Canada: Hate crimes targeting a given religion up 67%

According to Statistics Canada, the number of police-reported hate crimes targeting a given religion rose from 530 in 2020 to 884 in 2021, representing a 67% increase. This finding marked the highest number of hate crimes targeting a religion since comparable data have been recorded and followed three consecutive years of decreases.

Image/ Statistics Canada screen shot

Police-reported hate crimes targeting the Jewish (+47%), Muslim (+71%) and Catholic (+260%) religions were up in 2021 compared with the previous year.

When religious affiliation among Canadians was controlled for through the census, the rate of police-reported hate crimes targeting the Jewish population (145 incidents per 100,000 population) was highest, followed by the Muslim population (8 incidents per 100,000 population) and the Catholic population (1 incident per 100,000 population).

In addition to hate crimes against a religion, officials report higher numbers of hate crimes targeting a  sexual orientation (+64%; 423 incidents) and race or ethnicity (+6%; 1,723 incidents) accounted for most of the reported increase from 2020 to 2021.

All provinces and territories reported increases in the number of hate crimes in 2021, except for Yukon, where it was unchanged. When population size is accounted for, the rate of police-reported hate crime in Canada rose 26% in 2021, to 8.8 incidents per 100,000 population. As in previous years, more than half (56%) of police-reported hate crimes were non-violent offences, primarily mischief.

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