(RNN) – There were 1,000 more hate crimes last year than in 2016, according to the FBI’s most recent annual statistics which have been released.
The bureau began collecting data on hate crimes in 1992.
Nearly 60 percent of the hate crimes targeted victims based on their race or ethnicity, according to the FBI. And of those victims, almost half were black. That amounts to around 2,500 anti-black hate crimes last year.
Almost 60 percent of 1,700 anti-religious crimes targeted Jews, and almost 60 percent of crimes committed against people for their sexual orientation targeted gay men.
Most often, the crime committed was intimidation or simple assault, according to the report. Around 20 percent involved aggravated assault.
The SPLC also noted that official statistics likely undercount the full scope of hate crimes, because many jurisdictions do not report hate crimes. The organization reported that more than 300 jurisdictions of more than 50,000 people reported no hate crimes last year.
Brian Levin, the director of the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at California State University, San Bernardino, told the SPLC that “the FBI data confirms the reality we all know: hate is increasing in America.”
“The FBI data, in what is missing from it, also demonstrates the hate crime reporting system we have in place is failing to respond adequately to hate crime, and thus inform fully the policy remedies we must make to improve our response to hate,” he added.
There is no data yet available on this year, but last year’s jump over 2016 is the third-highest single-year increase, and the highest since 2001.
It’s unclear whether 2018 will see a similar increase or not. But high-profile violent incidents just last month in Kentucky, where two black people were shot and killed by a white man at a grocery store, and in Pittsburgh, where a gunman killed 11 Jewish worshipers at a synagogue in the deadliest attack ever against Jews in the U.S., would between the two of them rival last year’s hate crimes murder total.
The 13 dead in those attacks are only two fewer than the 15 total murders reported by the FBI in 2017.