Hate crimes in the U.S. alarmingly spiked in 2021, new data from the FBI shows.
According to statistics released on Monday (March 13), hate crimes increased by 11.6 percent in 2021 from the previous year, per NBC News. Of the over 12,000 people reported as victims of hate crimes, 64.5 percent of them were targeted due to race or ethnicity, 15.9 percent for their sexual orientation, and 14.1 percent for their religion.
In 2021, 9,065 hate crimes were reported, marking an increase from the 8,120 hate crimes reported in 2020.
Hate crimes increased by less than 3 percent in 2020 from the previous year.
The new data comes after the FBI released a preliminary report of 2021 hate crimes in December that suggested there was a slight decrease. Federal officials said the initial figures were flawed as all law enforcement agencies across the country weren’t using the National Incident-Based Reporting System, a new reporting system that documents hate crimes. The first report didn’t include data from over 3,000 agencies including those in New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago.
According to the FBI, hate crimes in 2021 mainly targeted African Americans, whites, gay men, Jews, and Asian Americans. They appeared in various forms from acts of intimidation to rape and murder.
An FBI official said 79 percent of all police agencies across the country, which covers 91 percent of the U.S. population, are now enrolled in the National Incident-Based Reporting System.
Associate Attorney General Vanita Gupta of the Justice Department said in a statement: “We are continuing to work with state and local law enforcement agencies across the country to increase the reporting of hate crime statistics to the FBI.”
“Preventing, investigating, and prosecuting hate crimes are top priorities for the Justice Department, and reporting is key to each of those priorities,” Gupta added.