A greater percentage of homicides were carried out with a gun in 2016 than in any year since the Federal Bureau of Investigation began keeping records, an analysis of new data from the agency shows. The number of gun killings also jumped sharply year over year, propelled by a surge in violence in many major American cities, including Chicago and Baltimore, the FBI data shows.
A total of 17,250 people were murdered in the United States in 2016, according to the FBI’s annual crime report. The murder rate jumped 8.6 percent, marking the second consecutive year-over-year increase. The year before, the homicide rate rose 10.8 percent.
Of the 15,070 homicides where information about weapons was recorded, 73 percent were carried out with a gun, according to the FBI data.
The share of all homicides carried out with a gun was the highest since at least 1995, according to historical records kept by the FBI. Crime analyst Jeff Asher, working with data going back to 1960, determined that the percentage of gun murders was the highest on record.
The murder rate of 5.3 per 100K is roughly where it was in 2008,. pic.twitter.com/TNE2qVIOQc
— Jeff Asher (@Crimealytics) September 25, 2017
National homicide rates can be misleading. As John Pfaff, a criminology professor at Fordham University noted on Twitter on Monday, the surge in the murder rate can be partially attributed to sharp increases at the local level.
So: 22% of net homicide ⬆ just from Chicago. And 50% of Chicago’s ⬆ in 5 nbhds w 9% of city’s pop.
Those nbhds = 10% of NATIONAL rise.
— John Pfaff (@JohnFPfaff) September 25, 2017
The report showed there were an estimated 1.2 million violent crimes in the U.S. last year. Despite the recent increases, the overall violent crime rate is 12.3 percent lower than it was in 2007.
Here’s a more detailed breakdown from the FBI of the 15,070 homicides in which the type of weapon was recorded.
|Firearms, type not stated||1,769||1,956||2,024||2,502||3,077|
|Knives or cutting instruments||1,604||1,490||1,595||1,589||1,604|
|Blunt objects (clubs, hammers, etc.)||522||428||446||450||472|
|Personal weapons (hands, fists, feet, etc.)||707||687||682||659||656|
|Other weapons or weapons not stated||802||850||872||873||903|