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HomeNational NewsU.S. Murder Rate Highest Level in 25 Years, Up Nearly 30% from...

U.S. Murder Rate Highest Level in 25 Years, Up Nearly 30% from 2019

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In 2020, the Wisconsin murder rate was 5.3 for every 100,000 people — the 23rd lowest murder rate among states.

The U.S. murder rate is at its highest level in nearly 25 years.  A total of 21,570 murders were committed nationwide in 2020, up nearly 30% from the previous year — the largest annual increase on record.

The rash of deadly violence 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 states where gun sales are surging.

Some experts speculate that each of these factors likely played a role in the rising homicide rate. While it may be years before the precise causal factors are identified, the effects are being felt in communities across the country. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention lists homicide as a contributing factor in the historic 1.5 year decline in life expectancy in the U.S. last year — trailing only COVID-19 and accidental deaths, like drug overdoses, in significance.

Wisconsin Murder Rate

In 2020, the Wisconsin murder rate was 5.3 for every 100,000 people — the 23rd lowest murder rate among states. For comparison, the national homicide rate stands at 6.5 per 100,000. There were a total of 308 Wisconsin murders.

Along with rape, robbery, and aggravated assault, murder is one component of the broader violent crime category. Just as Wisconsin has a lower than average murder rate, its overall violent crime rate is also lower than average. There were a total of 323 violent crimes reported for every 100,000 people in the state in 2020, compared to 399 per 100,000 nationwide.

All data used in this story, including population figures used to calculate population-adjusted crime rates, is from the FBI’s 2020 Uniform Crime Report.

RankGeoMurders per 100,000 people, 2020Total murders, 2020Violent crimes per 100,000 people, 2020
1Louisiana15.8734639
2Missouri11.8723543
3Arkansas10.6321672
3Mississippi10.6315291
5South Carolina10.5549531
6Alabama9.6471454
6Tennessee9.6663673
8Illinois9.11,151426
8Maryland9.1553400
10Georgia8.8943400
11North Carolina8.0852419
12Pennsylvania7.91,009390
13New Mexico7.8164778
14Michigan7.6754478
15Indiana7.5505358
16Delaware7.473432
16Oklahoma7.4296459
18Kentucky7.2323259
19Ohio7.0820309
20Arizona6.9513485
21Alaska6.749838
22Texas6.61,931447
22West Virginia6.6117356
24Virginia6.1524209
25Florida5.91,290384
26Nevada5.7180460
27California5.62,203442
28Wisconsin5.3308323
29Colorado5.1294423
30Montana5.054470
31South Dakota4.540501
32New York4.2808364
32North Dakota4.232329
34Connecticut3.9140182
34Washington3.9301294
36New Jersey3.7329195
37Nebraska3.669334
38Iowa3.5111304
39Kansas3.4100425
39Minnesota3.4190278
41Utah3.1102261
41Wyoming3.118234
43Rhode Island3.032231
44Hawaii2.941254
44Oregon2.9125292
46Massachusetts2.3160309
47Idaho2.241243
47Vermont2.214173
49Maine1.622109
50New Hampshire0.912146

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