Burglary Statistics (2023)
Burglaries represent a specific category of property crime characterized by the illegal entry into a structure with the intention to commit a crime within. These offenses, which predominantly take place within residential or commercial buildings, can result in significant financial loss, emotional distress, and a lingering sense of violated personal space for the victims.
In this article, you will find a summary of burglary statistics, another installment of our series dedicted to real estate statistics.
- How Many Burglaries Occur?
- Who Commits Burglary?
- Which States Have the Most Burglaries?
- When Do Burglaries Happen?
- How Do Burglars Enter a Home?
- How Many Homes Have Security Systems?
Key Burglary Statistics
- 899,781 burglaries occurred in the U.S. in 2021, including 416,151 residential burglaries.
- The U.S. burglary rate is 271 cases per 100,000 population.
- There are 2.3X fewer burglaries today than twenty years ago.
- The U.S. burglary clearance rate is only 13.5%.
- In 54% of burglaries, the offender lives within 2 miles of the home they burglarized, and in 30% of burglaries, the offender knows the victim.
- Most burglaries occur during the day or early evening hours.
- In over 50% of cases, burglars use open doors or windows to enter the home.
- 29.7% of U.S. households have alarm security systems, and 34% have video doorbell systems installed.
How Many Burglaries Occur?
- 899,781 burglaries occurred in the U.S. in 2021, an estimate based on the 2021 burglary rate and the U.S. population of 331.9 million that year.
- 416,151 residential burglaries were reported in 2021, accounting for 46% of the total burglary offenses.
- According to the latest available FBI data, the burglary rate in the United States is 271 cases per 100,000 population.
The number of burglaries per year in the U.S. has declined over the past 20 years, as shown by the graph below. 2.3 times fewer burglary cases occurred in 2021 compared to 2001.
Here’s the breakdown of burglaries per year for 2001-2021:
Average Dollar Loss per Burglary
- The FBI estimates the average dollar loss per burglary at $2,661.
- In 2021, the estimated combined burglary losses were $2.4 billion that year.
Burglary Clearance Rate
With limited resources, law enforcement agencies prioritize violent crimes over property crimes. Thus, the clearance rate for property crimes is much lower than clearance for violent crimes – only 13% of U.S. property crimes are solved, compared to over 50% for violent crimes.
U.S. national burglary clearance rate published by the FBI is 13.5%, which means that out of 899,781 burglaries committed, only 121,470 cases would be or have been solved.
Who Commits Burglary?
2021 arrest data published by the FBI shows that most burglary offenders are White men between ages 21-40:
- 68% of people arrested for burglary offenses were White.
- Men accounted for 81.4%, and women accounted for 18.6% of all burglary arrests.
- The age groups between 21-30 and 31-40 accounted for 28.8% and 31.6% of burglary arrests, respectively.
Burglary is a crime of opportunity, where the person committing the crime takes advantage of a particular situation without advanced plans to do so.
Burglars often identify their targets while being in the area for a reason other than committing a crime. Most burglars live near their targets, and many know their victims.
- According to the U.S. Department of Justice, burglars personally knew their victims in 30% of cases.
- In 54% of burglary arrests, the offender lived within 2 miles of the victim's home.
Which States Have the Most Burglaries?
- Texas reported the most burglaries cases per state (91,628), followed by Washington (39,475), North Carolina (36,508), Ohio (36,508), and Colorado (27,867).
Here is a table of top 10 states for reported burglaries:
When Do Burglaries Happen?
A home security company Vivint has recently published an in-depth study of the most active time for criminal activity in 13 major U.S. metropolitan areas.
The study concluded that most property crimes occur during the day or early evening, between 12p.m. and 7 p.m., when people leave their homes for work, school, or other daily activities.
The most active hours for burglary are 4-7 p.m. with 20.4% of all burglaries take place during those hours.
Here’s a breakdown of burglary activities by the time of day.
|Time of Day||Total Burglaries|
|12AM - 3AM||18.9%|
|4AM - 7AM||12.7%|
|8AM - 11AM||12.9%|
|12PM - 3PM||16.3%|
|4PM - 7PM||20.4%|
|8PM - 11PM||18.7%|
How Do Burglars Enter a Home?
In most cases, burglars look for easy access to a home, with open doors and windows being the most popular options.
A home security company ADT has reported this data for the common points of entry:
- 34% of burglars use the front door - just twist the knob and walk-in.
- 23% use first-floor open windows.
- 22% use the back door.
- 9% enter through an attached garage.
- 6% use other unlocked areas.
- 4% use the basement as a point of entry.
- 2% enter through the second-floor open windows.
KGW, the NBC-affiliated television station in Portland, Oregon, surveyed convicted burglary offenders serving time at the Oregon Department of Corrections on how they broke into homes.
Here’re some interesting findings:
- Most burglars break into homes through open doors or windows.
- If all doors and windows were locked, most burglars kicked in the door rather than breaking a window. Kicking in the door makes less noise than broken glass and doesn’t pose a safety risk to the burglar.
- All burglars stated they knocked on the door before breaking in. If someone answered the door, the offenders acted lost, confused, or pretended to be someone else, then walked away.
Do Burglars Come Back to the Same House?
According to research from the United Kingdom, if the home was burglarized once, there's a good chance it will be burglarized again within the next ten days.
Most convicted burglars are repeat offenders. If they couldn't take something they liked the first time, they might decide to go back for it. Additionally, burglars want to capitalize on gaining an entrance to the home before homeowners repair the broken door or window or increase the home security.
How Many Homes Have Security Systems?
- According to the 2023 Home Security Market Report by SafeHome, at least 39 million U.S. households are protected by security alarm systems, which is 29.7% of the total U.S. households (131.2 million).
- 45 million households, or 34% of the total U.S. households, have video doorbell component, due in large part from the growth of low-cost smart home devices.
- 13 million U.S. households are considering installing security alarm systems this year, and 10 million are considering installing access control devices.
- By type of security devices, video surveillance cameras are the most popular (used by 45% of households), followed by video doorbells (40%) and security alarm systems (35%).
- Ring is the most popular brand among security system providers, followed by ADT and Nest.
Do Security Systems Deter Burglary?
According to the KGW’s survey of convicted burglars, it seems so.
- Most burglars stated they avoid homes with visible security cameras.
- All burglars stated they would leave home immediately if a security alarm went off.
Other effective deterrents mentioned by the burglars in the KGW’s survey were large dogs present at the house, homeowner cars parked in the driveway, home lights being on, or the sounds of TV being audible.
Thanks for reading our article. We wanted to take a moment to clarify what burglary is and is not.
Burglary vs. Robbery
People often use “burglary” and “robbery” interchangeably, but the terms have meaningful differences. Burglary involves a person illegally entering a building to commit a crime inside.
Robbery refers to someone taking something of value directly from another person using force or fear.
One important distinction between the terms is the location of the crime. Burglary must occur inside a home or building, while robbery can happen in the open.
Another difference is the absence or presence of violence. Burglary is a non-violent property crime. Robbery uses force, fear, or intimidation and is a violent crime.
Burglary vs. Home Invasion
Home invasion, also called “residential burglary,” occurs inside a private home while people living there are present. Home invasion is the most dangerous subset of burglary offenses as it often escalates into violence.