Tue, Nov 9, 2021 7:49 AM
By Samuel Stebbins, 24/7 Wall St. via The Center Square, The Center Square
The U.S. violent crime rate -- an annual, population-adjusted measure of cases of rape, robbery, aggravated assault, and homicide -- climbed by 5% in 2020. 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.
Despite the largest single-year increase in homicides on record, the overall violent crime rate in 2020 remains relatively low by historical standards. There were 1.3 million violent crimes reported in the U.S. in 2020, or 399 for every 100,000 people. For context, the violent crime rate ranged between 523 and 758 incidents per 100,000 throughout the 1990s.
Of course, crime is a local phenomenon influenced by a wide range of factors. As a result, violent crime rates in the U.S. can vary considerably from place to place -- and in some metro areas, rates of violence far exceed the nation-level highs recorded in decades past.
The violent crime rate in Fort Smith, Arkansas, of 615 incidents for every 100,000 people is among the highest in the country. Driven by a rise in homicide, robbery, and aggravated assault, Fort Smith's violent crime rate climbed by 5% last year, in line with the national increase.
While violence is on the rise in Fort Smith, property crimes are becoming less common. Over the last year, the burglary has fallen by 13.8% in the metro area, and the larceny theft rate declined by 11.1%.
Metro areas are ranked on their violent crime rate using data from the FBI's 2020 Uniform Crime Report. Additional data on specific crimes are also from the 2020 FBI UCR. Poverty rates are one-year estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau's 2019 American Community Survey.
RankMetro areaViolent crimes per 100,000 people, 2020Total violent crimes, 2020Murders per 100,000 people, 2020Total murders, 20201Memphis, TN1,35918,32424.23272Monroe, LA1,3092,60511.6233Anchorage, AK1,1713,5765.9184Pine Bluff, AR1,09895027.7245Detroit, MI1,08818,89422.33876Danville, IL1,05078517.4137Albany, GA1,0081,46915.8238Albuquerque, NM1,0069,2969.4879Alexandria, LA9681,46414.52210Little Rock, AR9397,01413.19811Lubbock, TX9192,9859.53112Florence, SC8601,76419.03913Fairbanks, AK8412779.1314Sumter, SC8121,14019.92815Saginaw, MI7951,50117.53316Lake Charles, LA7891,6639.01917Rockford, IL7712,56610.83618Gainesville, FL7602,5165.11719Corpus Christi, TX7383,17610.04320Stockton, CA7235,51711.08421Pueblo, CO7221,21610.71822Macon, GA7081,62419.24423Odessa, TX6971,18011.21924Bakersfield, CA6926,21612.911625Shreveport, LA6832,68321.68526Milwaukee, WI67810,68813.120627Amarillo, TX6731,7876.81828Springfield, IL6671,3695.81229Rapid City, SD66595710.41530Niles, MI6641,0135.2831Battle Creek, MI66488610.51432Kalamazoo, MI6631,7637.52033Farmington, NM6618173.2434Jonesboro, AR6608939.61335South Bend, IN6552,1219.33036Houston, TX63245,3689.266237Springfield, MO6322,9935.52638Billings, MT6271,1528.21539Jackson, TN6251,1159.51740New Orleans, LA6247,96021.727741Nashville, TN61612,1377.715242Fort Smith, AR6151,5414.41143Chattanooga, TN6133,4877.94544Beaumont, TX6062,3728.93545Kokomo, IN6044989.7846Lawton, OK60375912.71647Merced, CA5991,6608.72448Fresno, CA5975,9489.49449Tulsa, OK5915,9479.39450Hot Springs, AR5835829.09