KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — A report detailing the volume and nature of hate crimes in Tennessee in 2021 shows a steady increase in hate crime across the state.

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation’s Statistical Analysis Center used data given to the TBI through its Tennessee Incident Based Reporting System (TIBRS) program. In the report, the TBI says for a crime to be considered a hate crime, the investigation must find the offender was bias-motivated. The TBI defines eight bias motivations; anti-racial, anti-ethnicity/national origin, anti-religious, anti-sexual orientation, gender bias, gender identity bias, and non-specific.

From 2019 to 2021, the number of offenses with a known bias motivation increased from 112 to 133. Of the bias-motivated assaults reported, Race/Ethnicity/Ancestry bias accounted for 64.89% of reported incidents in 2021, and the second most frequently reported bias was Sexual Orientation, accounting for 14.89% of reported assaults.

Looking closer at the Race/Ethnicity/Ancestry bias, anti-Black or African American crimes were the most reported. Of the total 77 Race/Ethnicity/Ancestry bias report, 49 were anti-Black.

“I am very proud of the efforts of all participating law enforcement agencies, colleges, and universities in the state to provide the data necessary to produce this report,” said TBI Director David Rausch. “Our combined efforts have resulted in a successful program and this annual report detailing the nature of bias-motivated crime occurrences in our state.”

Of all reported hate crimes in 2021, crimes against persons accounted for 73.48%. Simple assault was the most common kind of crime against persons, making up 29.55% of reports while vandalism was the most common kind of crime against property, making up 21.97% of reports. However, when looking just at religious bias, crimes against property occur 233.33% more than crimes against persons.

In July, the TBI released the 2021 Crime in Tennessee, and in April the agency shared its report Crime on Campus report. Both reports show an overall decrease in crime, this is the opposite of the trend seen in the hate crime report, which shows a rise from 2019 to 2021. However, when looking at hate crimes reported over the last 10 years, the number of bias-motivated crime reports has decreased.

To read the full report, click here. Reports from previous years can be downloaded on the TBI’s website at