The Federal Bureau of Investigation calculated its statistics on the basis of information provided by 13,007 police departments nationwide.
In 2010, murder and non-negligent manslaughter fell by 4.4 percent, forcible rape by 4.2 percent, armed robbery by 9.5 percent and aggravated assault by 3.6 percent.
The FBI figures show a decline in the four categories of violent crime across all groups of cities, and cities with populations between 250,000 and half a million saw the greatest reduction in violent crime: 6.9 percent.
Violent crimes perpetrated in non-metropolitan counties fell by 6.4 percent and those committed in metropolitan counties declined by 6 percent.
Murder and non-negligent manslaughter dropped by 25.2 percent in cities with fewer than 10,000 residents, but in cities with populations between 250,000 and 500,000 these crimes increased by 3 percent.
All classifications of cities and counties last year registered a decline in forcible rape except those with populations between 500,000 and 1 million, where crimes of that kind increased 1.9 percent.
Among crimes against property, in 2010 there was a reduction in all categories: burglary, larceny-theft and vehicle theft.
The greatest reduction occurred in automotive vehicle theft with a 7.2 percent decline, followed by larceny-theft with a 2.8 percent drop and burglary, which experienced a 1.1 percent fall.