Special Report

American Towns 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 nationwide in 2020, up 12% 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 led by surges in some American towns.

Using data from the FBI, 24/7 Wall St. identified the 50 towns where the aggravated assault rate is rising fastest. Towns – defined as places with populations between 2,500 and 25,000 – are ranked by the year-over-year change in the number of violent assaults per 100,000 people in 2020. Among the towns on this list, the assault rate climbed anywhere from 368 assaults per 100,000 people to 1,394 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 is 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 nearly every town on this list in 2020. Here is a look at the city where crime is rising fastest in every state.

The majority of towns on this list are in the South, including nine in Arkansas alone. In every town on this list, the aggravated assault is higher than the national rate of 280 per 100,000. Here is a look at the U.S. cities with the fewest assaults.

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

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