There were 6% more homicides nationwide in 2021 than in 2020. That’s a worrying statistic, but modest compared to last year, when the US homicide rate rose nearly 30%, a record year-over-year.
That large spike “was a complex combination of factors related to, or potentially exacerbated by, the pandemic, but not inherently the pandemic itself,” said Jeff Asher, co-founder of data consulting firm AH Analytics.
The pandemic “put enormous pressure on those most at risk of violence, and they have been under pressure from the start,” said Thomas Abt, senior fellow at the Criminal Justice Council. “At the same time, the institutions responsible for engaging these individuals — law enforcement, courts and community-based workers — have also been under enormous strain.”
The pandemic was a major catalyst in the rise in homicide rates, but it wasn’t the only factor.
“During the pandemic, there has been a massive surge in legal gun purchases,” Abt said. “A larger proportion of these legally purchased guns have ended up in the hands of criminals faster than normal.”
An estimated 21 million guns were sold in the United States in 2020, breaking the previous record of just over 16 million guns sold in 2016. In 2021, that number dropped slightly to just under 19 million.
The data shows that the rising trend in homicide rates occurred across the country.
“We’ve seen an increase in violent crime in every geographic area of the United States,” said Anna Harvey, a professor of politics at New York University. “People have also looked at partisan control of cities, and there is absolutely no evidence that violent crime has increased more in Democratic cities compared to cities run by Republican mayors.”
However, there is hope that the numbers could reverse. Preliminary metropolitan data from the first half of 2022 suggests this that the homicide rate could be declining since the beginning of the year.
Watch the video above to learn why homicide rates have risen so dramatically in the US and what we can do to reverse the trend.
https://www.cnbc.com/2022/08/11/us-murder-rates-stayed-high-last-year-but-trend-may-be-reversing-.html Homicide rates in the US remained high last year, but the trend may be about to reverse