Hate crimes in the U.S. surged 11.6% in 2021 from 2020, an FBI report said Monday.
According to the agency’s report, there were 9,065 incidents of hate crimes in 2021, compared to 8,120 incidents in 2020.
The FBI further said the hate crimes were “motivated by bias toward race, ethnicity, ancestry, religion, sexual orientation, disability, gender, and gender identity.”
That included 64.5% of hate crime victims in 2021 who were targeted because of their race, ethnicity or ancestry. Another 15.9% were targeted because of their sexual orientation while 14.1% were targeted because of their religion.
Officials said the top five hate crime categories reported for 2021 were anti-Black, anti-white, anti-gay male, anti-Jewish and anti-Asian.
In 2021, Attorney General Merrick Garland expanded funding to combat hate crimes.
“All people in this country should be able to live without fear of being attacked or harassed because of where they are from, what they look like, whom they love, or how they worship,” Garland said in a 2021 memo.
The Attorney General’s push came as Asian Americans faced an increase in attacks and racist encounters since the start of the Covid pandemic. In 2020 then-President Donald Trump repeatedly blamed the virus on China, calling it the “Chinese Virus” and by other slurs.
Monday’s new analysis marks the first time the FBI has been able to confidently report on national trends in hate crimes since it transitioned to a new data collection system. Uniform crime data from the FBI in 2022 regarding the prior year was incomplete, with only 52% of law enforcement agencies reporting on a full 12 months of information.
According to the FBI, it typically tracks the 130 most populous cities across 16 states to identify significant trends. Out of that total, 96 cities were able to provide data for the new hate crimes report.