Since 2010, only nine states have expanded by a larger percentage than Arizona, which vaulted from the 16th largest state by population to 14th, according to 2020 Census results.
Add to that a hot housing market (seventh overall, according to Bankrate) and it’s clear Arizona is becoming an increasingly attractive place to set down roots. So, how does the state stack up when it comes to the risk of property crime?
While violent crime understandably grabs headlines, property crime is much more common in Arizona and across the country. Let’s take a look at the current property crime rates in Arizona, how they’ve changed over the years, and which cities have the highest (and lowest) rates.
At A Glance:
- With #1 being the best, Arizona is ranked #37 for property crime out of 50 states + Washington, D.C.
- You have a 2.44% chance of being a property crime victim in Arizona in the next 12 months.
- Arizona’s property crime rate is 16% higher than the average crime rate in the United States.
- Tolleson, a city in Maricopa County, has Arizona’s highest property crime rate, 90 incidents per 1,000 residents.
Arizona’s combined property crime rate is more than 24 incidents per 1,000 people, and it stands more than three full points higher than the overall U.S. rate. Tolleson’s rate is considerably higher, outpacing the state rate by more than triple.
Arizona’s Most Current Property Crime Rates (2019)
- Rate of Property Crime
- Arizona average:: 24.41 crimes per 1,000 people
- National average: 21.1 crimes per 1,000 people
Like most other states, Arizona’s property crime rates are on a downward trend. Between 2010 and 2019, Arizona’s combined property crime rate declined by nearly one-third. Property crime hit the high-water mark for the decade in 2011, and 2019 had the lowest rate of the past 10 years.
Arizona’s Overall Property Crime Trends (2010 – 2019)
- Average Rate of Property Crime:
- Arizona 10-year average: 31.1 crimes per 1,000 people
- National 10-year average: 25.61 crimes per 1,000 people
- -30% Has property crime increased or decreased during this time?
- There was a 30.99% decrease in property crime in Arizona from 2010 as compared to 2019.
- 2011 Which year had the highest rate of property crime in Arizona?:
- The highest rate of property crime in Arizona was 2011 (35.55 crimes per 1,000 people)
- 2019 Which year had the lowest rate of property crime in Arizona?:
- The lowest rate of property crime in Arizona was 2019 (24.41 crimes per 1,000 people)
What incidents fall under the umbrella of property crime? Burglary, larceny, motor vehicle theft, and arson are the four major property crime categories reported by the FBI. In every case, if the incident involves violence or threats of violence, it no longer is a property crime and is classified as a violent crime.
Arizona’s Property Crime Category Trends (2010 – 2019)
- Which type of property crime occurred the most in Arizona over the past decade?
- Larceny occurred more than any other property crime at a rate of 22.11 crimes per 1,000 people.
- Average property crime rate by category
- Average burglary rate: 6.24 crimes per 1,000 people
- Average larceny rate: 22.11 crimes per 1,000 people
- Average vehicle crime rate: 2.74 crimes per 1,000 people
- Average arson rate: 0.16 crimes per 1,000 people
- Note: There were no FBI estimates for arson rates, so we used all available data that was reported by individual cities in Arizona.
- +25% Which types of property crime have increased during this time period?
- All types of property crime have dropped in Arizona over the past 10 years, but the rate of larceny has declined at the slowest rate, 25%.
- -50% Which types of property crime have decreased during this time period?
- Burglary rates have fallen the most, slipping about 50% since 2010.
The root causes of crime are myriad and complicated, but most researchers agree that high property crime rates are connected to economic factors, such as poverty and unemployment, and societal factors that include urbanization.
About 14 percent of Arizona’s residents live below the poverty line, which is the 13th highest rate in the U.S., according to Census data. Further, the state’s unemployment rate in April 20201 was nearly seven percent, 12th-highest in the nation. And Arizona’s residents increasingly live in close quarters, with urbanization rising from about 79 percent in the 1970s to nearly 90 percent today.
That doesn’t mean every community in Arizona has high property crime rates. Florence, a city of about 26,000 in Pinal County, had the state’s lowest property crime rate among cities that reported data. Property crimes occurred in Florence at a population-adjusted rate of just under three per 1,000 residents, which is 32 times lower than the property crime rate in Tolleson.
Top 5: Best Property Crime Rates (based on 2019 data)*:
- Florence, Arizona (Pinal County)
- Eagar, Arizona (Apache County)
- Springerville, Arizona (Apache County)
- Kearny, Arizona (Pinal County)
- Somerton, Arizona (Yuma County)
Bottom 5: Worst Property Crime Rates (based on 2019 data):
- Tolleson, Arizona (Maricopa County)
- Globe, Arizona (Gila County)
- Page, Arizona (Coconino County)
- Holbrook, Arizona (Navajo County)
- Winslow, Arizona (Navajo County)
* Excludes cities with no property crime reported