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 in the United States 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 town with the most robberies in each state. Towns are ranked by their robbery rate — specifically, the number of reported robberies for every 100,000 residents. Only places with populations between 2,500 and 25,000 were considered. In Hawaii, there were no eligible towns with available crime data.
Though each of the towns on this list ranks as having the highest robbery rate in its respective state, robbery rates in these places vary considerably, from 27.2 incidents per 100,000 people to 579.3 per 100,000. Still, in every town 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 the vast majority of towns on this list also have a higher overall violent crime rate than the state as a whole.