State-by-State Breakdown of Homicide Rates in USA

A State-by-State Breakdown of Homicide Rates in USA: Mapping Murder

In 2019, the United States recorded 14,742 murders as per FBI data. The yearly murder rate has been decreasing since its peak in 1991, with 9.8 victims per 100,000 individuals.

Nevertheless, the U.S. still ranks among the worst developed nations for homicide rates, primarily due to higher incidences of gun violence compared to other industrialized countries.

Other factors contributing to the rise in violent crime include poverty, unemployment, and gang involvement.

The states with the highest homicide rates were Louisiana, with the highest rate in the U.S. at 22.9 per 100,000 people, and Missouri, ranking second, with a rate of 18 per 100,000 individuals. In comparison, New Hampshire had a murder rate of 1.5 per 100,000 residents, making it one of the safest states concerning homicides.

Murder Rate in the US

Murder Rate in the US

The murder rate in the United States is significantly higher than in other industrialized countries. The difference between states is even more striking; for instance, Louisiana’s murder rate is 22.9 per 100,000, more than four times the national average. T

his concerning trend can be attributed to various factors, such as poverty levels, gun accessibility, and gang violence, which differ from one state and city to another.

Louisiana, with one of the highest gun ownership rates and elevated poverty levels, offers a prime example of why its murder rate far exceeds that of other states.

Additionally, areas with gang activity frequently experience homicides, regardless of economic status or weapon access, due to ongoing turf wars and retaliatory violence among rival groups.

States with the Highest Murder RatesThe states with the highest murder rates in the United States include Louisiana, Missouri, South Carolina, Arkansas, Tennessee, Alaska, Maryland, Oklahoma, Mississippi, and North Carolina.

However, the District of Columbia has the highest murder rate in the US, at 49.2 murders per 100,000 people.

Louisiana has the highest state murder rate, with 22.9 homicides per 100,000 residents. Missouri ranks second, with a murder rate of 18 per 100,000.

South Carolina comes in third, with 17.4 homicides per 100,000, while Arkansas ranks fourth, with a rate of 16.1.

Tennessee and Alaska hold the fifth and sixth positions, with murder rates of 14 and 12.3, respectively.

Both Maryland and Oklahoma have a murder rate of 11.9, making them the seventh and eighth states with the highest murder rates.

Lastly, Mississippi and North Carolina rank ninth and tenth, with murder rates of 11.8 and 11.4 per 100,000 people, respectively.

Rank State Homicide Rate Number of Homicides
1 District of Columbia 49.2 per 100k 339
2 Louisiana 22.9 per 100k 1,065
3 Missouri 18 per 100k 1,108
4 South Carolina 17.4 per 100k 891
5 Arkansas 16.1 per 100k 484
6 Tennessee 14 per 100k 970
7 Alaska 12.3 per 100k 90
8 Maryland 11.9 per 100k 738
9 Oklahoma 11.9 per 100k 471
10 Mississippi 11.8 per 100k 350
11 North Carolina 11.4 per 100k 1,192
12 Arizona 11.3 per 100k 805
13 Michigan 10.6 per 100k 1,067
14 Kentucky 10.3 per 100k 464
15 Texas 10.3 per 100k 2,993
16 Virginia 10 per 100k 863
17 Delaware 9.9 per 100k 98
18 Nevada 9.9 per 100k 308
19 Florida 9.7 per 100k 2,087
20 Indiana 9.7 per 100k 656
21 Ohio 9.2 per 100k 1,089
22 New Mexico 9.1 per 100k 193
23 West Virginia 9 per 100k 162
24 Illinois 8.9 per 100k 1,137
25 Montana 8.9 per 100k 96
26 California 8.8 per 100k 3,498
27 Colorado 8.5 per 100k 488
28 Wisconsin 8.5 per 100k 499
29 Georgia 7.8 per 100k 834
30 North Dakota 7.6 per 100k 59
31 South Dakota 7 per 100k 62
32 Alabama 6.5 per 100k 325
33 Nebraska 6.5 per 100k 127
34 Connecticut 6.1 per 100k 220
35 Washington 6.1 per 100k 472
36 Minnesota 5.7 per 100k 323
37 Iowa 5.4 per 100k 172
38 New Jersey 5.4 per 100k 497
39 New York 5.4 per 100k 1,087
40 Kansas 4.9 per 100k 143
41 Wyoming 4.7 per 100k 27
42 Hawaii 4.5 per 100k 65
43 Utah 4.5 per 100k 147
44 Oregon 4.4 per 100k 188
45 Rhode Island 4.2 per 100k 46
46 Idaho 3.7 per 100k 68
47 Vermont 3.7 per 100k 24
48 Massachusetts 3.3per 100k 230
49 Pennsylvania 3.3 per 100k 433
50 Maine 2.9 per 100k 39
51 New Hampshire 1.5 per 100k 20

Most Murders by State

1. Louisiana – 22.9
2. Missouri – 18
3. South Carolina – 17.4
4. Arkansas – 16.1
5. Tennessee – 14
6. Alaska – 12.3
7. Maryland – 11.9
8. Oklahoma – 11.9
9. Mississippi – 11.8
10. North Carolina – 11.4

State with the Highest Murder Rate

State with the Highest Murder Rate

Currently, Louisiana has the highest murder rate in the US, with a rate of 22.9 homicides per 100,000 people. This figure is more than double the national average and significantly higher than other states.

New Orleans, Louisiana’s largest city, ranks among the top 10 most dangerous cities in the US and has the highest rate of violence-related deaths per capita. Furthermore, crime prevention programs have experienced defunding or significant budget cuts, exacerbating the difficulty of reducing gun violence and homicide rates in Louisiana.

Highest Murder Rate in the US

The District of Columbia holds the highest murder rate in the US, with 49.2 murders per 100,000 residents. This rate is alarmingly high compared to other cities and states across the nation. Between 2013 and 2018, the number of homicides in DC increased by 83%, highlighting the urgent need for safety improvements.

Various factors contribute to this crime surge, including poverty, inequality, gang activity, and firearm availability.

However, as a federal district rather than a state, the District of Columbia has limited power to enact its own laws or implement specific measures to combat crime.

States with Lowest Murder Rates

States with Lowest Murder Rates

The states with the lowest murder rates in the US include New Hampshire, Maine, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Idaho, Vermont, Rhode Island, Oregon, Hawaii, and Utah.

  • New Hampshire boasts the lowest murder rate, at 1.5 per 100,000 people. Maine follows as the second state with the lowest murder rate, with 2.9 per 100,000 residents.
  • Both Massachusetts and Pennsylvania have murder rates of 3.3 per 100,000 people, ranking them third and fourth.
  • Idaho, with the fifth-lowest murder rate, and Vermont, the sixth-lowest, both have a rate of 3.7 per 100,000.
  • Rhode Island’s 4.2 rate makes it the seventh-lowest.
  • Oregon ranks eighth, with a rate of 4.4.
  • Lastly, Hawaii and Utah share a murder rate of 4.5 homicides per 100,000 people, placing them as the ninth and tenth states with the lowest murder rates in the US.

While examining homicide rates across the United States, it’s important to remember that conflicts and disputes can lead to tragic outcomes worldwide; for example, a recent incident in Trinidad saw a woman fatally shot by a relative over a land disagreement.


Q1: What factors contribute to high murder rates in the United States?

High murder rates in the United States can be attributed to several factors, including high levels of poverty, unemployment, lack of education, income inequality, drug abuse, and mental health issues. Additionally, easy access to firearms and gang activity play significant roles in increasing violence and murder rates.

Q2: How does the U.S. murder rate compare to other developed countries?

The U.S. has a higher murder rate than most other developed countries, primarily due to higher rates of gun violence. In comparison to European nations, Canada, Australia, and Japan, the United States has a significantly higher homicide rate, often several times higher than these countries.

Q3: What measures can be taken to reduce murder rates in the United States?

What measures can be taken to reduce murder rates in the United States

Several measures can be taken to reduce murder rates, including implementing stricter gun control laws, investing in education and job opportunities, addressing income inequality, providing mental health support, and funding crime prevention and intervention programs. Collaboration between law enforcement, community organizations, and policymakers can also lead to effective strategies for reducing violence.

Q4: How have crime prevention programs helped reduce murder rates in some areas?

Crime prevention programs have been successful in reducing murder rates by addressing the root causes of violence and providing support to communities in need. These programs often focus on early intervention, education, mental health services, job training, and community engagement.

By offering resources and support, crime prevention programs can help deter individuals from engaging in criminal activities and reduce overall violence.

Q5: Are there any cities in the U.S. that have seen significant improvements in their murder rates?

Yes, several cities in the United States have made progress in reducing their murder rates through a combination of law enforcement efforts, community engagement, and crime prevention initiatives.

Examples of such cities include New York City, Los Angeles, and Boston, which have all experienced notable decreases in homicide rates over the past few decades. However, it’s essential to note that improvement in one city may not necessarily apply to all cities or regions, as the factors contributing to violence can vary significantly.


The United States experiences a significant disparity in murder rates across different states. Factors such as poverty, unemployment, gun accessibility, and gang activity contribute to these variations.

Addressing these factors through targeted policies, community engagement, and crime prevention programs can help lower murder rates and create safer communities. While some states have much higher rates of violence, others have managed to maintain lower murder rates, demonstrating that progress is possible.

A comprehensive approach that tackles the root causes of violence and provides adequate support to vulnerable populations is essential in addressing this pressing issue.

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