Ryan McMaken
Mises Institute

March 25, 2021

Twenty twenty was an unpleasant year for so many reasons. It was a year of riots, unemployment, and the trend in overall rising mortality continued unabated.

Homicides also increased.

In fact, in preliminary homicide data, it looks like homicides increased a lot in 2020.

According to the FBI’s Preliminary Uniform Crime Report for the first half of 2020, “murder and nonnegligent manslaughter offenses increased 14.8%, and aggravated assault offenses were up 4.6%.”

If the second half of 2020 proves to be about the same as the first half, then the nationwide homicide rate for 2020 will have risen from 5 per 100,000 in 2019 to 5.8 per 100,000 in 2020. That’s a big increase, and puts 2020’s total at the highest rate recorded in fifteen years, matching 2006’s rate of 5.8 per 100,000.

Some other data, however, suggests the year-end numbers for 2020 will be even worse than that. Homicides look to be up more than 20 percent during the fall of 2020 compared to the previous year. Thus, the increase from 2019 to 2020 may prove to be one of the largest increases in homicide in more than fifty years.

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