Violent crime rose in the United States in 2012 for the first time in six years, led by an increase in major crimes in large cities, according to preliminary data released Monday by the F.B.I.
The largest increases took place in cities with populations of between 500,000 and one million people, where violent crime rose by 3.7 percent, including a 12.5 percent spike in murder rates, according to the data.
The nation’s largest cities, those with more than one million people, also had upturns in violent crimes, though at more modest rates. The largest cities had a 1.4 percent increase in violent crime, including 1.5 percent for murders and 3.2 percent for rapes, according to the statistics.
Over all, the nation’s violent crime rate ticked up by 1.2 percent in 2012 after years of steep declines.
In 2011, for instance, the nation’s rate of violent crime rate fell by 3.8 percent after having dropped by 6 percent in 2010 and 5.5 percent in 2009, according to F.B.I. data.
The last year in which violent crime rose nationally was 2006, when the rate went up by 1.9 percent. Before that, from 1996 to 2005, violent crime had declined by 17.6 percent, according to the F.B.I. figures.