Posted on November 15, 2022

One Out of Every 179 Americans Will Eventually Be Murdered If Crime Rate Continues, Study Finds

Emma Colton, Fox News, November 14, 2022

A study examining murders in 2021 based on death certificate data projects that one out 179 Americans will eventually be murdered over the course of their lifetimes if the country’s murder rate remains at 2021 levels.

“That means if you’re in the United States, you live here, you’re born and you spend your life here, your odds of your life ending by murder are one in 179 over your life. Not over a year or any other timeframe.”

“It’s just somebody’s gonna murder you before you die of natural causes, an accident, suicide, whatever it may be,” Jim Agresti, president and co-founder of Just Facts, a nonprofit research institute, told Fox News Digital. Agresti also authored the study.

Just Facts undertook a massive project to examine how many people were murdered in 2021 after weeks of news outlets and experts reporting there is no definitive figure for 2021 murders due to newly-released FBI data for that year being incomplete and based on estimates.

America was throttled by violent crimes in 2020, when murders spiked by nearly 30% compared to the prior year. It marked the largest single-year increase in killings since the agency began tracking crimes. Experts who have previously spoken to Fox News Digital pointed to calls to defund the police, the riots of 2020, the Ferguson effect — when police pull back amid a spike in violent crime and unrest — and the COVID pandemic for contributing to the bloodshed of 2020.

The FBI switched to a new recording program at the start of 2021 called the National Incident-Based Reporting System that aims to provide a more thorough snapshot of offenses, such as what weapons were used in an incident, types of property stolen and more detailed demographic information on victims and perpetrators of crimes.

But nearly 40% of police departments nationwide did not provide complete data on 2021 crime to the FBI by the March deadline of this year.

The FBI estimates that between 21,300 to 24,600 people were murdered last year, but that data is buried within its report, Just Facts outlines in its study, “As Murders Soar, FBI Buries the Data.”


After wading through the 2021 death certificate data from the CDC, Just Facts was able to determine that about 24,493 people were murdered in 2021. The number was determined after adjusting for the average number of justifiable homicides by civilians, which are not defined as murders; some justifiable homicides by police; and miscoded cases.