Sep 2, 2021 - Politics

FBI report finds Iowa hate crimes spiked in 2020

Data: Federal Bureau of Investigation; Chart: Thomas Oide/Axios

Hate crimes in Iowa increased last year to their highest level in more than a decade, according to FBI data released this week.

Why it matters: The data can help give voice to victimized groups. Plus, experts say the numbers are likely higher.

  • Hate crimes are widely underreported, the U.S. Department of Justice has acknowledged for years.
  • The data is voluntarily submitted by more than 18,600 law enforcement agencies across the country, and roughly 20% didn’t participate last year.

By the numbers: Iowa hate crimes increased more than 130% between 2019 and last year, from nine to 21 cases, according to the report.

  • Eighteen were race-related. Of those, 16 were against Black people, up from five in 2019.
  • Three incidents were against people who identify as gay or lesbian.

The big picture: Iowa’s data aligns with national trends, as the U.S. saw the highest level of recorded hate crimes in more than a decade with 7,759 incidents in 2020.

  • Incidents against Black people increased by about 60%, from 2,470 in 2019 to 3,886 last year.

💬 Thought bubble: It's important to recognize the limits of the data, using the information as a possible tool for review or discussion rather than an end-all source.


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