Burglary -- defined as the unlawful entry of a structure, such as a home or business, to commit a theft or felony -- is the most serious nonviolent offense tracked by the FBI. There were just over 1 million burglaries were reported in the United States in 2020, the largest share of which were committed in residential properties, more often during the day than at night.
Burglaries are typically carried out for monetary gain, and each year, these crimes result in billions of dollars in stolen property. Not only do victims of burglaries typically suffer material loss, but they can also be impacted psychologically. Many burglary victims have reported heightened anxiety, difficulty sleeping, feelings of vulnerability, and even post-traumatic stress disorder in some cases.
While burglaries can happen anywhere in the United States, in some parts of the country, they are far more common than others.
The Charleston metro area in West Virginia has one of the highest burglary rates in the country. According to the FBI, 1,332 burglaries were reported in Charleston in 2020, or 523 for every 100,000 people. For context, there were 314 burglaries for every 100,000 people nationwide the same year.
Burglary -- along with larceny and vehicle theft -- is one of three criminal offenses that make up the property crime category. Due in large part to the higher than average burglary rate, the overall property crime rate in Charleston is also higher than average. There were 2,306 property crimes in the metro area for every 100,000 people in 2020 -- well above the national property crime rate of 1,958 per 100,000.
All crime data used in this story is from the FBI's 2020 Uniform Crime Report. Only metro areas for which the boundaries defined by the FBI match the boundaries as defined by the U.S. Census Bureau were considered.
|Rank||Metro area||Burglaries per 100,000 people, 2020||Total burglaries, 2020||Property crimes per 100,000 people, 2020|
|49||New Bern, NC||530||657||2,151|
|42||Fort Smith, AR-OK||520||1,303||2,883|
|37||Wichita Falls, TX||537||809||2,564|
|35||Little Rock, AR||541||4,039||3,179|
|33||St. Joseph, MO-KS||559||698||3,541|
|32||Corpus Christi, TX||565||2,430||2,944|
|19||Rapid City, SD||617||887||2,971|
|17||Oklahoma City, OK||620||8,847||2,916|
|12||Pine Bluff, AR||668||578||3,048|
|2||Lake Charles, LA||1,066||2,247||3,814|
|1||Hot Springs, AR||1,203||1,200||3,584|