Driven by a surge in homicides and an increase in cases of aggravated assault, the U.S. violent crime rate rose in 2020, according to data from the FBI. One bright spot in the latest data was a decline in reported robberies. In a continuation of a multi-decade trend, the number of robberies committed in the U.S. fell by 9%, from about 268,500 in 2019 to 243,600 in 2020.
According to the FBI, robbery is a crime in which force or the threat of force or violence is used to take, or attempt to take, anything of value from another person. The largest share of robberies in the United States are committed on streets or sidewalks. Handguns are the most commonly used weapon in robberies, and more often than not, among the cases where a suspect can be identified, the offender and victim are strangers to one another.
The decline in the national robbery rate is being led by particularly steep drops in certain American towns.
Using data from the FBI, 24/7 Wall St. identified the 50 American towns where the robbery rate is falling fastest. Towns – defined as places with populations between 2,500 and 25,000 people or more – are ranked by the year-over-year change in the number of robberies per 100,000 people. Among the towns on this list, robbery rates have fallen by as much as 394 incidents per 100,000 people. For context, the U.S. robbery rate fell by 8 incidents per 100,000 in 2020.
Robbery – along with rаpe, aggravated assault, and homicide – is one component of the overall violent crime category. Even though robbery accounts for only a small percentage of all violent crimes, most of the towns on this list also reported a decline in violent crime overall in 2020. Here is a look at the states where crime is soaring.
The majority of towns on this list are in the South, including eight in North Carolina alone. In over half of the towns on this list, the robbery rate is lower than the national rate of 74 incidents per 100,000 people. One year earlier, each of these towns had a higher than average robbery rate. Here is a look at the states with the highest robbery rates.
Click here to see the American towns where the robbery rate is falling
Click here to read our detailed methodology
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