The federal government and most state governments don’t consider Hispanic/Latino as a racial category — instead, most crimes committed by Hispanics are counted under the category “white.”
The Bureau of Prisons, for example, has relatively up-to-date statistics on the racial and ethnic composition of prisoners. As of May 28, 2016, 58.8 percent of federal prisoners are white, 37.7 percent are black, 2 percent are Native American, and 1.5 percent are Asian. Hispanics are not included in the race statistics, and the category only appears under ethnicity.
The data there shows that 66.2 percent of federal prisoners are non-Hispanic and 33.8 percent are Hispanic. According to Census Bureau estimates from 2015, 87.6 percent of people of Hispanic origin consider themselves “white” instead of “black,” “Asian,” “American Indian,” or “Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander.”
This means an estimated 29.6 percent of federal prisoners are Hispanics who fall under the category of “white” when it comes to race. So while whites are identified as being 58.8 percent of federal prisoners, about half of those are Hispanic.
California, unlike the federal government, includes Hispanic as a race and the effect of this categorization on crime statistics is pretty clear. In the year 2014, 797 arrests of Hispanics were made for homicides, and 287 whites were arrested for the same crime. Census estimates of California in 2014 show 89.6 percent of Hispanics identify as white.
So if California did not have a separate racial category for Hispanics, statistics would then show an estimated additional 693 murder arrests of white Californians. This would more than triple the amount of homicide arrests for whites, yet that is the standard which the federal government uses.
New York City also includes a racial category for Hispanics. In 2014, 45.8 percent of those arrested for rape were Hispanic, 43.2 percent were black, and 5.7 percent were white. But using the federal government standards, NYC crime would mean an estimated 39.8 percent of those arrested for rape charges would be white.
If one would look at most states Hispanic is not considered a racial category, and only some ask about Hispanic ethnicity. This makes it impossible in some states to know or even estimate the actual arrest figures by race. (RELATED: Texas ‘Most Wanted Fugitives’ Are All Listed As White – None Of Them Are)
Due to this omission, Federal Bureau of Investigation crime statistics are not complete when it comes to Hispanic offenders. The FBI lists 9,014,635 total arrests, but only 4,813,531 of these have statistics on whether those arrested were Hispanic or non-Hispanic. The FBI, like the rest of the federal government, does not count Hispanic as a race.