Violent crime is defined as a crime in which the offender or perpetrator uses or threatens to use force upon a victim. Violent crimes include homicide, murder, assault, rape, robbery, kidnapping, negligence, manslaughter, and sexual assault.
The FBI’s 2018 Crime in the United States Report shows that the violent crime rate in the United States for 2018 fell 3.9% from 2017. There are an estimated 368.9 offenses per 100,000 inhabitants. This decrease has been attributed to the re-launched Project Safe Neighborhoods program, an initiative that brings together law enforcement, prosecutors, and community leaders to develop comprehensive solutions for the most pressing crime problems in their communities.
Violent crime rates vary greatly across the country, and some cities experience higher than average rates. Areas that see the highest crime rates have poor housing conditions, larger families with small incomes, bad health problems, and homes with parents who have previously been in trouble with the law. These impoverished areas also see the formation of gangs. The motivation for violent crimes can also include a lack of police funding.
The twenty cities with the highest violent crime rates (number of incidents per 100,000 people) are:
St. Louis, Missouri has the highest violent crime rate in the United States of 2,082 incidents per 100,000 people. The murder rate is 64.9 per 100,000, with a total of 205 people murdered in 2017. Certain parts of the city, specifically East St. Louis have an increased likelihood of violence due to unsafe housing, a poor school system, and a failing economy.
Some cities on the list, such as Minneapolis and Oakland, have problematically high rape and robbery rates that are worse than their murder rates. Minneapolis had 122 reported rapes and 434 robberies in 2017. Oakland’s robbery rate in 2017 was 630 incidents per 100,000 people.