The number of anti-Semitic incidents recorded by the Anti-Defamation League of B'nai B'rith in 1981 was more than double the number for 1980, according to a survey released yesterday by the national Jewish group.

The league's 27 regional offices recorded 974 incidents of anti-Jewish vandalism last year, as compared to 377 episodes in 1980. Most were swastika daubings, anti-Jewish graffiti and similar acts. Less than 3 percent involved arson or firebombings.

In addition, the league recorded 350 incidents of bodily assaults, harassments and threats of an anti-Semitic nature.

Nathan Perlmutter, national director of the ADL, said some of the increase resulted from better reporting by Jewish groups and greater attention by police, but he nonetheless described the upsurge as "profoundly disturbing."

Perlmutter noted that eight states--Arizona, California, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island and Washington--enacted laws during 1981 imposing stiffer penalties on persons convicted of religious or racial vandalism.

The survey showed that New York State led the nation with 326 reported anti-Semitic incidents, followed by California with 150 and New Jersey with 94. Maryland, which recorded only one incident in the 1980 survey, had 51 incidents last year, fifth highest in the nation.