updated 10/16/2006 9:11:26 PM ET 2006-10-17T01:11:26

Hate crimes in the United States dropped last year by 6 percent, the FBI reported Monday, although violence against people based on their race accounted more than half of the reported incidents.

Police nationwide reported 7,163 hate crime incidents in 2005, targeting victims based on their race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation and disabilities. That was down from 2004, when the FBI reported 7,649 incidents.

The vast majority of hate crimes in both years were motivated by race, according the reports, which detailed the data based on so-called “single-bias” incidents. That means the crime was motivated by only one kind of bias against the victim, according to the FBI.

Race-based criminal activity accounted for 54.7 percent of hate crimes last year, up slightly from 52.9 percent in 2004, the FBI found. Another 17 percent of hate crimes in 2005 targeted victims for their religious beliefs, and 14.2 percent for their sexual orientation.

Victims were assaulted in more than half — 50.7 percent — of the hate crime cases against people. Six people were murdered and another three were raped in reported hate crimes last year. The rest of the victims, or 48.9 percent, were intimidated, the report shows. The FBI also looked at hate crime incidents that targeted property, with 81.3 percent of cases resulting in damage, destruction or vandalism.

Sixty percent of the known offenders in 2005 were white, and 20 percent were black, the report showed.

The data was collected from police agencies across the country, representing city, county, state, tribal and federal law enforcement agencies.

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