A new report from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has been released showing murder rates from 2020. The new report shows that two metropolitan areas in eastern Iowa top the list with the largest homicide increase in one year. As you can guess, those two metros are the Quad Cities -IA/IL and Cedar Rapids, IA.

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The Central Square obtained a newly released FBI report revealing total homicides in the U.S. and in U.S. metropolitan areas. According to the report, there was a total of 21,570 murders committed in 2020 in the U.S. That number marks the most murders of any year in the last 25 years and is up nearly 30% from 2019 which is the largest annual increase on record.

The article from The Central Square says experts believe that the COVID-19 pandemic, the murder of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer, and the rise in sales of firearms attribute to the rise in homicide in America. Experts say it will take years to find out exactly why homicide rates increased in 2020, but believe these are the largest factors.

According to the new FBI report obtained by The Central Square, the Quad Cities metro area reported a 225% surge in homicides in 2020. That is the second-worst increase of all large U.S. metro areas, with the Cedar Rapids metro area being the worst increase. The Quad Cities homicide rate in 2020 was 6.9 incidents per 100,000 people. That is slightly higher than the 6.5 per 100,000 national rates.

In 2019, the Quad Cities metro area's homicide rate of 2.1 per 100,000 which was well under the national rate of 5.1 per 100,000 in 2019.

To combat gun violence, in June of 2020, Davenport Mayor Mike Matson announced a Violent Crime Community Task Force. The task force includes community members and organizations including the NAACP, Davenport Community Schools, Saint Ambrose University, Quad Cities Chamber, and others. Less than a week after the task force was announced, 80 rounds of bullets were fired from the Redstone parking ramp which shot out windows at the Figge Art Museum and the Skybridge.

The Cedar Rapids, IA metro area ranked as the worst increase of homicide rates in 2020. There was a 500% change in murders from 2019 to 2020 with the homicide rate being 4.4 per 100,000. There were only 12 murders in the Cedar Rapids metro area compared to 26 total murders in the Quad Cities metro area in 2020.

Below is the chart showing the 50 large U.S. metro areas sorted with the worst 1-year change in reported murders:

RankState1-yr. change in reported murders (%)Total murders in 2020Murders per 100,000 peopleViolent crimes per 100,000 people
1Cedar Rapids, IA500.0124.4251.9
2Davenport-Moline-Rock Island, IA-IL225.0266.9475.9
3Brownsville-Harlingen, TX225.0133.1360.8
4Greeley, CO220.0164.8324.2
5Sioux Falls, SD200.0155.5477.7
6Wilmington, NC188.9268.6372.1
7Lubbock, TX181.8319.5919.4
8Killeen-Temple, TX152.64810.3377.2
9Flint, MI150.07518.6577.6
10Albany-Schenectady-Troy, NY142.9343.9272.4
11Gainesville, FL142.9175.1760.3
12Trenton-Princeton, NJ141.24111.2358.6
13Spokane-Spokane Valley, WA130.8305.2350.0
14Madison, WI112.5172.5201.7
15Canton-Massillon, OH111.1194.8366.2
16Grand Rapids-Kentwood, MI108.3504.6350.1
17Shreveport-Bossier City, LA107.38521.6683.0
18Santa Cruz-Watsonville, CA100.0124.4357.1
19Laredo, TX100.0124.3335.9
20Merced, CA100.0248.7598.6
21College Station-Bryan, TX100.0103.7298.0
22Raleigh-Cary, NC95.8473.3223.6
23Vallejo, CA90.5408.9525.7
24Milwaukee-Waukesha, WI85.620613.1678.2
25McAllen-Edinburg-Mission, TX84.2354.0274.8
26Rockford, IL80.03610.8770.7
27Reno, NV80.0275.6462.9
28Syracuse, NY75.0355.4303.8
29New Haven-Milford, CT75.0496.1256.3
30Lakeland-Winter Haven, FL73.9405.4286.8
31Cleveland-Elyria, OH72.121010.3440.6
32Columbus, OH69.91929.0313.2
33Stockton, CA68.08411.0722.8
34Akron, OH66.7557.8378.4
35Kalamazoo-Portage, MI66.7207.5663.3
36Salt Lake City, UT62.2604.8384.0
37Green Bay, WI60.082.5225.0
38Asheville, NC60.0245.1317.1
39Knoxville, TN60.0566.4381.9
40Toledo, OH55.6568.8485.6
41Ogden-Clearfield, UT55.6142.0172.9
42Tucson, AZ53.6868.1473.5
43Springfield, MO52.9265.5631.6
44Visalia, CA45.0296.2366.0
45Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, CT42.9404.3163.9
46Kingsport-Bristol, TN-VA42.9206.5363.6
47Colorado Springs, CO42.4476.2486.6
48Rochester, NY42.1545.1262.0
49San Luis Obispo-Paso Robles, CA40.072.5289.6
50Tallahassee, FL40.0359.0555.7

The Central Square reports that the data in this article is at the metro area level from the FBI. Metro areas with populations of at least 250,000 residents and at least one homicide in 2019 were considered in this data.

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