Police-reported hate crime in Canada, 2015

Release date: June 13, 2017 Correction date: June 14, 2017
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Correction Notice

On June 14, 2017, corrections were made to the rate of police-reported hate crimes for the CMAs of Brantford, Hamilton, Toronto and Windsor. In the section entitled “Majority of hate crimes reported in major cities”, this affected Chart 6 and the sentence “While Hamilton noted a 33% decrease in incidents in 2015, it still ranked second in Canada among CMAs with a hate crime rate of 9.9 per 100,000 population.” As well, Table 4 was affected.

by Ben Leber

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Highlights

  • In 2015, police reported 1,362 criminal incidents in Canada that were motivated by hate, marking an increase of 5% or 67 more incidents than were reported the previous year. The increase in the total number of incidents was largely attributable to an increase in police-reported hate crimes motivated by hatred of a religion (+40 incidents) or of a race or ethnicity (+30 incidents).
  • Between 2014 and 2015, the number of police-reported crimes motivated by hatred of a race or ethnicity increased 5%. Much of this increase was a result of more hate crimes targeting Arab or West Asian populations (+33%). Although down in 2015, crimes targeting Black populations remained the most common type of hate crime related to race or ethnicity (17% of all hate crimes). Overall, 48% of all police-reported hate crimes in 2015 were motivated by hatred of a race or ethnicity.
  • Police-reported crimes motivated by hate against the Muslim population rose 61% in 2015. That year, police-reported 159 incidents compared to 99 in 2014. Hate crimes against Catholics also increased from 35 to 55 incidents during the same period. In contrast, the number of crimes targeting the Jewish population declined from 213 to 178. Hate crimes targeting Jewish populations accounted for 13% of all hate crimes followed closely by hate crimes targeting Muslim populations (12%). Overall, 35% of hate-motivated crimes reported in 2015 were motivated by hatred of religion.
  • Police-reported hate crimes targeting sexual orientation declined 9% in 2015, down from 155 incidents in 2014 to 141. These incidents accounted for 11% of hate crimes reported in 2015.
  • Based on police services able to report characteristics of hate crimes, in 2015, 38% of police-reported hate crimes were violent offences. Violent offences included offences such as assault, uttering threats and criminal harassment. Overall, the number of violent hate crimes increased 15% from the previous year, driven by increases in common assault and uttering threats.
  • Police-reported hate crimes targeting a sexual orientation had the highest percentage of violent crimes in 2015 (59%). In comparison, violent crimes accounted for 45% of hate crimes targeting a race or ethnicity and 24% targeting religion.
  • Non-violent offences made up 62% of police-reported hate crimes in 2015. Mischief, which includes vandalism and graffiti, was the most commonly reported offence among police-reported hate crimes and accounted for 44% of all hate crime incidents in 2015. Between 2014 and 2015, the total number of non-violent hate crime incidents increased by 5%.
  • In 2015, non-violent police-reported hate crimes accounted for 76% of crimes targeting a religion, 55% of crimes targeting a race or ethnicity and 41% of crimes targeting a sexual orientation.

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Canada has a very multicultural and diverse population. According to the 2011 National Household Survey, the most recent data available, 19% of Canadians reported being members of a visible minority group, an increase of 3% since 2006.Note 1 Aboriginal people comprised 4.3% of the population in 2011, up from 3.8% in 2006 (Statistics Canada 2013a).The proportion of people who reported religious affiliations other than Christianity has also grown. In 2011, 7.2% of the Canadian population identified as Muslim, Hindu, Sikh or Buddhist compared to 4.9% in 2001.Note 2 The Jewish population has remained stable at 1% (Statistics Canada 2013b). At the time of this publication, information on ethnic identity from the 2016 Census has not yet been released.Note 3

Canada’s population is expected to become even more multicultural and diverse in the coming decades. The proportion of Canadians who are members of visible minority groups or affiliated with non-Christian religions is expected to increase by 2036. In particular, nearly one in three working-age Canadians (15 to 64 years of age) could be a member of a visible minority group, and the number of Canadians with a non-Christian religion is expected to more than double to between 13% and 16% of the population (Statistics Canada 2017). It is also expected that over half the immigrants in Canada will be of Asian origin (Statistics Canada 2017). South Asian and Chinese populations are expected to continue to be the largest visible minority groups in Canada, but Arab and West Asian populations are expected to grow the fastest over the next two decades (Statistics Canada 2017).

As Canada’s demographics change, the potential may arise for hate-motivated crimes against individuals or groups (Chongatera 2013). When a criminal act in Canada is motivated by hate, it is considered a hate crime. Hate crimes can be either violent or non-violent in nature, and affect not only the individual victims but also the communities targeted. Hate crimes are a focus of social concern in Canada and around the world. As a member of the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights and of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, Canada works with other countries to monitor and combat hate crime (Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights 2014).

In Canada, four specific offences are listed as hate crimes in the Criminal Code of Canada: advocating genocide, public incitement of hatred, wilful promotion of hatred and mischief motivated by hate in relation to religious property.Note 4 In addition, subparagraph 718.2(a)(i) of the Criminal Code allows for increased penalties when sentencing any criminal offence (such as assault or mischief) where there is evidence that the offence was motivated by bias, prejudice or hatred based on various criteria as set out in that subparagraph. These are also considered hate crimes.

This Juristat article examines police-reported hate crime in Canada using data from the Incident-based Uniform Crime Reporting Survey (UCR2), which collects information from police services (see Text box 1). More specifically, this article examines the number of hate crime incidents reported by police in 2015 as well as the characteristics of these incidents, the victims and the accused involved.Note 5 While the UCR2 covers 99% of the Canadian population, characteristics of hate crime incidents in 2015 were reported by police services that cover 94% of the Canadian population. This is due to the fact that certain municipal police services, such as Calgary, Québec and Saint John, had not transitioned by 2015 to the newest version of the UCR2 Survey which collects details on hate crime characteristics.

For the survey, a hate crime is defined to include a criminal offence committed against a person or property, where there is evidence that the offence was motivated by hate, based on race, national or ethnic origin, language, colour, religion, sex, age, mental or physical disability, sexual orientation, or any other similar factor.Note 6

Production of this analytical article was made possible with funding from the Department of Canadian Heritage.

More police-reported hate crimes in 2015 compared with 2014

In 2015, police reported 1,362 criminal incidents in Canada that were motivated by hate, amounting to 5% or 67 more reported incidents than in 2014. This increase from 2014 was largely attributable to an increase in police-reported hate crimes motivated by hatred of a religion (+9%, or 40 more incidents) or of a race or ethnicity (+5%, or 30 more incidents) (Table 1, Chart 1) (see Text box 2).

Chart 1

Description for Chart 1
Chart 1
Number of police-reported hate crimes, by type of motivation, Canada, 2014 and 2015
Table summary
This table displays the results of Number of police-reported hate crimes. The information is grouped by Type of motivation (appearing as row headers), 2014 and 2015, calculated using number units of measure (appearing as column headers).
Type of motivation 2014 2015
number
Race or ethnicity 611 641
Religion 429 469
Sexual orientation 155 141
OtherChart 1 Note 1 77 86
Unknown 23 25

In comparison, there were almost 1.9 million criminal incidents reported by police in 2015. On a national level, the police-reported criminal incidents motivated by hate represent a rate of 3.8 incidents per 100,000 population, marking a 4% increase from 2014 (3.7 per 100,000 population).

Much of the increase in police-reported crimes motivated by hatred of a race or ethnicity is due to 23 more incidents against Arabs or West Asians (Table 7, Chart 2). Police also reported 24 more incidents to the generic category of “other race/ethnicity” in 2015. This category exists to capture races or ethnicities not otherwise specified in the survey, such as Latin or South American. It also captures incidents that target more than one race or ethnic group.

The increase in police-reported hate crimes motivated by hatred of a religion was driven by 60 more incidents (+61%) against Muslims and 20 more against Catholics (+57%). In contrast, the number of hate-motivated crimes targeting the Jewish population declined 16% from 213 to 178. Police-reported hate crimes targeting sexual orientation declined 9% in 2015, from 155 incidents in 2014 to 141 (Table 1, Chart 3) (see Text box 3).

Chart 2

Description for Chart 2
Chart 2
Number of police-reported hate crimes motivated by race or ethnicity, Canada, 2014 and 2015
Table summary
This table displays the results of Number of police-reported hate crimes motivated by race or ethnicity. The information is grouped by Populaltion targeted (appearing as row headers), 2014 and 2015, calculated using number units of measure (appearing as column headers).
Population targeted 2014 2015
number
Black 238 224
East and Southeast Asian 52 49
South Asian 49 48
Arab/West Asian 69 92
Aboriginal 37 35
White 49 38
OtherChart 2 Note 1 106 130
Race not specified 11 25

Chart 3

Description for Chart 3
Chart 3
Number of police-reported hate crimes motivated by religion, Canada, 2014 and 2015
Table summary
This table displays the results of Number of police-reported hate crimes motivated by religion. The information is grouped by Populaltion targeted (appearing as row headers), 2014 and 2015, calculated using number units of measure (appearing as column headers).
Populaltion targeted 2014 2015
number
Unknown 33 36
OtherChart 3 Note 1 49 41
Catholic 35 55
Muslim 99 159
Jewish 213 178

The majority (91%) of police-reported hate crime incidents were criminal offences deemed by police to have been motivated by hate and the remaining 9% involved the four specific violations defined as hate crimes in the Criminal Code, specifically 5% were mischief motivated by hate; 4% were public incitement of hatred, which includes wilful promotion of hatred, and less than 1% were advocating genocide.

Nearly half of police-reported hate crimes in 2015 were motivated by hatred of a race or ethnicity

Nearly half of police-reported hate crimes (48% or 641 incidents) were motivated by hatred toward a race or ethnicity such as Black, Asian, Arab or Aboriginal populations (Table 1).Note 7 Incidents motivated by hatred towards religious groups including Jewish, Muslim, Catholic and other religious populations accounted for 35% or 469 incidents.Note 8 An additional 11% of police-reported hate crimes (141 incidents) were motivated by hatred of a sexual orientation. The remaining 6% of hate crimes were motivated by hatred of a language, mental or physical disability, sex, age, or another characteristic (such as occupation or political beliefs). This article primarily focuses on the top three most common motivations: race or ethnicity, religion, and sexual orientation.

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Text box 1
Collection of police-reported hate crimes

The Uniform Crime Reporting Survey collects police-reported information on hate crimes, whether an incident involved one of the four specific offences of hate crimes listed in the Criminal Code or if it involved a criminal offence motivated by hate as determined by police. The survey also includes detailed information about the incidents, including whether the incident was a violent or non-violent offence, as well as some information about the victims and accused. Detailed information about the incidents, such as the type of offence, as well as the characteristics of victims (in violent offences) and accused, was not available from municipal police services in Calgary, Québec and Saint John. Data reported by these three police services accounted for 7% (90 incidents) of hate crimes in 2015.

The collection of police-reported hate crime data occurs at the time the incident is reported. Depending on the level of evidence at the time of the incident, police can record it as either a 'suspected' or 'confirmed' hate-motivated crime. As more information is gathered, incidents are reviewed and verified and their status may be reclassified. This analysis includes crimes that have been confirmed to be or are strongly suspected to be motivated by hate. Suspected hate crimes may include criminal incidents that cannot be confirmed as hate crimes, but for which there is sufficient evidence to suspect that they are motivated by hate (e.g., hate graffiti where no accused has been identified).

It is important to note that victims of hate crimes targeting specific populations are not necessarily members of those specific populations. For example, if someone is assaulted and there is anti-Muslim language, the hate crime will be considered anti-Muslim whether or not the victim is Muslim. The hate crime is classified by the perception of the accused (even if this perception is inaccurate), not by the victim's characteristics.

Over the past two decades, police services across Canada have continued to advance their identification and reporting of hate crime incidents. Changes in reporting practices can have an effect on hate crime statistics.

It is therefore important to recognize that, according to police services, higher rates of police-reported hate crime in certain jurisdictions may reflect differences or changes in the recognition, reporting and investigation of these incidents by police and community members. Moreover, it should be noted that smaller jurisdictions are more sensitive to changes in rates, where a small change in the number of incidents in small populations will have a greater impact on the rate.

Because of the impact of changes in reporting practices, and the variability of hate crime in jurisdictions where numbers are small, changes over time should be interpreted with caution. In addition, information on the characteristics of hate crimes where the total count is low should be interpreted in the context of the specific year of the data, and not as typical of these hate crimes generally. Because of this variability, some information on the characteristics of hate crime incidents, victims and accused by detailed motivation provided in this article is based on total hate crimes reported from 2010 to 2015.

Through the General Social Survey (GSS) on Canadians' Safety (Victimization), Statistics Canada also collects self-reported information from Canadians 15 years of age and older about whether they had been the victim of selected criminal offences. This survey also collects information on whether or not victims believed their experiences were motivated by hate. The most recent cycle of the GSS on Victimization was carried out in 2014 (see Text box 5).

Note on comparability of hate crime data

Information from the UCR2.2 Survey on hate crime is sensitive to differences in the reporting of hate crimes across police services and over time. In particular, the following limitations should be taken into consideration:

  • Comparison of hate crimes across different targeted populations: Willingness to report hate crimes may differ across the various targeted populations. In addition, because the number of hate crimes targeting specific populations is small, a change of a few incidents can have a considerable impact. As a result, caution should be taken in comparing rates of hate crime for specific populations.
  • Comparison of hate crimes across census metropolitan areas (CMAs): Public awareness campaigns, the presence of dedicated police hate crime units, and other programs aimed to promote the reporting of hate crimes can have an influence on differences in rates of hate crime by CMA.
  • Comparison of hate crimes over time: Given the relatively small number of hate crimes reported by police, especially by motivation or by CMA, an increase or decrease of a few incidents can result in large percentage changes from year to year. In addition, improvements in reporting practices or the introduction of new programs can also have an impact on the number of hate crimes reported to police.
  • Survey coverage: Not all police services are using the systems needed to report detailed characteristics of hate crimes to Statistics Canada. In particular, for 2015 data, information on characteristics of incidents, victims and accused were not available from municipal police services in Calgary, Québec and Saint John.

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Violent hate crimes increased in 2015, driven by an increase in assaults and uttering threats

Based on the police services reporting characteristics of hate crimes to the UCR2 Survey, in 2015, violent incidents comprised 38% of police-reported hate crimes (Chart 4, Table 2) and increased 15% over 2014. Assaults (common assault, assault with weapon or causing bodily harm and aggravated assault) and uttering threats were the most common types of violent offences in 2015. Assaults accounted for 16% of all hate crimes reported in 2015 and increased 13% from 2014, while uttering threats, which accounted for 12% of all hate crimes, increased 22% within that same period.

Chart 4

Description for Chart 4
Chart 4
Violent and non-violent police-reported hate crimes, by type of offence, Canada, 2015
Table summary
This table displays the results of Violent and non-violent police-reported hate crimes. The information is grouped by Most serious violation (appearing as row headers), , calculated using percent units of measure (appearing as column headers).
Most serious violation
percent
Violent crime Other violent offencesChart 4 Note 3 5
Criminal harrassment 5
Assault with a weapon or causing bodily harm (Level 2) or aggravated assault (Level 3) 5
Common assault (Level 1) 11
Uttering threats 12
Non-violent crime
Other non-violent offencesChart 4 Note 2 9
Public incitement of hatred
and advocating genocideChart 4 Note 1
4
Mischief in relation to religious propertyChart 4 Note 1 5
Other mischief 44

As in previous years, incidents motivated by hatred of a sexual orientation were more likely to be violent (59%) than those motivated by hatred of a race or ethnicity (45%) or a religion (24%). That being said, in 2015, the number of police-reported violent crimes motivated by hatred of a sexual orientation decreased 9% from 2014. At the same time, the number of hate-motivated violent crimes targeting religion increased 59% (from 69 to 110 incidents) and those targeting race or ethnicity increased 15% (from 230 to 265 incidents).

In 2015, non-violent police-reported hate crimes accounted for 62% of incidents, an increase of 5% in total number of incidents when compared with 2014. (Chart 4, Table 2).Note 9 The most common non-violent violation among hate crimes was mischief. In 2015, 5% of incidents were mischief in relation to religious property, as per section 430(4.1) of the Criminal Code, and 44% of incidents were other types of mischief, the commission of which were deemed by police as motivated by hate. Mischief, which includes vandalism and graffiti, was the most common offence among hate crimes motivated by either a religion or a race or ethnicity. The total number of mischief-related hate crime incidents increased 1% between 2014 and 2015.

National increase in hate crimes the result of more incidents being reported by police in Alberta

Most provinces, 8 out of 10, showed an increase in the number of police-reported hate crimes from 2014 to 2015. The increase was more pronounced in Alberta where police reported 39% more hate crimes (from 139 to 193 incidents) (Table 3). This increase was primarily driven by an increase in police-reported hate crimes motivated by hatred against the Muslim population (+12 incidents), Arab or West Asian populations (+10 incidents), Black populations (+9 incidents) and the Jewish population (+8 incidents). As a result, the rate of hate crime incidents in Alberta moved from 3.4 incidents per 100,000 population in 2014 to a rate of 4.6 in 2015 (Chart 5). It is worth noting that an increase in the overall crime rate was also reported for Alberta in 2015 (Allen 2015).

Chart 5

Description for Chart 5
Chart 5
Police-reported hate crimes, by province, 2014 and 2015
Table summary
This table displays the results of Police-reported hate crimes. The information is grouped by Province and territory (appearing as row headers), 2014 and 2015, calculated using rate per 100,000 population units of measure (appearing as column headers).
Province and territory 2014 2015
rate per 100,000 population
Canada 3.7 3.8
N.L. 0.0 0.8
P.E.I. 0.0 1.4
N.S. 2.9 3.4
N.B. 0.8 2.3
Que. 3.1 3.3
Ont. 4.8 4.6
Man. 1.6 2.3
Sask. 1.2 1.4
Alta. 3.4 4.6
B.C. 3.6 3.5

In contrast, in Ontario, where close to half of the total number of hate crimes in Canada were recorded (46%), the number of police-reported hate crimes declined by 5% from 2014. The decrease in Ontario was primarily due to fewer police-reported hate crimes motivated by hatred against the Jewish religion (-30 incidents) and against Black populations (-19 incidents).

From 2014 to 2015, police-reported crime motivated by hatred against the Muslim population increased in all provinces except Newfoundland and Labrador, Prince Edward Island and Saskatchewan where the total number remained the same and Manitoba where it went from one incident in 2014 to zero incidents in 2015.

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Factors affecting the reporting of hate crimes

This article presents information on hate crimes that came to the attention of police and therefore does not account for unreported crimes. According to the 2014 General Social Survey (GSS) on Canadians' Safety (Victimization), about two-thirds of individuals who said they had been victims of hate-motivated incidents did not report the incidents to the police (see Text box 5 for more information on victimization data).

In order to be reported by police as a hate crime, a criminal incident must first be reported to the police as a crime, and must then also be classified as motivated by hate. Some hate crimes may not be reported to police at all; others may be reported, but not classified as hate-motivated.

Differences in the prevalence of police-reported hate crime can be influenced by a variety of factors. For example, the presence (or absence) of a dedicated hate crime unit or training program within a particular police service may influence the identification of a crime as hate-motivated. The existence (or inexistence) of community outreach programs, public awareness campaigns, zero tolerance policies and victim assistance programs are all factors that may affect the willingness and/or ability of community members to report incidents to police, or to disclose to police the nature of the crime as hate-motivated.

Similarly, previous research suggests that there may also be differences in the reporting of hate crimes by various targeted populations (Statistics Canada 2001; McDonald and Hogue 2007).

Finally, some populations could be targeted based on either hatred of their religion or their race or ethnicity or both. When a hate crime incident involves or appears to involve more than one motivation (e.g., religion and race or ethnicity), the incident is reported by the police only once according to the primary motivation determined by the circumstances of the incident.

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Majority of hate crimes reported in major cities

The majority (83%) of police-reported hate crimes in Canada occurred in census metropolitan areas (CMAs).Note 10 The 10 largest CMAs in Canada, home to 51% of Canada’s population covered by the UCR2 Survey, accounted for 71% of hate crimes in 2015.Note 11 Toronto, Montréal and Vancouver alone accounted for 43% of police-reported incidents in 2015 (see Text box 4).

The highest rate of police-reported hate crime among CMAs in 2015 was recorded in Thunder Bay (22.3 per 100,000 population) (Chart 6, Table 4).Note 12 The rate of police-reported hate crime in Thunder Bay was mostly the result of 10 incidents against Aboriginal populations, which accounted for 29% of the total anti-Aboriginal hate crimes reported in Canada in 2015. While Hamilton noted a 33% decrease in incidents in 2015, it still ranked second in Canada among CMAs with a hate crime rate of 9.9 per 100,000 population.Note 13 Guelph and Barrie were the only CMAs to report no hate crimes in 2015.

Chart 6

Description for Chart 6
Chart 6
Police-reported hate crimes, by census metropolitan area, 2015
Table summary
This table displays the results of Police-reported hate crimes. The information is grouped by Census metropolitan area (appearing as row headers), , calculated using rate per 100,000 population units of measure (appearing as column headers).
Census metropolitan areaChart 6 Note 1
rate per 100,000 population
Guelph 0.0
Barrie 0.0
Regina 0.4
St. John's 0.5
Greater Sudbury 0.6
Windsor 1.3
Trois-Rivières 1.3
Moncton 1.3
Kelowna 1.5
Victoria 1.9
Halifax 1.9
St. Catharines–Niagara 2.0
Saskatoon 2.3
Saint John 2.4
GatineauChart 6 Note 5 2.4
Saguenay 3.0
Winnipeg 3.1
Québec 3.5
Brantford 3.6
Abbotsford–Mission 3.8
London 3.9
Sherbrooke 4.0
Montréal 4.2
Vancouver 4.6
Calgary 4.7
Kingston 4.8
TorontoChart 6 Note 4 5.4
Edmonton 6.0
OttawaChart 6 Note 3 7.3
Peterborough 7.4
Kitchener–Cambridge–Waterloo 9.4
HamiltonChart 6 Note 2 9.9
Thunder Bay 22.3
Canada 3.8

Of the 10 largest CMAs in Canada, 4 reported more hate crimes in 2015 while 5 reported fewer compared with the previous year. Vancouver reported the same number of incidents. The largest increases in hate crime incidents were reported in Edmonton (+45 incidents; rate increase of 120%), Kitchener–Waterloo–Cambridge (+23 incidents; rate increase of 81%), Montréal (+39 incidents; rate increase of 29%) and Winnipeg (+7 incidents; rate increase 36%) (Chart 6, Table 4,).

The increase in the Edmonton CMA was due to more reported hate crime incidents against a race or ethnicity (+25) and against a religion (+17), mostly targeting the Muslim population (+8) and the Jewish population (+7).

The increase in the CMA of Kitchener–Waterloo–Cambridge was also attributable to more incidents targeting different races/ethnicities (+12) and religions (+10).

In the CMA of Winnipeg, the overall increase was the result of more incidents targeting different races/ethnicities (+9). In Montreal, on the other hand, the increase was driven primarily by 33 more reported incidents targeting religion. Of the 33 more incidents, 20 of these targeted the Muslim population.

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Text box 3
Inclusion of gender identity and gender expression in the Canadian Human Rights Act and the Criminal Code of Canada

In 2016, the Canadian Government introduced Bill C-16, An Act to Amend the Canadian Human Rights Act and the Criminal Code. This Bill proposes to amend the Canadian Human Rights Act by adding gender identity and gender expression to the list of prohibited grounds of discrimination.

The Bill also proposes to amend the Criminal Code by adding gender identity and gender expression to the limited definition of “identifiable group” for the offences of hate propaganda (subsection 318(4)). It also proposes to add gender identity and gender expression to the non-exhaustive list of hate-motivating criteria that a judge must take into account as an aggravating factor when determining the sentence for any crime that is motivated by bias, prejudice or hate based on those criteria (paragraph 718.2(a)(i)).

From 2013 to 2015, 9 hate-motivated criminal incidents targeting transgendered people were reported by police services reporting to Statistics Canada’s UCR2.2 Survey.

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Text box 4
Canada's diverse populations living in the three largest census metropolitan areas

According to the 2011 National Household Survey, 19% of the Canadian population was a member of a visible minority group, compared to 16% in the 2006 Census and 13% in the 2001 Census.Note 14 Canada's visible minority population is most concentrated in the country's three largest census metropolitan areas (CMAs)—Toronto, Montréal and Vancouver. Of the total visible minority population in Canada, 70% lived in these three CMAs in 2011. In that year, more than 4 in 10 people residing in Toronto (47%) and Vancouver (45%) were visible minorities, whereas the same was true for 2 in 10 people residing in Montréal (20%) (Statistics Canada 2013b). By 2031, about 6 in 10 individuals living in the CMAs of Toronto (63%) and Vancouver (59%) could be members of a visible minority. In Montréal, the proportion is expected to increase to about 3 in 10 (31%) (Statistics Canada 2010).

Canada's three largest CMAs are also home to a great majority of Canadians who are members of religious groups that were most frequently targeted in religiously motivated hate crimes. For instance, in 2011, 1% of the Canadian population identified as Jewish, with most (82%) living in Toronto, Montréal or Vancouver. The majority of those identifying as Muslim, who made up 3% of the Canadian population, resided within Toronto, Montréal or Vancouver (68%). Buddhists, Hindus and Sikhs represented 4% of the Canadian population, and the majority resided in the three largest CMAs (74%) (Statistics Canada 2013b). As with visible minority groups, these proportions are expected to increase over the next two decades (Statistics Canada 2010).

In 2011, same-sex couples (both married and common-law) accounted for 1% of all couples in Canada whereas close to half (46%) of these couples resided in Toronto, Montréal, or Vancouver in 2011 (Statistics Canada 2012).

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Victims of violent crime motivated by hatred of religion were younger in 2015 than in 2014

In 2015, 58% of victims of police-reported hate crimes were younger than 35 years of age, a proportion similar to 2014 (56%) (Chart 7, Table 5).Note 15

Chart 7

Description for Chart 7
Chart 7
Age distribution of victims in hate crime incidents, by type of motivation, Canada, 2015
Table summary
This table displays the results of Age distribution of victims in hate crime incidents. The information is grouped by Age group (appearing as row headers), Type of motivation, Race or ethnicity, Religion and Sexual orientation, calculated using percent units of measure (appearing as column headers).
Age group Type of motivation
Race or ethnicity Religion Sexual orientation
percent
Under 18 years 14 15 16
18 to 24 years 19 17 22
25 to 34 years 23 25 22
35 to 44 years 18 14 9
45 to 54 years 16 11 23
55 years and older 9 17 9

Compared to 2014, victims of police-reported hate crimes motivated by religion tended to be younger in 2015. That year, 57% of victims were younger than 35 years, compared to 35% in 2014. Changes in the age profile of victims of hate crimes targeting race or ethnicity or sexual orientation were less notable.

The majority (60%) of victims of violent crimes motivated by hatred of sexual orientation were also younger than 35 years of age, as were victims of violent crimes motivated by hatred of race or ethnicity (56%).

Similar to 2014, the majority of victims of police-reported violent hate crimes were male (68%) (Table 5). As found in previous years, violent incidents motivated by hatred of a sexual orientation had the highest proportion of male victims (86%).

Females were more likely to be victims in incidents targeting religion and the presence of female victims in violent crimes motivated by hatred of religion increased in 2015. That year, 53% of these victims were female, compared to 40% in 2014. The increase in female victims of religious hate crimes is attributed to an increase in female victims for Jewish and Muslim hate crimes between 2014 and 2015.

In 2015, 73% of police-reported violent hate crime victims sustained no physical injuries. One quarter (25%) had a minor physical injury while 2% sustained a major physical injury.Note 16

Victims of violent crimes motivated by hatred of a sexual orientation were the most likely to report physical injuries: 38% involved minor injuries and 4% major injuries. This is in line with the fact that these victims are more likely than other hate crime victims to be victims of assaults (34% of incidents).

In 2015, there were no deaths associated with any police-reported incidents motivated by hate. In 2014, police reported 3 deaths as a result of hate crime.

Most victims of police-reported violent hate crimes did not know the accused. For more than 6 in 10 (63%) victims, the accused was a stranger. Victims of violent hate crimes targeting sexual orientation were more likely to list the relationship as ‘acquaintance or family member’ (47%) when compared to victims of violent crimes motivated by hate of race or ethnicity (36%) and religion (26%) (Table 5).

Accused were more likely to be youth in hate crimes targeting religion

In 2015, youths aged 12 to 17 years accounted for 22% of persons accused in police-reported hate crimes (Chart 8, Table 6), consistent to what was reported the previous year.Note 17

Chart 8

Description for Chart 8
Chart 8
Age distribution of persons accused in hate crime incidents, by type of motivation, Canada, 2015
Table summary
This table displays the results of Age distribution of persons accused in hate crime incidents. The information is grouped by Age group (appearing as row headers), Type of motivation, Race or ethnicity, Religion and Sexual orientation, calculated using percent units of measure (appearing as column headers).
Age group Type of motivation
Race or ethnicity Religion Sexual orientation
percent
Under 18 20 33 25
18 to 24 years 16 19 20
25 to 34 years 19 15 15
35 to 44 years 15 17 14
45 to 54 years 18 8 8
55 years and older 11 8 17

Persons accused of hate motivated crimes that targeted religion continued to be young, with 51% aged 24 years or younger. Similarly, persons accused under the age of 24 accounted for 45% of hate motivated crimes that target sexual orientation.

In 2015, the age profile of the persons accused of hate crimes targeting race or ethnicity tended to be older than in 2014, as 63% were aged 25 years and older compared to 56% in 2014.

The majority (87%) of those accused of committing hate crimes were male. Young males under the age of 25 years made up 37% of all persons accused of hate crime reported by police. Specifically, young males under 25 years of age accounted for 34% of those involved in hate crimes targeting race or ethnicity, 45% targeting religion and 36% targeting sexual orientation.

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Text box 5
Self-reported victimization data on hate-motivated incidents

Information on self-reported victimization is collected by the General Social Survey (GSS) on Canadians' Safety (Victimization) every five years. This survey asks a sample of Canadians, aged 15 years and older, if they had been a victim in the previous 12 months of any of the following offences: sexual assault, robbery, physical assault, break and enter, theft of motor vehicles or parts, theft of household property, theft of personal property and vandalism. If respondents indicate that they had been victimized, they are subsequently asked if they believed that the incident had been motivated by hate and, if so, to state the motivation(s).

It is important to note that data collected by the GSS differ from data reported by police. Information from the GSS is based upon the perceptions of individuals regarding whether or not a crime occurred and what the motivation for the crime may have been. Information from police, on the other hand, is based upon strict legal criteria for incidents that have been substantiated through investigation. Data on self-reported victimization provide information on incidents that may not have come to the attention of police.

Overall, in 5% of all incidents (or 330,913 incidents) reported to the GSS in 2014, victims believed the incident was motivated by hate. As in 2009, race was the most common motivation for incidents perceived to be motivated by hate, cited by just over half (51%) of victims. Other motivations included sex (26%E), age (19%E), and religion (11%E).Note 18

Information collected by the GSS suggests that the emotional consequences for victims of crimes motivated by hate are greater than for victims of crimes not motivated by hate. In 2014, in roughly 80% of crimes perceived to have been motivated by hate, the victim said the incident had affected them emotionally, compared to 66% of victims of crimes not motivated by hate. The most common emotional reactions to crimes perceived to have been motivated by hate were anger (36%), feeling upset, confused or frustrated (28%) and fear (19%E). Also, for 4 in 10 crimes perceived to have been motivated by hate, the victim stated that they found it difficult or impossible to carry out their everyday activities (e.g., work), more than double the proportion of victims of crimes that had not been motivated by hate.

The financial loss reported by victims of household crime (break and enter, theft of motor vehicles or parts, theft of household property and vandalism) also tended to be greater when the incident was perceived to be motivated by hate. In 2014, 27%E of hate-motivated household crimes resulted in a financial loss in excess of $1,000. This compares to 14% of incidents not motivated by hate.

About two-thirds of individuals who said they had been victims of hate-motivated incidents did not report the incidents to the police.

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Overview of specific types of hate crimes

The remainder of this article provides detailed highlights of crimes motivated by hatred of a race or ethnicity, religion and sexual orientation. Because the number of hate crime incidents in selected categories can be relatively small, a change in reported hate crimes from one year to the next can have a considerable impact on the reported characteristics of these incidents (or victims and accused). For this reason, information on the characteristics of hate crimes targeting specific populations in this section are based on all incidents reported over a six-year period (from 2010 to 2015). As aggregate counts for the six years can still be relatively small, caution should be taken in comparing the characteristics for different groups (see Text box 6).

Police-reported hate crimes motivated by hatred of a race or ethnicity

As previously mentioned, the proportion of Canadians identifying as being part of a visual minority groupNote 19 has increased since the 2006 and 2001 Census.Note 20 In the context of this increasing diversity, hate crimes motivated by race or ethnicity are of particular concern as they comprise half of all police-reported hate crimes in Canada.

In 2015, there were 641 police-reported hate crimes motivated by race or ethnicity. Since 2010, Black populations have been the most targeted among these incidents. However, the total number of incidents targeting this group has decreased since 2012. In 2012, there were 295 reported incidents targeting the Black population while in 2015 there were 224 incidents, a decrease of 24%. In 2015, police-reported incidents motivated by hate against the Black population still accounted for 35% of racial hate crimes and 17% of all hate crimes (Table 7).Note 21

In contrast, police-reported hate crimes motivated by hate against Arab or West Asian populations have been on the rise since 2013. In 2013, 48 incidents were police-reported hate crimes motivated by hate against the Arab or West Asian populations. This number grew to 69 in 2014 (+44%) and increased to 92 in 2015 (+33%). Between 2013 and 2015, police-reported crimes motivated by hatred of Arab or West Asian populations increased 92%. The incidents in 2015 accounted for 14% of hate crimes motivated by race or ethnicity and 7% of total hate crimes (Table 7).

In 2015, police-reported hate crimes targeting East or Southeast Asian populations accounted for 8% of race or ethnicity hate crimes, followed by those targeting South Asians (7%), White populations (6%) and Aboriginal populations (5%) (Chart 2, Table 7). It should be noted that the overlap between race or ethnicity and religion for some populations may have an impact on hate crime statistics, as some religious populations (communities) may also be targeted in hate crimes motivated by race or ethnicity.

Between 2014 and 2015, there were 30 more incidents, or a 5% increase in police-reported hate crimes motivated by race or ethnicity. Despite this increase, police-reported hate crimes motivated by race or ethnicity accounted for 48% of total hate crimes during both years. As previously mentioned, much of the increase can be attributed to the increase in police-reported incidents targeting Arab or West Asian populations (23 more incidents) (Chart 2). Crime against all other races or ethnicities decreased in 2015.

The number of police-reported violent crimes (265 incidents) and non-violent crimes (327 incidents) motivated by hatred of race or ethnicity increased between 2014 and 2015. Overall, violent crimes accounted for 45% of hate crimes targeting race or ethnicity, compared to 42% in 2014.

In 2015, violent crimes targeting Arab or West Asian populations (47 incidents) increased the most (52%). Violent crimes against Black populations (82 incidents, up 8%), South Asian populations (25 incidents, up 9%) and East and South East Asian populations (24 incidents, up 20%) increased in 2015. Violent crimes against other races/ethnicities declined in 2015.

Black populations saw the greatest decrease in police-reported non-violent hate crime in 2015 (122 incidents, down 17%) while non-violent hate crime against the South Asian populations increased the most (17 incidents, up 31%).

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Text box 6
Hate crime rates for selected targeted populations

A rate of hate crime for selected groups was calculated for this article to estimate the number of police-reported hate crime incidents per 100,000 individuals in the target population.Note 22 This rate should not be interpreted as a victimization rate, as it also includes crimes where no direct victim was involved (e.g., public graffiti). Instead, it takes into account the fact that hate crimes not only affect their immediate victims, but also have an impact on the populations they target as well as the wider community where the incident took place (Fashola 2011; McDonald and Hogue 2007). Even a 'victimless' crime, such as hate graffiti written in a public place, may have a broad effect on the population it targets.

Using demographic information from the 2011 National Household Survey (NHS) on visible minority groups and religion, rates are provided for selected populations targeted by hate crimes.Note 23 These were calculated as the number of hate crimes in 2015 targeting a specific group per 100,000 persons in Canada identifying as members of that group in 2011. For example, the rate for hate crimes targeting Jewish populations is calculated as the number of hate crimes motivated by hatred of the Jewish religion per 100,000 persons in Canada who reported their religion in the 2011 NHS as Jewish.

These rates are estimated, as they are based on population data from 2011.Note 24 Comparison of rates for different groups is not recommended.

Because of the small number of hate crimes targeting specific groups, characteristics of incidents, victims and accused may vary considerably from year to year. For this reason, information on the characteristics of hate crime in this section is based on all hate crimes reported for the six-year period from 2010 to 2015. It is also important to note that information on type of offence as well as the characteristics of victims and accused was not available for municipal police services in Calgary, Québec and Saint John. For Toronto Police Service, these detailed data were available only for 2014 and 2015.

It is not possible to calculate a specific hate crime rate for hate crimes motivated by sexual orientation as comparable population counts by sexual orientation are not available.

End of text box

Hate crimes targeting Black populations, 2010 to 2015

In 2015, there were 224 police-reported hate crime incidents that targeted Black populations. This represented an estimated rate of 23.7 incidents per 100,000 persons in Canada reporting that they were Black.

Over the period from 2010 to 2015, 65% of police-reported hate crimes targeting Black populations were non-violent, mostly involving mischief (55%). Violent offences made up 35% of hate crimes targeting Black populations. More specifically, assault accounted for 19% of police-reported hate crimes against Black populations.

From 2010 to 2015, 73% of victims of violent hate crimes targeting Black populations were male. The victims were often young as 39% were under age 25. Over half (54%) of victims of violent hate crimes against Blacks reported that their accused was a stranger. In addition, 31% of victims sustained an injury, the vast majority being minor injuries.

A total of 52% of individuals accused of hate crimes targeting Black populations from 2010 to 2015 were under the age of 25, including 31% under the age of 18. In addition, 82% of the accused were male.

Hate crimes targeting Arab or West Asian populations, 2010 to 2015

As mentioned above, there were 92 police-reported hate crimes targeting Arab or West AsianNote 25 populations in 2015. This represents an estimated rate of 15.7 incidents per 100,000 persons in Canada reporting that they were Arab or West Asian.

From 2010 to 2015, violent crimes accounted for 56% of hate crimes targeting Arab or West Asian populations. The most common violent offence targeting this group was assault (31%). Non-violent offences comprised 44% of hate crimes targeting these populations, with mischief accounting for 31%. Victims of violent hate crimes targeting Arab or West Asian populations during this six-year period were predominantly male (69%), and 35% were under age 25.

From 2010 to 2015, 37% of victims of violent crimes motivated by hate against Arab or West Asian populations sustained an injury, of which the majority reported minor injuries. In addition, 66% reported the accused as a stranger.

Most (85%) individuals accused of hate crimes targeting Arabs or West Asian populations over this period were male and the majority (61%) of accused were aged 25 and over.

Hate crimes targeting East or Southeast Asian populations, 2010 to 2015

There were 49 police-reported hate crimes targeting East or Southeast AsianNote 26 populations in 2015, amounting to an estimated rate of 2.0 hate crimes per 100,000 persons in Canada reporting that they were East or Southeast Asian.Note 27

Mischief was the most common police-reported offence in hate crimes targeting this group and accounted for 45% of incidents in 2015. Over the period from 2010 to 2015, non-violent (49%) and violent (51%) hate crimes were reported nearly evenly. Assaults were the most common violent crime during this period accounting for 31% of incidents targeting East or Southeast Asian populations.

From 2010 to 2015, the majority (74%) of victims of police-reported violent hate crimes targeting East or Southeast Asian populations were male, and over one-third (38%) were under the age of 25. Most (80%) identified the accused as a stranger and 36% sustained an injury.

As with hate crimes in general, most individuals (85%) accused of hate crimes targeting East or Southeast Asian populations over the six-year period were male. The majority of males accused were also 25 years and older (54%).

Hate crimes targeting South Asian populations, 2010 to 2015

In 2015, a total of 48 incidents were reported to police regarding hate crimes targeting South AsianNote 28 populations, amounting to an estimated rate of 3.1 hate crimes per 100,000 persons in Canada reporting that they were South Asian.

Mischief was the most common offence in 2015, comprising 31% of police-reported hate crime incidents targeting South Asian populations. Between 2010 and 2015, however, 60% of hate crimes targeting these populations involved violent offences where nearly one-third (31%) of all hate crimes targeting these populations were incidents of assault.

Over three-quarters (79%) of victims of violent hate crimes targeting South Asian populations between 2010 and 2015 were male. A majority (76%) did not know their accused and nearly 3 in 10 victims (29%) sustained an injury. Victims of police-reported violent hate crimes targeting South Asian populations tended to be slightly older as only 31% were under 25 years of age.

Most individuals accused of hate crimes targeting South Asian populations were male (87%), and half (51%) were 25 years of age or older.

Hate crimes targeting Aboriginal populations, 2010 to 2015

In 2015, there were 35 hate crime incidents targeting Aboriginal populations reported to police. This represented an estimated rate of 2.5 hate crimes per 100,000 persons in Canada reporting that they were an Aboriginal person.

From 2010 to 2015, the single most common offence was mischief (31%). Violent offences accounted for 55% of hate crimes targeting Aboriginal populations reported by police from 2010 to 2015, with 29% involving assault.

Just over six in ten victims (62%) of violent hate crimes targeting Aboriginal populations over this period were male. They were typically the youngest victims compared with other victims of hate crimes targeting race or ethnicity, as 44% were under the age of 25, including 23% under the age of 18.

Forty-one percent of victims (41%) of police-reported violent crimes motivated by hatred against Aboriginal populations reported an injury, and 60% identified the accused as a stranger.

Over four in ten (43%) individuals accused of hate crimes targeting Aboriginal populations were 25 years of age or older. In addition, over one-third (37%) were under the age of 18. The majority (90%) of accused were male.

Police-reported hate crimes motivated by hatred of a religion

According to the 2011 National Household Survey, the increased ethno-cultural diversity in Canada has been paralleled by an increase in the proportion of people who reported religious affiliations other than Christianity. In 2011, 7.2% of the Canadian population reported that they were Muslim, Hindu, Sikh or Buddhist, compared to 4.9% in 2001. The Jewish population has remained stable at 1%. Two-thirds (67.3%) of the Canadian population reported affiliation with a Christian religion, with 38.7% of Canadians being Roman Catholic. Almost one-quarter (23.9%) of Canadians reported no religious affiliation, compared to 16.5% in 2001.

The majority of Canadians who reported non-Christian religions were also members of a visible minority group, with one exception. The exception was for those who were Jewish, among whom 2% were members of a visible minority group. In 2011, 88% of Muslims and 97% of Buddhists, Hindus and Sikhs residing in Canada were also members of a visible minority group.Note 29 The overlap between race or ethnicity and religion may have an impact on hate crime statistics, as some religious populations or communities may also be targeted in hate crimes motivated by race or ethnicity.

In 2015, there were 469 incidents of police-reported hate crimes motivated by hatred of a religion or religious group, accounting for 35% of all hate crimes and representing a 9% increase from 2014. Crimes targeting Jewish populations (13% of hate crimes of all types) and Muslim populations (12%) were most common (Chart 3, Table 7). Police-reported hate crimes motivated by hate against the Muslim population rose 61% in 2015. That year, police reported 159 incidents, compared to 99 in 2014. While hate crimes against Catholics also increased (from 35 to 55 incidents), the number of anti-Jewish hate crimes declined from 213 to 178.

In 2015, violent crimes targeting the Muslim population (70 incidents) increased the most from 2014 (+141%). The number of violent crimes against Catholic populations were unchanged while violent hate crimes against the Jewish populations decreased 4%. However, Catholics (+65%) and Muslims (+30%) saw an increase in non-violent crime while non-violent crimes against the Jewish population decreased 17% from 2014 to 2015.

Hate crimes targeting Jewish populations, 2010 to 2015

There were 178 hate-motivated crimes targeting the Jewish religion reported by police in 2015, or an estimated rate of 54.0 police-reported hate crimes per 100,000 individuals in Canada reporting that they were Jewish.

The majority (85%) of these incidents targeting Jewish populations between 2010 and 2015 were non-violent. Three quarters of hate crimes targeting Jewish populations were mischief such as vandalism and graffiti: 6% were mischief motivated by hate in relation to religious property, and 69% were other mischief motivated by hate.

Violent offences accounted for 15% of hate crimes targeting Jewish populations from 2010 to 2015. The most common violent offence was uttering threats, accounting for 37% of violent incidents (6% of all Jewish hate crimes). Assaults (of all types) comprised 17% of violent Jewish hate crimes, or 3% of all Jewish hate crimes.

The majority (62%) of victims of violent hate crimes targeting Jewish populations between 2010 and 2015 were male. Victims of these crimes also tended to be older as 55% were 35 years of age and older. The majority, 89%, reported no physical injury. Over half (58%) of these victims identified the accused as a stranger.

Of individuals accused of hate crimes targeting Jewish populations over this period, 87% were male. Over six in ten (63%) of the accused were 24 years of age or younger with just over 4 in 10 of the accused (41%) under the age of 18 and another 22% 18 to 24 years of age.

Hate crimes targeting Muslim populations, 2010 to 2015

Police reported 159 crimes motivated by hatred against Muslims in 2015, representing an estimated rate of 15.1 hate crimes per 100,000 individuals in Canada reporting that they were Muslim. This was an increase over 2014 (+60 incidents). It is important to note that, according to the 2011 National Household Survey, 88% of the Muslim population were also members of visible minority groups such as Arab or West Asian or South Asian, and may also be targeted by hate crimes motivated by race or ethnicity (see Text box 2).

From 2010 to 2015, the majority (61%) of hate crimes targeting Muslim populations were non-violent and the most common offence was mischief, such as vandalism and graffiti, (54% of non-violent crimes; 33% of total) or mischief motivated by hate in relation to religious property (17% of non-violent crimes; 10% of total). Over the period from 2010 to 2015, Muslim populations had the highest percentage of hate crime victims who were female (53%). Among Muslim women and girls, dress may heighten the visibility of religious identity, which in turn could be linked to the greater representation of women among Muslim victims. Or, this may render police more apt to classify the hate crime as anti-Muslim. With male victims who are Muslim, the hate crime could be classified by police as a crime targeting race or ethnicity rather than religion.

Between 2010 and 2015, half of the victims (50%) of violent hate crimes targeting Muslims were 35 years of age or older. Fourteen percent of victims reported an injury and 79% reported the accused as a stranger.

From 2010 to 2015, the presence of females among those accused of hate crimes against Muslims was highest compared to those accused of hate crimes targeting other race or ethnicities, religions or sexual orientation. From 2010 to 2015, 23% of those accused of hate crimes against Muslims were female. The accused also tended to be older, with 54% of all accused being 35 years of age and older.

Police-reported hate crimes motivated by hatred of a sexual orientation

There were 141 police-reported hate crime incidents in 2015 that were motivated by sexual orientation, 14 fewer than the previous year (Table 7).

Hate crimes motivated by hatred of a sexual orientation were more likely to be violent than hate crimes targeting other groups (Table 2). Over the six-year period from 2010 to 2015, 65% of these police-reported hate crimes involved violent offences. The most common offence within hate crimes motivated by sexual orientation was assault, with 23% of all incidents being common assault and another 11% reported as more serious assaults. These were primarily assault level 2 (with a weapon or causing bodily harm) (10%). Over the six-year period, 11 incidents of aggravated assault (level 3) were reported.Note 30 Mischief, such as vandalism and graffiti, accounted for 28% of hate crimes motivated by hatred of a sexual orientation.

Of the victims of police-reported violent hate crimes motivated by hatred of a sexual orientation from 2010 to 2015, 82% were male, and 45% were under age 25. Males under 25 accounted for 37% of victims. Forty-five percent of victims sustained injuries, mainly minor. When a victim was identified, 58% of victims listed the accused as a stranger while 26% listed the victim as a casual acquaintance and 7% listed the accused as a neighbour.

Between 2010 and 2015, 60% of persons accused of crimes targeting sexual orientation were under age 25. The majority (90%) of accused were males. Overall, 54% of the accused were male under 25 years of age.

No national demographic data are available on the breakdown of Canadians by sexual orientation. Although some data are available on same-sex couples, these data are limited to same sex (married and common law couples). Therefore, this section does not attempt to calculate a rate of sexual orientation hate crimes by sexual orientation population. Also, gender identity hate crimes are collected under the category of sex and not sexual orientation and are therefore not included in this category.

Summary

Canadian police services reported 1,362 hate crimes in 2015, 5% more incidents than in 2014. Violent hate crimes accounted for 38% of the total number of hate crimes in 2015, and increased 15% from 2014. Non-violent hate crimes increased 5%. The overall increase in 2015 was largely attributable to more police-reported hate crimes motivated by hatred of a religion or of a race or ethnicity. More specifically, police reported an increase in incidents against Arabs or West Asians, Muslims and Catholics.

According to a profile of hate crimes reported from 2010 to 2015, mischief was the most common hate crime offence. While mischief was a common offence across all types of hate crimes, it was most prevalent among hate crimes targeting the Jewish population (69%) and Black populations (55%). In contrast, mischief accounted for only 28% of police-reported hate crime incidents targeting a sexual orientation, a hate crime where violent crimes were more prevalent.

The majority of victims of hate crimes reported from 2010 to 2015 were male. However, among hate crimes targeting Muslims, females (53%) were reported to be a victim more often than males (47%). The next highest prevalence of female victims was reported among victims of hate crimes targeting Aboriginal people and the Jewish population (38% each). Females were least likely to be a victim of a hate crime offence targeting the East or Southeast Asian populations (26%), South Asian populations (21%) or targeting sexual orientation (18%).

Victims of hate crimes targeting Black populations (46%) or Jewish population or sexual orientation (42% each) were more likely to know the accused. In comparison, the same was true for 20% of victims of hate crimes against Southeast Asians, 21% of victims of anti-Muslim hate crimes and 24% of victims of anti-South Asian hate crimes.

Injury was most prevalent among victims of hate crimes targeting sexual orientation (45%) and Aboriginal populations (41%) and least prevalent among victims of anti-Muslim (14%) or anti-Jewish (11%) hate crimes.

From 2010 to 2015, the majority of accused were males. Female accused were reported most often in anti-Muslim (23%) and anti-Black (18%) hate crime offences.

It is important to note that the measurement of hate crimes in Canada, as reported by police, has been evolving over the past two decades and is continuing to evolve. Analysis of police-reported hate crimes over time and for specific jurisdictions and motivations shows that the reporting of hate crimes is sensitive to changes to reporting practices, which may be influenced by a variety of factors, including the introduction of police hate crime initiatives and public awareness campaigns.

Survey description

This article uses data from the Incident-based Uniform Crime Reporting Survey (UCR2). This is a microdata survey that captures detailed information on crimes reported to and substantiated by police, comprising the characteristics of victims, accused persons and incidents. In response to changing information needs, the survey was modified in 2005 (UCR2.2) to enable identification of incidents motivated by hate based on race, national or ethnic origin, language, colour, religion, sex, age, mental or physical disability, sexual orientation or any other similar factor.

In the UCR Survey, police services can report up to four offences per incident. However, to conform to statistical reporting standards for this survey, only the most serious offence in an incident is used in this analysis.

In 2015, police services reporting to the UCR2.2 served 94% of the population of Canada.

A supplemental survey has been conducted each year since 2006 as a means of obtaining information on hate-motivated crimes from those police services reporting microdata but which had not yet converted their electronic reporting systems to the newest UCR2.2 version. These respondents were asked to identify those criminal incidents that had been motivated by hate and to manually provide aggregate counts of incidents by the detailed motivation to Statistics Canada. Additional information (e.g., type of crime, weapon use, level of injury and relationship) cannot be provided by these respondents. In 2015, the municipal police services providing information to the supplemental survey were Calgary, Québec, and Saint John.

Combined, coverage from UCR2.2 and the supplemental survey in 2015 is estimated at 99% of the population of Canada.

The Oshawa census metropolitan area is excluded from the analysis of hate crimes by CMA due to the incongruity between the police service jurisdictional boundaries and the CMA boundaries. For the same reason, data from the Halton and Durham police services are also excluded. The exclusion of information from Halton police affects the coverage for the Toronto and Hamilton CMA. The exclusion of information from the Durham police affects coverage for Toronto. As a result, information for the CMA of Toronto reflects data from police serving 91% of the population of the CMA of Toronto. For Hamilton, data cover 74% of the Hamilton CMA population.

The UCR2 Survey collects information on victims of violent crimes when they are identified in an incident. In 2015, information on 503 victims of violent offences was reported in 409 hate crime incidents. In 16% of violent hate crime incidents involving victims, more than one victim was identified. Information on victims reflects data reported by police services covering 94% of the population of Canada. It is not provided by police services reporting to the UCR2.2 Supplemental Survey.

UCR2 also collects information about persons accused of hate crime. In 2015, there was information on 388 accused individuals associated with 322 incidents. In 14% of these incidents, more than one accused was identified. Information on accused reflects data reported by police services serving 94% of the population of Canada. It is not provided by police services reporting to the UCR2.2 Supplemental Survey.

Data on hate crimes are also available in CANSIM Tables 252-0092, 252-0093, and 252-0094.

Detailed data tables

Table 1 Incidents of police-reported hate crime, by type of motivation, 2014 and 2015

Table 2 Police-reported hate crimes, by most serious violation, Canada, 2015

Table 3 Police-reported hate crimes, by type of motivation, by province and territory, 2015

Table 4 Number and rate of police-reported hate crimes, by census metropolitan area, 2014 and 2015

Table 5 Characteristics of hate crime victims, Canada, 2015

Table 6 Characteristics of persons accused of hate crimes, Canada, 2015

Table 7 Police-reported hate crimes, by detailed motivation, Canada, 2014 and 2015

References

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Notes

Numbers in text, tables and/or charts may not add up to totals due to rounding.