Associated Press, September 2021
Homicides in the U.S. in 2020 increased nearly 30% over the previous year, the largest one-year jump since the FBI began keeping records, according to figures released Monday by the agency. Homicides and non-negligent manslaughters climbed an estimated 29.4% to 21,570, an increase of 4,901 over 2019, FBI data showed. It is the highest estimated total since the early 1990s, when homicides stayed above 23,000 a year as drug wars played out in many places in the U.S.
Violent crimes in 2020 went up by a more moderate 5.6% over the previous year while property crimes continued a nearly two-decade decline, falling 7.8%. Robbery and rape dropped 9.3% and 12% respectively.
James Alan Fox, a criminologist at Northeastern University in Boston, said he considered 2020 a “unique situation” and not part of any sort of long-term trend. He attributed the dramatic uptick to a confluence of factors, including the coronavirus pandemic, conflicts over politics and race and people just generally having too much free time.