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Report: California homicide rate up 31% in 2020 but Santa Barbara County sees decline

Posted at 11:26 AM, Jul 08, 2021

California Attorney General Rob Bonta released the state's annual homicide report last Thursday. It details changes in homicide rates on a county basis from the previous year.

Overall, the state saw a 31% increase in homicides, the largest increase in 13 years.

But that wasn't the case on the Central Coast.

Out of the 58 counties in California, Santa Barbara County was one of just five to see a decrease in the homicide rate from 2019 to 2020.

Per the report, Santa Barbara County's homicide rate in 2019 was 3.7 per 100,000 people. In 2020, it dropped to 1.8 per 100,000.

That's the lowest rate for the county since it was 1.8 in 2017.

The data show San Luis Obispo County's homicide rate did increase from 2019 to 2020, though slightly less than the overall state increase.

In 2019, the rate was 1.8 per 100,000. That rose to 2.5 in 2020 — a 28% increase.