In this interview (0:35 mark) Ann Coulter argues that:

... home invasions are 10 times higher in Britain than they are in this country [US]

Are there any evidence to support this claim?

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    According to Wikipedia "Few statistics are available on the crime of home invasion as such, because it is not defined as a crime in its own right in most jurisdictions. Statistics about home invasion found on the Internet are often false or misleading. Persons arrested for what the police or media may refer to as "home invasion" are actually charged with crimes such as robbery, kidnapping, homicide, rape, or assault." So this might be difficult to answer. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Home_invasion#Incidence
    – Tom77
    Commented Jan 21, 2013 at 17:02

1 Answer 1


If you search for "home invasions" at www.anncoulter.com there are currently no hits. So it seems she does not care to provide there any evidence for her claim. Perhaps she views it as a throwaway remark of no importance.

I can find no references that Ann Coulter gives to the sources for this number.

Other people, who do appear to have good references, give a much different number, and give several reasons why the data should be treated with caution.

There are differences in reporting terms ("home invasion" vs "hot burglary" - which may not be exactly equivalent), differences in the way police categorise crimes and demographic differences which may need to be taken into account)

Home invasion is generally an unauthorized and forceful entry into a dwelling. It is a crime governed by state laws, which vary by state.. The fact that the term's definition varies makes it hard to compare numbers meaningfully.

It seems Ann Coulter's number is both exaggerated and careless of the truth.

According to Evaluating Gun Policy

Since the prevalence of household gun possession is much higher in the United States than in Canada, Britain, and other wealthy nations, one common test of the “deterrence” hypothesis has been to compare residential burglary rates and patterns across these nations. As it turns out, relevant data are hard to come by.


One obvious problem with these comparisons is that the hot burglary rate for each country or city is measured at a different point in time. For two countries—the United States and Great Britain—survey measures of hot burglary rates are available for a common year, 1998. When we standardize for period effects in this way, the difference across the two countries in the hot burglary rate is reduced from the factor of 4 or 5 to 1 reported by Kleck and Kopel (top panel) to a factor of about 2 to 1 (bottom panel).


In 28 percent of American burglaries NCVS respondents did not know their whereabouts at the time of the burglary, a category that is not included in the British Crime Survey (BCS). Judging from the open-ended narratives provided by BCS burglary victims, a number of cases in which the respondent apparently did not know whether anyone was at home at the time of the burglary are classified as “respondent home, unaware of the burglary.”


More important,even if we had comparable data there would remain the fact that a variety of potential explanations are plausible for an observed difference in the percentage of residential burglaries that involve occupied dwellings. For example, when burglars are arrested, the punishment is more certain and severe in the United States than in England and Wales (table 3-2). The difference in penalties provides an alternative explanation for why American burglars take extra care to avoid contact with victims. American and British households differ in several other ways that are also likely to affect the cost-benefit calculus facing burglars, including substantial differences in the proportion of households that have dogs or lack men. Without controlling for the other differences that may be important, attributing the disparity in hot burglary rates to one particular difference—gun prevalence—is entirely unpersuasive.

My emphasis.

There's also another side to this, door to door salesmen, lost partygoers and drunk tourists seeking help might be more likely to be shot dead by householders in the USA.

"one would much rather that twenty guilty persons should escape the punishment of death, than that one innocent person should be condemned and suffer capitally." - Sir John Fortescue's De Laudibus Legum Angliae (c. 1470)

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    Instead of just putting in quotes, a summary might be useful in this answer. Is Ann Coulter full of it, or does she have any facts on her side? Commented Jan 22, 2013 at 2:22
  • Ann Coulter in controversial soundbite to gain publicity shocker! More at 10.
    – Alan B
    Commented Jan 24, 2013 at 9:30
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    I wanted to see a table with some quantitative data. Maybe one of the references had such a table which could be excerpted as fair use. Would statistics on say, simple burglary, really be all that misleading?
    – Paul
    Commented Jan 26, 2013 at 4:35

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