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.
Using data from the FBI’s 2020 Uniform Crime Report, 24/7 Wall St. identified the 50 metro areas with the fewest aggravated assault cases. Metropolitan areas are ranked by their aggravated assault rate — specifically, the number of reported aggravated assault cases for every 100,000 residents.
The aggravated assault rate nationwide stands at 280 per 100,000. Among the metro areas on this list, aggravated assault rates are considerably lower and range from 139 reported incidents per 100,000 people down to 35 incidents per 100,000.
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. Not surprisingly, in each of the 50 metro areas with the lowest assault rates, the overall violent crime rate is also below the national rate of 399 incidents per 100,000.