In 2017, the web site Fivethirtyeight.com published a story titled Higher Rates Of Hate Crimes Are Tied To Income Inequality which discussed the relationship between the prevalence of hate crimes and income inequality in the wake of the 2016 Presidential election. The story reported an analysis of hate crime data from the FBI and the Southern Poverty Law Center, on the basis of which they report:
“we found that income inequality was the most significant determinant of population-adjusted hate crimes and hate incidents across the United States”.
The data for this analysis are included in the
fivethirtyeight R package, which makes it easy for us to access them. The analysis reported in the story focused on the relationship between income inequality (defined by a quantity called the Gini index — see Appendix for more details) and the prevalence of hate crimes in each state.