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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.

Data collection

Only the fires that investigation determined to have been willfully set are included in this arson data collection. Fires labeled as suspicious or of unknown origin are excluded from these data. Points to consider regarding arson statistics include:

  • 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 disparity in reporting, arson offenses are excluded from Tables 1-5, all of which contain offense estimations.
  • The number of arsons reported by individual law enforcement agencies is available in Tables 6-9, arson trend data (indicating a year-to-year change) are in Table 10, and arson clearance data (crimes solved) can be found in Table 17.


  • In 2016, law enforcement agencies (providing from 6 to 12 months of arson data) reported 43,249 arsons. (See Table 10.)
  • Arson offenses increased 2.3 percent in 2016 when compared with arson data reported in 2015. (See Table 10.)

Expanded 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 inhabitants.

Expanded information regarding arson is available in the following table:

What you won't find on this page

  • Estimated arson data. The FBI does not include any estimates for arsons because the degree of reporting arson offenses varies from agency to agency.

  • Arrest data for arson.