The United States recorded a historic increase in homicides in 2020. According to the FBI, there were 21,570 murders nationwide in 2020, a 29% increase from 2019 – the largest single-year increase never reported in the United States.
Although the specific reasons for the increase have yet to be determined, thspec xpertslater, the unrest following the murder of George Floyd, as well as the social and economic upheaval caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, likely played a role. Gun sales also surged in 2020 and firearms were used in 77% of murder cases, up from 73% in 2019. Here’s a look at the states where gun sales are increasing.
Whatever the explanation, murder is now at its highest level in the United States since the mi-1990. Almost all states followed the national trend and reported an increase in lethal violence in 2020.
Using FBI data, 24/7 Wall St. identified states with skyrocketing murder rates. States are ranked by year-over-year change in the number of murders per 100,000 population. According to the state, the changes range from a decline of 2.7 murders per 100,000 population to an increase of 4.1 per 100,000. For context, the murder rate in the United States climbed by 1.5 incident per 100,000 in 2020.
Murder – along with rape, robbery and aggravated assault – is one component of the overall violent crime category. Even though murder accounts for a small percentage of all violent crime, most states also reported an overall increase in violent crime in 2020. Here’s a look at the states where crime is skyrocketing.
A disproportionate share of the states that reported the largest increases in homicides are in the South, and nine of the 10 states with the largest increases have an overall homicide rate higher than the national rate of 6.5 murders for 100,000 inhabitants.
Click here to see states with skyrocketing murder rates
Click here to read our detailed methodology