During the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic, the U.S. violent crime rate rose to its highest level in a decade. The increase was driven by a rise in aggravated assault and, most notably, a historic 29% surge in homicides that made 2020 the deadliest year in the United States since the mid-1990s.
Violent crime is a broad category of offenses that includes rаpe, robbery, aggravated assault, and murder. All told, more than 1.3 million violent crimes were reported in the U.S. – or 399 for every 100,000 people – in 2020, an increase of 18 incidents per 100,000 people from the previous year.
The increase in violent crime was not uniform across the country, however. In the vast majority of states, there is at least one city where the surge in criminal violence surpassed the national increase.
Using data from the FBI’s 2020 Uniform Crime Report, 24/7 Wall St. identified the city in every state where crime is rising fastest. Cities are ranked by the year-over-year change in violent crimes reported for every 100,000 residents. Only cities with populations greater than 25,000 were considered.
It is important to note that in four states – Nevada, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, and Vermont – no city with available data reported an uptick in violent crime. Additionally, in four other states – Alabama, Georgia, Hawaii, and Maryland – there were no qualifying cities with available crime data.
All but six cities on this list have a higher violent crime rate than the comparable statewide rate, and most have a higher violent crime rate than the U.S. as a whole. Cities with the largest increases in violence are also more likely to have higher than average levels of underlying socioeconomic problems, such as unemployment and poverty. Here is a look at the city where the most people live below the poverty line in every state.
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