Special Report

States Where Murders Are Up the Most in the Last Decade

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Homicides were up by nearly 30% in the United States in 2020, the largest single-year increase on record. The surge in deadly violence capped a decade in which the national murder rate was already trending upward. 

Over the 10-year period from 2011 to 2020, the number of murders reported in the U.S. climbed by 47%. Now, the national murder rate stands at 6.5 homicides for every 100,000 people, the highest it has been since 1997.

In keeping with the national trend, all but a handful of states reported an increase in homicides over the past decade. Using data from the FBI’s Uniform Crime Report, 24/7 Wall St. identified the states where murders are up the most over that period. States are ranked by the percent change in the number of homicides from 2011 to 2020 (the most recent year for which data is available). 

Population data and the murder rate – or the number of murders for every 100,000 people for the year in question – are also from the FBI. 

Only six states – Kansas, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, and Wyoming – had fewer murders in 2020 than in 2011, and for that reason are not included on this list.. Among the 44 remaining states, the number of murders rose anywhere from 3.8% to over 150% in the last decade. (These cities have the highest murder rate in America.)

It is important to note that the states reporting the largest increase in murders do not necessarily have higher than average murder rates – a measure of annual murder for every 100,000 people. In fact, in four of the five states with the largest 10-year increase in homicides have a lower murder rate than the U.S. as a whole. (Here is a look at America’s most dangerous states.)

Click here to see states where murders are up the most in the last decade.

The historic spike in murders in 2020 came during a tumultuous year in American history. The COVID-19 pandemic led to school closures and left millions of Americans out of work. The murder of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer rattled confidence in American law enforcement and sparked nationwide protests. Firearms sales soared, resulting in the proliferation of tens of millions of new guns. (Here is a look at the 28 guns most used to commit crimes in America.)

Experts speculate that each of these factors likely played a role in the rising homicide rate.

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44. Nebraska
> 10 yr. increase in homicides: 1.5%
> Total homicides; 2020: 69 (12th fewest)
> Homicide rate; 2020: 3.6 per 100,000 people (14th lowest)
> Total homicides; 2011: 68 (15th fewest)
> Homicide rate; 2011: 3.7 per 100,000 people (21st lowest)
> Population; 2020: 1,937,552 (14th smallest)

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43. New Mexico
> 10 yr. increase in homicides: 3.8%
> Total homicides; 2020: 164 (21st fewest)
> Homicide rate; 2020: 7.8 per 100,000 people (13th highest)
> Total homicides; 2011: 158 (25th fewest)
> Homicide rate; 2011: 7.6 per 100,000 people (3rd highest)
> Population; 2020: 2,106,319 (15th smallest)

42. New York
> 10 yr. increase in homicides: 5.1%
> Total homicides; 2020: 808 (9th most)
> Homicide rate; 2020: 4.2 per 100,000 people (18th lowest)
> Total homicides; 2011: 769 (5th most)
> Homicide rate; 2011: 3.9 per 100,000 people (24th lowest)
> Population; 2020: 19,336,776 (4th largest)

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41. Connecticut
> 10 yr. increase in homicides: 8.5%
> Total homicides; 2020: 140 (19th fewest)
> Homicide rate; 2020: 3.9 per 100,000 people (17th lowest)
> Total homicides; 2011: 129 (20th fewest)
> Homicide rate; 2011: 3.6 per 100,000 people (20th lowest)
> Population; 2020: 3,557,006 (22nd smallest)

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40. Idaho
> 10 yr. increase in homicides: 17.1%
> Total homicides; 2020: 41 (9th fewest)
> Homicide rate; 2020: 2.2 per 100,000 people (3rd lowest)
> Total homicides; 2011: 35 (11th fewest)
> Homicide rate; 2011: 2.2 per 100,000 people (10th lowest)
> Population; 2020: 1,826,913 (13th smallest)

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39. Michigan
> 10 yr. increase in homicides: 22.2%
> Total homicides; 2020: 754 (10th most)
> Homicide rate; 2020: 7.6 per 100,000 people (14th highest)
> Total homicides; 2011: 617 (7th most)
> Homicide rate; 2011: 6.2 per 100,000 people (6th highest)
> Population; 2020: 9,966,555 (10th largest)

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38. California
> 10 yr. increase in homicides: 22.9%
> Total homicides; 2020: 2203 (the most)
> Homicide rate; 2020: 5.6 per 100,000 people (24th lowest)
> Total homicides; 2011: 1792 (the most)
> Homicide rate; 2011: 4.8 per 100,000 people (20th highest)
> Population; 2020: 39,368,078 (the largest)

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37. Vermont
> 10 yr. increase in homicides: 27.3%
> Total homicides; 2020: 14 (2nd fewest)
> Homicide rate; 2020: 2.2 per 100,000 people (4th lowest)
> Total homicides; 2011: 11 (the fewest)
> Homicide rate; 2011: 1.8 per 100,000 people (5th lowest)
> Population; 2020: 623,347 (2nd smallest)

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36. Arizona
> 10 yr. increase in homicides: 29.2%
> Total homicides; 2020: 513 (17th most)
> Homicide rate; 2020: 6.9 per 100,000 people (20th highest)
> Total homicides; 2011: 397 (13th most)
> Homicide rate; 2011: 6.1 per 100,000 people (8th highest)
> Population; 2020: 7,421,401 (14th largest)

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35. Nevada
> 10 yr. increase in homicides: 29.5%
> Total homicides; 2020: 180 (22nd fewest)
> Homicide rate; 2020: 5.7 per 100,000 people (25th lowest)
> Total homicides; 2011: 139 (22nd fewest)
> Homicide rate; 2011: 5.1 per 100,000 people (18th highest)
> Population; 2020: 3,138,259 (19th smallest)

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34. Florida
> 10 yr. increase in homicides: 31.1%
> Total homicides; 2020: 1290 (3rd most)
> Homicide rate; 2020: 5.9 per 100,000 people (25th highest)
> Total homicides; 2011: 984 (3rd most)
> Homicide rate; 2011: 5.2 per 100,000 people (17th highest)
> Population; 2020: 21,733,312 (3rd largest)

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33. North Dakota
> 10 yr. increase in homicides: 33.3%
> Total homicides; 2020: 32 (6th fewest)
> Homicide rate; 2020: 4.2 per 100,000 people (19th lowest)
> Total homicides; 2011: 24 (7th fewest)
> Homicide rate; 2011: 3.5 per 100,000 people (19th lowest)
> Population; 2020: 765,309 (4th smallest)

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32. West Virginia
> 10 yr. increase in homicides: 34.5%
> Total homicides; 2020: 117 (17th fewest)
> Homicide rate; 2020: 6.6 per 100,000 people (23rd highest)
> Total homicides; 2011: 87 (18th fewest)
> Homicide rate; 2011: 4.7 per 100,000 people (22nd highest)
> Population; 2020: 1,784,787 (12th smallest)

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31. Mississippi
> 10 yr. increase in homicides: 35.8%
> Total homicides; 2020: 315 (23rd most)
> Homicide rate; 2020: 10.6 per 100,000 people (3rd highest)
> Total homicides; 2011: 232 (21st most)
> Homicide rate; 2011: 7.8 per 100,000 people (2nd highest)
> Population; 2020: 2,966,786 (17th smallest)

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30. Maryland
> 10 yr. increase in homicides: 38.6%
> Total homicides; 2020: 553 (14th most)
> Homicide rate; 2020: 9.1 per 100,000 people (9th highest)
> Total homicides; 2011: 399 (12th most)
> Homicide rate; 2011: 6.8 per 100,000 people (5th highest)
> Population; 2020: 6,055,802 (19th largest)

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29. Oklahoma
> 10 yr. increase in homicides: 39.6%
> Total homicides; 2020: 296 (25th fewest)
> Homicide rate; 2020: 7.4 per 100,000 people (16th highest)
> Total homicides; 2011: 212 (22nd most)
> Homicide rate; 2011: 5.6 per 100,000 people (12th highest)
> Population; 2020: 3,980,783 (23rd smallest)

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28. Louisiana
> 10 yr. increase in homicides: 45.1%
> Total homicides; 2020: 734 (11th most)
> Homicide rate; 2020: 15.8 per 100,000 people (the highest)
> Total homicides; 2011: 506 (9th most)
> Homicide rate; 2011: 11.1 per 100,000 people (the highest)
> Population; 2020: 4,645,318 (25th largest)

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27. Illinois
> 10 yr. increase in homicides: 47.4%
> Total homicides; 2020: 1151 (4th most)
> Homicide rate; 2020: 9.1 per 100,000 people (8th highest)
> Total homicides; 2011: 781 (4th most)
> Homicide rate; 2011: 6.1 per 100,000 people (10th highest)
> Population; 2020: 12,587,530 (6th largest)

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26. Oregon
> 10 yr. increase in homicides: 48.8%
> Total homicides; 2020: 125 (18th fewest)
> Homicide rate; 2020: 2.9 per 100,000 people (7th lowest)
> Total homicides; 2011: 84 (17th fewest)
> Homicide rate; 2011: 2.2 per 100,000 people (9th lowest)
> Population; 2020: 4,241,507 (24th smallest)

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25. Delaware
> 10 yr. increase in homicides: 52.1%
> Total homicides; 2020: 73 (13th fewest)
> Homicide rate; 2020: 7.4 per 100,000 people (17th highest)
> Total homicides; 2011: 48 (13th fewest)
> Homicide rate; 2011: 5.3 per 100,000 people (15th highest)
> Population; 2020: 986,809 (6th smallest)

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24. Alabama
> 10 yr. increase in homicides: 57.5%
> Total homicides; 2020: 471 (19th most)
> Homicide rate; 2020: 9.6 per 100,000 people (7th highest)
> Total homicides; 2011: 299 (20th most)
> Homicide rate; 2011: 6.2 per 100,000 people (7th highest)
> Population; 2020: 4,921,532 (24th largest)

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23. Pennsylvania
> 10 yr. increase in homicides: 57.9%
> Total homicides; 2020: 1009 (5th most)
> Homicide rate; 2020: 7.9 per 100,000 people (12th highest)
> Total homicides; 2011: 639 (6th most)
> Homicide rate; 2011: 5.0 per 100,000 people (19th highest)
> Population; 2020: 12,783,254 (5th largest)

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22. Rhode Island
> 10 yr. increase in homicides: 60.0%
> Total homicides; 2020: 32 (6th fewest)
> Homicide rate; 2020: 3.0 per 100,000 people (8th lowest)
> Total homicides; 2011: 20 (6th fewest)
> Homicide rate; 2011: 1.9 per 100,000 people (7th lowest)
> Population; 2020: 1,057,125 (7th smallest)

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21. Alaska
> 10 yr. increase in homicides: 63.3%
> Total homicides; 2020: 49 (10th fewest)
> Homicide rate; 2020: 6.7 per 100,000 people (21st highest)
> Total homicides; 2011: 30 (10th fewest)
> Homicide rate; 2011: 4.1 per 100,000 people (25th lowest)
> Population; 2020: 731,158 (3rd smallest)

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20. Ohio
> 10 yr. increase in homicides: 64.0%
> Total homicides; 2020: 820 (8th most)
> Homicide rate; 2020: 7.0 per 100,000 people (19th highest)
> Total homicides; 2011: 500 (10th most)
> Homicide rate; 2011: 4.3 per 100,000 people (24th highest)
> Population; 2020: 11,693,217 (7th largest)

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19. Indiana
> 10 yr. increase in homicides: 65.0%
> Total homicides; 2020: 505 (18th most)
> Homicide rate; 2020: 7.5 per 100,000 people (15th highest)
> Total homicides; 2011: 306 (18th most)
> Homicide rate; 2011: 4.7 per 100,000 people (21st highest)
> Population; 2020: 6,754,953 (17th largest)

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18. Texas
> 10 yr. increase in homicides: 70.9%
> Total homicides; 2020: 1931 (2nd most)
> Homicide rate; 2020: 6.6 per 100,000 people (22nd highest)
> Total homicides; 2011: 1130 (2nd most)
> Homicide rate; 2011: 4.4 per 100,000 people (23rd highest)
> Population; 2020: 29,360,759 (2nd largest)

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17. North Carolina
> 10 yr. increase in homicides: 71.1%
> Total homicides; 2020: 852 (7th most)
> Homicide rate; 2020: 8.0 per 100,000 people (11th highest)
> Total homicides; 2011: 498 (11th most)
> Homicide rate; 2011: 5.2 per 100,000 people (16th highest)
> Population; 2020: 10,600,823 (9th largest)

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16. South Carolina
> 10 yr. increase in homicides: 71.6%
> Total homicides; 2020: 549 (15th most)
> Homicide rate; 2020: 10.5 per 100,000 people (5th highest)
> Total homicides; 2011: 320 (17th most)
> Homicide rate; 2011: 6.8 per 100,000 people (4th highest)
> Population; 2020: 5,218,040 (23rd largest)

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15. Georgia
> 10 yr. increase in homicides: 71.8%
> Total homicides; 2020: 943 (6th most)
> Homicide rate; 2020: 8.8 per 100,000 people (10th highest)
> Total homicides; 2011: 549 (8th most)
> Homicide rate; 2011: 5.6 per 100,000 people (13th highest)
> Population; 2020: 10,710,017 (8th largest)

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14. Virginia
> 10 yr. increase in homicides: 72.4%
> Total homicides; 2020: 524 (16th most)
> Homicide rate; 2020: 6.1 per 100,000 people (24th highest)
> Total homicides; 2011: 304 (19th most)
> Homicide rate; 2011: 3.8 per 100,000 people (22nd lowest)
> Population; 2020: 8,590,563 (12th largest)

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13. Tennessee
> 10 yr. increase in homicides: 74.5%
> Total homicides; 2020: 663 (13th most)
> Homicide rate; 2020: 9.6 per 100,000 people (6th highest)
> Total homicides; 2011: 380 (14th most)
> Homicide rate; 2011: 5.9 per 100,000 people (11th highest)
> Population; 2020: 6,886,834 (16th largest)

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12. Washington
> 10 yr. increase in homicides: 84.7%
> Total homicides; 2020: 301 (25th most)
> Homicide rate; 2020: 3.9 per 100,000 people (16th lowest)
> Total homicides; 2011: 163 (24th most)
> Homicide rate; 2011: 2.4 per 100,000 people (11th lowest)
> Population; 2020: 7,693,612 (13th largest)

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11. Montana
> 10 yr. increase in homicides: 86.2%
> Total homicides; 2020: 54 (11th fewest)
> Homicide rate; 2020: 5.0 per 100,000 people (21st lowest)
> Total homicides; 2011: 29 (9th fewest)
> Homicide rate; 2011: 2.9 per 100,000 people (15th lowest)
> Population; 2020: 1,080,577 (8th smallest)

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10. Colorado
> 10 yr. increase in homicides: 89.7%
> Total homicides; 2020: 294 (24th fewest)
> Homicide rate; 2020: 5.1 per 100,000 people (22nd lowest)
> Total homicides; 2011: 155 (24th fewest)
> Homicide rate; 2011: 3.0 per 100,000 people (16th lowest)
> Population; 2020: 5,807,719 (21st largest)

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9. Missouri
> 10 yr. increase in homicides: 97.5%
> Total homicides; 2020: 723 (12th most)
> Homicide rate; 2020: 11.8 per 100,000 people (2nd highest)
> Total homicides; 2011: 366 (16th most)
> Homicide rate; 2011: 6.1 per 100,000 people (9th highest)
> Population; 2020: 6,151,548 (18th largest)

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8. South Dakota
> 10 yr. increase in homicides: 100.0%
> Total homicides; 2020: 40 (7th fewest)
> Homicide rate; 2020: 4.5 per 100,000 people (20th lowest)
> Total homicides; 2011: 20 (6th fewest)
> Homicide rate; 2011: 2.4 per 100,000 people (13th lowest)
> Population; 2020: 892,717 (5th smallest)

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7. Arkansas
> 10 yr. increase in homicides: 100.6%
> Total homicides; 2020: 321 (22nd most)
> Homicide rate; 2020: 10.6 per 100,000 people (4th highest)
> Total homicides; 2011: 160 (25th most)
> Homicide rate; 2011: 5.4 per 100,000 people (14th highest)
> Population; 2020: 3,030,522 (18th smallest)

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6. Utah
> 10 yr. increase in homicides: 104.0%
> Total homicides; 2020: 102 (15th fewest)
> Homicide rate; 2020: 3.1 per 100,000 people (10th lowest)
> Total homicides; 2011: 50 (14th fewest)
> Homicide rate; 2011: 1.8 per 100,000 people (6th lowest)
> Population; 2020: 3,249,879 (21st smallest)

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5. Hawaii
> 10 yr. increase in homicides: 105.0%
> Total homicides; 2020: 41 (9th fewest)
> Homicide rate; 2020: 2.9 per 100,000 people (6th lowest)
> Total homicides; 2011: 20 (6th fewest)
> Homicide rate; 2011: 1.5 per 100,000 people (4th lowest)
> Population; 2020: 1,407,006 (11th smallest)

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4. Kentucky
> 10 yr. increase in homicides: 113.9%
> Total homicides; 2020: 323 (21st most)
> Homicide rate; 2020: 7.2 per 100,000 people (18th highest)
> Total homicides; 2011: 151 (23rd fewest)
> Homicide rate; 2011: 3.5 per 100,000 people (18th lowest)
> Population; 2020: 4,477,251 (25th smallest)

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3. Wisconsin
> 10 yr. increase in homicides: 123.2%
> Total homicides; 2020: 308 (24th most)
> Homicide rate; 2020: 5.3 per 100,000 people (23rd lowest)
> Total homicides; 2011: 138 (21st fewest)
> Homicide rate; 2011: 2.4 per 100,000 people (12th lowest)
> Population; 2020: 5,832,655 (20th largest)

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2. Iowa
> 10 yr. increase in homicides: 152.3%
> Total homicides; 2020: 111 (16th fewest)
> Homicide rate; 2020: 3.5 per 100,000 people (13th lowest)
> Total homicides; 2011: 44 (12th fewest)
> Homicide rate; 2011: 1.4 per 100,000 people (3rd lowest)
> Population; 2020: 3,163,561 (20th smallest)

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1. Minnesota
> 10 yr. increase in homicides: 153.3%
> Total homicides; 2020: 190 (23rd fewest)
> Homicide rate; 2020: 3.4 per 100,000 people (11th lowest)
> Total homicides; 2011: 75 (16th fewest)
> Homicide rate; 2011: 1.4 per 100,000 people (2nd lowest)
> Population; 2020: 5,657,342 (22nd largest)

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