• Research & Reports
August 26, 2020

Looking at Hate Crime Statistics in Canada

Note: Source of all data and charts is from Statistics Canada.

Understanding hate crimes is an important step in helping address this issue. Statistics Canada reporting of police-reported hate crime statistics has been expanding and evolving since 2005. Data is aggregated from police jurisdictions across Canada and provides a perspective by geography and type.

Hate motivated crimes account for 0.01% of total police reported crimes. However, according to the StatCan hate crime report from 2018, about two-thirds of individuals surveyed who said they had been victims of hate-motivated incidents did not report the incident to police for various reasons, including fear and personal safety. Similarly, 62% felt the crime was minor and not worth taking the time to report to police. Unfortunately, a similar percentage also believed that the accused would not be convicted or adequately punished.

Based on reported figures since 2009, the number of police-reported hate crimes has been trending upwards.

Hate Crime Analysis Chart 1

Canada’s overall population consists of 22.3% visible minorities (2016 Census). Of this, 66% of visible minorities lived in Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver. Per the chart below, these cities do have high reported incidences. However, a number of fast growing mid-sized cities top of the list.

Hate Crime Analysis Chart 2

Median age of hate crime victims: 31 years

Median age of individuals accused of hate crimes: 31 years

Between 2014 – 2018, police-reported hate crimes have generally been split 42% race-ethnicity related, 36% religion based and 21% sexual orientation related. Hate crimes by race-ethnicity, unadjusted for the composition of the population, have been trending upwards. For reference, Black Canadians account for ~8% of Canada’s population, and from the 2016 Census, Chinese ancestry 6.4% (1.8 mil), East-Indian ancestry 4.9% (1.4 mil) and Aboriginal ancestry 7.4% (2.1 mil). Of the total 1,798 police reported hate crimes in 2018, the two highest motivators were race and ethnicity (780 reports) and religion (639 reports).

Hate Crime Analysis Chart 3

Source: Statistics Canada and CRRF Analysis

Moving Forward towards Better Outcomes

The profile and trends of police-reported hate crime statistics echo the protests and long-standing concerns expressed by racialized groups themselves. This is unsurprising – they are living it day-to-day. We urgently need more relevant and helpful data. Expanding the StatCan data collection elements and demanding more timely data gathering and reporting is essential. This is fundamental to a deeper understanding of the underlying trends and becomes the basis for drafting effective policy and more meaningful community-led solutions. All of this will contribute to greater social harmony across Canadian society.

How You can Help

Canadians experiencing a hate crime and hate incident are encouraged to understand and connect with reporting mechanisms. Community-led initiatives in cooperation with local police services can help create a safer and more informed environment. This type of supportive infrastructure can also contribute to greater success in solving these crimes (currently 31% solved) and act as a deterrent to this behavior. Importantly, it would help develop a clearer and more complete picture of this issue.

Eliminating this troubling behavior will contribute to a harmonious Canadian society.

Related Resources:

If you would like to delve a little deeper on this subject, see CRRF’s primer on Hate Crime in Canada.

For previous Statistics Canada Hate Crime Reports:

Police-reported Hate Crimes, 2018

Police-reported Hate Crimes, 2017

Police-reported Hate Crimes, 2016

Police-reported Hate Crimes, 2015

Police-reported Hate Crimes, 2013

Police-reported Hate Crimes, 2012

Police-reported Hate Crimes, 2011

Police-reported Hate Crimes, 2010

Police-reported Hate Crimes, 2009

Police-reported Hate Crimes, 2008

Police-reported Hate Crimes, 2007

Alicia Damley, Interim Executive Director

Sharon Pun, Research, Resource and Records Librarian.

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