Across the US, the homicide rate also increased by 7.9 percent in 2016, marking an overall jump of more than 20 percent since 2014, the report said.
The numbers provide information on both violent crime, which includes murder and non negligent manslaughter, rape, robbery and aggravated assault, and also property crime numbers which encompass burglary, larceny and motor vehicle theft incidents.
Erie County's violent crime rate previous year stayed virtually the same as in 2015, with 404 violent crimes reported per 100,000 residents.
The murder and violent crime rates remain dramatically below the levels of the early 1990s, when almost 25,000 Americans were murdered each year. "And we must do it together", Attorney General Jeff Sessions said in a Justice Department release.
Ronal Serpas, chairman of Law Enforcement Leaders and the former superintendent of the New Orleans Police Department, said while the 2016 upticks should be addressed, preliminary data from 2017 indicates that crime is back on the decline.
The overall increase in the violent crime rate, 3.4 percent, was the biggest annual rise in 25 years, DOJ said.
Number of Chicago crime reports by date, 2001-17.
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"False narratives about a national crime wave will not help".
In 2015, the Brennan Center said the surge in killings was fueled by just three cities - Chicago, Baltimore and Washington.
"I've said often times that 300 murders - and while it's a 40 year low - is still too high for a city of our population".
The rate rose in cities of all sizes, the Federal Bureau of Investigation said, as well as in suburbs and rural areas.
"And the fact is, in 2014, the number of homicides (nationally) is half what it was in 1991, so this kind of base rate effect is incredibly powerful and makes things look worse now in comparison to the past because things are so much better now". Some other cities included in the group's data had smaller increases, including Nashville, which reported 83 homicides, up from 79 the year before, and El Paso, which reported 21 killings, up from 19 the year before.
Since the early 1990s, as the USA population has grown, murders have dropped to about 14,000 a year.
Communities of different sizes, from rural regions to suburbs to large urban centers, reported an increase in the number of violent crimes. In 2015, 484 violent crimes were recorded while 538 violent crimes were noted in the report for 2016.