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 805,427 residential properties were broken into in 2018, a 4.3% drop from 2017 estimates.5
  • Of these 2018 residential burglaries, 50% occurred during the day, 32% were at night and 18% were unknown for the time of day. 5
  • The average loss per burglary in 2018 was $2,799 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 2018 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 two or more 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. Bakersfield, CA – 894.2
  2. Mobile, AL – 883.7
  3. Albuquerque, NM – 869.9
  4. Memphis, TN – 847.1
  5. Lubbock, TX – 780.8
  6. Vallejo, CA – 754.0
  7. Montgomery, AL – 750.7
  8. Tulsa, OK – 727.8
  9. Lafayette, LA – 722.0
  10. Anchorage, AK – 703.4

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 – 1,263.6
  2. Memphis, TN – 1,142.5
  3. Albuquerque, NM – 1,084.7
  4. Detroit-Dearborn-Livonia, MI – 1,001.8
  5. Lubbock, TX – 829.3
  6. Wichita, KS – 826.0
  7. Stockton-Lodi, CA – 795.1
  8. Philadelphia, PA – 763.7
  9. Rockford, IL – 742.6
  10. Little Rock, AR – 738.1

Cities With The Highest Murder Rates

These include both murder and nonnegligent manslaughter.

  1. Philadelphia, PA – 18.3
  2. Memphis, TN – 17.2
  3. Detroit-Dearborn-Livonia, MI – 16.8
  4. New Orleans, LA – 15.5
  5. Baton Rouge, LA – 14.9
  6. Shreveport, LA – 14.3
  7. Baltimore-Columbia-Towson, MD – 13.3
  8. St. Louis, MO-IL – 12.9
  9. Bakersfield, CA – 11.3
  10. Augusta-Richmond County, GA-SC – 10.4

Home Burglary Statistics Infographic

Home Burglary Statistics Infographic

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Other National Crime Statistics

The following statistics also come from the FBI’s 2018 Crime Report.

What’s The National Violent Crime Rate?

Both the number and rate of violent crimes decreased in 2018 from the previous year.

  • The estimated number of violent crimes in the U.S. was 1,206,836 — a decrease of 3.3% from 2017.
  • The estimated rate of violent crime in 2018 was 368.9 violent crimes per 100,000 inhabitants, a rate that fell 3.9% when compared with 2017 and dropped 14.6% from 2009.
  • Of violent crimes reported to law enforcement in 2018:
    • 66.9% were aggravated assaults
    • 23.4% were robbery offenses
    • 8.4% were rape assaults
    • 1.3% were murders

What Are The National Murder Statistics?

Murder rates dropped from 2017 to 2018. 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 bodies.

  • In 2018, the estimated number of murders in the nation was 16,214 — a 6.2% decrease from 2017, a 14.5% increase from 2014 and a 5.3% increase from 2009.
  • There were 5.0 murders per 100,000 people in 2018. The murder rate in 2018 was down from the rates in 2017 (6.8%) and 2009 (1.2%). However, the murder rate climbed 11.6% when compared with the 2014 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:

  • 46.2% South
  • 22.0% Midwest
  • 19.9% West
  • 11.9% Northeast

Hate Crime Statistics

Law enforcement agencies continue to increase their reporting of hate crimes every year to the FBI. The 2017 FBI hate crime reporting system (the latest released) received reports of 7,175 hate crimes in 2017, up from 6,121 in 2016. These break down to:

  • 59.6% race/ethnicity/ancestry
  • 20.6% religion
  • 15.8% sexual orientation
  • 1.9% disability
  • 1.6% gender identity
  • 0.6% 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 2018. The last 2 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 Crimes69.027.42.11.20.218.881.2
Murder and Nonnegligent Manslaughter44.153.31.21.00.320.979.1
Rape68.128.61.41.50.326.773.3
Robbery43.554.21.01.00.422.577.5
Aggravated Assault61.933.72.31.70.425.674.4
Burglary68.129.41.21.10.220.379.7
Driving Under The Influence81.214.81.81.90.324.475.6
Larceny-Theft66.930.01.81.10.214.585.5
Motor Vehicle Theft64.532.31.71.20.325.674.4

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.

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] CreditDonkey, [2] National Council for Home Safety and Security, [3] FBI Crime Clock, [4] FBI 2012 Crime Report, [5] FBI 2018 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.

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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