The Hive Law

How Many Murders Go Unsolved (Startling Percentages You Won’t Believe)

How Many Murders Go Unsolved - What Percent Of Murders Go Unsolved - What Percentage Of Murders Are Solved - Unsolved Homicide Statistics

How many murders go unsolved each year in the US?

In this article, you’ll learn about:

  • the average number of murders and unsolved murders each year
  • what states have the highest and least amount of murders
  • which states have the highest murder rates
  • what state has the most unsolved murders
  • which political party’s states have the higher number of murders

Let’s dig in.

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What Percent Of Murders Go Unsolved

  • There are 254,379 unresolved murders from the past 40 years.
  • On average, 6,276 murders go unsolved every year in the US.
  • On average, there are 18,340 murders each year in the US.
  • More than 1 in 3 murders (39.82%) go unsolved.
  • The national clearance rate for homicide victims is 66.11%.
  • Wyoming has the least amount of unresolved murder cases at 14.1%.
  • Illinois has the largest amount of unresolved murders at 64%.
  • California has the highest number of homicides in the US at 128,787 per year.
  • 3 of the 5 states with the highest murder rates are Democrat states.
  • Of the states with the highest murder rates, Democrat states have 55.8% of the murders.
  • Mississippi has the highest death rate at 20.5 per 100,000 people.
  • The south has the highest murder rates in the country.

How Many Murders Go Unsolved?

On average, 6,276 murders go unsolved every year in the US.

The national average number of murders in the US each year is 15,773.

The average number of murders solved each year is 9,497.

So, on average, 39.82% of murders go unsolved each year in the US.

There are 254,379 unresolved murders from the past 40 years.

YearHomicides# Solved% Solved# Unsolved% Unsolved
202114,7157,54251.3%7,17348.7%
202020,22110,37451.3%9,84748.7%
201915,4498,90557.6%6,54442.4%
201815,8779,34058.8%6,53741.2%
201717,0049,85057.9%7,15442.1%
201616,8919,38255.5%7,50944.5%
201515,5949,14158.6%6,45341.4%
201413,9238,51061.1%5,41338.9%
201314,1038,61461.1%5,48938.9%
201214,8228,36656.4%6,45643.6%
201114,5518,38857.6%6,16342.4%
201014,5778,41957.8%6,15842.2%
200915,1668,95059.0%6,21641.0%
200816,27210,41464.0%5,85836.0%
200716,92910,32761.0%6,60239.0%
200617,03010,38861.0%6,64239.0%
200516,74010,37962.0%6,36138.0%
200416,14810,17363.0%5,97537.0%
200316,52810,24762.0%6,28138.0%
200216,22910,38764.0%5,84236.0%
200116,0379,94362.0%6,09438.0%
200015,5869,81963.0%5,76737.0%
199915,52210,71069.0%4,81231.0%
199816,97411,71269.0%5,26231.0%
199718,20812,01766.0%6,19134.0%
199619,64513,16267.0%6,48333.0%
199521,60614,04465.0%7,56235.0%
199423,32614,92964.0%8,39736.0%
199324,52616,18766.0%8,33934.0%
199223,76015,44465.0%8,31635.0%
199124,70316,38766.3%8,31633.7%
199023,43815,70367.0%7,73533.0%
198921,50014,62068.0%6,88032.0%
198820,67514,47270.0%6,20330.0%
198720,09614,06770.0%6,02930.0%
198620,61315,30074.2%5,31325.8%
198518,97613,66372.0%5,31328.0%
198418,69213,83274.0%4,86026.0%
198319,30814,67476.0%4,63424.0%
198221,01015,54774.0%5,46326.0%
198122,52016,21472.0%6,30628.0%
198023,04016,58972.0%6,45128.0%
Average18,34011,98064.75%6,35935.25%

How Many Unsolved Murders Are In The US?

Over the past 40 years, there have been 321,094 unsolved murders in the US.

The number of unsolved murders increases every year.

In 1980, there were 28% unsolved murders in the US.

Today, there are about 42.36% unsolved murders each year in the US.

The number of unsolved murders per year has increased by 151% over the past 40 years.

What Percentage Of Murders Are Solved?

The percentage of murders solved is 66.11%.

This data looks at data for each state over the past 40 years.

This FBI data shows that the total number of murders is 947,521.

That’s how many murder cases there have been in the US over the past 40 years.

Of those 947,521 murder cases, 626,427 are solved.

So, the “murder clearance rate” is 66.11%.

Read More: What Is Attempted Manslaughter?

Unsolved Homicide Statistics

Let’s look at some other data related to how many murders go unsolved.

Which State Has The Most Murders?

The states with the highest murder rates are:

  • California – 128,787
  • Texas – 86,484
  • New York – 77,534
  • Florida – 55,895
  • Illinois – 49,026

Which State Has The Least Murders

The states with the lowest murder rates are:

  • Wyoming – 972
  • New Hampshire – 946
  • South Dakota – 773
  • Vermont – 524
  • North Dakota – 508

Highest Murder Rate In The US

The states with the highest murder rates in the US are:

  • Mississippi – 20.5
  • Louisiana – 19.9
  • Alabama – 14.2
  • Missouri – 14
  • Arkansas – 14

These murder rates are the number of people murdered out of 100,000 people.

Number Of Unsolved Murders 2020

48.7% of murders went unsolved in 2020.

There were 20,221 murder cases in 2020.

Of those 20,221 homicide cases, only 10,374 were solved.

This means that 9,847 (48.7%) murders were unsolved in 2020.

Read More: What Is Aggravated Manslaughter?

What’s The FBI Conviction Rate?

The FBI conviction rate for violent crimes is 16%.

The local police officer conviction rate is 4%.

The FBI conviction rate for homicides is 4x that of local police departments.

This is because the FBI has better resources for solving murder cases than law enforcement.

What State Has The Most Unsolved Murders?

California is the state with the most unsolved murders.

California has 48,830 unsolved murders per year, on average.

Their unsolved murder rate averages 37.9%.

But, Illinois has the highest unsolved murder rate at 64%.

Even though they have 31,376 unsolved murders per year.

How Many Murders Go Unsolved In Chicago?

Chicago averages 595 murders per year.

Of those, 380 murders per year go unsolved in Chicago.

64% of murders go unsolved in Chicago each year.

Chicago solves 36% of its murders each year.

How Many Cold Cases Are There In The US?

There are 321,094 cold cases in the US.

Over the past 40 years, there have been 321,094 unsolved murders in the US.

On average, 6,276 murders go unsolved every year in the US.

So, the number of cold cases increases each year by 6,300, on average.

How Common Is Murder?

There are 5.5 murders for every 100,000 people in the US.

Murder is not very common in the US.

For reference, the:

  • marriage rate in the US is 610 people out of every 100,000 people per year
  • divorce rate in the US is 260 people out of every 100,000 people per year
  • abortion rate in the US is 1,140 people out of every 100,000 people per year
  • infidelity rate in the US is 16,000 people out of every 100,000 people per year

The Data On How Many Murders Go Unsolved

The crime data for this study on how many murders go unsolved comes from:

  • Murder Accountability Project
  • The FBI’s Uniform Crime Report

Homicide detectives at local law enforcement agencies have to report this crime data.

The criminal justice system keeps data on:

  • the number of homicide cases each year
  • the homicide clearance rates each year
  • the caseloads of law enforcement agencies for homicides

These unsolved homicide statistics show us exactly how many murders go unsolved each year.

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