In the United States, there were 16,214 murders in 2018. Five killings were committed that year per 100,000 people, according to this data. The United States experienced 44.42 murders per day, or around 44 people were murdered there each day, if the total number of murders is divided by 365, the number of days in a year.
States with the highest totals and homicide rates
The states with the highest murder rates per 100,000 people in 2018 were Louisiana (11.4 per thousand), Missouri (9.2 per thousand), Alaska (8.2 per thousand), Maryland (8.1 per thousand), New Mexico (8.0 per thousand), Alabama (7.8 per thousand), South Carolina (7.7 per thousand), and Tennessee (7.4 per thousand). The final two states in the top 10 are Arkansas and Illinois, with 7.2 and 6.9 per thousand, respectively.
California led the nation with 1,739 murders in 2018, well outpacing the rest of the field. With 1,322 homicides overall, Texas is in second place, and Florida is in third with 1,107. With 884, Illinois came in first, followed by Pennsylvania (784), Georgia (642), North Carolina (628), Missouri (607), Ohio (564), and New York (562).
States with the Fewest Murders Per 100,000 Population
The states with the lowest murder rates per 100,000 people in 2018 were South Dakota (1.4 murders per thousand), Rhode Island and New Hampshire (1.5 murders per thousand each), Vermont (1.6 murders per thousand), Iowa (1.7 murders per thousand), Maine (1.8 murders per thousand), Minnesota and Utah (1.9 murders per thousand), Oregon and Massachusetts (2.0 murders per thousand), and South Dakota (1.4 murders per thousand).
2018 saw the fewest murders overall, with 10 occurring in Vermont. North Dakota is next with 18, closely followed by South Dakota with 12, Wyoming with 13, and Rhode Island with 16. New Hampshire, which had a total of 21 murders in 2018, was followed by Maine, which had 24, Montana, Idaho, 35, and Hawaii, which had 36.
How the Federal Government Compiles Statistics on Murder
Every year, the FBI compiles murder data. Using the strict definition of murder as “the purposeful (nonnegligent) death of one human being by another,” statistics for murder rates and overall murder rates are calculated. When compiling murder statistics, the FBI relies on information from law enforcement agencies rather than court rulings.
The FBI does not include some types of deaths in their murder statistics. Murders do not include deaths through suicide, accidents, or carelessness. The FBI additionally subtracts incidents of self-defense and criminals slain by law enforcement from the total number of murders.
The Factors Contributing to Murders
Statistics from the FBI also detail the circumstances surrounding homicides. Numerous killings take place while other crimes are being committed, even though the vast majority of homicides occur in circumstances that are unknown.
Murders occur frequently during robberies or drug-related crimes, but less frequently with other violent offences. Arguments over money lead to more killings than do domestic abuse incidents combined. There are just as many murders committed by youth gangs as there are by adult gangs.
The FBI keeps tabs on any interactions between murderers and their targets. Wives and girlfriends are significantly more likely to be targets than husbands or boyfriends, and the vast majority of murder victims are acquaintances of their assailants. Daughters and sisters are less likely to become victims than sons and brothers.
Although it varies from year to year, the murder rate in the United States typically remains within a narrow range. The trends in recent years have provided some encouragement to experts in crime statistics. After two years of a significant climb, there was a discernible decline in the murder rate in 2018.
Particularly in large cities, the murder rate has been declining at a faster rate than the overall murder rate. Statistics experts have discovered that trends for the entire country can be predicted by rates in larger cities. Another hopeful development for those who take a longer view is the fact that murder rates now are far lower than they were in the 1980s and 1990s.