Since 1930, the Federal Bureau of Investigation has kept track of the total number of homicides that occur every year. The reports are often published in the late fall of the following year. So, the murder rate report for 2020 was published and released for public viewing in September 2021.
All that said, the murder rates per state in 2020 are as follows. Note that each data point reflects the number of people who were murdered in a given state per 100,000 people. For example, Alabama’s murder rate in 2020 is a value of 14.2, meaning that for every 100,000 residents of Alabama, there are about 14 deaths caused by homicide.
By taking the state’s population, dividing that value by 100,000 people, and then multiplying it by the murder rate, you can figure out a closer estimation of the annual murder rates per state. The murder rates by state in 2020 are in the table below.
The United States experienced one of the lowest murder rates by the state in a given year back in 2010. The murder rate in the U.S. ranges from less than 1 murder per 100,000 residents to 20.5 murders per 100,000 residents.
To see how the most recent calculations of the murder rates by states in America, take a look at these values below. They represent the murder rates by state in 2010, and you can see the way that murder rates have risen between 2020 and 2010.
Mississippi has the highest murder rate in the U.S. with 20.5 murders per 100,000 residents. Murders were far more common in the state than they were nationwide. There was also a drastic increase in homicides from the previous year. In 2019, Mississippi had 15.4 murders per 100,000 people, which still made it the state with the highest murder rate.
Louisiana has the second-highest murder rate of 19.9 murders per 100,000 residents. Murders are disproportionately concentrated in urban areas, especially in New Orleans and Baton Rouge. Louisiana ranked second for murder rates in 2019 as well. However, in 2019, the murder rate was smaller: 14.7 murders per 100,000 people.
Alabama has the third-highest murder rate in the United States. Alabama’s murder rate is 14.2 murders per 100,000 residents. Like Mississippi and Louisiana, this is an increase from 2019 data, when there were 12.8 murders per 100,000 people.
Missouri has the fourth-highest murder rate of 14.0 murders per 100,000 residents. Murders in Missouri are disproportionately concentrated in metropolitan areas; St. Louis and Kansas City are two of the most dangerous cities in the United States. Missouri also saw a rise in the murder rate from a rate of 10.8 in 2019.
Arkansas has the fifth-highest murder rate in the U.S. with a rate of 13.0 murders per 100,000 residents.
New Hampshire and Vermont both had murder rates below 1 per 100,000 in 2020. In each state, there were a very small number (14) of murders. This was a large decrease for New Hampshire, which saw a murder rate of 2.8 murders per 100,000 in 2019.
Maine also had a relatively low number of murders statewide, with 21. This gave the state a murder rate of 1.6 per 100,000, which is relatively unchanged from 2019’s rate of 1.8. Some of the safest cities in Maine are Sabattus, Cape Elizabeth, Cumberland, and Eliot. Maine is also the third-safest state in the United States with the lowest number of assaults per capita of any state.
Idaho also had only 42 murder deaths in 2020. With the smaller population of the state, its murder rate of 2.5 per 100,000 makes it the fourth-best state for low murder rates. There was a slightly significant increase over the 2019 murder rate of 1.7 per 100,000.
Though Massachusetts had close to 200 murders recorded in 2020, its population size compared to the other states on the list makes it the state with the fifth-lowest murder rate. The 2020 murder rate in the state was 2.7 per 100,000. This was similar to 2019’s rate of 2.3.
The final state with a murder rate below 3 murders per 100,000 people is Utah. Utah has a 2020 murder rate of 2.9 per 100,000. This reflects the 95 murders within the state, up from 82 murders in 2019.