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 most states, there is at least one metropolitan area 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 metro area with the fewest aggravated assault cases in each state. Metro areas are ranked by their aggravated assault rate — specifically, the number of reported aggravated assault cases 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 fewest assault cases per capita 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 lowest assault rate in its respective state, assault rates in these places vary considerably, from as many as 626 incidents for every 100,000 people to as few as 35 per 100,000. In the majority of the metro areas 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 metro areas on this list, the overall violent crime rate is below the rate across the state as a whole.