As if we didn't have enough to worry about last year, murder rates skyrocketed across the U.S. in 2020 to their highest levels in nearly 25 years. Sadly, Killeen-Temple also saw an increase in this deadly statistic.

24/7 Wall Street just released its list of the top 50 Metro Areas in the U.S. with the highest murder rates, and Killeen-Temple landed in the top 35.

Are you surprised?

Overall in 2020, there were 21,570 murders in the U.S. That's a 30% increase from 2019, and the largest annual increase ever recorded. Several factors may have played a part in the rise in numbers, including the COVID-19 pandemic which led to high unemployment rates. There was also the murder of George Floyd and the violence that followed. With all the unrest happening across the country, sales of guns went up as well.

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With the rise in murder rates across the country, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention lists homicide as one of the main reasons that life expectancy in the U.S. last year decreased by 1.5 years.

24/7 Wall Street looked at the murder rates of the top 50 U.S. metro areas by number of reported murders for every 100,000 people in 2020, and it turns out Central Texas ranked pretty high, with Killeen-Temple placing at 33 out of the top 50.

The murder rate in Killeen-Temple is 10.3 per 100,000 people, with 48 murders reported in 2020. Violent crimes per 100,000 people was 377.2.

Keep in mind these numbers reflect a total for both Killeen and Temple and the metro area, not one city alone. Still, the numbers are pretty shocking.

Those who watch the nightly news are probably less shocked by these numbers, and I see a lot of comments on social media about how bad it is to live in this area.

There are a lot of great things about life in Central Texas, but the streak of violence we've seen in recent years is definitely not one of them. We're supposed to be a community, but some bad folks don't want to play nice.

Texas Crime Statistics By City

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