A new study has highlighted North Carolina as one of the top ten states in the United States where residents are most vulnerable to break-ins. The study, conducted by Omega Law Group, utilized data from the FBI’s ‘Crime in the United States annual reports’ to calculate the average number of burglaries per 100,000 people in each state between 2018 and 2022. The study comes as Charlotte reports a spike in murder rates, up 22% over last year.

North Carolina ranks eighth, with an average of 380 burglaries per year per 100,000 residents. This positions the state among the highest for burglary risks, highlighting a significant concern for residents.

New Mexico tops the list, experiencing an average of 646 burglaries per 100,000 people annually, making it the state with the highest risk. Arkansas follows with 532 burglaries per 100,000 people, and Oklahoma comes in third with 503 per 100,000 residents.

  1. New Mexico: 646 burglaries
  2. Arkansas: 532 burglaries
  3. Oklahoma: 503 burglaries
  4. Washington: 501 burglaries
  5. South Carolina: 437 burglaries
  6. Louisiana: 416 burglaries
  7. Illinois: 399 burglaries
  8. North Carolina: 380 burglaries
  9. Mississippi: 375 burglaries
  10. Colorado: 374 burglaries

At the other end of the spectrum, Pennsylvania has the lowest number of break-ins across the nation, with an average of only 80 per year per 100,000 residents, according to the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting Program.

In addition, Charlotte’s rise in crime can be tracked on the Charlotte Mecklenburg County Police Department Community Violence Dashboard, which shows a heat map offenses, victims, calls for service, and homicides. Each category is up so far from 2023 to 2024. The increase so far this year places Charlotte’s murder rate in 20th place among violent cities, a list led by Chicago, New York, and Los Angeles. However, among those cities seeing an increase in murder, Charlotte’s is the fifth largest in the nation, behind Los Angeles, St. Louis, Louisville, and Birmingham, Alabama.

Crime and public safety is a growing concern among North Carolinians. In a March Carolina Journal poll, five percent of North Carolina voters considered public safety their top voting issue as they weigh candidates ahead of November. Their concern is supported by recent statistics. Crime rates spiked in North Carolina in 2020 and 2021 and remain significantly higher than pre-2020 levels. Homicide rates, for instance, surged from an average of 6.0 per 100,000 between 2013 and 2019 to 9.6 in 2021. Although crime rates dipped slightly in 2022, the murder rate was still 24% higher than in 2019.

However, the clearance rates—cases solved with charges—have plummeted. According to research from Jon Guze at the John Locke Foundation in 2017, nearly 80% of murders were cleared, but by 2022, this had fallen to just 45%. Aggravated assaults saw a similar decline, with clearance rates dropping from 50% in 2017 to just over 25% in 2022.

“This trend means many crimes go unpunished, reducing deterrence and making it unlikely crime rates will return to pre-2020 levels without systemic changes,” said Guze.