Special Report

50 Large Cities Where Homicide Is Soaring

Homicides are rising at a record pace in the United States. According to a recent FBI report, there were a total of 21,570 murders committed in 2020, the most of any year in the last two and a half decades and up nearly 30% from 2019 — the largest annual increase on record. 

The spike in homicides came during a tumultuous year. The COVID-19 pandemic shut down schools and left millions of Americans out of work. Footage of the murder of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer rattled confidence in American law enforcement and sparked nationwide protests. Firearms sales soared, and tens of millions of new guns proliferated across communities nationwide. Here is a look at the states where gun sales are surging

Some experts speculate that each of these factors likely played a role in rising homicide rates nationwide. While it may be years before the precise causal factors are identified, many U.S. cities are bearing the brunt of the rash of deadly violence. In metropolitan areas across the country, the increase in homicides last year eclipsed the national surge — in some cases, many times over. 

Using metro area-level data from the FBI, 24/7 Wall St. identified the major U.S. cities where homicide is soaring. We only considered metro areas with populations of at least 250,000 in our analysis. 

Among the cities on this list, the number of murder cases surged anywhere from 40% to 500% between 2019 and 2020. Though these cities span the country, the largest share are concentrated in Midwestern states. 

It is important to note that while murders are rising rapidly in each of the metro areas on this list, many of these places are still relatively safe. In fact, the majority of these cities have a lower overall violent crime rate than the national rate of 388 incidents per 100,000 people. Here is a look at America’s most dangerous states.

Click here to see large cities where homicide is soaring.
Click here to read our detailed methodology.

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