Violent crime -- a broad category of offenses that includes rape, robbery, aggravated assault, and homicide -- is on the rise in the United States. According to FBI data, there were a total of 1.3 million violent offenses reported in 2020, or 388 for every 100,000 people -- a 5% increase from 2019.
The uptick was led by a spike in homicide. The number of murders surged by nearly 30%, from 16,669 in 2019 to 21,570 in 2020, the largest year-over-year increase on record. The spike in murders came during a year of national turmoil marked by coronavirus lockdowns, mass protests against police misconduct, and a sharp rise in gun sales. These are the states buying the most guns.
Despite the increase, the national violent crime rate remains well below the highs reported in the 1990s. Still, crime is ultimately a local phenomenon, and in some parts of the country, violence is much more common than in others.
New Hampshire's violent crime rate of 146 incidents per 100,000 people is the second lowest of any state. One of only 14 states to report a reduction in violence over the last year, New Hampshire's violent crime rate is 4.0% lower than it was in 2019.
One component of the violent crime rate is homicide. Breaking from the national trend, murders declined precipitously in New Hampshire in 2020. There were only 12 murders committed in the state that year, a 64% decline from the 33 reported murders in 2019. Currently, New Hampshire's homicide rate of 0.9 per 100,000 people is the lowest of any state.
All crime data used in this story is from the FBI and is for the year 2020.
|Rank||State||Violent crimes per 100,000 people, 2020||Total violent crimes, 2020||Total homicides, 2020||1-yr. change in violent crime rate (%)|