The FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program defines arson as any
willful or malicious burning or attempting to burn, with or without intent
to defraud, a dwelling house, public building, motor vehicle or aircraft,
personal property of another, etc.
Only the fires that investigation determined to have been willfully
set—not fires labeled as suspicious or of unknown origin—are included
in this arson data collection. Points to consider regarding arson statistics
- National offense rates per 100,000 inhabitants (found in Tables 1-4)
do not include arson data; the FBI presents rates for arson separately.
Arson rates are calculated based upon data received from all law enforcement
agencies that provide the UCR Program with data for 12 complete months
and are presented in Arson
- This data collection does not include any estimates for arson because
the degree of reporting arson offenses varies from agency to agency.
Because of this unevenness of reporting, arson offenses are excluded
from Tables 1-7, all of which contain offense estimations.
The number of arsons reported by individual law enforcement agencies
is available in Tables 8-11, arson trend data (indicating a year-to-year
change) are in Tables 12-15, and arson clearance data (crimes solved)
can be found in Arson
Table 2 and Tables 25-28.
- In 2007, 14,197 law enforcement agencies (providing 1-12 months of
arson data) reported 64,332 arsons. Of those agencies, 14,131 provided
expanded offense data about 57,224 arsons.
- Arsons involving structures (residential, storage, public, etc.)
accounted for 42.9 percent of the total number of arson offenses. Mobile
property was involved in 27.9 percent of arsons, and other types of
property (such as crops, timber, fences, etc.) accounted for 29.2 percent
of reported arsons.
- The average dollar loss due to arson was $17,289.
- Arsons of industrial/manufacturing structures resulted in the highest
average dollar losses (an average of $114,699 per arson).
- In 2007, arson offenses decreased 6.7 percent when compared with
arson data reported in 2006. (See Table 12.)
- Nationwide, the rate of arson was 24.7 offenses for every 100,000
Expanded arson data
Expanded offense data are the details of the various offenses that the
Program collects beyond the count of how many crimes law enforcement
agencies report. These details may include the type of weapons used in
a crime, type or value of items stolen, and so forth. In addition, expanded
data include trends (for example, 2-year comparisons) and rates per 100,000
Expanded information regarding arson is available in the following
Trends (2-year): Tables 12, 13, 14,
Property types: Table 15
Table 1, "Arson Rate, by Population Group, 2007"
Table 2, "Arson, by Type of Property, 2007"