Homicides up 30% in 2020 – the biggest increase in homicides since the national records began in 1960
Last year, according to preliminary data from the FBI, the U.S. saw the largest increase in homicides since the nation’s records began in 1960.
According to the FBI’s preliminary Uniform Crime Report, the homicide rate in the U.S. has increased by an unprecedented 30 percent in 2020.
Last year there were 6.55 homicides per 100,000 people in the US, compared to just 5.0 homicides per 100,000 in 2019, the FBI reported.
The previous biggest increase was in 1968, when the homicide rate rose by 12.7 percent in one year.
But the true homicide rate per capita remains well below the peak recorded in the 1980s and early 1990s.
The homicide rate in 2020 is about a third lower than the 1980 peak of 10.2 homicides per 100,000.
Final data on homicides in the US is expected to be released by the FBI on Monday, but preliminary figures appeared on the agency’s website on Wednesday. New York Times reports.
According to the FBI’s preliminary Uniform Crime Report, the homicide rate in the U.S. has increased by an unprecedented 30 percent in 2020. The previous biggest increase was in 1968, when the number of murders rose by 12.7 percent in a year
Last year there were 6.55 homicides per 100,000 people in the US, compared to just 5.0 homicides per 100,000 in 2019, the FBI reported. The homicide rate in 2020 is about a third less than the peak of 10.2 homicides per 100,000 in 1980
The FBI said the official report could include slightly updated numbers, but the key conclusions are unlikely to change.
In addition to the increase in homicides, violent crime also increased by about five percent, the Times reports.
But overall crime fell by between four and five percent — the 18th straight year in which overall crime fell, FBI figures revealed.
Gun violence was a contributing factor to the murder wave.
About 77 percent of homicides in 2020 were gun-related — the highest proportion ever reported — according to the Times.
A decline in the number of officers could also have contributed to the increase in homicides in 2020, police chiefs said.
Former Baltimore Police Commissioner Jason Johnson argued in April that the decline in the number of police officers is to blame.
“The police are to blame, or rather the lack of it,” he wrote in a… USA today opinion piece.
He quoted New York City as registering fewer than 45,000 arrests (a drop of 38 percent) from June to December last year, resulting in more than 100 additional homicides — a 58 percent increase.
Similar results emerged in Chicago, where police made 31,000 fewer arrests (53 percent fewer), resulting in a rise in homicides to 65 percent.
The Midwest saw the largest increase in homicides with a nearly 31 percent increase, according to Vox.
The South recorded the lowest increase at 20.8, despite Louisiana reporting the highest homicide rate in the past 32 years.
The homicide rate increased by 35 percent in cities with populations over 250,000 and by 40 percent in cities with fewer than 250,000 residents. The New York Times.
With lower arrest averages, higher gun rates hit the streets.
The US has seen more gun violence in 2020 than ever before, killing at least 20,000 people last year alone. The Midwest has seen the highest homicide rate, while the South has the lowest
Gun violence killed nearly 20,000 people in the US, according to the Washington Post, resulting in the highest number of deaths from firearms in the past two decades.
In 2020, 23 million Americans bought a gun, 64 percent more than in 2019.
According to The New York Times, about 77 percent of reported murders were committed with a firearm in 2020, 10 percent more than a decade ago.
The number of children killed by gunfire is said to have increased by more than 50 percent since 2019, making it the highest rate on record. Nearly 300 children died and 5,000 received gunshot wounds, according to the Washington Post.
Chicago suffered the highest number of children injured by gunshots, and more were shot than those who contracted COVID-19.
According to data from the police and the Center for Disease Control, a total of 214 children under 17 have died from the virus, while a total of 261 have been shot dead in the Liberal city alone this year. Of those 261 minors who were shot, 41 were fatally injured.
While childhood COVID-19 cases peaked in the summer, death rates across demographics remain low, accounting for just 0-0.27 percent of pandemic fatalities across the country.
That works out to six minor deaths for every 100,000 people under the age of 18 in the state.