News & Politics

The FBI Has Released 2020 Crime Statistics--And the Murder Rate Increase Will Shock You

AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh

The FBI’s annual report Monday made official what most unfortunately presumed: The United States in 2020 experienced the biggest rise in murders since the start of national record-keeping 60 years ago.

The Uniform Crime Report detailed a murder increase of nearly 30 percent.

The previous largest one-year change was a 12.7 percent increase back in 1968. The national rate of murders per 100,000, however, still remains about one-third below the rate in the early 1990s.

The FBI data show around 21,500 total murders last year, which is 5,000 more murders than in 2019. More than three-fourths of reported murders in 2020 were committed with a firearm, the highest rate ever reported.

Murder rose by 35 percent in cities with populations over 250,000, and also jumped more than 40 percent in cities with 100,000 to 250,000 residents. Even towns with under 25,000 people saw a roughly 25 percent increase in homicides.

Earlier this year, the FBI reported that murder was up at least 20 percent in every region of the country, including a 30 percent increase in the Midwest. Louisiana had the highest murder rate of any state for the 32nd straight year.

On the flip side, property crimes declined almost 8 percent, the 18th consecutive year estimates for these offenses fell.

Last year’s statistics show the estimated rate of violent crime was 387.8 offenses per 100,000 inhabitants, a rise of more than 5 percent, and the estimated rate of property crime was under 2,000 offenses per 100,000 inhabitants.

Of the 18,619 federal, state, county, city, university, college, and tribal agencies eligible to participate in the UCR Program, nearly 16,000 agencies submitted data in 2020.

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A few more noteworthy stats include:

  • An estimated 1,277,696 violent crimes committed in 2020.
  • The estimated number of robberies fell nearly 10 percent, and the estimated rape offenses decreased 12 percent. However, the estimated number of aggravated assault offenses rose 12 percent.
  • There were an estimated 6,452,038 property crimes. Burglaries dropped 7.4 percent, larceny-thefts decreased 10.6 percent, while motor vehicle thefts rose nearly 12 percent.

While it’s likely the COVID-19 pandemic-inspired lockdowns contributed to the rise in violent crime — media somehow assumed the opposite — the “Defund the police” movement led by partisan left-wing groups like Black Lives Matter and Democrat politicians also undoubtedly enabled the murder increase. Most police departments are down hundreds of officers since the spring of 2020.