There was a slight increase in the number of hate crimes in the country last year, the FBI said, while reports of crimes against gays and members of religious groups saw the sharpest increases.

 

There was an 11 percent increase in the number of hate crimes based on sexual orientation, and a 9 percent jump for those based on religion. Racially motivated hate crimes saw a drop of less than 1 percent.

 

Still, half of the 9,691 victims of hate crimes in 7,783 incidents were attacked because of their race, the FBI said.

 

The FBI cautions not to read too much into the increases, however, because of the changing numbers of law enforcement agencies that report the incidents.

“While the increase in the number of hate crimes may be partially attributed to improved reporting, the fact that these numbers remain elevated ... should be of concern to every American,” the Anti-Defamation League said in a statement.