Murder Rose by Almost 30% in 2020
The United States in 2020 experienced the biggest rise in murder since the start of national record-keeping in 1960, according to data gathered by the FBI for its annual report on crime.
The Uniform Crime Report will stand as the official word on an unusually grim year, detailing a rise in murder of around 29%. The previous largest one-year change was a 12.7% increase in 1968. The national rate — murders per 100,000 — still remains about one-third below the rate in the early 1990s.
The data is scheduled to be released Monday along with a news release, but it was published early on the FBI’s Crime Data Explorer website.
The FBI said some numbers could change by Monday as it reviews possible discrepancies and receives updates. But the main conclusions of the data are highly unlikely to change.
Separately, an independent analysis of big cities finds at least one promising sign that the murder rate may be flattening this year: The increase in murders this summer does not appear to be as large as the record spike last summer.
Here are the main takeaways from the crime data for 2020 as well as the best evidence of where things stand so far in 2021.
The Rise in Murder Was National, Not Regional
Previously, the largest one-year increase in total number of murders was 1,938 in 1990. The FBI data shows almost 5,000 more murders last year than in 2019, for a total of around 21,500 (still below the particularly violent era of the early 1990s).
The reasons for the rise may never be fully sorted out, but analysts have pointed to many possible contributing factors, including various pandemic stresses; increased distrust between the police and the public after the murder of George Floyd, including a pullback by the police in response to criticism; and increased firearm carrying.
About 77% of reported murders in 2020 were committed with a firearm, the highest share ever reported, up from 67% a decade ago.
The change in murder was widespread — a national phenomenon and not a regional one. Murder rose more than 35% in cities with populations over 250,000 that reported full data.
It also rose more than 40% in cities 100,000 to 250,000, and around 25% in cities under 25,000.
No geographic area was spared. The FBI reported in March that murder was up at least 20% in every region of the country, including around a 30% increase in the Midwest. Overall, murder was up at least 20% in counties carried by President Joe Biden as well as by Donald Trump in 2020.
One regional factor stayed consistent: Louisiana had the highest murder rate for the 32nd straight year.
Murders were already elevated in the first few months of 2020, then increased significantly in June and stayed high through the remainder of the year.
Ted Kaczynski, the Unabomber, Has Been Diagnosed with Terminal Cancer
This follows his transfer to a medical facility in December
The new comes from a letter he wrote:
Foreign-born population soars to new record under Biden; highest rate of immigrants since 1910
The U.S. has had a massive surge in immigration this year, with as many as 1.5 million newcomers and a record 46.2 million foreign-born people, according to a report for the Center for Immigration Studies.
After a deep trough last year, likely because of the COVID-19 pandemic and the travel and migration restrictions imposed to control the spread, the flow of people rebounded around the time President Biden was elected.
In numbers never seen before, they are coming legally through airports and land border crossings and illegally across the Rio Grande and remote regions of Arizona and California.
“There was pent-up demand for legal immigration, and illegal immigration has exploded in one of the greatest surges, if not the greatest, we’ve ever seen,” said Steven A. Camarota, the demographer who was the chief author of the report. “It’s driving the numbers up and up and up.”
As it stands, 14.2% of the U.S. population is foreign-born, or 1 out of every 7 people. That is the highest rate of immigrants in the population since 1910, when the number was 14.7%. At current trends, the government says, the U.S. will break that record well before the end of this decade.
Those numbers are even starker given the reversal of trends.
The data showed a drop of 1.2 million immigrants from February to September 2020, likely the result of coronavirus restrictions blocking new entrants, even as outmigration continued. That left the population of the foreign-born — the Census Bureau’s term — at 43.8 million.
It was up to 45 million by January and marched steadily to the current 46.2 million total shown for last month.
In the year after President Trump’s election, the immigrant population flattened.
Biden Vaccine Mandate for Contractors Blocked Nationwide
- Mandate one of a set of Biden vaccine initiatives
- States say contractor requirement violates Constitution
The Biden administration’s mandate for federal contractors’ employees to be vaccinated will be halted nationwide, amid a slew of challenges from states that say the president overstepped his authority in requiring the Covid-19 shots.
Led by Georgia, the seven states that challenged the mandate set to take effect on Jan. 4 are likely to succeed in their lawsuits against the administration’s order, U.S. District Court Judge R. Stan Baker of the Southern District of Georgia said in an order issued Tuesday.
The Biden administration mandate applies to roughly a quarter of the U.S. workforce and affects companies that do business with the federal government, including Lockheed Martin Corp., Microsoft Corp., Alphabet Inc.‘s Google, and General Motors Co.
Baker’s order follows a Kentucky federal judge’s grant last week of a preliminary injunction in a lawsuit involving Kentucky, Tennessee, and Ohio. Baker echoed what his Kentucky counterpart said, that blocking the mandate didn’t indicate that the vaccine wouldn’t be effective to stopping the spread of Covid-19, but rather that Biden didn’t have the power to issue such an executive order.
Representatives from Georgia universities testified during an injunction hearing earlier this month, arguing that implementation of the mandate would be expensive, onerous, and cost them valuable employees who haven’t yet presented proof of vaccination. Those schools receive millions from the federal government.
The court found that the states could likely prove that Congress didn’t clearly authorize the president to issue the mandate, and that it “goes far beyond addressing administrative and management issues in order to promote efficiency and economy in procurement and contracting.” The 2017 nominee of President Donald Trump said, instead, the executive order works as a “regulation of public health.”
Neither the lawyers representing the state coalition nor the U.S. government immediately responded to emailed requests for comment.
Idaho Gov. Brad Little cheered Tuesday’s ruling in a statement. The state is part of the Georgia-led contractor mandate challenge, as well as lawsuits against the Occupational Safety and Hazard Administration’s shot-or-test emergency regulation for large U.S. businesses, and another inoculation rule for healthcare workers.
“Yet another one of President Biden’s vaccine mandates have been temporarily shut down because the states—including Idaho—took a stand against his unprecedented government overreach into Americans’ lives and businesses,” Little said in the statement. “All three mandates are now completely stalled. We will continue to press forward in our fight against the federal government’s bad policies.”