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Methodology

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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. 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 a 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

Beginning in 2015, law enforcement agencies could submit hate crime data in accordance with two motions approved by the Criminal Justice Information Services (CJIS) Division’s Advisory Policy Board (APB). Descriptions of those modifications, which are again included in the published data, follow.

Addition of Religion and Anti-Arab Bias Motivations

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 seven new religious anti-bias categories (anti-Buddhist, anti-Eastern Orthodox, anti-Hindu, anti-Jehovah’s Witness, anti-Mormon, anti-Other Christian, and anti-Sikh), as well as an anti-Arab bias motivation.

In addition, the national UCR Program began collecting the race and ethnicity categories in a combined format in 2015. The revised category is Race/Ethnicity/Ancestry. Along with this change, the former Anti-not Hispanic or Latino ethnicity bias was changed to Anti-Other Race/Ethnicity/Ancestry bias.

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 includes the offenses of rape, sodomy, and sexual assault with an object as converted from data submitted via NIBRS.)

Rape (legacy definition): The carnal knowledge of a female forcibly and against her will.

From NIBRS

For all law enforcement agencies that submitted their hate crime data via NIBRS in 2015, 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 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, or the Microsoft Excel Workbook Tool in accordance with the rape definition (revised or legacy) the agency applied in 2015.

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 definitions), 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 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 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.)

Beginning in 2015, all law enforcement agencies could report human trafficking offenses. However, no human trafficking offenses with a bias motivation were reported during 2015.

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 2015, the UCR Program used the following five racial designations in its Hate Crime Statistics Program: White, Black or African American, American Indian or Alaska Native, Asian, and Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander. 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.

Reporting via NIBRS

Agencies that report offense data to the FBI via NIBRS use a data element within their reporting software to indicate whether an incident was motivated by bias. Because 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 or the Excel workbook. 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 NIBRS are not maintained in the hate crime database, they are available in 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 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

Agencies that use the Excel Workbook Tool 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 or designate a Zero Report for the month. Each month, law enforcement agencies submit a Hate Crime Incident Report for each bias-motivated incident as part of their regular SRS submissions. When reporting zero incidents of hate crime, the agency should select the “zero report” box within the Microsoft Excel workbook. For updating purposes, a copy of the report should be retained by the agency. Corrections/updates should be accomplished by selecting the “adjustment box” within the Microsoft Excel workbook and providing the appropriate changes. Incidents can be deleted by selecting the “delete box” within the Microsoft Excel workbook.

Population figures and area designations

Population estimation

For the 2015 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 2014 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 2014 Census population estimate to derive the agency’s 2015 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 2014 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.

Publication Annotation

Narrative portions of this publication present percentage breakdowns for various facets of tabular data. Where percentage breakdowns are used, percentages may not add to 100.0 percent due to rounding.

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 Group A Incident Report or a Group B Arrest Report via NIBRS or (2) at least one Hate Crime Incident Report via the Hate Crime Technical Specification or the Microsoft Excel Workbook Tool. The published data, therefore, do not necessarily represent reports from each participating agency for all 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 the Participation Table and 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 2015 distributed by population group.

For the 2015 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 2014 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 2014 Census population estimate to derive the agency’s 2015 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 changed in 2013. 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 hate crime offenses distributed by the known offender’s race and ethnicity, as well as the offense type.

The total number of offenses by the known offender’s ethnicity is not 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.

The offense definition of rape, as well as the collection and presentation of rape data changed in 2013. 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 hate crime offenses distributed by the offense type and bias motivation.

The offense definition of rape, as well as the collection and presentation of rape data changed in 2013. 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 hate crime offenses distributed by the known offender’s race, ethnicity, and bias motivation.

The total number of offenses by the known offender’s ethnicity is not 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 hate crime offenses distributed by the victim type and offense type.

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

7

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

This table presents the number of hate crime victims (individuals, businesses, institutions, and society as a whole) 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 changed in 2013. See Changes to the Data Collection in this Methodology section for more details.

The individual victim age totals do 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 hate crime incidents distributed by 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 hate crime offenders distributed by the known offenders’ race, ethnicity, and age categories.

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 hate crime incidents by 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 changed in 2013. 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 2015 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 2014 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 2014 Census population estimate to derive the agency’s 2015 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 that submitted one or more hate crime incidents to 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 2015. The data are distributed by bias motivation and quarter.

For the 2015 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 2014 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 2014 Census population estimate to derive the agency’s 2015 population estimate.

The figures used for universities and colleges are student enrollments that were provided by the United States Department of Education for the 2014 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 that reported no hate crime incidents occurred in their jurisdictions for any of the reporting periods for which the agencies submitted data to the Hate Crime Statistics Program.

This table lists the agencies that indicated no hate crime incidents occurred in their respective jurisdictions during the quarter(s) in 2015 for which they submitted reports.

For the 2015 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 2014 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 2014 Census population estimate to derive the agency’s 2015 population estimate.

The figures used for universities and colleges are student enrollments that were provided by the United States Department of Education for the 2014 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.