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america s elusive crime statistics by race


The only problem with the host of articles and blog posts quoting FBI crime statistics is that the FBI stopped tracking Hispanics the same way they do blacks and whites back in 1987. That fact alone skews any official federal numbers as Hispanics now represent an estimated 20% of the American population. For what it’s worth, the Bureau announced last month that it would go back to breaking-out Hispanics starting next year.

American crime by race

While the FBI always releases its yearly tally of crime statistics broken-out by race, it’s typically received and reported on in different ways by different segments of America. In the black community, reports tend to focus on the fact that two-thirds of all murder victims in the US are black even though they only make up 13% of the population. In the white community, reports mention how blacks commit more murders than whites, even though they only make up 13% of the population.

The black community will respond that racist police and a biased criminal justice system are to blame for the disproportionate numbers. And while both statements are true to a certain extent, one need only look at major cities like Chicago where a large number of murders are the daily result of gang wars between multiple black street gangs in all-black neighborhoods.

2011 US Crime Statistics by Race (from the FBI)

Arrests by crime and race

Crime                                                      White      Black     Indian/Eskimo       Pacific Isl.

Murder and nonnegligent manslaughter       4,000      4,149             105                     87

By percentage                                          48.0%     49.7%            1.3%                 1.0%

Various other crimes are also broken out by race, but the percentages are all similar to the above. Since the FBI stopped including Hispanics, some reports have turned to local major city statistics. One article from Yahoo News seemed to take the above-referenced ‘push-back’ tone while hand-picking murder numbers from 2008.

2008 (Jan-June) New York City Crime Statistics by Race (from Yahoo News)

-83% of all gun assailants were black, while making up 24% of the population

-Blacks and Hispanics together accounted for 98% of all gun assailants

-49 of every 50 muggings and murders were carried out by blacks or Hispanics

-Blacks and Hispanics commit 96% of the crimes in New York, but include only 85% of those stopped during ‘stop and frisk’ incidents.

For a more current perspective, consider the below statistics brought to us by LibertyFight.com. They’re a bit different.

2012 (Jan-June) New York City arrests by Race (from the City of New York)

Crime                                                  White    Black    Hispanic    Indian/Eskimo     Pacific Isl.

Murder and nonnegligent manslaughter   11.2%   55.3%     29.4%             0.0%               4.1%

Misdemeanor Criminal Mischief              23.3%   34.9%     37.7%             0.3%                3.8%

One final surprising set of statistics from the FBI details the crime rates perpetrated by white juveniles compared to white adults, and black juveniles compared to black adults. In 2011 for all crime among all categories perpetrated by minors, white juveniles were responsible for 65.7%. That percentage jumped to 69.2% for white adults. By comparison, black minors were responsible for 32% of all juvenile crime. But that number dropped to 28.4% for black adults.

Readers are free to make their own interpretation of those numbers. Some might suggest that it means if you’re white, life gets harder as you get older. If you’re black, life gets easier as you get older. Others may take it to mean that black men are killed off in such high numbers, they’re not around to affect the percentages in adulthood. Or, from the mouths of our young readers, they would insist it’s simply because minors have no Civil Rights and police target young black teens in a way they don’t target anyone else. One thing we can all agree on, it certainly is a curious statistic.


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