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.
While cases of assault are surging across the country, many major metropolitan areas are bucking the national trend, reporting substantial year-over-year declines in cases of aggravated assault per capita.
Using data from the FBI, 24/7 Wall St. identified the 50 metro areas where the aggravated assault rate is falling 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 fell anywhere from 1 to 166 assaults per 100,000 people. Meanwhile, the national aggravated assault rate climbed by 29 assaults per 100,000 people in 2020.
Aggravated assaults – 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 a falling aggravated assault rate, the overall violent crime rate in 2020 also declined in every metro area with available data on this list. Here is a look at the metro areas where crime is falling fastest.
The metro areas that reported the largest declines in assault cases per capita span the country, though California alone is home to six, more than any other state. The majority of metro areas on this list have a lower 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.