New FBI data shows rise in hate crimes in 2016 and reveals which states have most reported cases

AOL.com

New data released by the FBI on Monday revealed an increase in hate crimes of about 5 percent over the last year in the United States. 

The data from the Hate Crimes Division found that there were approximately 5,800 hate crimes reported in 2015 -- and the number jumped up to 6,121 in 2016. 

Of the reported crimes, about 60 percent were motivated by of race, ethnicity, or ancestry. Another 21 percent were motivated by religious bias, and 18 percent by sexual orientation. 

The state level data -- although incomplete because only some agencies in each state contributed data -- also suggested some states have a higher incidence or reported hate crimes than others.

Scroll through the gallery below to see which states had the most hate crimes: 

Five of the nation's more populous states -- California, New York, Ohio, Michigan and Massachusetts -- had the highest number of hate crimes reported. 

But when factoring in the relative populations of each state, the picture changes somewhat. Washington, D.C., with its relatively small population and 115 reported hate crimes, comes in first. Massachusetts, Washington, Kentucky and Ohio round out the top five ranked by population. By the same measure, Arkansas, South Carolina and Georgia had the lowest rate. 

But the data is not fully comprehensive, and earlier this year former FBI director James Comey said that the FBI must “do a better job of tracking and reporting hate crime.”

But the increase in hate crimes does track along with an increase in hate groups. Data provided by the Southern Poverty Law Center found that the number of hate groups in the U.S. jumped from 892 in 2015 to 917 in 2016 -- a three percent uptick.

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