The U.S. violent crime rate inched up by about 5% in 2020. The increase was led by a 29% surge in the number of homicides — the largest such increase on record. Not all forms of criminal violence increased last year, however. Continuing a multi-decade downward trend, the robbery rate declined in the U.S. in 2020 and is now at its lowest level since at least the mid-1980s.
According to the FBI, robbery is a crime in which force or the threat of force or violence is used to take, or attempt to take, anything of value from another person. The largest share of robberies are committed on streets or sidewalks. Handguns are the most commonly used weapon in robberies, and more often than not, among the cases where a suspect has been identified, the offender and victim are strangers to one another.
Despite the long-term decline in robberies nationwide, there were still nearly a quarter of a million robbery cases reported in 2020, accounting for about 19% of all reported violent crimes — and in some parts of the country, robbery is far more common than average.
Using data from the FBI’s 2020 Uniform Crime Report, 24/7 Wall St. identified the metro area with the most robberies in each state. Metropolitan areas are ranked by their robbery rate — specifically, the number of reported robberies for every 100,000 residents.
It is important to note that in eight states, there is only one eligible metro area with available data. In each of these cases, which are noted, the metro area listed ranks as having the most robberies by default only. In two states — Alabama and Pennsylvania — there are no qualifying metro areas with available crime data.
Though each of the metro areas on this list ranks as having the highest robbery rate in its respective state, robbery rates in these places vary considerably, from 14.5 incidents per 100,000 people to 185.4 per 100,000. Still, in the vast majority of the metro areas on this list, robbery rates exceed the statewide rate. The robbery rate nationwide is 73.9 per 100,000.
Robbery is one of four broad categories of violent crime — along with aggravated assault, rаpe, and homicide — and most metro areas on this list also have a higher overall violent crime rate than the state as a whole.