Burglary Statistics, Research, and Facts

Key insights + statistics

  • Homes without a security system are 300% more likely to be broken into and burglarized. (Alarms.org)
  • 46.9% of people don’t have a home security system installed in their home. (The Zebra)
  • 83% of would-be burglars check for the presence of an alarm system before attempting a break-in. (FBI)
  • 34% of burglars use the front door when breaking into a home. (Bureau of Justice)
  • There are 2.5 million burglaries annually in the United States. 66% of these are home invasions. (US Department of Justice)
  • Police solve only 13% of reported burglary cases. (Pew Research Center)

 

How many burglaries there a year?

There are 2.5 million burglaries annually in the United States, according to the United States Department of Justice yearly data, with over half of these being home invasions. Further crime analysis reveals there are four primary types of burglaries: completed burglary, forcible entry, unlawful entry without force, and attempted forcible entry. While these numbers may seem frightening, across the United States, property crime rates have dropped. Furthermore, as security systems become increasingly more affordable and available, protecting your home from external invasions is now easier than ever. 

The Zebra's research team analyzed national data and compiled the following report. Using federal databases such as the Bureau of Justice and Pew Research Center, as well as The Zebra's own proprietary data, the following is an examination into the increasing and decreasing trends of property crime and burglaries (including home invasions), providing holistic insight into a darker side of American life. 

 

Table of contents

  1. Burglary statistics in 2020
  2. Burglary statistics by year
  3. Home invasion statistics by room
  4. Statistics around when burglaries occur
  5. Property crime statistics
  6. Criminal psychology statistics
  7. Home insurance and burglaries
  8. Frequently asked questions about home burglary


Burglary statistics in 2020

In September of 2020, The Zebra conducted a nationwide survey of 1,500 American homeowners and renters to gain deeper insight into common concerns and oversights regarding personal security and safety. The survey found that:

  • 46.9% of people don’t have a home security system installed in their home.
  • 20.2% of people have had their cars burglarized, while only 5.8% had their homes burglarized.
  • 15.9% of respondents chose their dog for security reasons.
  • External cameras were listed as the most important feature to have in a security system (32.3%). Motion sensors (28.6%) and floodlights (24.5%) were found to be in the top three most important features.
  • 17.2% of people do not lock their front doors while at their home, despite the front door being the access point for 34% of burglars.
  • 56.1% of respondents have not taken a personal safety training class.
  • 55.4% of respondents have a fire safety evacuation plan.
  • 38% of people own a weapon for personal safety reasons.
most important security feature

 

However, a large disparity between the behaviors of men and women became apparent when further analysis was conducted. According to the data, women are aware of the threat of home invasion, but do not allow fear to conduct their lives.

  • 57.5% of women have taken a personal safety training course while only 42.5% claimed they had as well.
  • 55.7% of women lock the front door while they’re home, while only 44.3% of men do so. 61.1% of women post on social media when they are away from home, potentially alerting would-be burglaries of an easy target.
  • Women listed a video doorbell as the most important feature in a security system. Men found that a digital door lock was most important.
  • More men than women considered safety and security when purchasing a dog.
  • More men than women own a weapon for personal safety.


Home burglary statistics by year

For more information on yearly burglary crime rates, consider visiting the FBI’s Criminal Justice Information Services Division.

  • Early data in 2019 shows a drop of 3.1% in the number of burglaries and violent crimes for the first 6 months of 2019 when compared in 2018.
  • More than 7% of homes fell victim to property crimes in 2018.
  • In 2017, the FBI reported 1,401,840 burglaries with 57.5% of all burglaries involving forcible entry.
  • A 2-year trend showed that burglary rate dropped 1.3% in 2016 in comparison with the 2015 estimate.
  • In 2015, Burglary crimes made up for 19.8% of all property crimes. Larceny and theft accounted for 71.4% and motor vehicle theft made up 8.9%.
YearsRobberyProperty CrimeBurglaryLarcenyMotor vehicle theft
2015-2016+3.2%-0.6%-3.4%-0.8%+6.6%
2016-2017-2.2%-2.9%-6.1%-3.0%+4.1%
2017-2018-12.5%-7.9%-12.7%-6.3%-3.3%
2018-2019-7.4%-5.6%-11.1%-4.2%-6.7%


Home invasion statistics by room

For further analysis, review the data sources for these statistics from the FBI, Bureau of Justice Statistics, and Statistica.

  • 9% of burglars use the garage door as their access point.
  • 22% of break-ins happen through the back door.
  • 2% of burglars attempt to gain entrance through the second floor.
  • 81% of home robberies begin on the first floor.
  • 9% of burglars gain access in the basement.
  • 23% of burglars enter a home through a window.

 

Statistics around when burglaries occur

According to Crimepreventiontips.com and the Jacksonville State University:

  • Every 15 seconds a home burglary occurs in the United States. This means that approximately 4,800 burglaries happen every day.
  • Break-ins occurring between 6 AM and 6 PM increase in likelihood by 6%.
  • Most burglaries happen in the summertime between the summer months of June and August.
  • Frequent home invasions happen between the hours of 10 am and 3 pm when the home owners are commonly away from the home.
  • However, 27.6% of all home burglaries, someone is home during a burglary.

 

Property crime statistics

Analysis of FBI and the US Department of Justice data finds:

  • 66% of burglaries affect residential properties.
  • 34% of the burglaries that happen each year affect small businesses.
  • Over half (65%) of burglaries occur during daylight hours since that is when most people aren’t home.
  • A break-in occurs every 26 seconds at an average cost of around $2,800 to the homeowner.
  • All burglary victims lose an average of $2,416.
  • In total, victims of burglaries (both private and public) lose an estimated $3.4 billion in personal property each year.

 

Criminal psychology statistics

The FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program has identified the following data.

  • After an arrest is made, 65.1% of people personally know their thief, meaning there’s a very good chance your neighbor or acquaintance could attempt to rob you.
  • Only 12% of all burglaries are planned in advance. Most thieves admit a break-in was an impulse decision
  • 95% of burglaries involve a forceful entry into the home, which means physical damage to your personal property.
  • Over 60% of assaults, including the heinous crime of rape, happens during home invasions.
  • Mapped areas of burglaries have determined that most burglars have been found to strike homes within a few miles of their residence.
  • The average burglary lasts only 8 to 10 minutes.

 

How a home burglary will affect your home insurance

A standard homeowners policy covers theft. If your home is burglarized and the contents of your living room are taken, your insurance company would reimburse you up to your personal property coverage limit — minus your deductible. A common amount of coverage is 10% of your total personal property coverage, or $1,000 — whichever is greater. For example, if you have $50,000 of personal property coverage on your homeowners policy, your coverage off-premises limit would be $5,000.

On a standard home insurance policy, your dwelling coverage is insured for the replacement cost value but your personal property is insured for its actual cash value. Actual cash value factors depreciation into a claims payout. For example, an ACV payout on a TV will give the funds for what your stolen TV was worth when you bought it — not how much it takes to get a new TV now. 

If you make a claim to recoup the cost of a stolen TV, then you will end up paying more for your insurance. Below is a look at how much a theft claim affects your insurance, in comparison to other common homeowner insurance claims.

Claim typeAverage Annual Premium
No claim$1255
Theft$1571
Vandalism$1554
Fire$1583

 

average home claim

 

However, in several instances, theft might not be covered by homeowners insurance. Theft absolutely will not be covered if your home is vacant. Most insurance companies refrain from covering vacant homes because of heightened risk of theft from the property.

If you’re renting your home out and your tenant's property was stolen, your coverage would not apply. In this example, their renters insurance would provide coverage. For more information, check out our guide to home insurance and theft.

 

FAQs about burglaries

Question: How common is burglary in the United States?

Answer: A break-in occurs every 26 seconds in the US. This adds up to 2.5 million break-ins every year, with more than half of those burglaries occuring in homes. For comparison, there was only 64 shark attacks in 2019.  With these numbers, burglaries are very common and should be a major concern for homeowners. 

Q: What are the chances of a burglary?

A: Unfortunately, the odds of being a victim of a home invasion or burglary are high. 2.5 million burglaries occur each year and the victims of burglaries (both private and public) lose an estimated $3.4 billion in personal property each year.

Q: What is the most common time for burglaries?

A: Surprisingly, most robberies occur during daylight hours — between 10AM and 3PM. This is due in part to the fact that most people are gone from their homes during these times. 

Q: How many robberies have there been in 2019?

A: According to recent data from the FBI's ISD, early data in 2019 shows a drop of 3.1% in the number of burglaries and violent crimes for the first 6 months of 2019 when compared in 2018.

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Methodology

This study was conducted for The Zebra using Google Consumer Surveys. The sample consisted of no less than 1,000 completed responses per question. Post-stratification weighting has been applied to ensure an accurate and reliable representation of the total population. This survey was conducted in late 2020.

Copyright © 2020 InsuranceZebra, Inc. All rights reserved. For inquiries regarding this content, please contact our team at statistics@thezebra.com.

 

Resources

Taylor Covington LinkedIn

An “everyday expert," Taylor researches the finer points of insurance, technology, and personal finance. She is also a frequent contributor to home and lifestyle publications. In her hometown city of Austin, Texas, she can be found reading at Half Priced Books, or eating the world's greatest pizza at Via 313.