The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) published its annual census of hate groups in February for 2017, showing a four percent increase nationwide from 917 to 954 — still less than an all-time high of 1,018 in 2011.
The SPLC reported a 22 percent increase in neo-Nazi outfits, while the number of Ku Klux Klan chapters waned from 130 in 2016 to 72 in 2017, a 45 percent decrease.
To compare national and state statistics, hate crimes were adjusted for their respective populations and expressed as groups per million. The U.S. had 2.84 groups per million in 2016 and 2.92 groups per million last year.
Sixteen states saw a decrease in the raw number of hate groups while 35 saw their numbers either stay the same or increase.
Washington, D.C., saw largest increase in population adjusted rate of hate groups from 30.83 in 2016 to 37.47 in 2017. Texas had the largest increase in the raw number of groups from 55 in 2016 to 66 in 2017.
Because of Texas’ large population, its rate was still below the U.S. rate for both years — 1.90 groups per million in 2016 and 2.33 groups per million in 2017.
Kentucky had the largest decrease in both the raw numbers of hate groups, 23 in 2016 to 11 in 2017, and in the population adjusted numbers with a decrease of 2.71 groups per million over this period. State and national numbers provide mixed results for the trends in hate groups.
The population numbers for D.C. have steadily increased since 2013 when this author had begun tracking them.
Looking inside the numbers for the nation’s capital, 13 of the 26 groups are headquartered there, the most common being anti-Muslim with nine such organizations, followed by five black nationalist groups, four anti-immigrant, three anti-LGBT groups, two white nationalist groups, two general hate and one male supremacist.
The elevated number of hate groups in Washington is compounded by the high rate of reported hate crimes in D.C., 168.8 crimes per million — eight times higher than the national rate. The neighboring states of Maryland and Virginia have the second and third highest rates of hate crimes behind D.C., respectively.
Virginia had the 12th highest hate group rate in 2017, while Maryland ranked 20th.
The table below shows the raw number of hate groups and the population adjusted numbers for 2016 and 2017. It also shows the change in the population adjusted numbers and the hate crime rate in crimes per million residents.
|State||Hate groups 2017||Hate groups 2016||Hate Groups per Million 2017||Hate Groups per Million 2016||Change||Hate Crimes per Million 2016|
|District of Columbia||26||21||37.47||30.83||6.64||168.8|
[Photo Courtesy Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images via Fortune]