List of U.S. states and territories by intentional homicide rate

This is a list of U.S. states and territories by intentional homicide rate. It is typically expressed in units of deaths per 100,000 individuals per year; a homicide rate of 4 in a population of 100,000 would mean 4 murders a year, or 0.004% out of the total. The data is from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC),[5] and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).[1] The reasons for the different results can be confusing. From the Reason Foundation: "While the FBI data relies on reports by law enforcement agencies, the CDC data is derived from coroners’ reports, encompassing non-criminal homicides such as cases of self-defense. Consequently, the CDC mortality data shows a slightly higher number of homicides annually compared to the FBI data."[2][3] The agency quotes below make more sense in light of this. The CDC reports all homicides, and does not indicate whether it was justified or self-defense. To a coroner a homicide is a homicide, regardless of the reason.

Homicide rate by state. FBI. 2022 data.[1]
Timeline of U.S. homicide rate. FBI and CDC.[2][3]
Homicide rate by county. CDC. 2014 to 2020 data.[4]

FBI: "The FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program defines murder and nonnegligent manslaughter as the willful (nonnegligent) killing of one human being by another. The classification of this offense is based solely on police investigation as opposed to the determination of a court, medical examiner, coroner, jury, or other judicial body. The UCR Program does not include the following situations in this offense classification: deaths caused by negligence, suicide, or accident; justifiable homicides; and attempts to murder or assaults to murder, which are classified as aggravated assaults."[6]

CDC: "Homicide – injuries inflicted by another person with intent to injure or kill, by any means. Excludes injuries due to legal intervention and operations of war. Justifiable homicide is not identified in WISQARS."[7]

Definitions. More info


In the United States, the law for murder varies by jurisdiction. In many US jurisdictions there is a hierarchy of acts, known collectively as homicide, of which first-degree murder and felony murder[8] are the most serious, followed by second-degree murder and, in a few states, third-degree murder, which in other states is divided into voluntary manslaughter, and involuntary manslaughter such as reckless homicide and negligent homicide, which are the least serious, and ending finally in justifiable homicide, which is not a crime. However, because there are at least 52 relevant jurisdictions, each with its own criminal code, this is a considerable simplification.[9]

Sentencing also varies widely depending upon the specific murder charge. "Life imprisonment" is a common penalty for first-degree murder, but its meaning varies widely.[10]

Capital punishment is a legal sentence in 27 states,[11][12] and in the federal civilian and military legal systems, though 8 of these states and the federal government have indefinitely suspended the practice. The United States is unusual in actually performing executions,[13] with 34 states having performed executions since capital punishment was reinstated in 1976. The methods of execution have varied, but the most common method since 1976 has been lethal injection.[14] In 2019 a total of 22 people were executed,[15] and 2,652 people were on death row.[16]

The federal Unborn Victims of Violence Act, enacted in 2004 and codified at 18 U.S. Code § 1841,[17] allows for a fetus to be treated as victims in crimes. Subsection (c) of that statute specifically prohibits prosecutions related to consented abortions and medical treatments.[17]

Homicide rates by year. FBI


Note: The location links in this table, as in all the tables below, are "Crime in LOCATION" links, except for Maine.

The following list shows homicide rates for the most recent five years. Data are from the FBI.[1]

Homicide rates by year. CDC

Homicide rate by state. CDC. 2021 data.[5]

Homicide rates by type. CDC


The following list shows homicide rates by mechanism, for types where total deaths exceeded 100. Data are from the CDC and average the years 2018 to 2021.[22] Blank values indicate that the underlying homicide count was between 1 and 9, and was suppresed.[23] Excludes unspecified or unclassified data types, but the "Total" includes all deaths including suppressed, unspecified and/or unclassified data.

Homicide rates by decade. FBI


The following list shows homicide rates by decade, averaging the rates for each year. Data are from the FBI.[1] Data for the 2020s are for 2020 to 2022.

Homicide totals by year. FBI


The following list shows homicide totals for the most recent five years. Data are from the FBI.[1]

See also



  1. ^ a b c d e "Crime Data Explorer". Federal Bureau of Investigation. At the bottom under 'Additional Datasets' find 'Summary Reporting System (SRS)' and click 'Download'. Rates are found by dividing the number of homicides by the population figure given, and multiplying by 100,000.
  2. ^ a b Nastas, Vittorio (August 23, 2023). "Examining recent crime trends and flaws in national statistics". Reason Foundation.
  3. ^ a b Quinn, Barbara; Thomas, Jill. "The Nation's Two Measures of Homicide" (PDF). Office of Justice Programs. U.S. Department of Justice.
  4. ^ Find the "2023 CHR CSV Analytic Data" link. "Rankings Data & Documentation". County Health Rankings & Roadmaps. Retrieved 11 Feb 2024. See 2023 Measures. Scroll down to "Homicides: National Center for Health Statistics - Mortality. 2014 to 2020 Files".
  5. ^ a b c Homicide Mortality by State. National Center for Health Statistics. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
  6. ^ "FBI — Murder". Federal Bureau of Investigation.
  7. ^ "CDC - Definitions for Fatal Injury Reports - Fatal Injury Help Menu - WISQARS - Injury". National Center for Injury Prevention and Control. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Scroll down to '5.1.1b Intent Categories'.
  8. ^ Binder, Guyora (2012-05-09). Felony Murder. Stanford University Press. ISBN 978-0-8047-8170-1.
  9. ^ "Statistical Abstract of the United States". U.S. Census Bureau. Government Printing Office. p. 187. Retrieved 10 September 2017.
  10. ^ Cohen, Thomas H.; Reaves, Bryan A. (1 February 2006). "Felony Defendants in Large Urban Counties, 2002". Bureau of Justice Statistics. U.S. Department of Justice. Retrieved 10 September 2017.
  11. ^ Bosman, Julie (27 May 2015). "Nebraska Bans Death Penalty, Defying a Veto". The New York Times.
  12. ^ "State by State".
  13. ^ "Death Sentences and Executions 2013" (PDF). Amnesty International. 2014. Retrieved 10 September 2017.
  14. ^ "Executions by year since 1976". Death Penalty Information Center. June 4, 2015. Retrieved July 3, 2015.
  15. ^ "2019".
  16. ^ "The Death Penalty in 2019: Year End Report".
  17. ^ a b "18 U.S. Code § 1841 – Protection of unborn children". Legal Information Institute. Cornell Law School. Retrieved 10 September 2017.
  18. ^ a b New Hampshire. National Center for Health Statistics. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
  19. ^ a b Vermont. National Center for Health Statistics. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
  20. ^ a b Wyoming. National Center for Health Statistics. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
  21. ^ a b Washington, D.C.. National Center for Health Statistics. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
  22. ^ "Underlying Cause of Death". Retrieved 11 Feb 2024.
  23. ^ "Data Release Questions". 31 Aug 2023. Retrieved 11 Feb 2024.