The number of burglaries in the U.S. was 1,117,696 reports in 2019 — an average of 340.5 per 100,000 inhabitants. While these rates have been in steady decline over recent years, it’s still a matter of concern for many people. If you are thinking of relocating to a new city, doing some research into the crime rates of the area is always a good idea.
As burglaries account for 16.1% of property crimes, it’s definitely worth paying attention to which cities have the highest rates. That’s why we’ve covered the top 15 cities in the U.S. with high rates of burglaries. The FBI records burglaries separately from robbery and general theft, instead focusing on the specific crime of entering someone’s property with the intention of committing a crime. Robbery involves actual or threatened physical violence, while theft doesn’t necessarily include illegal entry onto someone’s property. These statistics are taken from the FBI Crime in the U.S. report in 2019 and compared to the population to see the proportion of burglaries per 10,000 inhabitants.
Cities with High Rates of Burglaries
1. Vallejo, California
Number of burglaries per 10,000 inhabitants: 235.5
At the top of the list, according to the FBI’s Crime in the U.S. report, is Vallejo, California. In 2019, there were a total of 2,888 burglaries reported in this city, which has a population of 122,657 people. This means that the city has the highest rate of burglaries per 10,000 people. A high poverty rate of 14.1%, which is higher than the average of 10.5% across the U.S, may be one reason behind the high burglary rates.
2. Hot Springs, Arkansas
Number of burglaries per 10,000 inhabitants: 202.6
The city of Hot Springs in Arkansas has a much smaller population of just 37,263 and yet its burglary rate per 10,000 people is 202.6. One reason for the high rates of burglaries in Hot Springs is likely the high poverty rates, which are as much as 25.8% of the population according to Census data. A low median household income of $34,120 may also be a contributing factor.
3. Alexandria, Louisiana
Number of burglaries per 10,000 inhabitants: 191.3
Alexandria, Louisiana, has a high burglary rate of 191.3 per 10,000 people. There were a total of 892 burglaries reported in 2019 within a population of 46,630. Like many U.S. cities, the burglary rate in Alexandria has actually fallen since 2018 but it still sits as one of the top cities on the list for its number of burglaries per resident. This could partly be because of the high poverty rate, which Census.gov lists as 23.6%.
4. Lake Charles, Louisiana
Number of burglaries per 10,000 inhabitants: 153.9
Lake Charles is another Louisiana city to make the list. The city has a high burglary rate of 1,212 reports in 2019, which makes it 153.9 per 10,000 people. Lake Charles also has a high poverty rate of 23.3%, which is much higher than the state average of 19%. As the unemployment rate has increased over the past year, we could see higher rates of burglaries in 2020.
5. Jonesboro, Arkansas
Number of burglaries per 10,000 inhabitants: 139.5
Jonesboro in Arkansas is fifth on the list with an average of 139.5 burglaries per 10,000 people. While the number of burglary reports has fallen slightly since 2018, there were a total of 1,092 reports according to the FBI’s statistics. With 20.4% of people living in poverty in Jonesboro, this rate is almost double the national average and could be one of the reasons behind high rates of burglaries.
6. Canton, Ohio
Number of burglaries per 10,000 inhabitants: 137.2
Next on the list is Canton, a city located in northeastern Ohio. With a population of just over 70,000, Canton has a high burglary rate of 137.2 per 10,000 inhabitants. This rate has fallen slightly since 2018 but is still high compared to the number of inhabitants in Canton. Factors contributing to Canton’s high burglary rate could be a combination of low income and a high poverty rate of 31.5%.
7. Monroe, Louisiana
Number of burglaries per 10,000 inhabitants: 130.5
Located in northern Louisiana, Monroe is another city with a relatively high burglary rate. The data does show that the burglary rate has actually fallen since 2018, but it does remain relatively high. At the end of 2019, the unemployment rate in Monroe was 6.1%, which has since increased in 2020. The city also experiences high poverty rates, with as much as 34.9% of the population living in poverty according to U.S. Census data. Both of these factors could contribute to the city’s burglary rates.
8. Springfield, Ohio
Number of burglaries per 10,000 inhabitants: 129
Springfield is a city in southwestern Ohio with a high rate of reported burglaries. In 2019, a total of 763 burglaries were reported, bringing the rate up to 129 per 10,000 inhabitants. Springfield is one of the few cities on this list that has seen an increase in burglaries since 2018 — a jump from 699 reported in 2018 to 763 a year later. In terms of financial health, Springfield has a low average household income rate and a high poverty rate.
9. Springfield, Missouri
Number of burglaries per 10,000 inhabitants: 122.2
Another Midwestern city, also called Springfield, shares a similarly high burglary rate. This Springfield, in southwestern Missouri, has a much larger population of 169,235 and a total of 2,068 reports of burglary were recorded in 2019. This puts the city’s burglary rate as 122.2 per 10,000 inhabitants. The burglary rate in Springfield, Missouri has also jumped since 2018, increasing from a total of 1,975 reports.
10. Tulsa, Oklahoma
Number of burglaries per 10,000 inhabitants: 120.6
Oklahoma’s northeastern city, Tulsa, has experienced high rates of burglary over the past few years, and this seems to be increasing. The number of burglaries reported in 2019 shows a slight increase from the previous year, with the number of reports jumping from 4,800 in 2018 to 4,846 in 2019. One reason for the high rates of burglary could be due to high poverty rates. Tulsa’s poverty rate of 19.7% is almost double the national average.
11. Memphis, Tennessee
Number of burglaries per 10,000 inhabitants: 120.4
Located in the southwestern corner of Tennessee, Memphis has a large population of 650,410 residents. While Memphis does have a high burglary rate, the city has also experienced a large drop in the number of burglaries reported in recent years. In 2018, that number was 8,494 according to FBI crime stats. Just a year later the number had fallen to 7,833. Memphis has a relatively low household income average and a high poverty rate that is more than double the national average, both factors that may contribute to the burglary rate.
12. Sebring, Florida
Number of burglaries per 10,000 inhabitants: 119
The least populated city on the list, Sebring has just over 11,000 residents. While the burglary reports are significantly lower than other cities on this list, the small population means that the burglary rate per 10,000 people is a high 119. One factor in its high burglary rate could be the high poverty rates and low income averages. The median household income average in Sebring is just $27,421.
13. Spartanburg, South Carolina
Number of burglaries per 10,000 inhabitants: 116.5
Spartanburg, South Carolina, is another city with a relatively low population compared to others on this list, with just 37,754 residents. Of that population, the number of reported burglaries was 440 in 2019, which brings the burglary rate up to an average of 116.5 per 10,000 people. While Spartanburg has a low unemployment rate, its poverty rate is an estimated 24.4% of the population, which could signify a reason behind the high burglary rates.
14. Cleveland, Ohio
Number of burglaries per 10,000 inhabitants: 112.9
Cleveland is a major city in northeastern Ohio, sharing its maritime border with Canada. With a high population of 381,829 people, Cleveland also experiences high rates of burglaries. In 2019, there were a total of 4,311 reports of burglaries. While these reports are high, the city shows a promising drop from the 4,658 reports recorded in 2018.
15. Cumberland, Maryland
Number of burglaries per 10,000 inhabitants: 111.8
The last city on our list is Cumberland, a city in Maryland with a population of 19,321. Within this small population, there were 216 reports of burglaries, which makes the burglary rate 111.8 per 10,000 people. Cumberland experiences a fairly high poverty rate and a higher-than-average unemployment rate, which could play a part in its burglary trends. However, Cumberland does show signs of improvement from 2018, which had 231 reports by comparison.
In most cases, the recent data from the FBI’s crime statistics show a promising reduction in the number of burglaries from the previous year. Just a few cities saw an increase in burglaries.
Where burglary rates are high, we found that possible contributing factors include larger populations, high poverty rates, high unemployment rates and low average incomes. In some cases, the unemployment rate was fairly low but the most recent data from 2020 show an increase across all cities due to COVID-19. We will have to wait until the next FBI crime report in 2020 to see what impact these changes have on crime rates in the U.S.
The crime rates listed in this article were taken from the latest FBI 2019 Crime in the United States report. These statistics were also compared to the crime rates from 2018 to see if there had been any increase or decrease in the number of burglaries. These figures were also compared to unemployment and poverty rates from Census data to see if there was any correlation to explain the high burglary rates.
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