Report: Burglaries Declined by Half During Past Two Decades

Value of items stolen increased 54 percent during same period

burglar breaking into a home

REASEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. — From 1994 to 2011, the rate of burglary in the United States declined 56 percent, according to a report by the Justice Department’s Bureau of Justice Statistics and RTI International.

Although the rate of burglary decreased, the value of items and cash stolen increased 54 percent from $389 in 1994 to $600 in 2011 (adjusted to 2011 values for inflation).  The survey found that the average financial loss among burglarized households was about $2,116 per household in 2011.

The researchers also found that lower income families, those with household incomes less than $15,000 were burglarized more often than high income families.

In 2011, a third of completed burglaries involved a stolen electronic device or household appliance, an increase from 28 percent in 2001 to 34 percent in 2011. Items included TVs, DVD players and portable electronic devices.

The percentage of reported burglaries that resulted in arrest remained the same at about 10 percent from 1994 to 2011. Overall, 58 percent of completed burglaries were reported to police in 2011, compared to 51 percent in 1994.

These estimates of household burglary are based on data from the National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS), which is the leading source of data collection on criminal victimization in the United States.

The full text of the report and other BJS statistical resources can be found on the BJS website.