DENVER, CO, December 12, 2022 … The number of hate crimes reported in the three-state region of Colorado, New Mexico and Wyoming remained elevated in 2021, according to the FBI’s annual hate crime report released today. The number of reported hate crimes in Colorado in 2021 is the highest number ever recorded in a single year for the state. The number of reports in New Mexico is the third highest in the last 20 years and the number reported in Wyoming tied the previous year’s record for the highest in the last 20 years.
In Colorado, there were 285 reported hate crime incidents in 2021, a slight increase from the 281 reported incidents in 2020. The number of reported hate crimes in Colorado increased for the fifth consecutive year and is the highest recorded in the past 30 years.
Hate crimes reported in the bias categories of sexual orientation, religion, gender identity, and gender all increased in Colorado from 2020 to 2021, according to the report. The FBI documented 182 incidents based on race/ethnicity/ancestry, 67 based on sexual orientation, 40 based on religion, 18 based on gender-identity, 4 based on disability, and 1 based on gender in Colorado.*
In New Mexico, there were 48 reported hate crimes in 2021 compared to 55 in 2020. The number of reported incidents was still the third highest in the last 20 years with the first and second highest totals being recorded in 2020 and 2019. Despite the elevated number of reports, the FBI cautioned that New Mexico was one of seven states nationwide in which limited data were reported. Only 42 of 128 law enforcement agencies in New Mexico participated in the annual data collection, according to the FBI.
The FBI documented 33 incidents based on race/ethnicity/ancestry, 11 based on religion, 7 based on sexual orientation, 2 based on disability, and 1 based on gender-identity in New Mexico last year.*
In Wyoming, there were 18 reported hate crimes in 2021, which was the same in 2020. A total of 11 law enforcement agencies in Wyoming reported the 18 incidents. The FBI documented 11 incidents based on race/ethnicity/ancestry, 2 based on religion, 4 based on sexual orientation, 1 based on disability, and 1 based on gender in Wyoming last year.*
“When individuals are targeted with a hate crime for no other reason than their personal identity their sense of safety, purpose and belonging is destroyed. A hate crime impacts an entire community. It is imperative that we come together to address this issue so all people are truly able to thrive,” said ADL Mountain States Regional Director Scott Levin.
The picture nationwide was less clear as the 2021 FBI hate crime report did not include huge swaths of data from some of the largest jurisdictions in the country.
There was a 22 percent decrease in the number of reporting agencies nationally, the lowest number of agencies in two decades. In addition to the decline in the number of reporting agencies, some of the largest cities in the country, including New York and Los Angeles, did not participate, nor did nearly the entire state of Florida or most of California. This lack of data renders it challenging to draw conclusions about year-over-year national numbers.
Even with major agencies missing, the data reported is deeply alarming. A total of 7,262 hate crime incidents were reported in 2021, the third-highest number in a decade. This, combined with the missing data from the large number of major cities (and Florida, plus most of California) that have historically reported some of the highest numbers of hate crimes, suggests that had more jurisdictions reported, the report likely would have shown record-high numbers.
Reported anti-Jewish hate crimes still comprised the largest percentage of religion-based hate crimes in 2021. While the absolute number of reported anti-Jewish hate crimes is much lower than previous years, the 2021 data does not include hate crimes from major jurisdictions that have historically had relatively high numbers of reported anti-Jewish hate crimes.
Notwithstanding enormous gaps in reporting for 2021, reported race-based hate crimes were the most numerous, comprising more than 60 percent of hate crimes reported by participating jurisdictions. And, consistent with data reported every year since 1991, nearly half of those reported race-based hate crimes were anti-Black hate crimes. The total number of reported anti-AAPI hate crimes was also the highest number on record at any point over the past two decades.
*NOTE: The number of incidents by bias category may be higher than the total number of incident reports for a state because some incidents have multiple bias categories.
ADL is a leading anti-hate organization. Founded in 1913 in response to an escalating climate of antisemitism and bigotry, its timeless mission is to protect the Jewish people and to secure justice and fair treatment for all. Today, ADL continues to fight all forms of hate with the same vigor and passion. ADL is the first call when acts of antisemitism occur. A global leader in exposing extremism, delivering anti-bias education and fighting hate online, ADL’s ultimate goal is a world in which no group or individual suffers from bias, discrimination or hate. ADL’s Mountain States Region covers Colorado, New Mexico and Wyoming. More at https://mountainstates.adl.org/.