These Alarming Crimes Are Actually on the Rise in America

What qualifies a dangerous city in today’s America? Obviously, there is no simple answer, but we might as well look at New York City, the country’s largest metropolitan area by population, for an idea of the trends.

In 2017, New York saw its lowest crime rate in over 60 years. While the police department and experts in urban affairs offered various reasons for this trend, one factor speaks volumes: economics. New York has never had so many prosperous neighborhoods across its five boroughs, and a decrease in crime comes with the demographic change.

America as a whole is more complicated. According to statistics from the FBI, violent crime in the U.S. reached a six-year high in 2016 with 1.25 million incidents on the record. Though property crime dropped across the nation, personal attacks were on the rise.

In fact, many felony offenses rose by 10% or more between 2014 and the end of 2016. Here are the alarming crimes that are actually on the rise in America.

7. Robbery

Bank Robber

Robberies have gone up by 1.2%. | Tagstock1/iStock/Getty Images

  • Incidents of robbery were up by nearly 9,300 cases since 2014.

In the grand scheme of things, the increase in robberies represented a minor uptick. Nonetheless, this category of violent crime reached a rate of 103 incidents per 100,000 people. That represented a 1.2% increase from 2015 and a three-year high, according to the FBI.

Next: Vandalism and assaults classified as “hate crimes” spiked in 2016.

6. Hate crimes

muslim men pray in a mosque

Crimes targeting Muslims have doubled. | Jewel Samad/AFP/Getty Images

  • The FBI reported a 5% jump year over year and 10% spike since 2014.

In November 2017, the FBI released its latest report on hate crimes in America, and the numbers were alarming. Statistics showed a 10% rise in incidents between between 2014 and 2016, with blacks and Jews among the most targeted groups. Crimes targeting Muslims doubled over that two-year time span as well. Incidents against the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender community also showed an increase in the latest report.

Next: When a gun, knife, or other weapon are used, the FBI classifies the crime under this name.

5. Aggravated assault


Attack with any sort of weapon to cause harm is considered aggravated assault. | Cas Photography/iStock/Getty Images

  • Incidents classified as aggravated assault reached a seven-year high in 2016.

The FBI defines aggravated assault as “an unlawful attack by one person upon another for the purpose of inflicting severe or aggravated bodily injury.” It will come as no surprise that many of such attacks involve the use of a weapon. Alarmingly, aggravated assault incidents jumped 10% between 2014 and 2016. The 803,000 incidents represented a volume not seen since 2009.

Next: Car thieves had their most active year of the decade.

4. Motor vehicle theft

Man in hoodie breaking into car

Stealing cars has hit the highest mark in decades. | Paul Bradbury/iStock/Getty Images

  • Stolen car volumes hit their highest mark of the decade in 2016.

These days, stolen car volumes hardly compare to previous decades. Back in 2007, thieves picked off 1.1 million vehicles. That number dropped to the lowest in a generation (686,800) by 2014. However, in the two years since, that number ballooned to 765,500 stolen cars, the highest of the decade and a 10% jump over ’14 stats. If you own one of the most stolen new cars, keep the alarm on at all times.

Next: The disturbing rise in sexual assaults

3. Rape by the “legacy definition”

Harvey Weinstein at The Weinstein Company and Lexus Present Lexus Short Films at The Regal Cinemas L.A. Live on July 30, 2014 in Los Angeles, California.

Weinstein among others in Hollywood and politics have been accused of rape. | Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images

  • The rate of incidents involving the rape of women hit a nine-year high in 2016.

In one of the most disturbing trends of the latest FBI report, what the Bureau defines as the “legacy definition” of rape (i.e., rape of a woman by a male) reached its highest rate since 2008. In terms of volume, the 95,730 rapes represented the highest figure in 20 years. Looking at the most recent statistics, you’ll find a 10% rise in incidents between 2014 and 2016.

Next: The FBI’s broader definition of rape also showed an uptick in incidents since 2014.

2. Felony sex crimes

Brock Turner

The FBI has expanded its definition of rape. | State of California

  • Using a revised definition of rape, the FBI reported an all-time high figure for 2016.

The FBI’s revised definition of rape includes any forced sex act on a person, including attempted rape or assault, to arrive at a total number of violent sex crimes. This figure reached 130,603 incidents in 2016, which was the highest since the FBI began organizing data this way in 2013. From that year through the end of 2016, the number of incidents rose over 15%.

Next: The murder rate in America soared in recent years.

1. Murder

Yale muder

Murders rose by 20%. | Spencer Platt/Getty Images

  • America’s murder rate rose more than 20% between 2014 and 2016.

If you go by total murders, the numbers from 2016 (17,250 incidents) represented the highest since 2006. Going by the murder rate based on population, it was the highest since 2008. Notably, the murder rate rose over 20% between 2014 and 2016. What was the lowest rate in the past 20 years (4.4 homicides per 100,000 people) returned to pre-recession levels (5.3 homicides per 100,000 people) in the latest FBI report.

Finally: Stats on crime broken down by region

States in the South ranked highest in violent crime.

The four regions of the U.S. as defined by FBI administrators. | FBI

In conclusion, we’ll leave you with the statistics for violent crime by region:

  • Northeast: 317.1 violent crimes per 100,000 people.
  • South: 430.8 violent crimes per 100,000 people.
  • Midwest: 378.3 violent crimes per 100,000 people.
  • West: 418.4 violent crimes per 100,000 people.

Compared to the Northeast, where the major cities of Philadelphia, Boston, Washington D.C., and New York are located, the South had 113 violent crimes more per 100,000 people in 2016. It’s enough to make you believe the big, bad city is a safe haven after all.

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