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 town with the most aggravated assault cases in each state. 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. In Hawaii, there are no eligible towns with available crime data.
Though each of the towns on this list ranks as having the highest aggravated assault rate in its respective state, assault rates in these places vary considerably, from 135 incidents per 100,000 people to 2,925 per 100,000. Still, in the vast majority of the cities on this list, aggravated assault rates exceed the statewide rate. The aggravated assault rate nationwide stands at 280 per 100,000.
Aggravated assault is one of four broad categories of violent crime — along with rаpe, robbery, and homicide — and nearly every town on this list also has a higher overall violent crime rate than the state as a whole.