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U.S. murder rates stayed high last 12 months but trend could also be reversing


There have been 6% more murders nationally in 2021 than in 2020. That is a troubling statistic, but modest when put next to the prior 12 months, when the U.S. murder rate climbed nearly 30%, a year-over-year record.

That big increase “was a fancy combination of things related to or potentially exacerbated by the pandemic but not inherently the pandemic itself,” said Jeff Asher, co-founder of knowledge consulting firm AH Analytics.

The pandemic “placed the individuals who’re at the best risk of violence under enormous pressure, and so they were already under pressure to start with,” said Thomas Abt, senior fellow on the Council on Criminal Justice. “At the identical time, it put the institutions which are answerable for engaging those individuals — law enforcement, courts and community based employees — all under tremendous strain as well.”

The pandemic was a significant catalyst within the rise in murder, but wasn’t the one factor.

“There was an enormous surge in legal purchases of guns throughout the pandemic,” Abt said. “A bigger share of those legally purchased guns were diverted into the hands of criminals more quickly than normal.”

There have been an estimated 21 million guns sold within the U.S. in 2020, breaking the previous record in 2016 of just over 16 million guns sold. In 2021, that number dropped barely to just a little lower than 19 million.

The info shows that the rising trend in murder rates occurred all across the country.

“We saw increases in violent crime across all different sorts of geographic areas in the US,” said Anna Harvey, professor of politics at Recent York University. “People have also checked out partisan control of cities, and there is not any evidence in any respect that violent crime increased more in cities that were Democrat relative to cities that were led by Republican mayors.”

Nevertheless, there’s some hope that the numbers could also be turning around. Preliminary big city data from the primary half of 2022 suggests that the murder rate could also be declining 12 months thus far.

Watch the video above to learn why murder rates rose so drastically within the U.S. and what we will do to reverse the trend.

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