Special Report

US Metro Areas Where the Aggravated Assault Rate Is Soaring

The aggravated assault rate in the United States is at its highest level since 2007. According to the FBI, about 921,500 cases of violent assault were reported in 2020 nationwide, a 12% spike from the previous year. 

The FBI defines aggravated assault as an unlawful physical attack 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. 

The country’s rising rates of violent assault are being driven by surges in some major metropolitan areas.

Using data from the FBI, 24/7 Wall St. identified the 50 metro areas where the aggravated assault rate is rising fastest. Metro areas are ranked by the year-over-year change in the number of violent assaults per 100,000 people in 2020. Among the metro areas on this list, the assault rate climbed anywhere from 54 assaults per 100,000 people to 499 assaults per 100,000 people. The national aggravated assault rate climbed by 29 assaults per 100,000 people in 2020. 

Aggravated assault – along with rаpe, robbery, and homicide – is one component of the overall violent crime category and by far the most common. Assaults accounted for about 70% of the 1.3 million violent offenses reported in 2020. Partially due to the rise in the aggravated assault rate, the overall violent crime rate also climbed in every metro area with available data on this list. Here is a look at the city where crime is rising fastest in every state.

The metro areas that reported the largest increases in assault cases per capita span the country, though Michigan alone is home to seven, more than any other state. The majority of metro areas on this list have a higher overall aggravated assault rate than the national rate of 280 per 100,000 people. Here is a look at the U.S. cities with the fewest assaults.

Click here to see the metros where the aggravated assault rate is soaring
Click here to read our detailed methodology

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