The aggravated assault rate in the United States is at its highest level since 2007. According to the FBI, about 921,500 cases of violent assault were reported nationwide in 2020, up 12% from the previous year.
The FBI defines aggravated assault as an unlawful physical attack with the purpose of causing severe injury or harm. Aggravated assaults are often carried out using a deadly weapon, such as a knife, handgun, or blunt object. Most cases of aggravated assault are committed in private residences, though a large share also take place on public streets or sidewalks.
While cases of assault are surging across the country, some U.S. cities are bucking the national trend, reporting substantial year-over-year declines in cases of aggravated assault per capita.
Using data from the FBI, 24/7 Wall St. identified the 50 cities where the aggravated assault rate is falling fastest. Cities – defined as places with populations of at least 25,000 – are ranked by the year-over-year change in the number of violent assaults per 100,000 people in 2020. Among the cities on this list, the assault rate fell anywhere from 58 to 330 assaults per 100,000 people. Meanwhile, the national aggravated assault rate climbed by 29 assaults per 100,000 people in 2020.
Aggravated assault – along with rаpe, robbery, and homicide – is one component of the overall violent crime category, and is by far the most common. Assaults accounted for about 70% of the 1.3 million violent offenses reported in 2020. Partially due to a falling aggravated assault rate, the overall violent crime rate also declined in nearly every city on this list in 2020. Here is a look at the metro areas where crime is falling fastest.
The largest share of cities on this list are in the West, including 14 in California alone. Despite declining assault rates, in a little over half of the cities on this list, the aggravated assault remains higher than the national rate of 280 per 100,000 people. Here is a look at the U.S. cities with the fewest assaults.
Click here to see the cities where the aggravated assault rate is falling
Click here to read our detailed methodology
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