27 Alarming Burglary Statistics for 2020

Home burglaries happen more often than you think. The following burglary statistics reveal just how common this crime really is.

Home burglary is a fairly common crime that happens more often than many people would think, as the latest burglary statistics reveal.

In essence, while the majority of citizens take adequate measures to protect their homes, many underestimate their safety requirements; it is vital to have a solid understanding of how these incidents happen in your area in order for both you and your belongings to stay safe.

The following stats reveal just how prevalent burglary and home invasions are in the US and around the world. Come take a look!

Fascinating Home Invasion Statistics (Editor’s Choice):

  • 65% of burglars are already well-acquainted with the people they rob.
  • Only 12% of home invasions are planned in advance.
  • New Mexico has the highest burglary rate with 767.8 burglaries per 100,000 people.
  • There are almost three burglaries every minute in the US.
  • 85% of home invasions are not conducted by professional burglars.
  • 62% of burglaries happen during daylight hours.
  • 88% of burglars may be robbing to support their drug habit.
  • Burglaries in the US have dropped by 37% since 2008.

Home Burglary Statistics

1. On average, there are some 2.5 million burglaries occurring every year.

Stats reveal that there are around 2.5 million burglaries happening each year, 66% of which are home break-ins. However, the number of these has been steadily decreasing over the past decade.

Source: Alarms.org

2. Only 12% of home invasions are planned in advance.

Yes, you read that right — most burglars aren’t prepared! A survey of burglars by the University of North Carolina found that almost half of all respondents (41%) said they acted on the “spur of the moment,” as opposed to only 12% that said their actions were premeditated. The remaining 37% gave a mixed response.

Source: Science Daily

3. House break-ins, on average, last less than 10 minutes.

The average home invasion lasts between 8 to 10 minutes, with some as quick as 90 seconds! Burglars have to be quick, which means they can’t be picky about what they snatch. Usually, burglars aim to grab cash, electronics, prescription drugs, or jewelry.

Source: Protect Your Home

4. As many as 88% of burglars engage in robbery to support their ongoing drug habit.

A survey from the University of North Carolina on home robbery statistics found that more than half (51%) of home invaders robbed houses because they needed cash to buy drugs. A further 37% said they robbed primarily for the money, although many admitted this money would eventually be used to buy drugs. 

Source: University of North Carolina

5. Only 22% of burglars take notice of a neighborhood watch sign when selecting a target.

Despite its popularity, burglars are not deterred by neighborhood watch programs. Break-in statistics reveals that only 22% of burglars consider a neighborhood watch sign as a deterrent when selecting a property to rob.

Source: 24/7 Home Security

6. Burglaries in the US have dropped by 37% since 2008.

Crime statistics from the FBI indicate a decrease of a whopping 37% in the number of burglaries since 2008; this trend is true across the US. Additionally, statistics also show that burglaries on residential properties account for 67.2% of all burglary offenses.

Source: FBI

7. Only 7% of home burglaries involve violence.

A State of the USA report found that 7% of these (on average) resort to violence on a yearly basis; though, only a few (12%) burglars had used a firearm. The most common type of violence present in burglaries is a simple assault, with 36% of cases resulting in only minor injuries and psychological trauma.

Source: State of the USA

Home Security Statistics

8. Only 17% of US homes have a security system.

Only 17% of US citizens have security systems in their homes, despite the fact that such systems can cost as little as $10 per month.

Source: Deep Sentinel

9. Burglars are three times more likely to target properties that don’t use a security system.

Research has found that homes without a security system increase their chances of experiencing a home invasion than those with a security system in place. In fact, most burglars immediately move on (to another house) if a home has a security system.

Source: Reolink

10. Almost two-thirds (65%) of burglars are already well-acquainted with the people they rob.

That’s right, a 2010 special report from the DoJ found that an incredible 65% of home invasion victims knew the offender beforehand, and 34% were relatives or well-known acquaintances!

One of the biggest home security mistakes that people make is giving keys to non-residents, with many thefts being committed by ex-partners from former relationships, according to burglary statistics.

Source: Bureau of Justice Statistics

11. In a survey of convicted burglars, only 34% of respondents said that a barking dog would deter them from breaking into a property.

Despite what many may think, most burglars are not scared of barking dogs. A barking dog was one of the lowest-rated deterrents, below camera surveillance, a car in the driveway, or even just nearby traffic.

Source: 24/7 Home Security

12. The vast majority (85%) of home invasions are not conducted by professional burglars, home invasion statistics reveal.

Research has found that most burglaries are committed by non-professionals — hence why they often result in unexpected circumstances. Burglars may attack out of fear or desperation if faced with the chance of being caught. Never engage with a burglar if you catch one in your home!

Source: Alarms.org

13. Almost two-thirds of burglaries happen during daylight hours.

If you’ve been asking yourself at what time do most break-ins occur? Research from DCSI Security has found that 62% of all burglaries happen during daylight hours; between 6 AM and 6 PM to be exact. Furthermore, there is little evidence to suggest that leaving a light on at night helps deter burglars; in some cases, it might even help them see better!

Source: DCSI Security

14. Summer is the most common season for burglaries to take place.

A US Department of Justice report on burglary statistics showed that, over a seven-year period, burglary rates were highest during the summer; winter had 11% lower burglary rates, followed by spring (9%) and fall (6%), respectively. This is most likely due to the number of people who go on holiday during the summer.

Source: Bureau of Justice Statistics

15. Over one third (34%) of burglars enter a property through the front door.

A property’s front is the weakest link in your home defense, home break-in statistics reveal. When combined with back-door break-ins (22%), we find that over half of break-ins occur via doorways. Another 23% gain access through a ground-floor window, whereas a further 9% get in through the garage. 

Source: Reolink

16. Almost half (48%) of all burglars say they would bypass a home if they heard a noise coming from inside.

A survey conducted by 24/7 Security reveals that noise inside a house is one of the best deterrents. Other top deterrents include people being inside the house (60%), and an officer being nearby (55%).

Source: 24/7 Security

Home Invasion Statistics by State

17. New Hampshire has the lowest burglary rate at 136.2 per 100,000 people.

The state of New Hampshire is the safest state in the US, according to data from Statista. New York state ranks as second safest with 159.3 burglaries per 100,000 citizens, and Virginia comes in third with 182.8.

Source: Statista

18. New Mexico has the highest rate with 767.8 burglaries per 100,000 people.

According to home burglary statistics 2018, the citizens of this state are most likely to fall prey to burglary. Mississippi is second-worst with 697.8 burglaries per 100,000 citizens and Oklahoma ranks third with 681.1.

Source: Statista

19. 8 out of 10 states with the highest burglary rates are in the South.

New Mexico, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, as well as South and North Carolina, are all on the list of top ten states with the highest number of home invasions per year. The only other states on this list are Washington and Nevada; both are in the West.

Source: A Secure Life

20. 9 out of 10 states with the lowest burglary rates are on the East Coast.

New York, New Hampshire, Virginia, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maine, Pennsylvania, the District of Columbia, and New Jersey are all on the list of top ten states with the lowest rate of burglary. Wyoming is the only state on this list that’s not on the East Coast.

Source: A Secure Life

FBI Burglary Statistics

21. Victims of burglary incur $2,416 in losses on average. 

The average dollar loss per burglary offense was $2,416. Overall, the US suffers $3.4 billion worth of losses from burglary offenses annually.

Source: FBI

22. There are almost three burglaries every minute in the US.

A burglary happens approximately every 22.6 seconds in the US, according to FBI home invasion statistics 2017. This increases to every 4.1 seconds when larceny and car theft are also included.

Source: FBI

23. More than a third (36.2%) of all burglaries occur due to unlawful entry.

A third of burglaries are the result of unlawful entry — in other words when the offender illegally gains entry without using force. On the other hand, the number of houses broken into sits at around 57.5%.

Source: FBI

24. Burglary accounts for only 17.1% of all property crimes.

The same FBI report revealed that larceny-theft — the act of unlawfully taking something from someone (usually property or possessions) — accounted for 72.5% of all property crimes in 2018. In addition, burglary and motor vehicle theft accounted for 17.1% and 10.4%, respectively.

Source: FBI

Car Break-Ins Statistics

25. Motor vehicle theft is the only property crime that continues to rise every year. 

While the decrease in house invasions has been somewhat impressive, we cannot say the same for car break-ins. Reports show that the estimated rate of motor vehicle thefts per 100,000 inhabitants is 237.4. In 2017 alone, the total number of such thefts reached over 770,000 nationwide. 

Source: SDM Magazine

26. Most auto burglaries occur during the night. 

Yet another difference in house and auto burglaries is the time of the burglars’ attack. While house break-ins typically happen during the daylight, auto thefts occur at night while the car is parked outside the victim’s house. Stats show that some burglars also target cars in parking lots since they know owners may be gone for a long while; especially so when they’re working, taking a class, or going shopping.

Source: Wilton Manors

27. Parking a car in the driveway can actually help deter burglars, burglary facts reveal.

If you’re going on vacation and you don’t need to bring your car, parking it in your driveway is a smart move to make it look like someone is home. Just don’t forget to lock the doors, roll the windows up and engage the alarm. If you’re going to use the car, you can offer the driveway as a temporary parking spot to your neighbor.

Source: Your Best Digs

Bottom Line

I’m sure you found at least some of these burglary statistics surprising. Nevertheless, before stressing out too much, take note that these have seen a significant decline over the past decade.

Overall, the US saw a decrease of 54% and 69% between 1993 and 2018. What’s more, this complements the overall trend of crime reduction in the US over the past two decades.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What are the chances of your house being robbed?

While it’s difficult to calculate the probability of being robbed at home, it’s important to note that 66% of 2.5 million burglaries that happen annually are classified as home invasions. As such, the chances of your house being robbed are pretty high. It could go even higher if you live in states where this kind of crime predominates, as well as if you don’t have any robust security system in place. 

2. How long does the average burglary take?

According to our statistics, it takes roughly 8 to 10 minutes for burglars to rob a home. However, there are also reports saying that some of these burglars can snatch everything (cash, electronics, jewelry) within just 90 seconds of entering a home. 

3. How many home invasions happen per year?

Recent stats show that about 2.5 million burglaries happen per year and a huge chunk of those are home break-ins (66%). During the day, there could be as much as 1,495,790 residential burglaries. What’s more, February is the month with the least number of break-ins, showing that snow and cold are indeed a significant deterrent. 

4. Does leaving a light on at night deter burglars?

Most home burglaries actually happen during the daytime so leaving the lights on may not be enough to deter burglars. Nevertheless, you can upgrade your home security by using motion-activated lights instead. They will automatically turn on and light up your driveway when burglars come close, possibly scaring them in the process. Securing your windows and doors with strong locks never gets old as well.

5. How do most burglars break into homes?

We told you to get robust locks for your doors and windows because those are the burglars’ main points of entry. 56% of them come in through either the front or back door whereas 22% break-in through the first-floor window, as revealed by burglary statistics.

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