More Hate Incidents Reported in Areas of Income Inequality

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In the 10 days after the 2016 election, nearly 900 hate incidents were reported to the Southern Poverty Law Center, averaging out to 90 per day. Some 36,000 hate crimes were reported to the FBI from 2010 through 2015, an average of 16 per day. It’s not clear whether there were more hate incidents in the days after the election than is typical, reports Fivethirtyeight.com.  An analysis of FBI and Southern Poverty Law Center data showed one factor that stood out as a predictor of hate crimes and incidents in a given state: income inequality. States with more inequality were more likely to have higher rates of hate incidents per capita. This was true both before and after the election, even after controlling for relevant variables.

The federal government doesn’t track hate crimes systematically (agencies report to the FBI voluntarily), and the Southern Poverty Law Center uses media accounts and people’s self-reports. FBI data for 2016 won’t be released for another several months, and the Southern Poverty Law Center didn’t collect data before the 2016 election. Fivethirtyeight.com analyzes the difference between the data sets. Data are reported to the FBI voluntarily, so it’s unclear how comprehensive the set is. The FBI collects data on only prosecutable hate crimes, a small fraction of incidents. Hate incidents aren’t uniformly distributed across the U.S.: a greater number of hate incidents were reported in some states than in others.

 

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