Murder in the U.S. rose by nearly 5% in 2021; FBI argues violent crime remained 'consistent'

Violent crime overall declined very slightly.

Updated: October 5, 2022 - 1:54pm

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The U.S. murder rate rose last year, the Federal Bureau of Investigation said this week, even as overall violent crime declined slightly throughout the country. 

The FBI said in its annual "Crime in the Nation" report said that "the estimated number of murders [nationwide] increased from 22,000 in 2020 to 22,900 in 2021," a 4.3% increase. 

The bureau noted that "the aggregate estimated violent crime volume" throughout the country actually decline at about 1%, "from 1,326,600 in 2020 to 1,313,200 in 2021."

The report said that a marked decrease in burglary "heavily contributed to the decrease in overall violent crime" throughout the country, even as murder and rape rates jumped. 

The bureau said that, on balance, the "nonsignificant nature of the observed trends" led the FBI to declare that "violent and property crime remained consistent between 2020 and 2021."