Skip Navigation
Annual Reports and Information Staff (Annual Reports)
School Crime and Safety

Hate Crime Incidents at Postsecondary Institutions

Last Updated: May 2022
|
This indicator also appears under Postsecondary Education.

More than half of the total reported on-campus hate crimes in 2019 were motivated by race or ethnicity (435 of the 757 hate crimes reported).

A 2008 amendment to the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security and Campus Crime Statistics Act (see Criminal Incidents at Postsecondary Institutions) requires postsecondary institutions to report hate crime incidents. A hate crime is a criminal offense that is motivated, in whole or in part, by the perpetrator’s bias against the victim(s) based on their race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, or disability. The Clery Act requires institutions to report data on hate-related incidents for seven types of crimes—murder, sex offenses (forcible and nonforcible), robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, motor vehicle theft, and arson. The 2008 amendment also requires campuses to report hate-related incidents for four additional types of crimes: simple assault; larceny; intimidation; and destruction, damage, and vandalism.

Select a subgroup characteristic from the drop-down menu below to view relevant text and figures.

Figure 1. Number of on-campus hate crimes at degree-granting postsecondary institutions, by selected type of crime: 2010, 2018, and 2019
Figure 1. Number of on-campus hate crimes at degree-granting postsecondary institutions, by selected type of crime: 2010, 2018, and 2019

1 Placing another person in reasonable fear of bodily harm through the use of threatening words and/or other conduct, but without displaying a weapon or subjecting the victim to actual physical attack.

2 Willfully or maliciously destroying, damaging, defacing, or otherwise injuring real or personal property without the consent of the owner or the person having custody or control of it.

3 Physical attack by one person upon another where neither the offender displays a weapon, nor the victim suffers obvious severe or aggravated bodily injury involving apparent broken bones, loss of teeth, possible internal injury, severe laceration, or loss of consciousness.

4 Attack upon a person for the purpose of inflicting severe or aggravated bodily injury.

5 Unlawful taking, carrying, leading, or riding away of property from the possession of another.

6 Any sexual act directed against another person forcibly and/or against that person’s will.

7 Taking or attempting to take anything of value using actual or threatened force or violence.

8 Unlawful entry of a structure to commit a felony or theft.

9 Willful or malicious burning or attempt to burn a dwelling house, public building, motor vehicle, or personal property of another.

NOTE: Data are for degree-granting institutions, which are institutions that grant associate’s or higher degrees and participate in Title IV federal financial aid programs. Some institutions that report Clery Act data—specifically, non-degree-granting institutions and institutions outside of the 50 states and the District of Columbia—are excluded. A hate crime is a criminal offense that is motivated, in whole or in part, by the perpetrator’s bias against a group of people based on their race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, or disability. Includes on-campus incidents involving students, staff, and guests. Excludes off-campus crimes and arrests even if they involve students or staff. In 2010, 2018, and 2019, there were 0 incidents of murder, nonforcible sex offenses, and motor vehicle theft that were classified as hate crimes.

SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, Office of Postsecondary Education, Campus Safety and Security Reporting System, 2010, 2018, and 2019. See Digest of Education Statistics 2021, table 329.30.

In 2019, of the criminal incidents that occurred on the campuses of postsecondary institutions and were reported to police or security agencies, 757 incidents were classified as hate crimes. This translates to an average of 5.1 hate crime incidents occurring per 100,000 full-time-equivalent students enrolled. The three most common types of hate crimes reported by institutions were intimidation (340 incidents), destruction, damage, and vandalism (295 incidents; referred to as “vandalism” in this indicator), and simple assault (85 incidents). Other reported hate crimes included aggravated assault (16 incidents), larceny (11 incidents), forcible sex offenses (5 incidents), robbery (3 incidents), burglary (1 incident), and arson (1 incident). There were no reported incidents of motor vehicle theft, murder, or nonforcible sex offenses classified as hate crimes in 2019.
In every year from 2010 to 2019, intimidation, vandalism, and simple assault were the three most common types of hate crimes reported by institutions. However, over this period, the distribution of these crimes shifted. Specifically, the number of hate crimes that were intimidation increased from 260 to 340 incidents over this period. Meanwhile, there was no consistent pattern of change from 2010 to 2019 either in the number of vandalism hate crimes or the number of simple assault hate crimes. As a result, the percentage of hate crimes that were intimidation increased from 28 to 45 percent, while the percentage that were vandalism decreased from 60 to 39 percent. Simple assaults made up 7 percent of hate crimes in 2010 and 11 percent in 2019. [Time series ]
Figure 2. Number of on-campus hate crimes at degree-granting postsecondary institutions, by category of bias motivating the crime and type of crime: 2019
Figure 2. Number of on-campus hate crimes at degree-granting postsecondary institutions, by category of bias motivating the crime and type of crime: 2019

1 Placing another person in reasonable fear of bodily harm through the use of threatening words and/or other conduct, but without displaying a weapon or subjecting the victim to actual physical attack.

2 Willfully or maliciously destroying, damaging, defacing, or otherwise injuring real or personal property without the consent of the owner or the person having custody or control of it.

3 Physical attack by one person upon another where neither the offender displays a weapon, nor the victim suffers obvious severe or aggravated bodily injury involving apparent broken bones, loss of teeth, possible internal injury, severe laceration, or loss of consciousness.

NOTE: Data are for degree-granting institutions, which are institutions that grant associate’s or higher degrees and participate in Title IV federal financial aid programs. Some institutions that report Clery Act data—specifically, non-degree-granting institutions and institutions outside of the 50 states and the District of Columbia—are excluded. A hate crime is a criminal offense that is motivated, in whole or in part, by the perpetrator’s bias against a group of people based on their race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, or disability. Includes on-campus incidents involving students, staff, and guests. Excludes off-campus crimes and arrests even if they involve students or staff.

SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, Office of Postsecondary Education, Campus Safety and Security Reporting System, 2019. See Digest of Education Statistics 2021, table 329.30.

Race and sexual orientation were the two largest categories of bias motivating hate crimes at postsecondary institutions in 2019, accounting for about two-thirds of crimes. Race was the motivating bias in 45 percent of reported hate crimes (341 incidents),1 while 12 percent (94 incidents) were motivated by ethnicity. Together, more than half of hate crimes at postsecondary institutions were motivated by race or ethnicity. Sexual orientation was the motivating bias in 22 percent of reported hate crimes (167 incidents).2 The third most common motivating bias was religion, which accounted for 14 percent of reported hate crimes (106 incidents) in 2019. The other 6 percent of reported hate crimes were motivated by gender (30 incidents),3 gender identity (14 incidents),4 and disability (5 incidents).
Similar to the overall pattern, race and sexual orientation were the two largest categories of motivating bias associated with the three most common types of hate crimes reported in 2019—intimidation, vandalism, and simple assault. Race was the motivating bias for 43 percent of reported intimidations (147 incidents), 45 percent of reported vandalisms (133 incidents), and 58 percent of reported simple assaults (49 incidents). Sexual orientation accounted for 23 percent of reported intimidations (79 incidents), 21 percent of reported vandalisms (63 incidents), and 15 percent of reported simple assaults (13 incidents). Religion was the third most frequent motivating bias for reported vandalisms (20 percent; 60 incidents). Ethnicity was the third most frequent motivating bias for reported intimidations (14 percent; 47 incidents) and reported simple assaults (12 percent; 10 incidents).
Across different types of institutions, the total number of hate crimes reported in 2019 was highest at 4-year public and 4-year private nonprofit postsecondary institutions (343 and 297 incidents). To some extent, this reflects their larger enrollment size and number of students living on campus. However, 4-year private nonprofit institutions enrolled less than half as many students as 4-year public institutions in fall 2019 (3.5 million vs. 7.4 million; see Digest of Education Statistics 2020 for details about college enrollment) but had nearly 90 percent as many reported hate crimes. As a result, the rate of hate crimes was higher at 4-year private nonprofit institutions than at 4-year public institutions (8.5 vs. 4.6 hate crimes per 100,000 students). Public 2-year institutions, which also enrolled a large number of students (3.1 million), reported 108 hate crimes (3.5 hate crimes per 100,000 students). The most commonly reported categories of motivating bias were similar across these types of postsecondary institutions. [Level of institution*Control of institution]

1 The reported total of 341 incidents also includes one robbery that was motivated by race, which was not shown separately in the reference table.

2 The reported total of 167 incidents also includes two robberies and one arson that were motivated by sexual orientation, which were not shown separately in the reference table.

3 Defined for the respondents as a “preformed negative opinion or attitude toward a person or group of persons based on their actual or perceived gender, e.g., male or female.”

4 Defined for the respondents as a “preformed negative opinion or attitude toward a person or group of persons based on their actual or perceived gender identity, e.g., bias against transgender or gender non-conforming individuals. Gender non-conforming describes a person who does not conform to the gender-based expectations of society, e.g., a woman dressed in traditionally male clothing or a man wearing makeup. A gender non-conforming person may or may not be a lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender person but may be perceived as such.”

Supplemental Information

Table 329.30 (Digest 2021): On-campus hate crimes at degree-granting postsecondary institutions, by level and control of institution, type of crime, and category of bias motivating the crime: Selected years, 2010 through 2019;
Table 307.10 (Digest 2020): Full-time-equivalent fall enrollment in degree-granting postsecondary institutions, by control and level of institution: 1967 through 2029
CLOSE
Previous versions of this indicator available in the Indicators of School Crime and Safety reports.
CLOSE

Suggested Citation

National Center for Education Statistics. (2022). Hate Crime Incidents at Postsecondary Institutions. Condition of Education. U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences. Retrieved [date], from https://nces.ed.gov/programs/coe/indicator/a22.