Homicides were up by nearly 30% in the United States in 2020, the largest single-year increase on record. The surge in deadly violence capped a decade in which the national murder rate was already trending upward.
The historic spike in murders in 2020 came during a tumultuous year in American history. Against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic and surging unemployment, gun sales spiked, and the murder of George Floyd rattled confidence in law enforcement and sparked nationwide protests.
Over the 10-year period from 2011 to 2020, the number of murders reported in the U.S. climbed by 47%. Now, the national murder rate is the highest it has been since 1997.
All but six states reported an increase in homicides over the past decade. According to FBI data, the number of murders reported in Iowa climbed from 44 in 2011 to 111 in 2020. The 152.3% increase ranks as the second largest among the 44 states that reported an uptick in murders.
Currently, the murder rate in Iowa is lower than the national average. There were 3.5 murders for every 100,000 people in the state in 2020, compared to the national homicide rate of 6.5 per 100,000.
All data in this story is from the FBI’s 2011 and 2020 Uniform Crime Report.
RankState10-yr. change in homicides (%)Murders in 2020Murders in 2011Murders per 100k people, 20201Minnesota153.3190753.42Iowa152.3111443.53Wisconsin123.23081385.34Kentucky113.93231517.25Hawaii105.041202.96Utah104.0102503.17Arkansas100.632116010.68South Dakota100.040204.59Missouri97.572336611.810Colorado89.72941555.111Montana86.254295.012Washington84.73011633.913Tennessee74.56633809.614Virginia72.45243046.115Georgia71.89435498.816South Carolina71.654932010.517North Carolina71.18524988.018Texas70.91,9311,1306.619Indiana65.05053067.520Ohio64.08205007.021Alaska63.349306.722Rhode Island60.032203.023Pennsylvania57.91,0096397.924Alabama57.54712999.625Delaware52.173487.426Oregon48.8125842.927Illinois47.41,1517819.128Louisiana45.173450615.829Oklahoma39.62962127.430Maryland38.65533999.131Mississippi35.831523210.632West Virginia34.5117876.633North Dakota33.332244.234Florida31.11,2909845.935Nevada29.51801395.736Arizona29.25133976.937Vermont27.314112.238California22.92,2031,7925.639Michigan22.27546177.640Idaho17.141352.241Connecticut8.51401293.942New York5.18087694.243New Mexico3.81641587.844Nebraska1.569683.645Wyoming0.018183.146Kansas-9.91001113.447Massachusetts-13.01601842.348New Jersey-13.43293803.749Maine-15.422261.650New Hampshire-25.012160.9