WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The murder rate in Boston and New York City jumped last year even as the overall violent crime rate in the United States fell for the fourth straight year, according to an FBI report released on Monday.
The national violent crime rate dropped 5.5 percent last year, with murders down 4.4 percent and robbery down 9.5 percent, according to statistics compiled by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Forcible rape, which does not include sex with minors or sex attacks against men, was down 4.2 percent, the FBI report said.
However, there was a large increase in murders in the northeastern part of the United States, soaring 8.3 percent nationwide and a 46 percent jump in Boston alone as murders reached 73, according to the preliminary statistics.
New York City saw its murder rate go up 13.8 percent after a 10 percent drop in 2009. Newark experienced a 12.5 percent rise in its murder rate, the second year in a row of a double-digit increase.
The FBI did not offer any explanation for the jump in murders in that part of the country.
Other cities that have been known for their high murder rates saw double-digit declines, including Detroit, which dropped 14.6 percent. However, that city has seen a large population drop due to the economic downturn, which hit that metropolis particularly hard.
Washington, D.C., a city also known for its violence, saw a dip in its murder rate to 132, down 8.3 percent over 2009.
The northeastern part of the country also saw a 1.4 percent increase in forcible rapes, a 3.5 percent rise in burglary and a 0.7 percent increase in aggravated assault. That region was the only area to experience increases.
The FBI report showed that the national property crime rate fell 2.8 percent in 2010. The report is based on data provided by law enforcement agencies throughout the country.
(Reporting by Jeremy Pelofsky, Editing by Sandra Maler)