By mid 2020, it was already becoming clear that the United States was experiencing a spike in crime.
Indeed, by midyear, numerous media outlets were already reporting remarkably large increases in homicide in a number of cities. It was clear that if then current trends continued, homicide rates in the United States would reach levels not seen in over a decade.
With full-year data for 2020 now available on the FBI’s Crime in the United States report, we can see that those predictions were right. According to the report, the homicide rate in the United States rose to 6.5 per 100,000 in 2020, which is the highest rate reported since 1997—a twenty-four-year high.
Moreover the increase from 2019 to 2020 was one of the largest increases the US has experienced in ninety years. For similar increases in a similarly short period of time, we must go back to the 1960s—or even the 1940s. In other words, this is not normal. If the current trend continues, the US could find itself back experiencing homicide growth not experienced since the late 1960s and early 1970s.
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