In 2020, the U.S. murder rate rose sharply to 6.5 murders per 100,000 people — a nearly 30 percent increase from 2019 and the highest single-year rise ever recorded by the FBI. This sudden increase followed nearly three decades of declining rates. Murder rates were historically high in the early 1990s, due in part to violence surrounding the rise in crack cocaine use.

Source: Zusha Elinson, “Murders Rose Nearly 30% in the U.S. in 2020, FBI Reports,” The Wall Street Journal, Sept. 27, 2021, https://tinyurl.com/yanuadmu; “2019 Crime in the United States,” FBI, accessed May 18, 2022, https://tinyurl.com/4a5v8d9v; “Crime in the United States,” FBI, accessed May 18, 2022, https://tinyurl.com/2p9dw6n7

Data for the graphic are as follows:

Year Murder Rate per 100,000
1991 9.8
1992 9.3
1993 9.5
1994 9.0
1995 8.2
1996 7.4
1997 6.8
1998 6.3
1999 5.7
2000 5.5
2001 5.6
2002 5.6
2003 5.7
2004 5.5
2005 5.6
2006 5.8
2007 5.7
2008 5.4
2009 5.0
2010 4.8
2011 4.7
2012 4.7
2013 4.5
2014 4.4
2015 4.9
2016 5.4
2017 5.3
2018 5.0
2019 5.0
2020 6.5

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