Special Report

Pennsylvania's Murder Rate Every Year Since 1995

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The number of reported homicides in the U.S. surged by a record-breaking 30% in 2020, topping 20,000 for the first time since 1995. When incidents of deadly violence jump, there is rarely only one cause.

Crime rates in the United States are affected by a number of social and economic variables. According to the FBI, these include, but are not limited to, financial security, family cohesiveness, population density, law enforcement efficacy, and public attitudes toward crime. Both at an individual level, and across broad populations, these and other factors can have a meaningful impact on rates of every type of criminal activity — including homicide.

In the 26 years from 1995 to 2020, the number of murders reported annually in the U.S. ranged from about 14,200 to nearly 22,000. Over the same period, the national population adjusted homicide rate varied from 4.4 murders for every 100,000 people, to 8.2 per 100,000.

Similar fluctuations in rates of violence are also evident in Pennsylvania. Since 1995, Pennsylvania’s annual murder rate has gone as high as 7.9 homicides per 100,000 people, down to 4.8 per 100,000. Meanwhile, the annual number of murders in the state peaked at 1,009, and fell as low as 592 over the same 26 year period.

Pennsylvania’s homicide rate has been higher than that of most other states for much of the last two and a half decades, and has been well above the national average in recent years. In each of the four years ending in 2020, the population adjusted homicide rate in Pennsylvania ranked among the 20 highest of the 50 states.

Using historical data from the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting Program, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed Pennsylvania’s murder rate every year since 1995.

1995: 6.3 homicides per 100,000 people

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  • Pennsylvania’s murder rate in 1995: 6.3 per 100,000 people (25th highest among the 50 states)
  • U.S. murder rate in 1995: 8.2 per 100,000 people
  • Total murders in Pennsylvania in 1995: 755
  • Total murders in U.S. in 1995: 21,606

1996: 5.7 homicides per 100,000 people

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  • Pennsylvania’s murder rate in 1996: 5.7 per 100,000 people (25th lowest among the 50 states)
  • U.S. murder rate in 1996: 7.4 per 100,000 people
  • Total murders in Pennsylvania in 1996: 686
  • Total murders in U.S. in 1996: 19,645

1997: 5.9 homicides per 100,000 people

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  • Pennsylvania’s murder rate in 1997: 5.9 per 100,000 people (24th highest among the 50 states)
  • U.S. murder rate in 1997: 6.8 per 100,000 people
  • Total murders in Pennsylvania in 1997: 705
  • Total murders in U.S. in 1997: 18,211

1998: 5.3 homicides per 100,000 people

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  • Pennsylvania’s murder rate in 1998: 5.3 per 100,000 people (25th highest among the 50 states)
  • U.S. murder rate in 1998: 6.3 per 100,000 people
  • Total murders in Pennsylvania in 1998: 633
  • Total murders in U.S. in 1998: 16,974

1999: 4.9 homicides per 100,000 people

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  • Pennsylvania’s murder rate in 1999: 4.9 per 100,000 people (25th lowest among the 50 states)
  • U.S. murder rate in 1999: 5.7 per 100,000 people
  • Total murders in Pennsylvania in 1999: 592
  • Total murders in U.S. in 1999: 15,522

2000: 4.9 homicides per 100,000 people

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  • Pennsylvania’s murder rate in 2000: 4.9 per 100,000 people (24th highest among the 50 states)
  • U.S. murder rate in 2000: 5.5 per 100,000 people
  • Total murders in Pennsylvania in 2000: 602
  • Total murders in U.S. in 2000: 15,586

2001: 5.3 homicides per 100,000 people

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  • Pennsylvania’s murder rate in 2001: 5.3 per 100,000 people (22nd highest among the 50 states)
  • U.S. murder rate in 2001: 5.6 per 100,000 people
  • Total murders in Pennsylvania in 2001: 651
  • Total murders in U.S. in 2001: 16,037

2002: 5.1 homicides per 100,000 people

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  • Pennsylvania’s murder rate in 2002: 5.1 per 100,000 people (22nd highest among the 50 states)
  • U.S. murder rate in 2002: 5.6 per 100,000 people
  • Total murders in Pennsylvania in 2002: 624
  • Total murders in U.S. in 2002: 16,229

2003: 5.2 homicides per 100,000 people

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  • Pennsylvania’s murder rate in 2003: 5.2 per 100,000 people (22nd highest among the 50 states)
  • U.S. murder rate in 2003: 5.7 per 100,000 people
  • Total murders in Pennsylvania in 2003: 647
  • Total murders in U.S. in 2003: 16,528

2004: 5.2 homicides per 100,000 people

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  • Pennsylvania’s murder rate in 2004: 5.2 per 100,000 people (22nd highest among the 50 states)
  • U.S. murder rate in 2004: 5.5 per 100,000 people
  • Total murders in Pennsylvania in 2004: 650
  • Total murders in U.S. in 2004: 16,148

2005: 6.1 homicides per 100,000 people

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  • Pennsylvania’s murder rate in 2005: 6.1 per 100,000 people (17th highest among the 50 states)
  • U.S. murder rate in 2005: 5.6 per 100,000 people
  • Total murders in Pennsylvania in 2005: 756
  • Total murders in U.S. in 2005: 16,740

2006: 6.0 homicides per 100,000 people

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  • Pennsylvania’s murder rate in 2006: 6.0 per 100,000 people (18th highest among the 50 states)
  • U.S. murder rate in 2006: 5.8 per 100,000 people
  • Total murders in Pennsylvania in 2006: 741
  • Total murders in U.S. in 2006: 17,309

2007: 5.8 homicides per 100,000 people

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  • Pennsylvania’s murder rate in 2007: 5.8 per 100,000 people (21st highest among the 50 states)
  • U.S. murder rate in 2007: 5.7 per 100,000 people
  • Total murders in Pennsylvania in 2007: 725
  • Total murders in U.S. in 2007: 17,128

2008: 5.7 homicides per 100,000 people

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  • Pennsylvania’s murder rate in 2008: 5.7 per 100,000 people (19th highest among the 50 states)
  • U.S. murder rate in 2008: 5.4 per 100,000 people
  • Total murders in Pennsylvania in 2008: 705
  • Total murders in U.S. in 2008: 16,465

2009: 5.3 homicides per 100,000 people

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  • Pennsylvania’s murder rate in 2009: 5.3 per 100,000 people (19th highest among the 50 states)
  • U.S. murder rate in 2009: 5.0 per 100,000 people
  • Total murders in Pennsylvania in 2009: 664
  • Total murders in U.S. in 2009: 15,399

2010: 5.1 homicides per 100,000 people

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  • Pennsylvania’s murder rate in 2010: 5.1 per 100,000 people (17th highest among the 50 states)
  • U.S. murder rate in 2010: 4.8 per 100,000 people
  • Total murders in Pennsylvania in 2010: 653
  • Total murders in U.S. in 2010: 14,722

2011: 5.0 homicides per 100,000 people

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  • Pennsylvania’s murder rate in 2011: 5.0 per 100,000 people (19th highest among the 50 states)
  • U.S. murder rate in 2011: 4.7 per 100,000 people
  • Total murders in Pennsylvania in 2011: 639
  • Total murders in U.S. in 2011: 14,661

2012: 5.5 homicides per 100,000 people

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  • Pennsylvania’s murder rate in 2012: 5.5 per 100,000 people (15th highest among the 50 states)
  • U.S. murder rate in 2012: 4.7 per 100,000 people
  • Total murders in Pennsylvania in 2012: 707
  • Total murders in U.S. in 2012: 14,856

2013: 4.8 homicides per 100,000 people

Source: Sean Pavone / iStock via Getty Images
  • Pennsylvania’s murder rate in 2013: 4.8 per 100,000 people (18th highest among the 50 states)
  • U.S. murder rate in 2013: 4.5 per 100,000 people
  • Total murders in Pennsylvania in 2013: 611
  • Total murders in U.S. in 2013: 14,319

2014: 4.8 homicides per 100,000 people

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  • Pennsylvania’s murder rate in 2014: 4.8 per 100,000 people (19th highest among the 50 states)
  • U.S. murder rate in 2014: 4.4 per 100,000 people
  • Total murders in Pennsylvania in 2014: 610
  • Total murders in U.S. in 2014: 14,164

2015: 5.2 homicides per 100,000 people

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  • Pennsylvania’s murder rate in 2015: 5.2 per 100,000 people (18th highest among the 50 states)
  • U.S. murder rate in 2015: 4.9 per 100,000 people
  • Total murders in Pennsylvania in 2015: 665
  • Total murders in U.S. in 2015: 15,883

2016: 5.3 homicides per 100,000 people

Source: Ross Mantle / Getty Images News via Getty Images
  • Pennsylvania’s murder rate in 2016: 5.3 per 100,000 people (25th highest among the 50 states)
  • U.S. murder rate in 2016: 5.4 per 100,000 people
  • Total murders in Pennsylvania in 2016: 674
  • Total murders in U.S. in 2016: 17,413

2017: 5.8 homicides per 100,000 people

Source: peeterv / iStock via Getty Images
  • Pennsylvania’s murder rate in 2017: 5.8 per 100,000 people (20th highest among the 50 states)
  • U.S. murder rate in 2017: 5.3 per 100,000 people
  • Total murders in Pennsylvania in 2017: 742
  • Total murders in U.S. in 2017: 17,294

2018: 6.1 homicides per 100,000 people

Source: Sean Pavone / iStock via Getty Images
  • Pennsylvania’s murder rate in 2018: 6.1 per 100,000 people (15th highest among the 50 states)
  • U.S. murder rate in 2018: 5.0 per 100,000 people
  • Total murders in Pennsylvania in 2018: 784
  • Total murders in U.S. in 2018: 16,374

2019: 5.3 homicides per 100,000 people

Source: DenisTangneyJr / E+ via Getty Images
  • Pennsylvania’s murder rate in 2019: 5.3 per 100,000 people (19th highest among the 50 states)
  • U.S. murder rate in 2019: 5.1 per 100,000 people
  • Total murders in Pennsylvania in 2019: 676
  • Total murders in U.S. in 2019: 16,669

2020: 7.9 homicides per 100,000 people

Source: Bastiaan Slabbers / iStock Unreleased via Getty Images
  • Pennsylvania’s murder rate in 2020: 7.9 per 100,000 people (12th highest among the 50 states)
  • U.S. murder rate in 2020: 6.5 per 100,000 people
  • Total murders in Pennsylvania in 2020: 1,009
  • Total murders in U.S. in 2020: 21,570

Source: Courtesy of: 24/7 Wall St.

 

Year Murders in Pennsylvania per 100,000 people Murders in U.S. per 100,000 people Total murders in Pennsylvania Total murders in U.S.
2020 7.9 6.5 1,009 21,570
2019 5.3 5.1 676 16,669
2018 6.1 5.0 784 16,374
2017 5.8 5.3 742 17,294
2016 5.3 5.4 674 17,413
2015 5.2 4.9 665 15,883
2014 4.8 4.4 610 14,164
2013 4.8 4.5 611 14,319
2012 5.5 4.7 707 14,856
2011 5.0 4.7 639 14,661
2010 5.1 4.8 653 14,722
2009 5.3 5.0 664 15,399
2008 5.7 5.4 705 16,465
2007 5.8 5.7 725 17,128
2006 6.0 5.8 741 17,309
2005 6.1 5.6 756 16,740
2004 5.2 5.5 650 16,148
2003 5.2 5.7 647 16,528
2002 5.1 5.6 624 16,229
2001 5.3 5.6 651 16,037
2000 4.9 5.5 602 15,586
1999 4.9 5.7 592 15,522
1998 5.3 6.3 633 16,974
1997 5.9 6.8 705 18,211
1996 5.7 7.4 686 19,645
1995 6.3 8.2 755 21,606

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