Police-reported hate crimes, 2010

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Both the number and rate of police-reported hate crimes declined in 2010. Canadian police services reported 1,401 hate crimes in 2010 or 4.1 hate crimes per 100,000 population. This rate was 18% lower than in 2009 and followed two consecutive annual increases.

Most of the decrease in 2010 was a result of a drop in violent hate crimes, which accounted for about 1 in 3 hate crimes. Non-violent hate crimes, primarily mischief, were relatively stable in 2010.

Hate crimes motivated by sexual orientation are most often violent

In 2010, three primary motivations accounted for over 95% of hate crimes. The 707 hate crimes motivated by race or ethnicity accounted for just over half of all incidents. Of these incidents, one-third were violent.

Police reported 395 hate crimes motivated by religion, of which 17% were violent in nature. A further 218 were motivated by sexual orientation, of which two-thirds were violent.

Chart 1 
Police-reported hate crimes, by type of motivation, 2009 and 2010
Chart 1: Police-reported hate crimes, by type of motivation, 2009 and 2010

Chart description: Police-reported hate crimes, by type of motivation, 2009 and 2010

CSV version of chart 1

Decline in hate crimes motivated by race or ethnicity and by religion

From 2009 to 2010, the rate of hate crimes motivated by race or ethnicity (-20%) and those motivated by religion (-17%) declined. Hate crimes motivated by sexual orientation were relatively stable.

Blacks continued to be the most commonly targeted race or ethnic group in 2010. Police reported 271 hate crimes against Blacks, which represented about 4 in 10 incidents motivated by race or ethnicity.

Arabs or West Asians (11%) and South Asians (10%) were the second and third most frequently targeted race or ethnic groups. The rate of hate crimes against all major race or ethnicity categories declined.

Police reported 204 hate crimes against the Jewish faith in 2010, accounting for just over half of all religiously-motivated incidents. The rate of hate crimes against the Jewish faith declined 38%, while increases were reported for hate crimes committed against the Muslim faith (+26%) and the Catholic faith (+32%).

Ontario records highest rate of hate crime

Provincially, the highest rate of police-reported hate crime occurred in Ontario, with 5.7 incidents per 100,000 population in 2010, followed by Manitoba (4.6) and British Columbia (4.0). The lowest rates were reported in Newfoundland and Labrador (1.0) and Prince Edward Island (1.4).

The census metropolitan areas (CMAs) with the highest rates of hate crime in 2010 were all in Ontario: Guelph, Ottawa, Peterborough, Kitchener–Cambridge–Waterloo, London, Barrie, Hamilton and Toronto.

Decreases in the rates of police-reported hate crime in the Toronto, Vancouver and Kitchener–Cambridge–Waterloo CMAs drove the decline in the national rate in 2010.

Note to readers

Police-reported hate crimes refer to criminal incidents that, upon investigation by police, are determined to have been motivated by hate toward an identifiable group. The incident may target race, colour, national or ethnic origin, religion, sexual orientation, language, sex, age, mental or physical disability, or other factors such as profession or political beliefs.

Police-reported hate crime data have been collected on an annual basis since 2006 and, as of 2010, cover 99% of the population of Canada.

Fluctuations in the annual number of incidents can be influenced by changes in local police service practices and community involvement, as well as the willingness of victims to report incidents to police. The number of hate crimes presented in this release likely undercounts the true extent of hate crime in Canada, as not all crimes are reported to police. Self-reported victimization data from Canadians suggest that about one-third (34%) of incidents perceived by respondents to have been motivated by hate were reported to police.

Definitions, data sources and methods: survey numbers survey number3302 and survey number4504.

The Juristat article "Police-reported hate crime in Canada, 2010" (Catalogue number85-002-X, free), is now available. From the Key resource module of our website under Publications, choose All subjects, then Crime and Justice, and Juristat.

For more information, or to enquire about the concepts, methods or data quality of this release, contact Statistics Canada's National Contact Centre (toll-free 1-800-263-1136; 613-951-8116; infostats@statcan.gc.ca) or the Media Hotline (613-951-4636; mediahotline@statcan.gc.ca).