This Is the State With the Most Aggravated Assaults

The Federal Bureau of Investigation keeps reams of crime data, which it releases both every quarter and once a year. Among the crimes it tracks is aggravated assault, which it defines as “an unlawful attack by one person upon another for the purpose of inflicting severe or aggravated bodily injury.” This usually involves a weapon, like a gun or a knife.

Cases of aggravated assault spiked by 12% in the United States in 2020. The increase, which was the driving force behind the 5% year-over-year uptick in the overall U.S. violent crime rate, pushed the aggravated assault rate to its highest level in over a decade.

Aggravated assault is by far the most commonly reported violent crime in the United States, accounting for about 70% of the 1.3 million violent offenses reported in 2020. Rates of aggravated assault vary across the country, however, and in some places, aggravated assault is far more common than in others.

Using data from the FBI’s 2020 Uniform Crime Report (UCR), 24/7 Wall St. identified the state with the most aggravated assault cases. To make the selection, states were ranked by their aggravated assault rate; that is, the number of reported aggravated assault cases for every 100,000 residents.

Depending on the state, aggravated assault rates range from as low as 58 reported incidents per 100,000 people to as high as 616. Nationwide, the aggravated assault rate stands at 280 per 100,000.

The rate of assaults per 100,000 people was calculated using population data from the FBI. Limited data were available in the 2020 UCR for areas in Alabama, Maryland, Pennsylvania and Illinois, though these states were not excluded from analysis.

Additional information on the violent crime rate is also from the 2020 FBI UCR. Poverty rates are one-year estimates from the Census Bureau’s 2019 American Community Survey.

The state with the most aggravated assault is New Mexico. Here are the details:

  • Assaults per 100k people: 615.9
  • Number of assaults: 12,973 (25th highest)
  • Violent crimes per 100k people: 778.3 (second highest)
  • Poverty rate: 18.2% (third highest)
  • Population within reporting jurisdiction: 2,106,319 (15th lowest)

Click here to see all the states with the most aggravated assaults.

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