Cases of aggravated assault spiked by 12% in the United States in 2020. The increase, which was the driving force behind the 5% year-over-year uptick in the overall U.S. violent crime rate, pushed the aggravated assault rate to its highest level in over a decade.
According to the FBI, aggravated assault is an unlawful physical attack on one person by another 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.
Despite the rise in assault cases nationwide, in many parts of the country, violent assault remains rare. In nearly every state, there is at least one city where the assault rate is well below the national average of 280 incidents per 100,000 people.
Using data from the FBI’s 2020 Uniform Crime Report, 24/7 Wall St. identified the city with the fewest aggravated assault cases in each state. Cities are ranked by their aggravated assault rate — specifically, the number of reported aggravated assault cases for every 100,000 residents. Only cities with populations greater than 25,000 were considered.
It is important to note that in four states — Alabama, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Vermont — there is only one city with available data. In each of these cases, which are noted, the city listed ranks as having the lowest aggravated assault rate by default only. In Hawaii, there are no eligible cities with available crime data.
Though each of the cities on this list ranks as having the lowest assault rate in its respective state, assault rates in these places vary considerably, from as many as 561 incidents for every 100,000 people to as few as 4 per 100,000. In the majority of the cities on this list, assault rates are below the statewide rate.
Of the four types of violent crime — rаpe, robbery, aggravated assault, and homicide — aggravated assault is by far the most common, accounting for about 70% of the 1.3 million violent offenses reported in 2020. In most of the cities on this list, the overall violent crime rate is below the rate across the state as a whole.