FBI says murder rate increased nearly 30% in 2020

By Jerry Dunleavy, Justice Department Reporter |

The U.S. murder rate increased nearly 30% in 2020, according to the FBI, making that the largest percentage increase in modern U.S. history with almost 5,000 more murders last year than the year before, although it is still down from heights reached during the violent 1990s.

The bureau released its Uniform Crime Report statistics on Monday and estimated there were 21,570 murders in the United States last year, an increase of 29.4% from 2019, with 4,901 additional murders in 2020. In raw numbers, 2020 saw more total murders than any year since 1995, when an estimated 21,610 people were murdered in the U.S., though the total U.S. population has expanded by tens of millions of people since then, meaning the overall murder rate in the U.S. is still lower.

The data shows the murder rate rising to large heights in the summer of 2020 and then remaining above normal the rest of the year. The jump is the biggest since this data started being collected like this in the 1960s.

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