OTTAWA - Statistics Canada says the number of hate crimes reported to police in 2013 dropped by 17 per cent from 2012.
The agency says police reported 1,167 hate crimes in 2013, 247 fewer than the year before.
It says the decline was mainly attributable to a 30-per-cent drop in non-violent hate crime incidents, primarily mischief.
The report says hate crimes motivated by hatred of race or ethnicity represented about 51 per cent of the total.
Religious hate crimes accounted for 28 per cent, while 16 per cent were crimes motivated by hatred of a sexual orientation.
Racial or ethnic hate crimes dropped 17 per cent between 2012 and 2013, with the largest declines coming in incidents targeting Arab, West Asian and black populations.
There were small increases in reported hate crimes against East and Southeast Asian populations as well as whites.
Black populations were still the most frequent target of hate crimes, with 22 per cent of all incidents.
Religion-motivated hate crime incidents were down 22 per cent from 2013, with drops in hate crimes targeting every religious group except Muslim populations. There were 20 more incidents reported against Muslims compared with 2012.
Still, hate crimes aimed at Jewish populations were the most common religiously motivated crimes, making up 16 per cent of all hate crimes.
There were 186 police-reported hate crime incidents in 2013 that were motivated by sexual orientation, one more than a year earlier.
The survey said 60 per cent of hate-motivated crimes reported by police involved non-violent offences, with mischief, including vandalism, graffiti and other forms of property destruction, the most commonly reported offence.
Almost three-quarters of religious hate crimes involved mischief.
While four in 10 hate crimes were violent, these were primarily incidents of common assault or uttering threats.
Two-thirds of hate crimes involving sexual orientation were violent, compared with 44 per cent of racial or ethnic hatred crimes and 18 per cent of religious hate crimes.