No. of Hate Groups in US: 1,018
It's a number that's rapidly growing: report
By Evann Gastaldo, Newser Staff
Posted Mar 8, 2012 7:29 AM CST
Ku Klux Klan chapters actually fell to 152 from 221.   (Getty Images)

(Newser) – The number of hate groups in the US has been on the rise for more than a decade, and last year 1,018 were active, according to a new report by the Southern Poverty Law Center. That's up from 602 in 2000, the New York Times notes. The report cites anger over shifting racial demographics, the income gap, and President Obama as the catalyst for the increase. Anti-government groups aligned with the patriot or militia movements are also exploding: There were 1,274 in operation last year, a "stunning" increase from 824 the year prior.

The anti-government organizations "represent both a kind of right-wing populist rage and a left-wing populist rage that has gotten all mixed up in anger toward the government," says the report's author. The far-right spectrum of the movement had peaked in 1995, following the incidents at Ruby Ridge, Waco, and Oklahoma City, but has picked up steam again since the recession began in 2008. The SPLC has been tracking these types of groups for 30 years and only includes active groups—those that are registering new members, staging protests, or distributing literature—in its report.