Crime Statistics: What Are My Chances Of Becoming A Victim?

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Person looking outside a window (text in image: Crime Statistics) Does it seem like all your friends and neighbors have armed themselves with home and personal security devices? Is this because crime rates are rising or because high-tech security devices are the latest trend? Let’s take a look at the latest crime and burglary statistics.

Article Overview

When Do Most Home Burglaries Occur?

Most people are afraid of break-ins at night while they’re sleeping. In fact, most home burglaries occur between the hours of 10am and 3pm during daylight hours while people are at work or running errands.1 Burglary rates are highest in summer and lowest in winter.2

What Are The Chances Of My House Being Robbed?

Home burglary rates have continually decreased over the last five years, but rates are still high. Just how often do robberies occur?

In 2018, a burglary occurred every 25.7 seconds in the U.S. (this includes residential and non-residential break-ins).3 Here are some of the most recent residential burglary and home security statistics:

  • According to the FBI, 1 in every 36 homes will be burgled.4
  • Homes without a security system are 300% more likely to be burglarized, but only 17% of houses have home security systems.2
  • According to the most recent FBI crime report, an estimated 576,607 residential properties were burglarized in 2019, a 15.9% drop from 2018 estimates of 686,766.5
  • Of these 2019 residential burglaries, 50% occurred during the day, 34% were at night and 16% were unknown for the time of day. 5
  • Burglaries of residential properties accounted for 62.8% of all burglary offenses in 2019.5
  • The average loss per burglary in 2019 was $2,661 for both residential and non-residential burglaries.5

Of course, these are national statistics, and your chances of a home burglary depend on where you live and other factors.

What Cities Have The Highest Crime Rates?

The following crime statistics by city are based on data from the FBI’s 2019 Crime Report. We’ve listed the top 10 metropolitan areas with populations greater than 250,000, starting with the highest crime rates per 100,000 people. (We bolded the cities listed in two or more lists.)

Keep in mind, these lists only include the cities that report crime statistics to the FBI any given year — many don’t, including major metro areas like Chicago, Dallas, and New York to name a few (the D.C, Los Angeles, Boston, and Miami metro areas did report stats in 2019).

We noticed with our analysis this year with the 2019 FBI Crime Report that some cities that appeared on our high-crime rankings in past years weren’t included in the FBI report this year, including Philadelphia, PA, and Mobile, AL.

NOTE: The FBI website cautions against using its annual data for city rankings. “These rankings lead to simplistic and/or incomplete analyses that often create misleading perceptions adversely affecting cities and counties, along with their residents.”

Cities With The Highest Burglary Rates

These burglary rates include residential and non-residential dwellings.

  1. Bakersfield, CA – 847.3
  2. Vallejo, CA – 833.7
  3. Lubbock, TX – 813.9
  4. Memphis, TN – 769.0
  5. Tulsa, OK – 737.0
  6. Oklahoma City, OK – 678.7
  7. Lafayette, LA – 619.4
  8. Springfield, MO – 614.2
  9. Spartanburg, SC – 610.5
  10. Shreveport-Bossier City, LA – 608.3

Cities With The Highest Violent Crime Rates

The FBI’s reporting system defines violent crimes as those offenses that involve force or a threat of force. These include murder and nonnegligent manslaughter, rape, robbery, and aggravated assault.

  1. Anchorage, AK – 1,194.6
  2. Memphis, TN – 1,120.5
  3. Albuquerque, NM – 1,043.4
  4. Detroit-Dearborn-Livonia, MI – 984.3
  5. Lubbock, TX – 838.5
  6. Stockton, CA – 788.5
  7. Little Rock, AR – 782.3
  8. Wichita, KS – 781.2
  9. Corpus Christi, TX – 736.9
  10. Gainesville, FL – 692.1

Cities With The Highest Murder Rates

These include both murder and nonnegligent manslaughter.

  1. Detroit-Dearborn-Livonia, MI – 18.0
  2. Memphis, TN – 17.6
  3. New Orleans-Metairie, LA – 15.9
  4. Baltimore-Columbia-Towson, MD – 15.5
  5. Baton Rouge, LA – 14.1
  6. Anchorage, AK – 11.1
  7. Shreveport – Bossier City, LA – 10.4
  8. Albeququerque, NM – 10.1 (tied for 8th place)
  9. Little Rock, AR – 10.1 (tied for 8th place)
  10. Greensboro-High Point, NC – 9.7

Home Burglary Statistics Infographic

Home Burglary Statistics Infographic

 

Other National Crime Statistics

The following statistics also come from the FBI’s 2019 Crime Report.

What’s The National Violent Crime Rate?

Both the number and rate of violent crimes decreased in 2019 from the previous year.

  • The estimated number of violent crimes in the U.S. was 1,203,808 — a decrease of 0.5% from 2018.
  • The estimated rate of violent crime in 2019 was 366.7 violent crimes per 100,000 inhabitants, a rate that fell 1% when compared with 2018 and dropped 9.3% from 2010.
  • Of violent crimes reported to law enforcement in 2019:
    • 68.2% were aggravated assaults
    • 22.3% were robbery offenses
    • 8.2% were rape assaults
    • 1.4% were murders

What Are The National Murder Statistics?

The total number of murders increased from 2018 to 2019, but the murder rate dropped slightly. These FBI murder statistics are based solely on police investigations as opposed to the findings of a court, medical examiner, coroner, jury, or other judicial bodies.

  • In 2019, the estimated number of murders in the nation was 16,425 — a 0.3% increase from 2018, a 3.4% increase from 2015 and a 11.6% increase from 2010.
  • There were 5.0 murders per 100,000 people in 2019. The murder rate in 2019 was down from the rate in 2018 (0.2%).  However, the murder rate climbed 1.1% when compared with the 2015 rate and 5.1% from the 2010 rate.

When it comes to murders, the South prevails. Here’s the FBI’s regional breakdown of the estimated number of reported murders in the United States:

  • 48.7% South
  • 20.8% Midwest
  • 19.3% West
  • 11.2% Northeast

Hate Crime Statistics

Law enforcement agencies continue to increase their reporting of hate crimes every year to the FBI. The 2018 FBI hate crime reporting system (the latest released) received reports of 7,120 hate crimes in 2018, down from 7,175 in 2017. These break down to:

  • 57.5% race/ethnicity/ancestry
  • 20.2% religion
  • 17.0% sexual orientation
  • 2.4% gender identity
  • 2.3% disability
  • 0.7% gender

National Crime Statistics By Race & Ethnicity

We were interested to see how different crime rates vary by race and ethnicity throughout the U.S. The following table represents the percent distribution by race, based on arrests made in 2019. The last two columns are by ethnicity.

 WhiteBlack or
African
American
American
Indian or
Alaska
Native
AsianNative
Hawaiian
or Other
Pacific
Islander
Hispanic or LatinoNot Hispanic or Latino
Total Crimes69.426.62.41.30.319.180.9
Murder and Nonnegligent Manslaughter45.851.21.61.00.420.779.3
Rape69.826.71.51.70.427.972.1
Robbery44.752.71.11.00.523.7576.3
Aggravated Assault61.933.22.61.80.625.774.3
Burglary68.228.81.51.20.320.879.2
Driving Under The Influence81.514.11.92.00.526.473.6
Larceny-Theft66.330.22.01.20.314.885.2
Motor Vehicle Theft67.628.62.11.30.425.274.8

Illegal Immigrant Crime Rates

There are no formal reports of crimes committed by undocumented immigrants, but a recent analysis by The Marshall Project sheds the best light to date of how illegal immigration may have affected crime rates in the U.S. since 2007.6

The analysis compares estimates of undocumented populations by metro area compiled by the Pew Research Center with local crime rates published by the FBI. Key takeaways from their findings, which analyzed undocumented immigrant populations and crime rates between 2007 and 2016, include:

  • Violent crime decreased slightly across most areas, regardless of whether the undocumented population rose or fell.
  • Property crime was either entirely unaffected or fell slightly, even with a population rise in undocumented immigrants.
  • When breaking out violent and property crimes into each component (aggravated assault, murder, robbery, burglary and larceny), there is again no connection between crime rates and undocumented populations. 

How Can You Protect Your Home And Yourself?

Home Security

Studies show that having a residential burglar alarm system decreases crime. And even more notable, neighborhoods with multiple burglar alarms have fewer residential burglaries than those with fewer alarms.

See our reviews of the best home security systems to find one that fits your needs and budget. We also put together a list of simple ways to deter a burglar that you might wish to employ.

Personal Security

How can you protect yourself when you’re out alone, especially at night when assailants are on the prowl?

There are some measures you can take to arm yourself against violent crimes and other personal assaults. Check out our article about the best taser flashlights and stun guns to find out how to protect yourself on-the-go.

What crimes are you worried about in your city or neighborhood?

Sources: [1] SimpliSafe, [2] National Council for Home Safety and Security, [3] FBI Crime Clock, [4] FBI 2012 Crime Report, [5] FBI 2019 Crime Report,  [6] The New York Times

About The Author:

While attending the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s graduate school for journalism and public relations, Sally began a long career researching and writing about hard-to-understand topics, such as insurance and finance.

Her additional experience in marketing, fundraising, public relations and financial planning at various foundations and nonprofit organizations over the years has given her the practical tools to inform consumers about making the smartest business and personal financial decisions. Her work has appeared in many notable media outlets, including The Washington Post, Entrepreneur, People, Forbes, Huffington Post, and more.

Speaking of smart living — growing up in the (at-the-time) per-capita murder capital of the U.S. (Richmond, VA) taught her a thing or two about the need for personal and home safety. Sally stays on top of all the latest gadgets and services to protect her and her teenage daughters from potential predators and thieves. And she brings this knowledge to every article she writes.

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