Special Report

The Worst Year for Murder in Every State

2020 was a tumultuous year in the United States. Against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic, unemployment surged and gun sales spiked. The murder of George Floyd also rattled confidence in law enforcement and sparked nationwide protests. Amid the turmoil, homicide cases jumped by nearly 30%, the largest single-year increase on record.

With 21,570 murders reported in the United States in 2020, the most recent year of available data, the national homicide rate stands 6.5 incidents for every 100,000 people – the highest it has been in over a decade. 

Using FBI homicide rate data from 2011 through 2020, 24/7 Wall St. identified the deadliest year in each state in the last decade. Over that period, 2020 stands out as the year with the highest homicide rate in 37 states.

Nearly every state – even some those in which 2020 was not the worst year for homicide in the last decade – has reported an increase in homicide in the last 10 years. Nationwide, the number of reported murders increased by 47% from 2011 to 2020. Here is a look at the states where murders are up the most in the last decade. 

In a further indication of rising rates of deadly violence in the U.S., in most states, the year with the lowest homicide rate in the last decade falls between 2011 and 2015. Additionally, the second deadliest year since 2011 is, in most of the country, 2016 or later. (Here is a look at America’s most dangerous states.)

Click here to see the worst year for murder in each state in the last decade. 

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