Hate crimes against Muslims and Catholics declined, while other identifiable groups were more frequently targeted in 2016, according to latest Statistics Canada data.

According to a StatsCan report published Tuesday, police reported 1,409 hate crimes in Canada in 2016, 47 more than in 2015.

The three per cent increase in hate crimes was a result of "more incidents targeting South Asians and Arabs or West Asians, the Jewish population, and people based on their sexual orientation," StatsCan said.

However, police reported 20 fewer hate crimes against Muslims in 2016, for a total of 139.

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