By Natasha Bach
November 13, 2018

Hate crimes were on the rise in 2017.

According to the FBI’s annual Hate Crime Statistics report released Tuesday, hate crimes increased 17% in 2017. The total number of reported crimes increased from 6,121 in 2016 to 7,175 last year.

Nevertheless, the report notes that 1,000 more agencies contributed data last year as compared to the year prior, which could have contributed to the rise in reported hate crimes.

Hate crimes motivated by race, ethnicity, or ancestry constituted the largest share of hate crimes, comprising 59.6% of the crimes reported in 2017. Meanwhile, 20.6% were related to religion, while 15.8% were driven by sexual orientation. The remainder of the hate crimes were motivated by disability, gender, or gender identity. The report also found 69 multiple-bias hate crimes committed last year.

Of the crimes relating to race, ethnicity, and ancestry, 48.8% were motivated by anti-black or African American bias, followed by 17.5% motivated by an anti-white bias. The vast majority of the religion motivated crimes were anti-Jewish in nature comprising 58.1%; 18.7% were anti-Islamic.

More than half of the crimes (5,000) were crimes against persons, such as intimidation or assault, while 3,000 were crimes against property, such as vandalism, robbery, or burglary—some incidents are considered to fall under both categories.

The report comes just weeks after a shooting at a Pittsburgh synagogue resulted in the deaths of 11 people. Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker commented on the release of the report, pointing to the increase in anti-Semitic hate crimes seen in the U.S.

“I am particularly troubled by the increase in anti-Semitic hate crimes—which were already the most common religious hate crimes in the United States—that is well documented in this report. The American people can be assured that this Department has already taken significant and aggressive actions against these crimes and that we will vigorously and effectively defend their rights,” he said in a statement.

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