The murder rate in the United States jumped 10.8 percent in 2015, which is the highest increase in murder rates the U.S. has seen since 1971, according to new crime statistics released Monday by the FBI. The report states that there were 15,696 U.S. murders in 2015.
The Guardian reports that the increase in murders is largely due to a rise in the murders of black men (a minimum of 900 more black men were killed in 2015 compared to 2014, the Guardian reports), and an overall increase in murders committed with guns. While knife murders were down, there were 1,500 more gun murders in 2015 than 2014.
While the increase in murders in 2015 is relatively large compared to recent years, the Guardian reports that the murder rate is still nearly half of what it was in the early 1990s.
Jeffrey Butts, who directs the Research & Evaluation Center at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, told the Guardian that the increased murder rate is nothing to get to get "hysterical" about, given that overall, the country has been on a downward trend in murders for a couple of decades. "You lost 50lb. You gained back a couple. You’re not fat," Butts told the Guardian. "That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t look at your behavior, because the trend is not good."