did not submit a report for that particular quarter.

 

Hawaii does not participate in the Hate Crime Statistics Program.

 

Readers should take into consideration relevant factors in addition to the areas’ crime statistics when making any valid comparisons of crime among different locales. UCR Statistics: Their Proper Use provides more details concerning the proper use of UCR statistics.

14

All law enforcement agencies participating in the Hate Crime Statistics Proram.

This table lists the agencies that indicated that no hate crime incidents occurred in their respective jurisdictions during the quarter(s) in 2013 for which they submitted reports.

 

For the 2013 population estimates used in this table, the FBI computed individual rates of growth from one year to the next for every city/town and county using 2010 decennial population counts and 2011 through 2012 population estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau. Each agency’s rates of growth were averaged; that average was then applied and added to its 2012 Census population estimate to derive the agency’s 2013 population estimate.

 

The figures used for universities and colleges are student enrollments that were provided by the United States Department of Education for the 2012 school year, the most recent available. The enrollment figures include full-time and part-time students.

Blanks in any of the four columns under Zero data per quarter indicate that an agency did not submit a report for that particular quarter.

 

Hawaii does not participate in the Hate Crime Statistics Program.

 

Readers should take into consideration relevant factors in addition to the areas’ crime statistics when making any valid comparisons of crime among different locales. UCR Statistics: Their Proper Use provides more details concerning the proper use of UCR statistics.