World Facts

Crime In America: States With The Most Murders

California has the most reported annual murders, with 1699, followed by Texas at 1184 and Florida at 1149.

It is common knowledge that murder rates in major cities in the United States have been on a decline over the past few years. In California, for instance, 1,699 people were killed in 2014. Though that figure is still high, it indicated a drop of 3% in comparison to the previous year's figure. In fact, California’s 2014 murder totals were the lowest recorded since 1971. For better perspective, consider that in 1993 a shocking 4,095 people were murdered in California, with 82 percent of these victims being male.

California Not the only U.S. State Notorious for Murder

Houston, the largest city in Texas, was one of the only major cities in the United States to witness a dramatic rise in murder events in 2014. That year, Houston recorded 239 murders, a 12 percent increase above the previous year’s value of 214, according to statistics released by the city’s police department on December 30, 2014.

Indiana’s capital, Indianapolis, is another among the very few U.S. cities to see a real increase in murders in 2014. According to the Indianapolis Police Department, 138 individuals were murdered in the city in 2014, which was an 8 percent increase from the figure given in 2013, and a 26 percent increase over what was recorded a decade ago. The increase propels the city’s murder rate to the third-highest rate on record, and for the second year surpassed that of Chicago, Illinois.

Violent crime statistics, especially homicide and murder data, offer key insights into law enforcement in the Unites States, and inform nation-wide debates that surround crime policies. Although the number of cases has reduced in the past two decades, when viewed in global terms, U.S. murder rates remain still quite high in comparison to other developed nations.

American Murder Rates vs. the Rest of the World

Violent crimes, homicide, and murder significantly influence America’s contemporary political debates, especially those concering firearms regulation. The Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution has been interpreted by many to give citizens the right to own and carry firearms, though this reading of the law and other gun regulations are hotly contested. When compared with most European countries, U.S. citizens have much easier access to firearms, and approximately 45 percent of Americans have a registered gun in their homes. The contribution of this ease of access to America’s relatively high murder rates is a point of contention as well.

From the information presented within the table below, one can glean a picture of the United States’s murder problem, and the disturbingly murder totals recorded in many of its constituent state. Approximately 60 percent of these murders and non-negligent manslaughter cases in the United States were carried out using a firearm, including shotguns, rifles, and handguns.

Crime In America: States With The Most Murders

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RankStateTotal number of murders
1California1,699
2Texas1,184
3Florida1,149
4Illinois685
5New York617
6Pennsylvania614
7Georgia580
8Michigan535
9North Carolina510
10Louisiana477
11Ohio464
12Missouri403
13Tennessee371
14Maryland365
15New Jersey349
16Virginia338
17Indiana330
18Arizona319
19South Carolina311
20Alabama276
21Mississippi258
22Oklahoma175
23Washington174
24Nevada170
25Arkansas165
26Wisconsin165
27Kentucky160
28Colorado151
29Massachusetts132
30District of Columbia105
31New Mexico101
32Kansas91
33Minnesota88
34Connecticut86
35Oregon81
36West Virginia74
37Utah67
38Iowa60
39Delaware54
40Nebraska54
41Alaska41
42Montana37
43Idaho32
44Hawaii26
45Rhode Island25
46North Dakota22
47Maine21
48South Dakota20
49Wyoming16
50New Hampshire12
51Vermont10

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