Burglary statistics by state
Below, Insurify used the latest FBI crime data to compare burglary rates by state. The FBI’s most recent data on the rate of burglary offenses by population is from 2020. Some states reported incomplete home invasion statistics to NIBRS. In states where a small percentage of law enforcement agencies submitted data, burglary numbers are less accurate.
|State||Reported Burglaries in 2021||Burglary Rate per 100,000||Law Enforcement Agency Report Rate|
Top 5 states with the most home burglaries
These states have the greatest number of burglaries per capita, and a clear and unsurprising common factor emerges: poverty.
1. New Mexico
New Mexico has the most burglaries per capita, at a rate of 649 per 100,000. With 18.4% of residents living in poverty compared to the national average of 11.6%, a lack of resources could play a role in New Mexico’s burglary problem.
In 2022, Gov. Lujan Grisham signed bipartisan House Bill 68, strengthening the penalties for several crimes and pledging $2 million to crime-reduction programs.
Oklahoma is the second-most burglarized state, with an offense rate of 613 per 100,000 people. In 2018, the state reformed sentencing guidelines, creating a less severe third-degree burglary category.
However, lighter sentencing probably isn’t behind the state’s burglary rate. Increasing the severity of punishment does little to deter crime, according to the National Institute of Justice (NIJ).6 Oklahoma’s high poverty rate of 15.6% is likely a bigger factor.
Arkansas has the third-highest burglary rate, at 523 per 100,000 people. Some Arkansas burglaries could be crimes of necessity. The state has a 16.3% poverty rate — nearly 41% higher than the national average.
Washington has a slightly lower burglary rate than Arkansas, at 522 per 100,000 residents. Burglary isn’t the only crime Washington residents have to worry about. The state’s violent crime rate increased by 12%, and the number of police officers decreased by 4.4%, over the course of 2021, according to the Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs’ annual report.8
Louisiana is yet another highly burglarized state with a large number of people living in poverty. At 19.6%, the state’s poverty rate is nearly 70% higher than the national average.
The state also has a police staffing crisis that’s prompted some cities to take drastic measures. The New Orleans police shortage was so severe the police department started hiring civilians to issue traffic citations in 2022. It’s no surprise the state’s burglary rate is the fifth highest in the country, at 510 per 100,000 residents.
Top 5 states with the fewest home burglaries
These states have the lowest burglary rates in the country — and four of the five were in the Northeast.
1. New Hampshire
New Hampshire had the lowest burglary rate, at 103 per 100,000 residents. Only 7.2% of New Hampshire residents live in poverty, which is 61% less than the U.S. national average of 11.6%. The state’s low burglary rate could also be related to increased law enforcement.
Between 2000 and 2020, the number of full-time police officers in the state grew by 20%, according to New Hampshire Police Standards and Training Council.9 That’s nearly double the state’s population increase of 11% in the same period.
Virginia had the second-lowest burglary rate, at 134 per 100,000 residents. Local government officials have made numerous efforts to curb crime in recent years — and it seems to be paying off. In 2021, then-Gov. Ralph Northam announced a $114 million initiative to support public safety and reduce crime.
3. New Jersey
New Jersey also had a low burglary rate of 146 per 100,000 residents. Since the most recent FBI data overlaps with COVID-19 restrictions, New Jersey’s lockdown policies could have influenced burglary rates. The state’s high number of COVID-19 cases prompted Gov. Phil Murphy to announce some of the most drastic prevention measures in the country, including a statewide curfew.
Maine had the fourth-lowest burglaries per capita, at 149 per 100,000. The low rate could be due to fewer opportunities. Maine is the least densely populated state in New England, with 44.2 people per square mile, according to U.S. Census data.10
Massachusetts had a burglary rate of 150 per 100,000 residents, making it the fifth-least burglarized state in the country. Burglary is a serious felony in Massachusetts. Any burglary with a gun or assault weapon earns the culprit a mandatory minimum of 15 years in state prison. The punishment for multiple burglary offenses can be as severe as life imprisonment with a minimum sentence of 20 years.11
States with the worst burglary data reporting
Transitioning to a new system is never easy, but some states had surprisingly low numbers of law enforcement agencies reporting to NIBRS. Only 22 Florida burglaries were reported to the FBI in 2021 by 6% of law enforcement agencies. However, a Florida DOJ report lists 44,207 burglary offenses.12
Just 14% of Pennsylvania’s law enforcement agencies reported through NIBRS in 2021. However, the state collected data through the old system, UCR. While agencies reported 5,990 burglaries to the FBI, they logged 18,166 in UCR.13
Less than a quarter of New York law enforcement agencies reported crime data to NIBRS in 2021, accounting for just 5,652 burglaries. The New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services reported a more realistic number of 31,770 burglaries.14