The number of reported hate crimes in the US jumped nearly 5 percent in 2016, marking the second straight annual increase, according to the FBI.
A new FBI report released Monday said there were 6,121 hate crimes in 2016, and more than half were motivated by race, ethnicity, or ancestry. In 2015, there were 5,850 reported hate crimes.
Hate crimes motivated by race rose from 4,029 to 4,229, and crimes against whites and Latinos made up a slightly larger proportion of those crimes in 2016 than they did in 2015. Hate crimes against blacks made up 50.2 percent of race-based hate crimes, down slightly from 52.7 percent.
Hate crimes motivated by religion made up more than 20 percent of reported incidents.
Jews were the target of 54 percent religiously-motivated hate crimes in 2016 despite constituting just 2 percent of the U.S. population. Muslims were the next most targeted group, and were subject to 24 percent of religiously-motivated hate crimes.
Another 18 percent of hate crimes were motivated by sexual orientation. Of those 1,200 reported hate crimes, 63 percent were classified as anti-gay male, and 21 were prompted by anti-LGBT bias.
In June, Attorney General Jeff Sessions vowed new aggressive enforcement against hate crimes.
“No person should have to fear being violently attacked because of who they are, what they believe, or how they worship,” Sessions said in a statement Monday.
Sessions noted that the Hate Crimes Subcommittee of the Department of Justice’s Task Force on Crime Reduction and Public Safety is set to give a full report in January on ways it can improve enforcement of federal hate crime laws.