The state of Michigan added just under 200,000 residents between the 2010 and 2020 Census reports, which equates to a growth rate of only about two percent. While that’s one of the slowest in the nation and Michigan’s slowest since 1990, it puts the state back in positive territory after losing population between 2000 and 2010.

One possible reason Michigan is back on the plus side when it comes to population expansion is that the state has one of the lowest property crime rates in the country.

Whether they’re coming from another state or relocating from somewhere else in Michigan, both homebuyers and renters want to be sure their investment is safe, which is why understanding property crime is important.

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At A Glance:

    • With #1 being the best, Michigan is ranked #14 for property crime out of 50 states + Washington, D.C.
    • You have a 1.59% chance of being a property crime victim in Michigan in the next 12 months.
    • Michigan’s property crime rate is 25% lower than the average crime rate in the United States.
    • Mackinac Island has the highest property crime rate in Michigan (200.9 incidents per 1,000 people).
  • Mackinac Island is a resort community in Lake Huron just off Michigan’s upper peninsula. Like many cities and towns where tourism is a primary industry, the area is prone to property crime, and rates tend to be higher in areas with small permanent populations — just under 500 people live on the island. On any given day, visitors outnumber residents by nearly double.

Michigan’s combined property crime rate is considerably lower than that of the U.S. as a whole. While the state’s rate is higher than that of neighboring Wisconsin (14.7 per 1,000 people), it’s lower than both Indiana (19.7 per 1,000) and Ohio (20.6 per 1,000).

Michigan’s Most Current Property Crime Rates (2019)

  • Rate of Property Crime
    • Michigan average:: 15.9 crimes per 1,000 people
    • National average: 21.1 crimes per 1,000 people

Like almost every other state (Alaska and North Dakota being the exceptions), property crime has declined in Michigan over the past decade. Michigan posted a 42 percent decline in property crime between 2010 and 2019, and 2019 had the state’s lowest rate over the decade.

Michigan’s Overall Property Crime Trends (2010 – 2019)

    • Average Rate of Property Crime:
      • Michigan 10-year average: 21.06 crimes per 1,000 people
      • National 10-year average: 25.61 crimes per 1,000 people
    • -42% Has property crime increased or decreased during this time?
      • There was a 42% decrease in property crime in Michigan from 2010 as compared to 2019.
    • 2010 Which year had the highest rate of property crime in Michigan?:
      • The highest rate of property crime in Michigan was 2010 (27.49 crimes per 1,000 people)
    • 2019 Which year had the lowest rate of property crime in Michigan?:
      • The lowest rate of property crime in Michigan was 2019 (15.9 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.

Michigan’s Property Crime Category Trends (2010 – 2019)

      • Which type of property crime occurred the most in Michigan over the past decade?
        • Larceny occurred more than any other property crime at a rate of 14 crimes per 1,000 people.
        • Average property crime rate by category
          • Average burglary rate: 4.9 crimes per 1,000 people
          • Average larceny rate: 14 crimes per 1,000 people
          • Average vehicle crime rate: 2.2 crimes per 1,000 people
          • Average arson rate: 0.28 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 Michigan.
      • +35% Which types of property crime have increased during this time period?
        • While all types of property crime fell in Michigan since 2010, larceny declined by the lowest rate, 35%.
      • -62% Which types of property crime have decreased during this time period?
        • Burglary has decreased the most, falling 62 percent between 2010 and 2019.

Most researchers agree crime is a symptom of other societal issues, and many studies have linked issues like poverty, unemployment, and urbanization to high property crime rates.

Looking more closely at those three issues creates a bit of a mixed bag for the state of Michigan. That’s because while the state does have a lower rate of unemployment than the U.S. overall (4.9 percent vs. 6.3 percent) and urbanization (74 percent in Michigan vs. 81 percent in the U.S.), its residents are more likely than the average American to live below the poverty line — 13 percent vs. about 12 percent.

And regardless of state-level rates and trends, crime is an intensely local matter that affects different communities differently. Iron Mountain’s state-low property crime rate of 0.55 per 1,000 people is based on just four reported incidents, while Mackinac Island won its dubious honor on the back of 94 incidents.

Top 5: Best Property Crime Rates (based on 2019 data)*:

  • Iron Mountain, Michigan (Dickinson County)
  • Ishpeming Township, Michigan (Marquette County)
  • Marenisco Township, Michigan (Gogebic County)
  • Potterville, Michigan (Eaton County)
  • Raisin Township, Michigan (Lenawee County)

Bottom 5: Worst Property Crime Rates (based on 2019 data):

  • Mackinac Island, Michigan (Mackinac County)
  • Roosevelt Park, Michigan (Muskegon County)
  • Hart, Michigan (Oceana County)
  • South Haven, Michigan (Van Buren and Allegan counties)
  • Benton Township, Michigan (Berrien County)

* Excludes cities with zero property crimes reported