Number of murders in the U.S. by state 2019

With the largest population, California also recorded the largest number of homicides in 2019, at 1,690 for the year. Texas had the second-highest number of murders, with 1,409 for the year. These high numbers are likely a result of population though, as both states had a murder rate per 100,000 residents below the national average.

Homicide victim demographics

There was a total of 16,425 reported homicide cases in the U.S. in 2019. When looking at murder victims by gender and ethnicity, the vast majority were male, while just over half of victims were African American. Geographically the rate of murders varied significantly between states. Louisiana was the most dangerous state with 11.7 murders per 100,000 residents, while Maine was the safest with a murder rate of 1.5 per 100,000 population.

Are murders up?

In short, no – since the 1990’s the number the U.S. has decreased significantly. In 1990 the murder rate per 100,000 people stood at 9.4; which dropped to 6.2 in 2017. It should be noted though that number of homicides increased slightly from 2014 to 2017, although figures declined again in 2018 and 2019. Despite this decline, when viewed in international comparison the U.S. murder rate is still notably high. For example, the Canadian homicide rate stood at 1.76 in 2018, while the homicide rate in England and Wales was even lower at 1.14 per 100,000 residents.

The use of guns in homicides

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. Consequently, the rate of civilian-owned firearms per population is much higher in the U.S. than in most comparable countries, at around six times higher than in France or Germany. This amounts 37 percent of American households having guns in their home as of 2019. Though any causal connection between firearm circulation and homicide rate is purely speculative, murder by firearm is nonetheless high. In 2018 almost 73 percent of homicides in the U.S. were carried out using some form of firearm, including handguns, rifles, and shotguns. In total, there were 10,258 people murdered with firearms in the U.S. in 2018.

Total number of homicides in the United States in 2019, by state

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Release date

September 2020


United States

Survey time period


Supplementary notes

Data includes murder and nonnegligent manslaughter.

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Statistics on "Violent crime in the United States"

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