Murder in the United States
Violent crime statistics, particularly murder and homicide data, provide key insights into law enforcement in the United States and inform national debate surrounding crime policies.
There were a total of 17,250 reported murder and non-negligent manslaughter cases in the U.S. in 2016. Although the number of cases has declined in the past twenty years, when viewed in international comparison, the U.S. murder rate is still high. In 2012, Germany’s murder rate stood at 0.8, compared to 4.7 in the United States.
The most dangerous U.S. state in 2016, if measured by the number of murders per hundred thousand inhabitants, was Louisiana. The murder and non-negligent manslaughter rate in Louisiana came to 11.8 that year, more than twice the national average. The least dangerous state in 2016, on the other hand, was New Hampshire, with a murder rate of 1.3.
Murder, homicide and violent crime statistics regularly influence America’s current political debate on gun law. Under the Second Amendment, U.S. citizens are entitled to own and carry firearms, though gun control and regulation laws are hotly contested. The amount of firearms in circulation in the U.S. is fairly high, when compared with European countries. About 39 percent of American households have a gun in their home.
Though any causal connection between firearm circulation and homicide rate is purely speculative, murder by firearm is nonetheless high. About 73 percent of murders and non-negligent manslaughter cases in the U.S. were carried out using a firearm, including handguns, rifles, and shotguns. This number sums up to 11,004murders by firearm.
The ranking of the most dangerous cities in the world based on murder rate per capita can be accessed here.