Murder, manslaughter, and assault with a lethal outcome are usually jointly designated lethal violence. In 2022, 116 cases of lethal violence were confirmed in Sweden. The average in the period of 2002-2022 is 98 cases per year.
Confirmed cases of lethal violence, in total and by sex¹ for the years, 2002 – 2022
(Reported cases of lethal violence where lethal violence is highly likely to be the cause of death). Source: Confirmed cases of lethal violence (Brå)
1.) The victim's sex is reported for the confirmed cases of lethal violence since 2011. In one of the cases in 2012, the victim's sex could not be established.
In 2022, 116 cases of lethal violence were confirmed in Sweden. This can be seen from the statistic regarding confirmed cases of lethal violence. This is an increase by 3 cases, as compared with 2021.
Since 2002, when Brå started producing the statistics, the level of confirmed cases of lethal violence has fluctuated between 68 and 124 cases. From 2015 onwards, the number of cases has been at a higher level than in previous years,. The average of lethal violence for the period of 2002-2022 is 98 cases per year.
In 2022, the victim was a female in 23 cases and a male in 93 cases. Compared to 2021, the number of female victims decreased with 1 case in 2022, while the number of male victims increased by 4 cases.
In 10 cases of confirmed lethal violence in 2022, victims and perpetrators were related by a close relationship (partner or ex-partner), which accounted for 9 per cent of all cases of lethal violence. In 2021, the corresponding number was 19 cases (17%)
The number of cases of lethal violence against females in a close relationship in 2022 amounted to 10 cases, which equals 43 per cent of all cases of lethal violence with female victims during the year. There were no cases of lethal violence against men in a close relationship in 2022.
In 2022, firearms were used in 63 of the observed cases of lethal violence which corresponded to 54 percent of all observed cases of lethal violence. The corresponding proportion in 2021 was 40 percent. In the cases where a firearm was used 2022, the victim was a male in 62 of the cases (98 %).
At the regional level, there were some changes in the number of observed cases of lethal violence in 2022 compared with 2021. Three regions showed an increase in confirmed cases of lethal violence, Region Syd (+12 cases), Region Mitt (+4 cases) and Region Väst (+2 cases). Some regions saw a decrease in leathal violence in 2022, especially Region Öst (-6 cases) and Region Bergslagen (-4 cases), as compared with 2021.
The majority (87 cases, corresponding to 75 %) of the confirmed cases of lethal violence in 2022 were reported in one of the major metropolitan regions of Stockholm, Väst (including Göteborg) and Syd (including Malmö). This level has fluctuated between 71 and 87 percent during the period 2015–2022.
The figures above come from Brå's special study of lethal violence which only includes reported cases of lethal violence where lethal violence is highly likely to be the cause of death. This is because the statistic regarding reported offences is misleading where lethal violence is concerned, since it shows all reported incidents with a lethal outcome where there initially was reason to investigate whether lethal violence may have been used. Following investigation, many of these incidents are seen to involve something other than lethal violence, for example suicide, accident, or natural death. It also occurs that several police reports are prepared for a single case of suspected lethal violence, which means that the statistic contains repeats. Moreover, attempts, preparation, and conspiracy to commit murder or manslaughter are erroneously registered as completed murder or manslaughter.