The United States recorded a historic surge 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 ever reported in the United States.
Though the precise reasons for the surge have yet to be determined, experts speculate that unrest following the murder of George Floyd, along with social and economic upheaval wrought 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 is a look at the states where gun sales are surging.
The spike in deadly violence has pushed the number of murders in the U.S. to its highest level since the mid-1990s. Not all parts of the country followed the national trend, however, and some major metropolitan areas reported a year-over-year decline in the homicide rate.
Using data from the FBI, 24/7 Wall St. identified the 50 metro areas where the murder rate is falling fastest. Metro areas are ranked by the year-over-year change in the number of murders per 100,000 people in 2020. Among the metro areas on this list, the murder rate fell anywhere from 0.2 homicides to 5.2 homicides per 100,000 people. Meanwhile, the national murder rate climbed by 1.5 homicides per 100,000 people in 2020.
Murder – along with rаpe, robbery, and aggravated assault – is one component of the overall violent crime category. Even though murder accounts for a small percentage of all violent crimes, just over half of the metro areas on this list also reported an decline in the overall violent crime rate in 2020.
The largest share of metro areas that reported the largest declines in homicide are in the South, including 10 in Florida alone. Most of the metro areas on this list have a lower overall homicide rate than the national rate of 6.5 murders per 100,000 people. Here is a look at the city with the lowest murder rate in every state.
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