In 2020, homicide rates rose significantly in most cities across the United States. A variety of factors may have contributed to the surge, experts say, including social isolation, stress and high unemployment due to COVID-19, and an increase in gun ownership. However, not all cities saw more homicides. For instance, in Garland, Texas, and Virginia Beach, Va., the murder rate dropped.

Source: “Are progressive prosecutors to blame for an American homicide wave?” The Economist, Feb. 19, 2022,

Data for the graphic are as follows:

City and State Percentage Change in Murder Rate
Chicago +66%
Colorado Springs, Colo. +88%
Fremont, Calif. +101%
Garland, Texas -54%
Laredo, Texas +198%
Madison, Wis. +147%
Memphis, Tenn. +49%
Minneapolis, Minn. +70%
Omaha, Neb. +61%
Rochester, N.Y. +60%
Scottsdale, Ariz. +162%
Spokane, Wash. +279%
Virginia Beach, Va. -43%

close window