An average of 2.2 million people are injured in violent crimes each year and the likelihood that a crime victim will be injured has increased slightly in recent years, a U.S. Justice Department study showed.

From 1979 to 1986, an average of 2.2 million crime victims were injured each year nationwide, according to the study released Sunday by the Justice Department's Bureau of Justice Statistics.Of those, an estimated 500,000 were treated at emergency rooms or hospitals, and some 350,000 each year were hospitalized for two or more days, the National Crime Survey showed.

"Injury rates - the number of injuries per 1,000 U.S. inhabitants who are at least 12 years old - have remained generally stable since the National Crime Survey began in 1973," said Joseph Bessette, acting director of the bureau. "However, in recent years the likelihood that a victim of a violent crime would be injured has increased slightly."

The report did not provide a yearly breakdown of the statistics.

The study showed that about 28 percent of all rape, robbery and assault victims are injured. Other crimes, such as child abuse, were not included in the study.

Injury rates were highest for males, blacks, people between the ages of 19 and 24, separated or divorced people and people with a reported family income of less than $10,000.

The crime injury rates also differed markedly by occupation, the study found. Recreation workers, law enforcement officers, bartenders and students had rates above the national level. Postal workers, truck drivers and teachers had injury rates below the national level.

Elderly and black victims were substantially more likely than others to require overnight hospitalization, the study showed.

Blacks made up 14 percent of all injured crime victims but accounted for 29 percent of those requiring overnight hospitalization, the survey said. Victims 50 years old and older accounted for 7 percent of all injured crime victims but comprised 12 percent of those who were admitted for at least one night.

Among the injured crime victims from 1979 to 1986, about 1 percent suffered gunshot wounds, 3 percent had knife wounds and 6 percent had their bones broken or teeth knocked out, the study showed.

The average hospital stay for injured crime victims was nine days, which was about the same as the average stay for those undergoing cancer treatment and two days longer than the average stay for those hurt in traffic accidents or being treated for heart disease.