The Anti-Defamation League’s annual audit of anti-Semitic incidents, which was released Thursday, revealed some grim statistics: While the reports of anti-Semitism the ADL received - 1,879 in total - were down slightly from last year, they still constituted the third-highest tally since its records began in 1979. More than 70% of those incidents were tied to right-wing figures.
The audit also broke down incidents by state, which revealed some surprising results. Four states had no anti-Semitic incidents reported at all: Alaska, Oklahoma, Mississippi and South Dakota. To a certain extent, that’s not surprising - according to the Jewish Virtual Library, the combined Jewish population of those four states is less than 12,000, around 1% of the number of Jews in California.
The Golden State saw the most reports of anti-Semitism, with 341 cases, up 27% from the previous year. New York (340), New Jersey (200) and Massachusetts (144) also hit triple digits, though their results were down from the previous year.
To a certain extent, the large number of anti-Semitism incidents in those states is unsurprising, because they have some of the largest Jewish populations overall. But if you break it down per capita by Jewish population, they do far better, with those states far below the average rate of anti-Semitism reports, seeing between 0.19 and 0.49 reported incidents per 1,000 Jews.
However, it was still a mixed bag for New York; although it holds around 25% of the national Jewish population, it saw 17 of the 39 reports of anti-Semitic assaults (43%). Only four other states had multiple assaults at all in 2018, with none having more than nine. New York City has in the last two years seen a spate of anti-Semitic attacks targeting visibly Orthodox Jews.
The state with the fewest anti-Semitic incidents per capita that actually had reports was Florida, with 76 incidents dispersed among more than 600,000 Jews, for a rate of 0.12 incidents per 1,000 Jews.
On the other hand, North Dakota, with a population of only 400 Jews, still experienced five cases of anti-Semitism reported to the ADL - four incidents of harassment and one of vandalism. That’s by far the highest ratio of anti-Semitic incidents to Jewish population in the country, at 12.5 incidents per 1,000 Jews. The Flickertail State, one of the fastest-growing states in the country, saw no anti-Semitic incidents at all in 2016 or 2017.
Three other largely-rural states - Montana, Iowa and Idaho - each had more than two incidents per 1,000. And three states with Jewish populations of 10,000 or more also saw above-average rates of anti-Semitism per Jewish person: New Hampshire, North Carolina and Louisiana.