FBI Reveals 30% Increase in Homicides in 2020, Largest Jump Ever

In Summary

FBI numbers released Monday, Sept. 27 show the anticipated number of violent crimes in the United States increased for the first time in four years when compared to the previous year's statistics. 

The number of violent crimes in the country climbed nearly 30% last year, making it the first time in four years there has been an increase when compared to the previous year’s numbers, The Hill reported of data from the FBI’s Uniform Crime Report for 2020. 

Violent crime increased by 5.6% in 2020 compared to the previous year, and property crime estimates fell 7.8%, indicating the 18th consecutive year they have decreased, the FBI said in a statement

RELATED: FBI: Reports of Hate Crimes Surged to Highest Level in Twelve Years 

“The violent crime rate rose 5.2% when compared with the 2019 rate; the property crime rate declined 8.1%,” the agency added. 

In 2020, there was a total of 1,277,696 violent offenses reported. The expected number of robbery offenses reduced 9.3% and the estimated volume of rape offenses fell 12%, compared to 2019 predictions. Aggravated assault offenses climbed by 12.1%, while murder and nonnegligent manslaughter offenses jumped by 29.4%.  

According to CNN’s Priya Krishnakumar, the spike in homicides in 2020 was the “largest single-year increase” the FBI has observed since it began collecting data in the 1960s, with 21,570 homicides reported. 

A spike in gun violence appears to be to blame for the rise in homicides, per Krishnakumar, with gun sales increasing dramatically amid the COVID-19 outbreak. UCR data found that a gun was used in approximately 77% of reported homicides in 2020, up from 74% in 2019.  

RELATED: FBI Chooses First Black Woman to Join Bureau’s SWAT Team 

The UCR Program gathers data on the violent crimes of murder and nonnegligent manslaughter, rape, robbery and aggravated assault, as well as property crimes that include burglary, larceny-theft, motor vehicle theft and arson, per the FBI. The program also collects arrest data for the charges listed above, as well as 20 other offenses that do not include traffic violations.

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