This study used data from the Extremist Crime Database (ECDB) and Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) for the period 2000-2018 in examining the relationship of violent extremist incidents to geographic and social factors.
This study found evidence that supports the positive relationship between the presence of hate groups in a county and violent far-right extremist crimes in a county. Although race was not found to be a statistically significant predictor of far-right extremist violence in any of the analyses, there was a positive relationship between immigrant populations in a county and far-right incidents in a county. This analysis chose urbanicity by county to measure whether violent far-right extremist activity was more likely to occur in urban or rural areas. The study found a significant positive relationship between higher urbanicity and increased likelihood of violent rightist incidents. The results also suggest a significant positive relationship between higher unemployment rates and the likelihood of violent far-right extremist incidents in a county. Contrary to the study’s hypothesis, areas with residents having higher education levels were more likely to experience the perpetration of violent extremist incidents; however, this could be due to individuals with higher educational levels residing in urban areas, which may be the dominating factor. Suggestions are provided for future research related to the current research. 9 figures, 3 tables, and 55 references