Almost four million people were added to the population rolls in Texas between 2010 and 2020, according to Census data. That equates to a 16 percent growth rate, which is the slowest for Texas since 1940 despite being the third-fastest rate among states.
Still, with blistering growth rates, it’s clear Texas is an attractive place for many people to call home. Whether they’ve already made the move or they’re still weighing their options, families and individuals should know what they’re getting into when it comes to safety.
Violent crimes may garner the lion’s share of attention, but property crime is far more common, so examining property crime in Texas can help people make wise decisions about their investments.
At A Glance:
- With #1 being the best, Texas is ranked #36 for property crime out of 50 states + Washington, D.C.
- You have a 2.39% chance of being a property crime victim in Texas in the next 12 months.
- Texas’ property crime rate is 13% higher than the average crime rate in the United States.
- Sunset Valley has the highest property crime rate in Texas (198 incidents per 1,000 people).
- Sunset Valley is an Austin enclave of just under 600 people, and its state-leading rate is the result of 135 total reported property crimes. The community is completely surrounded by the city of Austin but maintains its own public infrastructure, and its property crime rate is likely due to a low population and high ratio of commercial establishments like restaurants and shops.
The property crime rate in Texas is nearly three points higher than the overall U.S. rate, though Texas compares favorably to other Southern states. The average property crime rate in the region is just under 25 crimes per 1,000, putting Texas squarely in the middle of the region. Neighboring Louisiana has the highest rate among the states, while the District of Columbia’s rate is even higher than that.
Texas’ Most Current Property Crime Rates (2019)
- Rate of Property Crime
- Texas average:: 23.9 crimes per 1,000 people
- National average: 21.1 crimes per 1,000 people
Property crime has dropped in Texas by 37 percent since 2010, which puts the state in good-if-ample company. Nearly every other state has seen property crime decline during that time, too, with the exception of Alaska and North Dakota. Texas stands apart, though, as its decline was well above average, ranking 11th among the states where property crime fell. The average drop was 27 percent.
Texas’ Overall Property Crime Trends (2010 – 2019)
- Average Rate of Property Crime:
- Texas 10-year average: 29.6 crimes per 1,000 people
- National 10-year average: 25.61 crimes per 1,000 people
- -37% Has property crime increased or decreased during this time?
- There was a 37% decrease in property crime in Texas from 2010 as compared to 2019.
- 2010 Which year had the highest rate of property crime in Texas?:
- The highest rate of property crime in Texas was 2010 (37.7 crimes per 1,000 people)
- 2018 Which year had the lowest rate of property crime in Texas?:
- The lowest rate of property crime in Texas was 2018 (23.8 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.
Texas’ Property Crime Category Trends (2010 – 2019)
- Which type of property crime occurred the most in Texas over the past decade?
- Larceny occurred more than any other property crime at a rate of 20.9 crimes per 1,000 people.
- Average property crime rate by category
- Average burglary rate: 6.2 crimes per 1,000 people
- Average larceny rate: 20.9 crimes per 1,000 people
- Average vehicle crime rate: 2.5 crimes per 1,000 people
- Average arson rate: 0.2 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 Texas.
- +1% Which types of property crime have increased during this time period?
- All four types of property crime have fallen, but the decline in vehicle theft was the lowest, just 1%.
- -57% Which types of property crime have decreased during this time period?
- Arson fell by the fastest rate, dropping 57%.
Researchers tend to tie socioeconomic factors like wealth, jobs, and population density to crimes, including property crime. Exploring those statistics in Texas seems to lend credence to the notion that they’re connected.
Nearly 14 percent of Texas residents live below the poverty line, which ranks the state at 11th nationally, while the May 2021 unemployment figures showed Texas’ rate was a full point higher than the national one (6.5 percent to 5.5 percent). Finally, about 85 percent of Texans live in urban areas, which is slightly higher than the overall U.S. rate of 81 percent.
Of course, the hyperlocal nature of crimes means that within a state as geographically vast as Texas, rates vary dramatically. Needville, which has the state’s lowest property crime rate (less than one incident per 1,000 people) is in the Houston-Sugar Land metro area, and its rate was the result of just two reported property crime incidents. Double Oak and Brownsboro, similarly, have property crime rates below one per 1,000 people.
At the other end of the spectrum, we’ve already touched on the rate in Sunset Valley, but it’s worth noting that the Austin enclave’s property crime rate is almost 70 points higher than the rate in South Padre Island, which is a popular spring break locale.
Top 5: Best Property Crime Rates (based on 2019 data)*:
- Needville, Texas (Fort Bend County)
- Double Oak, Texas (Denton County)
- Brownsboro, Texas (Henderson County)
- Archer City, Texas (Archer County)
- Shiner, Texas (Lavaca County)
Bottom 5: Worst Property Crime Rates (based on 2019 data):
- Sunset Valley, Texas (Travis County)
- South Padre Island, Texas (Cameron County)
- Humble, Texas (Harris County)
- Balcones Heights, Texas (Bexar County)
- Shenandoah, Texas (Montgomery County)
* Excludes cities with zero property crime reported