Hate crimes increased in the U.S. last year, according to new data released by the FBI.
There were 6,121 hate crimes reported in 2016, according to the FBI’s data, an increase from the around 5,800 incidents reported in 2015.
According to the data, most of the reports were “single-bias incidents.” Of those, about 58 percent were motivated by race, ethnicity or ancestry bias, while 21 percent were motivated by religious bias and about 18 percent were motivated by sexual orientation bias.
There was also an increase in the number of crimes reported targeting Jews, Muslims and LGBT people in 2016, The Washington Post reported.
Of the incidents motivated by religious bias, slightly more than 54 percent of the reported offenses were anti-Jewish and about one-quarter were anti-Muslim, according to the FBI’s data.
The findings are consistent with a February report by a civil rights group that found the number of anti-Muslim hate groups in the country had increased over the past year. The Southern Poverty Law Center found in its annual census of hate groups and extremist organizations that the number of hate groups in the country increased from 892 in 2015 to 917 in 2016.
Former FBI Director James Comey said earlier this year that the FBI must “do a better job of tracking and reporting hate crime, to fully understand what is happening in our communities and how to stop it.”
“Hate crime is different from other crime,” Comey said in May. “They strike at the heart of one’s identity — they strike at our sense of self, our sense of belonging. The end result is loss — loss of trust, loss of dignity, and in the worst case, loss of life.”