The number of hate groups in the U.S. increased for the fourth straight year in 2018, according to research from the Southern Poverty Law Center
. There are now 1,020 in total, a seven percent increase on 2018 and a 30 percent rise on 2014. In 1999, there were "only" 457. FBI statistics also paint a bleak picture of the trend and they show that hate crimes in the U.S.
have gone up 30 percent in the three-year period ending in 2017.
The Alabama-based SPLC says the uptake in hate groups coincides with Trump's campaign and presidency
after three consecutive years of decline under Obama up to 2014. Heidi Beirich, who is the director of the SPLC's Intelligence Project, said that "the numbers tell a striking story - that this president is not simply a polarizing figure but a radicalizing one". In most cases, the hate groups adhere to some form of white supremacist ideology and include neo-Nazis, the Ku Klux Klan, racist skinheads, neo-Confederates and white nationalists. White nationalist groups in particular have surged nearly 50 percent between 2018 and 2018 with the number of groups increasing from 100 to 148.