Home Crime in the U.S. 2017 Crime in the U.S. 2017 Topic Pages Aggravated Assault

Aggravated Assault

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Definition

The FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program defines aggravated assault as an unlawful attack by one person upon another for the purpose of inflicting severe or aggravated bodily injury. The UCR Program further specifies that this type of assault is usually accompanied by the use of a weapon or by other means likely to produce death or great bodily harm. Attempted aggravated assault that involves the display of—or threat to use—a gun, knife, or other weapon is included in this crime category because serious personal injury would likely result if the assault were completed. When aggravated assault and larceny-theft occur together, the offense falls under the category of robbery.

Overview

  • In 2017, there were an estimated 810,825 aggravated assaults in the nation. The estimated number of aggravated assaults increased 1.0 percent when compared with the 2016 estimate but decreased 3.9 percent when compared with the 2008 estimate. (See Tables 1 and 1A.)
  • The estimated rate of aggravated assaults in 2017 was 248.9 per 100,000 inhabitants. From 2008 to 2017, the rate of aggravated assaults decreased 10.3 percent. (See Tables 1 and 1A.)
  • Of the aggravated assault offenses for which law enforcement provided expanded data in 2017, 26.3 percent were committed with firearms. Personal weapons, such as hands, fists, or feet, were used in 25.4 percent of aggravated assaults, and knives or cutting instruments were used in 17.2 percent. Other weapons were used in 31.1 percent of aggravated assaults. (Based on Table 19.)

Expanded data

Expanded offense data are the details of the various offenses that the UCR Program collects beyond the count of how many crimes law enforcement agencies report. These details may include the type of weapon used in a crime, type or value of items stolen, and so forth. In addition, expanded data include trends (for example, 2-year comparisons) and rates per 100,000 inhabitants.

Expanded information regarding aggravated assault is available in the following tables:

  • Trends (2-year): Tables 12, 13, 14, and 15
  • Rates (per 100,000 inhabitants): Tables 16, 17, 18, and 19
  • Weapons: Tables 15, 19, and 22

What you won't find on this page

Information on simple assaults. Assaults that do not involve the use of a firearm, knife or cutting instrument, or other dangerous weapon, and in which the victim did not sustain serious or aggravated injuries are reported as other assaults– simple, not aggravated. These data are not included in the aggravated assault statistics. See arrests for information on other assaults.

Clearance and arrest data for aggravated assault.