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How Likely Are You To Get Burgled in Austin, TX

Burglary (n.): "the felony of breaking into and entering the house of another at night with intent to steal, extended by statute to cover the breaking into and entering of any of various buildings, by night or day." According to the dictionary, people have been getting burgled since 1150 A.D. Or at least, they've been talking about it since then. So it's no surprise that a common question when looking into moving cities is how likely is it?

In 2012, there were 7,244 burglaries within the Austin City Limits. The most recent census data suggests that there are 322,979 households, also within city limits. So the answer to that question, based on these numbers, is that your household has 2.25% chance of being the winner of the one of the most unlucky lotteries there is. To boil that down a bit, that's approximately 2,242 per every 100 thousand households. It seems really high until you consider that number contextually. You still have a better chance of getting into Harvard (5.9% acceptance rate) but less chance of winning the actual lottery (1 in 175 million, effectively a 0% chance).

To give you an idea of how that stacks up to the rest of the US, which boasts a total of 114,761,359 households - your average chance of being burgled in the United States is 1.83%. Though Austin's burglary rate is just a bit higher than the US as a whole, that certainly hasn't stopped people from moving there: the city's population rose 6.6% in just two years (from 2010 to 2012). And it's far better than Houston (which, with 26,630 burglaries per 769,867 households, gives your household a 3.4% chance of being burglarized), or Dallas, with its 3.6% chance (based on 16,090 per 452,487 households).

One can also look at these numbers based on total inhabitants instead of total households - and it's up to you which is the more accurate point of view. 7,244 burglaries in Austin seems way less scary when you consider that out of 842,592 Austinites keeping it weird within city limits, you've got only a .86% chance of being personally victimized. That's less than randomly pulling the six of clubs from a deck of cards in one go. Way less: that feat of card trick excellence has a whopping 1.9% chance of occurring.

It appears as though you don't have much to worry about in Austin, and that might be the end of the story. Until you consider just how terrible it feels to be in that tiny sliver of burglary victims. Consider - even though the terrible likelihood of a plane crashing is very slim (.00001%), flight attendants still mime the drills at the beginning of each flight because following those safety procedures can drastically improve the outcome of any plane crash situation. So if you can preemptively make your life easier, why wouldn't you? And the dictionary agrees - the first and only related word suggested when one looks up burglary in the dictionary is anti-burglary.

Follow a few of these anti-burglary tips to keep your home safe, no matter which side of that percentage you fall on:

  • Employ a layered defense technique for your home, and if you really want to treat your house like a castle.

  • Know your neighbors so that you all can keep an eye on each other. (That's not hard in Austin, as Austinites tend to be very friendly!)

  • Gravel your driveway. No, seriously. Gravel your driveway.

  • Have your just in case plan all thought out - know what it takes to report a burglary in Austin, just in case it happens to you. And if you have questions, ask the Austin experts.

Have any more tips to keep yourself out of the 2.25%? Share in the comments!

This guest post was written by Cara Giaimo, a blogger for SimpliSafe. Her favorite spots in Austin are the Harry Ransom Center and The Mohawk. SimpliSafe Wireless Home Security is making its way to the top of its industry.
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