Special Report

American Towns With the Highest Assault Rates

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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. 

Aggravated assault is by far the most commonly reported violent crime in the United States, accounting for about 70% of the 1.3 million violent offenses reported in 2020. Rates of aggravated assault vary across the country, however, and in some places, aggravated assault is far more common than in others. 

Using data from the FBI’s 2020 Uniform Crime Report, 24/7 Wall St. identified the 50 towns with the most aggravated assault cases. Towns are ranked by their aggravated assault rate — specifically, the number of reported aggravated assault cases for every 100,000 residents. We defined towns based on population thresholds, having at least 2,500 people and less than 25,000 people.

The aggravated assault rate nationwide stands at 280 per 100,000. In the towns on this list, aggravated assault rates range from 1,113 reported incidents per 100,000 people up to 2,925 per 100,000. The majority of towns on this list are located in the South, including eight in Arkansas alone. None are in the Northeast. 

Aggravated assault is one of four broad categories of violent crime — along with rаpe, robbery, and homicide — and every town on this list also has an overall violent crime rate more than double the 399 per 100,000 national rate. 

Click here to see towns with the most assaults
Click here to see our detailed methodology

50. El Dorado, Arkansas
> Assaults per 100k people: 1,112.8
> Number of assaults: 195 — 16th highest of 3,609 towns
> Violent crimes per 100k people: 1,375.3 — 49th highest of 3,606 towns
> Poverty rate: 23.7% — 578th highest of 3,609 towns
> Population within reporting jurisdiction: 17,523 — 472nd highest of 3,609 towns

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49. Marion, Arkansas
> Assaults per 100k people: 1,115.2
> Number of assaults: 137 — 46th highest of 3,609 towns
> Violent crimes per 100k people: 1,269.8 — 64th highest of 3,606 towns
> Poverty rate: 8.7% — 1,147th lowest of 3,609 towns
> Population within reporting jurisdiction: 12,285 — 962nd highest of 3,609 towns

48. Washington, North Carolina
> Assaults per 100k people: 1,120.6
> Number of assaults: 106 — 86th highest of 3,609 towns (tied)
> Violent crimes per 100k people: 1,310.9 — 55th highest of 3,606 towns
> Poverty rate: 27.8% — 319th highest of 3,609 towns
> Population within reporting jurisdiction: 9,459 — 1,369th highest of 3,609 towns

47. Byrnes Mill, Missouri
> Assaults per 100k people: 1,122.9
> Number of assaults: 34 — 555th highest of 3,609 towns (tied)
> Violent crimes per 100k people: 1,122.9 — 103rd highest of 3,606 towns
> Poverty rate: 7.9% — 1,017th lowest of 3,609 towns
> Population within reporting jurisdiction: 3,028 — 321st lowest of 3,609 towns

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46. Vinita Park, Missouri
> Assaults per 100k people: 1,132.3
> Number of assaults: 124 — 61st highest of 3,609 towns
> Violent crimes per 100k people: 1,461.1 — 44th highest of 3,606 towns
> Poverty rate: 17.1% — 1,184th highest of 3,609 towns
> Population within reporting jurisdiction: 10,951 — 1,153rd highest of 3,609 towns

45. College Park, Georgia
> Assaults per 100k people: 1,157.6
> Number of assaults: 176 — 25th highest of 3,609 towns (tied)
> Violent crimes per 100k people: 1,756.1 — 23rd highest of 3,606 towns
> Poverty rate: 29.5% — 247th highest of 3,609 towns
> Population within reporting jurisdiction: 15,204 — 654th highest of 3,609 towns (tied)

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44. Dos Palos, California
> Assaults per 100k people: 1,162.0
> Number of assaults: 65 — 221st highest of 3,609 towns (tied)
> Violent crimes per 100k people: 1,287.1 — 57th highest of 3,606 towns
> Poverty rate: 14.7% — 1,508th highest of 3,609 towns
> Population within reporting jurisdiction: 5,594 — 1,356th lowest of 3,609 towns

43. West Monroe, Louisiana
> Assaults per 100k people: 1,170.3
> Number of assaults: 142 — 42nd highest of 3,609 towns
> Violent crimes per 100k people: 1,565.8 — 38th highest of 3,606 towns
> Poverty rate: 24.6% — 524th highest of 3,609 towns
> Population within reporting jurisdiction: 12,134 — 979th highest of 3,609 towns

42. Wynne, Arkansas
> Assaults per 100k people: 1,184.6
> Number of assaults: 91 — 118th highest of 3,609 towns (tied)
> Violent crimes per 100k people: 1,340.8 — 52nd highest of 3,606 towns
> Poverty rate: 16.1% — 1,325th highest of 3,609 towns
> Population within reporting jurisdiction: 7,682 — 1,739th highest of 3,609 towns

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41. Balcones Heights, Texas
> Assaults per 100k people: 1,189.8
> Number of assaults: 40 — 451st highest of 3,609 towns (tied)
> Violent crimes per 100k people: 1,487.2 — 42nd highest of 3,606 towns
> Poverty rate: 31.7% — 169th highest of 3,609 towns
> Population within reporting jurisdiction: 3,362 — 497th lowest of 3,609 towns

40. Bishopville, South Carolina
> Assaults per 100k people: 1,211.7
> Number of assaults: 36 — 523rd highest of 3,609 towns (tied)
> Violent crimes per 100k people: 1,346.3 — 50th highest of 3,606 towns
> Poverty rate: 29.8% — 234th highest of 3,609 towns
> Population within reporting jurisdiction: 2,971 — 285th lowest of 3,609 towns

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39. Havana, Illinois
> Assaults per 100k people: 1,252.5
> Number of assaults: 37 — 506th highest of 3,609 towns (tied)
> Violent crimes per 100k people: 1,523.4 — 41st highest of 3,606 towns
> Poverty rate: 17.3% — 1,163rd highest of 3,609 towns
> Population within reporting jurisdiction: 2,954 — 275th lowest of 3,609 towns (tied)

38. Lake City, Florida
> Assaults per 100k people: 1,265.8
> Number of assaults: 157 — 32nd highest of 3,609 towns
> Violent crimes per 100k people: 1,556.1 — 39th highest of 3,606 towns
> Poverty rate: 22.2% — 691st highest of 3,609 towns
> Population within reporting jurisdiction: 12,403 — 948th highest of 3,609 towns

37. Helena-West Helena, Arkansas
> Assaults per 100k people: 1,279.0
> Number of assaults: 129 — 55th highest of 3,609 towns
> Violent crimes per 100k people: 1,635.9 — 32nd highest of 3,606 towns
> Poverty rate: 45.2% — 18th highest of 3,609 towns
> Population within reporting jurisdiction: 10,086 — 1,279th highest of 3,609 towns

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36. Williams, Arizona
> Assaults per 100k people: 1,284.0
> Number of assaults: 42 — 418th highest of 3,609 towns (tied)
> Violent crimes per 100k people: 1,345.2 — 51st highest of 3,606 towns
> Poverty rate: 24.9% — 494th highest of 3,609 towns
> Population within reporting jurisdiction: 3,271 — 449th lowest of 3,609 towns

35. Gallup, New Mexico
> Assaults per 100k people: 1,290.8
> Number of assaults: 277 — 4th highest of 3,609 towns
> Violent crimes per 100k people: 1,775.4 — 21st highest of 3,606 towns
> Poverty rate: 28.4% — 287th highest of 3,609 towns
> Population within reporting jurisdiction: 21,460 — 211th highest of 3,609 towns

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34. Manning, South Carolina
> Assaults per 100k people: 1,344.0
> Number of assaults: 52 — 321st highest of 3,609 towns (tied)
> Violent crimes per 100k people: 1,576.6 — 37th highest of 3,606 towns
> Poverty rate: 27.7% — 320th highest of 3,609 towns
> Population within reporting jurisdiction: 3,869 — 714th lowest of 3,609 towns

33. Bogalusa, Louisiana
> Assaults per 100k people: 1,356.4
> Number of assaults: 155 — 33rd highest of 3,609 towns (tied)
> Violent crimes per 100k people: 1,689.0 — 28th highest of 3,606 towns
> Poverty rate: 31.5% — 173rd highest of 3,609 towns
> Population within reporting jurisdiction: 11,427 — 1,081st highest of 3,609 towns

32. Covington, Tennessee
> Assaults per 100k people: 1,360.9
> Number of assaults: 120 — 66th highest of 3,609 towns (tied)
> Violent crimes per 100k people: 1,474.3 — 43rd highest of 3,606 towns
> Poverty rate: 24.7% — 514th highest of 3,609 towns
> Population within reporting jurisdiction: 8,818 — 1,470th highest of 3,609 towns

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31. Needles, California
> Assaults per 100k people: 1,362.2
> Number of assaults: 68 — 202nd highest of 3,609 towns (tied)
> Violent crimes per 100k people: 1,602.6 — 34th highest of 3,606 towns
> Poverty rate: 25.9% — 425th highest of 3,609 towns
> Population within reporting jurisdiction: 4,992 — 1,164th lowest of 3,609 towns

30. Darlington, South Carolina
> Assaults per 100k people: 1,408.0
> Number of assaults: 83 — 140th highest of 3,609 towns (tied)
> Violent crimes per 100k people: 1,594.6 — 36th highest of 3,606 towns
> Poverty rate: 22.0% — 711th highest of 3,609 towns
> Population within reporting jurisdiction: 5,895 — 1,436th lowest of 3,609 towns

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29. Orangeburg, South Carolina
> Assaults per 100k people: 1,412.7
> Number of assaults: 177 — 24th highest of 3,609 towns
> Violent crimes per 100k people: 1,732.0 — 24th highest of 3,606 towns
> Poverty rate: 27.2% — 351st highest of 3,609 towns
> Population within reporting jurisdiction: 12,529 — 927th highest of 3,609 towns

28. Riverview, Missouri
> Assaults per 100k people: 1,418.4
> Number of assaults: 40 — 451st highest of 3,609 towns (tied)
> Violent crimes per 100k people: 1,595.7 — 35th highest of 3,606 towns
> Poverty rate: 17.5% — 1,144th highest of 3,609 towns
> Population within reporting jurisdiction: 2,820 — 198th lowest of 3,609 towns (tied)

27. Pagedale, Missouri
> Assaults per 100k people: 1,429.4
> Number of assaults: 47 — 360th highest of 3,609 towns (tied)
> Violent crimes per 100k people: 1,642.3 — 31st highest of 3,606 towns
> Poverty rate: 39.0% — 53rd highest of 3,609 towns
> Population within reporting jurisdiction: 3,288 — 459th lowest of 3,609 towns

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26. Forrest City, Arkansas
> Assaults per 100k people: 1,442.6
> Number of assaults: 197 — 15th highest of 3,609 towns
> Violent crimes per 100k people: 1,633.0 — 33rd highest of 3,606 towns
> Poverty rate: 29.3% — 251st highest of 3,609 towns
> Population within reporting jurisdiction: 13,656 — 800th highest of 3,609 towns

25. Muskegon Heights, Michigan
> Assaults per 100k people: 1,445.4
> Number of assaults: 155 — 33rd highest of 3,609 towns (tied)
> Violent crimes per 100k people: 1,715.8 — 27th highest of 3,606 towns
> Poverty rate: 36.7% — 78th highest of 3,609 towns
> Population within reporting jurisdiction: 10,724 — 1,184th highest of 3,609 towns

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24. Fordyce, Arkansas
> Assaults per 100k people: 1,453.6
> Number of assaults: 53 — 310th highest of 3,609 towns (tied)
> Violent crimes per 100k people: 1,673.1 — 29th highest of 3,606 towns
> Poverty rate: 15.6% — 1,380th highest of 3,609 towns
> Population within reporting jurisdiction: 3,646 — 619th lowest of 3,609 towns (tied)

23. Ecorse, Michigan
> Assaults per 100k people: 1,472.4
> Number of assaults: 141 — 43rd highest of 3,609 towns
> Violent crimes per 100k people: 1,775.3 — 22nd highest of 3,606 towns
> Poverty rate: 33.3% — 129th highest of 3,609 towns
> Population within reporting jurisdiction: 9,576 — 1,359th highest of 3,609 towns

22. Highland Park, Michigan
> Assaults per 100k people: 1,498.1
> Number of assaults: 160 — 30th highest of 3,609 towns
> Violent crimes per 100k people: 1,919.5 — 16th highest of 3,606 towns
> Poverty rate: 46.5% — 11th highest of 3,609 towns
> Population within reporting jurisdiction: 10,680 — 1,189th highest of 3,609 towns

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21. South Tucson, Arizona
> Assaults per 100k people: 1,502.7
> Number of assaults: 86 — 132nd highest of 3,609 towns (tied)
> Violent crimes per 100k people: 1,974.5 — 15th highest of 3,606 towns
> Poverty rate: 43.7% — 23rd highest of 3,609 towns
> Population within reporting jurisdiction: 5,723 — 1,389th lowest of 3,609 towns

20. Ripley, Tennessee
> Assaults per 100k people: 1,509.2
> Number of assaults: 116 — 70th highest of 3,609 towns (tied)
> Violent crimes per 100k people: 1,717.4 — 26th highest of 3,606 towns
> Poverty rate: 29.6% — 239th highest of 3,609 towns
> Population within reporting jurisdiction: 7,686 — 1,738th highest of 3,609 towns

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19. Laurinburg, North Carolina
> Assaults per 100k people: 1,529.7
> Number of assaults: 228 — 10th highest of 3,609 towns
> Violent crimes per 100k people: 1,784.6 — 20th highest of 3,606 towns
> Poverty rate: 33.8% — 119th highest of 3,609 towns
> Population within reporting jurisdiction: 14,905 — 676th highest of 3,609 towns

18. Marianna, Florida
> Assaults per 100k people: 1,541.5
> Number of assaults: 87 — 127th highest of 3,609 towns (tied)
> Violent crimes per 100k people: 1,647.8 — 30th highest of 3,606 towns
> Poverty rate: 37.8% — 69th highest of 3,609 towns
> Population within reporting jurisdiction: 5,644 — 1,372nd lowest of 3,609 towns

17. Marksville, Louisiana
> Assaults per 100k people: 1,566.3
> Number of assaults: 83 — 140th highest of 3,609 towns (tied)
> Violent crimes per 100k people: 1,792.8 — 19th highest of 3,606 towns
> Poverty rate: 41.7% — 34th highest of 3,609 towns
> Population within reporting jurisdiction: 5,299 — 1,261st lowest of 3,609 towns

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16. Palmview, Texas
> Assaults per 100k people: 1,601.8
> Number of assaults: 93 — 113th highest of 3,609 towns (tied)
> Violent crimes per 100k people: 1,860.1 — 18th highest of 3,606 towns
> Poverty rate: 29.6% — 241st highest of 3,609 towns
> Population within reporting jurisdiction: 5,806 — 1,414th lowest of 3,609 towns

15. Nome, Alaska
> Assaults per 100k people: 1,615.4
> Number of assaults: 63 — 234th highest of 3,609 towns (tied)
> Violent crimes per 100k people: 4,205.1 — the highest of 3,606 towns
> Poverty rate: 7.5% — 936th lowest of 3,609 towns
> Population within reporting jurisdiction: 3,900 — 723rd lowest of 3,609 towns (tied)

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14. Allendale, South Carolina
> Assaults per 100k people: 1,637.6
> Number of assaults: 47 — 360th highest of 3,609 towns (tied)
> Violent crimes per 100k people: 2,055.7 — 11th highest of 3,606 towns
> Poverty rate: 35.4% — 98th highest of 3,609 towns
> Population within reporting jurisdiction: 2,870 — 225th lowest of 3,609 towns

13. Port Allen, Louisiana
> Assaults per 100k people: 1,640.0
> Number of assaults: 77 — 166th highest of 3,609 towns (tied)
> Violent crimes per 100k people: 1,725.2 — 25th highest of 3,606 towns
> Poverty rate: 12.5% — 1,779th lowest of 3,609 towns
> Population within reporting jurisdiction: 4,695 — 1,052nd lowest of 3,609 towns

12. Henderson, North Carolina
> Assaults per 100k people: 1,655.3
> Number of assaults: 246 — 8th highest of 3,609 towns
> Violent crimes per 100k people: 2,038.9 — 12th highest of 3,606 towns
> Poverty rate: 27.7% — 324th highest of 3,609 towns
> Population within reporting jurisdiction: 14,861 — 684th highest of 3,609 towns

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11. Bellefontaine Neighbors, Missouri
> Assaults per 100k people: 1,699.5
> Number of assaults: 176 — 25th highest of 3,609 towns (tied)
> Violent crimes per 100k people: 1,989.2 — 13th highest of 3,606 towns
> Poverty rate: 20.4% — 820th highest of 3,609 towns
> Population within reporting jurisdiction: 10,356 — 1,235th highest of 3,609 towns

10. Globe, Arizona
> Assaults per 100k people: 1,801.3
> Number of assaults: 132 — 53rd highest of 3,609 towns (tied)
> Violent crimes per 100k people: 1,910.5 — 17th highest of 3,606 towns
> Poverty rate: 15.8% — 1,368th highest of 3,609 towns
> Population within reporting jurisdiction: 7,328 — 1,768th lowest of 3,609 towns

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9. Nevada, Missouri
> Assaults per 100k people: 1,806.9
> Number of assaults: 149 — 37th highest of 3,609 towns
> Violent crimes per 100k people: 1,976.7 — 14th highest of 3,606 towns
> Poverty rate: 18.2% — 1,060th highest of 3,609 towns
> Population within reporting jurisdiction: 8,246 — 1,602nd highest of 3,609 towns (tied)

8. Wadesboro, North Carolina
> Assaults per 100k people: 1,857.9
> Number of assaults: 97 — 101st highest of 3,609 towns (tied)
> Violent crimes per 100k people: 2,375.0 — 7th highest of 3,606 towns
> Poverty rate: 32.3% — 145th highest of 3,609 towns
> Population within reporting jurisdiction: 5,221 — 1,233rd lowest of 3,609 towns

7. Opelousas, Louisiana
> Assaults per 100k people: 2,022.8
> Number of assaults: 320 — 2nd highest of 3,609 towns
> Violent crimes per 100k people: 2,370.4 — 8th highest of 3,606 towns
> Poverty rate: 43.3% — 26th highest of 3,609 towns
> Population within reporting jurisdiction: 15,820 — 610th highest of 3,609 towns

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6. Bolivar, Tennessee
> Assaults per 100k people: 2,023.7
> Number of assaults: 99 — 97th highest of 3,609 towns
> Violent crimes per 100k people: 2,248.6 — 9th highest of 3,606 towns
> Poverty rate: 27.9% — 314th highest of 3,609 towns
> Population within reporting jurisdiction: 4,892 — 1,122nd lowest of 3,609 towns

5. West Memphis, Arkansas
> Assaults per 100k people: 2,164.8
> Number of assaults: 524 — the highest of 3,609 towns
> Violent crimes per 100k people: 2,507.7 — 5th highest of 3,606 towns
> Poverty rate: 26.3% — 403rd highest of 3,609 towns
> Population within reporting jurisdiction: 24,205 — 80th highest of 3,609 towns

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4. Barnwell, South Carolina
> Assaults per 100k people: 2,240.0
> Number of assaults: 95 — 107th highest of 3,609 towns (tied)
> Violent crimes per 100k people: 2,405.1 — 6th highest of 3,606 towns
> Poverty rate: 37.5% — 72nd highest of 3,609 towns
> Population within reporting jurisdiction: 4,241 — 862nd lowest of 3,609 towns (tied)

3. Florida City, Florida
> Assaults per 100k people: 2,291.6
> Number of assaults: 271 — 5th highest of 3,609 towns
> Violent crimes per 100k people: 2,908.8 — 4th highest of 3,606 towns
> Poverty rate: 40.0% — 46th highest of 3,609 towns
> Population within reporting jurisdiction: 11,826 — 1,027th highest of 3,609 towns

2. Osceola, Arkansas
> Assaults per 100k people: 2,757.8
> Number of assaults: 180 — 22nd highest of 3,609 towns
> Violent crimes per 100k people: 2,987.6 — 3rd highest of 3,606 towns
> Poverty rate: 27.5% — 337th highest of 3,609 towns
> Population within reporting jurisdiction: 6,527 — 1,594th lowest of 3,609 towns (tied)

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1. Benton Harbor, Michigan
> Assaults per 100k people: 2,924.8
> Number of assaults: 284 — 3rd highest of 3,609 towns
> Violent crimes per 100k people: 3,192.6 — 2nd highest of 3,606 towns
> Poverty rate: 45.4% — 17th highest of 3,609 towns
> Population within reporting jurisdiction: 9,710 — 1,338th highest of 3,609 towns

Methodology

To determine the towns with the most assaults, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed aggravated assault figures from the FBI’s 2020 Uniform Crime Report. The rate of assaults per 100,000 people was calculated using population data from the FBI.

We defined towns based on population thresholds — having at least 2,500 people and less than 25,000 people — using five-year estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2019 American Community Survey. Limited data was available in the 2020 UCR for areas in Alabama, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Illinois, though these places were not excluded from analysis. 

Additional information on the violent crime rate and the population within the jurisdictions reporting figures to the FBI are also from the 2020 FBI UCR. Poverty rates are five-year estimates from the 2019 ACS.

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