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

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Person looking outside a windowDoes 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 Invasions Occur?

Most people are afraid of break-ins at night while they’re sleeping. In fact, most home invasions occur between the hours of 10:00am and 3:00pm during daylight hours while people are at work or running errands. Snow and cold temperatures are also deterrents — February has the fewest break-ins.

Tip: Did You Know?

The terms burglary and home invasion have separate definitions and result in different criminal charges.

  • Burglary: entering a structure that is protected, such as a store or home, with the intent to commit a crime once inside.
  • Home invasion: forcibly entering an occupied residence. To be “occupied” someone must live at the residence but doesn’t have to be home at the time of the offense.

What Are The Chances Of Your House Being Robbed?

Home burglary rates decreased from 2016-2017, but rates are still high. Just how often do robberies occur? It’s estimated that a burglary occurs every 13 seconds in the U.S. (this includes residential and non-residential break-ins). 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.
  • According to the most recent FBI crime report, an estimated 841,283 residential properties were broken into in 2017, a 12% drop from 2016 estimates. The average loss per home invasion was $2,368 in 2017.
  • Homes without a security system are 300% more likely to be burglarized, but only 17% of houses have home security systems.

Of course, these are national statistics, and your chances of a home invasion 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 2017 FBI 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 both lists.)

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

  1. Mobile, AL – 1,081.6
  2. Albuquerque, NM – 989.7
  3. Memphis, TN – 985.2
  4. Columbus, GA-AL – 872.1
  5. Tulsa, OK – 840.5
  6. Bakersfield, CA – 833.6
  7. Vallejo-Fairfield, CA – 823.9
  8. Baton Rouge, LA – 820.8
  9. Montgomery, AL – 808.0
  10. Little Rock-North Little Rock-Conway, AR – 797.4

Cities With The Highest Violent Crime Rates

  1. Memphis, TN – 1,168.3
  2. Anchorage, AK – 1,162.8
  3. Albuquerque, NM – 1,084.9
  4. Detroit-Dearborn-Livonia, MI – 1,030.8
  5. Rockford, IL – 819.4
  6. Stockton-Lodi, CA – 808.6
  7. Little Rock, AR – 798.6
  8. Philadelphia, PA – 796.3
  9. Baltimore-Columbia-Towson, MD – 782.5
  10. Wichita, KS – 724.2

Home Burglary Statistics Infographic

Home Burglary Statistics Infographic

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Other National Crime Statistics

The following statistics come from the FBI’s 2016 Crime Statistics Report (the most recent report available at time of writing).

What’s The National Violent Crime Rate?

Both the number and rate of violent crimes decreased in 2017 from the previous year, but these stats are lower than they were 10 years ago.

  • The estimated number of violent crimes in the U.S. was 1,247,321 — a decrease from 1,250,162 in 2016.
  • The estimated rate of violent crime in 2017 was 382.9 offenses per 100,000 inhabitants, a 0.9% decrease from 2016 rates.
  • Taking 5- and 10-year trends into account, the 2017 estimated violent crime total was 6.8% above the 2013 level and 10.6% below the 2008 level.
  • Of violent crimes reported to law enforcement in 2017:
    • 65.0% were aggravated assaults
    • 25.6% were robbery offenses
    • 8.0% were rape assaults
    • 1.4% were murders

What Are The National Murder Statistics?

Murder rates dropped from 2016-2017. These FBI homicide statistics are based solely on police investigations as opposed to the findings of a court, medical examiner, coroner, jury or other judicial body.

  • In 2017, the estimated number of murders in the nation was 17,284 — a 0.7% decrease from 2016, a 20.7% rise from 2013, and a 5.0% increase from 2008.
  • There were 5.3 murders per 100,000 people in 2017. The murder rate in 2017 was down 1.4% from the rate in 2016 (5.4/100,000) and 17.3% up from the rate in 2013 (4.5/100,000). When looking at 10 years ago, the murder rate fell 2.0% when compared with the 2008 rate of 5.5/100,000.

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 2017. The last 2 columns are by ethnicity.

 WhiteBlack or
Indian or
or Other
Not Hispanic or LatinoHispanic or Latino
Total Crimes68.927.
Murder and Nonnegligent Manslaughter44.
Aggravated Assault62.
Motor Vehicle Theft66.

How Can You Protect Your Home And Yourself?

Home Security

If you don’t have a fortune to spend on a high-end home security system, there are affordable options. You don’t have to be an expert to install a DIY home security system — you can save yourself some serious cash going this route and still safely secure your home. See which DIY security systems we recommend. 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: National Council for Home Safety and SecurityCreditDonkey

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.

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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