FBI releases revised hate crime stats showing 12% increase in 2021
Washington — More than three months after the FBI released incomplete data about documented hate crime incidents across the U.S., supplemental figures published Monday found that reports of bias-motivated attacks rose by nearly 12% in 2021.
The FBI’s revised 2021 findings tell a different story than those originally released in December, which reported a slight decrease in the number of overall hate crimes. The new statistics show an 11.6% increase in reported hate crimes, nearly 65% of which were racially motivated.
The original release of the 2021 data was marred by low participation rates by law enforcement agencies across the country due to new reporting systems. Some of the nation’s largest cities — including New York and Los Angeles — did not contribute statistics to the initial report.
The FBI allowed more than 3,000 agencies to retroactively submit their 2021 statistics to create, as FBI officials put it, a “fuller” and more accurate representation of the hate crime landscape across the country that year. Data from New York and Los Angeles were included in the new findings, but Chicago’s information only spanned half the year.
In a briefing with reporters, FBI officials said the five most pervasive hate crimes in 2021 attacks were motivated by sentiments against African Americans, Whites, gay men, Jews and Asian Americans. Sixteen percent were the result of bias against a victim’s sexual orientation and 14% of the reported hate crimes targeted their religion. Attacks against individuals of the Jewish faith accounted for more than half of the religiously motivated hate crimes reported.
In all, the new data set documented more than 10,500 “single-bias” incidents involving 12,411 victims. Roughly 8,300 offenses targeted people, with intimidation and assault constituting the majority of cases. Some 3,800 incidents targeted property, with 71% of those offenses categorized as destruction, damage or vandalism.
Approximately 14,000 law enforcement agencies — or 79% — are actively enrolled in the new data collection system, the officials said. Still, more than 20% of agencies remain unenrolled, and the officials said the coming years will provide an even clearer picture of the number of reported hate crimes, given the “considerable” lack of data in the report’s first draft.
According to the supplemental statistics, more than 3,500 additional reported hate crimes occurred in 2021 than were originally accounted for in the initial batch of data.
FBI officials stressed that the data released is likely not a complete analysis of hate crimes in America, since many go unreported.
‘The FBI’s supplemental report demonstrates our unwavering commitment to work with our state and local partners to increase reporting and provide a more complete picture of hate crimes nationwide,” Associate Attorney General Vanita Gupta said in a statement Monday, “We will not stop here: 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.”