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How the Murder Rate in Minnesota Compares to the Rest of the Country

The U.S. murder rate is at its highest level in nearly two and half decades. A total of 21,570 murders were committed nationwide in 2020, up nearly 30% from the previous year — the largest annual increase on record.

The rash of deadly violence came during a tumultuous year in American history. The COVID-19 pandemic led to school closures and left millions of Americans out of work. The murder of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer rattled confidence in American law enforcement and sparked nationwide protests. Firearms sales soared, resulting in the proliferation of tens of millions of new guns. Here is a look at the states where gun sales are surging.

Some experts speculate that each of these factors likely played a role in the rising homicide rate. While it may be years before the precise causal factors are identified, the effects are being felt in communities across the country. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention lists homicide as a contributing factor in the historic 1.5 year decline in life expectancy in the U.S. last year — trailing only COVID-19 and accidental deaths, like drug overdoses, in significance.

There were a total of 190 murders in Minnesota in 2020, or 3.4 for every 100,000 people — the 12th lowest murder rate among states. For comparison, the national homicide rate stands at 6.5 per 100,000.

Along with rape, robbery, and aggravated assault, murder is one component of the broader violent crime category. Just as Minnesota has a lower than average murder rate, its overall violent crime rate is also lower than average. There were a total of 278 violent crimes reported for every 100,000 people in the state in 2020, compared to 399 per 100,000 nationwide.

All data used in this story, including population figures used to calculate population-adjusted crime rates, is from the FBI’s 2020 Uniform Crime Report.

Rank Geo Murders per 100,000 people, 2020 Total murders, 2020 Violent crimes per 100,000 people, 2020
1 Louisiana 15.8 734 639
2 Missouri 11.8 723 543
3 Arkansas 10.6 321 672
3 Mississippi 10.6 315 291
5 South Carolina 10.5 549 531
6 Alabama 9.6 471 454
6 Tennessee 9.6 663 673
8 Illinois 9.1 1,151 426
8 Maryland 9.1 553 400
10 Georgia 8.8 943 400
11 North Carolina 8.0 852 419
12 Pennsylvania 7.9 1,009 390
13 New Mexico 7.8 164 778
14 Michigan 7.6 754 478
15 Indiana 7.5 505 358
16 Delaware 7.4 73 432
16 Oklahoma 7.4 296 459
18 Kentucky 7.2 323 259
19 Ohio 7.0 820 309
20 Arizona 6.9 513 485
21 Alaska 6.7 49 838
22 Texas 6.6 1,931 447
22 West Virginia 6.6 117 356
24 Virginia 6.1 524 209
25 Florida 5.9 1,290 384
26 Nevada 5.7 180 460
27 California 5.6 2,203 442
28 Wisconsin 5.3 308 323
29 Colorado 5.1 294 423
30 Montana 5.0 54 470
31 South Dakota 4.5 40 501
32 New York 4.2 808 364
32 North Dakota 4.2 32 329
34 Connecticut 3.9 140 182
34 Washington 3.9 301 294
36 New Jersey 3.7 329 195
37 Nebraska 3.6 69 334
38 Iowa 3.5 111 304
39 Kansas 3.4 100 425
39 Minnesota 3.4 190 278
41 Utah 3.1 102 261
41 Wyoming 3.1 18 234
43 Rhode Island 3.0 32 231
44 Hawaii 2.9 41 254
44 Oregon 2.9 125 292
46 Massachusetts 2.3 160 309
47 Idaho 2.2 41 243
47 Vermont 2.2 14 173
49 Maine 1.6 22 109
50 New Hampshire 0.9 12 146
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