The data also show a 2.8-percent decrease in reported property crimes over the same time period.
Regionally, the South experienced the largest drop in violent crimes with a 7.5-percent decline. The Midwest was next with a 5.9-percent drop; the West saw a 5.8-percent decline. The Northeast experienced an 0.4-percent decline in violent crime in 2010.
Overall, the national murder rate dropped at a rate of 4.4 percent. Rape, robbery and assault numbers also decline nationally from 2009 to 2010.
The FBI report shows all city populations experienced decreases in violent crime; cities with populations below 10,000 experienced a "significant" drop in the murder rate, down 25.2 percent.
According to the FBI, the latest report is based on information submitted to the FBI from 13,007 law enforcement agencies around the country. The crimes covered are murder, forcible rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, larceny-theft, motor vehicle theft, and arson.