The FBI has finally released its 2020 Uniform Crime Reporting data from most (but, as usual, not all) of the law enforcement agencies in the U.S. I concentrate on murders, the most accurately reported crime.
Murders and non-negligent manslaughters were up a record-crushing 29.4%, in line with my January 6, 2021 estimate: “Therefore, the national figure is perhaps in the 25 to 30 percent growth range, double the worst year previously recorded, 1968.”
In the FBI’s expanded homicide data, the black share of known murder offenders increased to a new record of 56.52%.
But, the big news is that while the number of known murder offenders (who can therefore be tabulated racially) increased by 17.3 percent, the number of Unknown murder offenders grew 36.0%. Traditionally, murders in black neighborhoods tend to have the lowest clearance rate, what with snitches getting stitches.
So the black share of murder offenders likely went up even more.
As usual, the FBI stats sloppily lump together Hispanics and non-Hispanic whites into a white supercategory that is out of sync with how most government agencies have thought about race and ethnicity over the last generation. Hence, I just look at black vs. nonblack (white, Hispanic, Asian, American Indian, etc.).
With the new 2020 Census, a somewhat sizable delta has opened up between the percentage of people who say they are racially black and nothing else (12.4%, including black Hispanics) versus people who say they are either all black or also black and something else (14.2%).
Which definition of black are the cops using when they charge somebody with murder? I dunno … probably some use one way, some another.
If you use the more expansive latter figure for the at least partially racially black population of 14.2%, then the ratio of black (and blackish) known murder offenders to nonblack known murder offenders in 2020 was 8.4 to 1. (If you use the more restrictive black-only figure of 12.4%, you get a black to non-black ratio of 9.8 to 1.)
Incredibly, even the lower (at least part-black) ratio of 8.4 to one is a little higher than the per capita male-to-female known murder offender ratio of 7.5 to 1.
FBI 2020 Uniform Crime Reporting: Murder and Non-Negligent Manslaughter Offenders
|2019||2019||2020||2020||Chg %||Chg #|
|% of Known||% of Known|
|Murders Reported in Expanded Homicide Data||14,548||17,815||22.5%||3,267|
|Total Murder Offenders reported||17,179||21,061||22.6%||3,882|
|Unknown Murder Offenders||4,862||6,612||36.0%||1,750|
|Known Murder Offenders||12,317||100.00%||14,449||100.00%||17.3%||2,132|
|Black or African American||6,809||55.28%||8,166||56.52%||19.9%||1,357|
|White (incl most Hispanics)||5,146||41.78%||5,866||40.60%||14.0%||720|
|American Indian or Alaska Native||178||1.45%||215||1.49%||20.8%||37|
|All Known Nonblack Offenders||5,508||6,283||775|
|All Known Black Offenders||6,809||8,166||1,357|
|Share of Population: Black Alone||12.4%||12.4%|
|Share of Population: Some Black||14.2%||14.2%|
|Per Capita Known Murder Offender Ratio: Black Alone to Nonblack||9.3||9.8|
|Ratio: Some Black to Nonblack||8.0||8.4|
|Unknown Offender Sex||6,242|
|Known Offender Sex||14,819||100.00%|
|Ratio: Male to Female||7.5|
|# of police depts sending in Expanded Homicide Data||15,334||18,674||15,875||18,623||541|
For example, although Louisiana has had the highest murder rate for the last 30 years, some analysts suspect that if more Mississippi PDs bothered to send in their numbers, Mississippi would be #1 with a bullet.