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A memorial across the street from Tops Friendly Market at Jefferson Avenue and Riley Street on Wednesday, 18 May 2022 in Buffalo, New York. The supermarket was the site of a fatal shooting of 10 people at a grocery store in a historically Black neighborhood of Buffalo by a young white gunman was being investigated as a hate crime and an act of racially motivated violent extremism, according to federal officials. (Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

New FBI Data Shows Large Increase in Hate Crimes

When it released its annual report on hate crime statistics late last year, the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation faced criticism that a change in the reporting system used vastly underreported data thereby masking a growing problem. The FBI released an update yesterday with more complete data, and it showed the number of hate crime incidents had increased by 11.6 percent.

The report covers crime statistics from 2021. The original report was the first that required the nation’s local law enforcement agencies to report crime statistics using NIBRS (National Incident-Based Reporting System), and many localities were not able to meet the new reporting requirements. As a result, the December 2022 release covered reports from localities representing 65 percent of the U.S. population.

The supplemental report backfills the data by combining the NIBRS data with the previous system of reporting, meaning the supplement covers 91 percent of the U.S. population. As a result, the FBI’s official number of hate crime incidents reported in 2021 jumped from 7,262 in the December report to 10,840 in the revised supplemental information. There were a total of 12,822 victims of hate crime incidents in 2021. (Note: To access the full supplemental report, users must access the FBI’s Crime Data Explorer and access the “Supplemental Hate Crime Statistics, 2021” link.)

“Preventing, investigating, and prosecuting hate crimes are top priorities for the Justice Department,” Associate U.S. Attorney General Vanita Gupta said in a release, “and reporting is key to each of those priorities. 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.”

The 10,840 incidents broken down by type of bias:

  • 66 percent demonstrated race/ethnicity/ancestry bias
  • 16 percent demonstrated sexual orientation bias
  • 14 percent demonstrated religious bias
  • 3 percent demonstrated gender identity bias
  • 1 percent demonstrated disability bias
  • 1 percent demonstrated gender bias

In addition, 310 incidents involved multiple types of bias.

The FBI classified a total of 8,327 incidents as hate crime offenses that involved crimes against people. These incidents broken down by type of offense:

  • 43 percent were intimidation
  • 36 percent were simple assault
  • 20 percent were aggravated assault

In addition, the FBI classified 19 rapes as hate crimes, as well as 18 murders and 70 additional crimes that fell under an “other” category.