These Are The 10 Most Dangerous Cities In Alabama For 2018


We used data and science to identify the most dangerous cities in the Heart of Dixie for 2018.

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Do you live in one of the most dangerous cities in Alabama?

We all watch the news and see reports on Facebook of the latest crimes that happen in our hometowns. But it can be hard to tell at a big picture level how dangerous our town actually is.

No one wants to feel unsafe, and statistically speaking, odds are that where you live is most likely relatively safe. In order to help the good people of Alabama — and anyone looking to move to Alabama — know just how close they are to danger, we took data from the annual FBI report and did some serious analysis.

The data shows that these ten cities are currently the most dangerous in the Heart Of Dixie:

  1. Bessemer (Photos)
  2. Anniston (Photos)
  3. Selma (Photos)
  4. Lanett (Photos)
  5. Gadsden (Photos)
  6. Prichard
  7. Tarrant (Photos)
  8. Midfield (Photos)
  9. Jasper (Photos)
  10. Clanton (Photos)

Why did Bessemer take the top spot? For the answer to this question and a detailed explanation of the data and analysis we used in creating this ranking, read on. Or learn more about the safest places in Alabama.

If you’re looking for something more national, check out the most dangerous cities in America or the most dangerous states in America.

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How we determined the most dangerous cities in Alabama for 2018?

Every year the FBI release two crime datasets, a preliminary dataset limited to the biggest cities in the country, followed by a more detailed release at the end of the year.

For our analysis, we focused on the JUST released 2016 data, specifically the 2016 Crime In The United States Report. We will update the results when data becomes available for 2017 in October 2018.

So what criteria did we use? Have a look:

  • Violent Crimes Per Capita
  • Property Crimes Per Capita

In order to make the analysis as apples to apples as possible, we only considered cities over 5,000 in population. That left us with 90 cities in Alabama.

We then ranked each city from 1 to 90 for the two criteria with a #1 ranking being the most dangerous for the particular criteria.

Next, we averaged the two rankings into one “Dangerous Index”.

Finally, we ranked every city on the “Dangerous Index” with the lowest index being the most dangerous in Alabama — Bessemer. Read on for a detailed look at the 10 most dangerous cities in Alabama.

Here’s a visualization of the criteria:
Most Dangerous Cities In Alabama Graph

Click To Enlarge

Read on for a detailed look at the 10 most dangerous cities in Alabama.

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1. Bessemer


Population: 26,592
Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 2,869
Property Crimes Per 100k: 9,036
Bessemer is by far the most dangerous place in Alabama. In fact, there aren’t too many other cities that are more dangerous, per capita.

The violent crime rate is six times higher than the national average. In 2016, the last year that data was available, there were 763 violent crimes in Bessemer. Meaning residents had a 1 in 34 chance of being raped, attacked or murdered. Simply unbelievable.

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The property crime rates are even higher here. Residents had a staggering 1 in 11.1 chance of being robbed last year. That means if you live here, someone in your family likely had their car or home broken into, or was the victim of some other theft.

That’s a lot of stolen laptops, cell phones and ‘Bama jerseys.

Bessemer is a short drive south of Birmingham. What’s interesting about this report is that many of the other Birmingham suburbs are some of the safest in the state of Alabama. And it appears that most of the crimes in Bessemer are happening within a very small contained area. A real head scratcher.

2. Anniston

Anniston, Alabama

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 22,205
Rank Last Year: 2 (No Change)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 3,310
Property Crimes Per 100k: 7,709
There were a staggering 735 violent crimes here in 2016. To put things into perspective, in Bessemer, there were 735. Additionally, residents had a 1 in 13.0 chance of being the victim of a property crime.

Anniston is located on I-20 on the eastern side of Alabama.

3. Selma

Selma, Alabama

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 19,283
Rank Last Year: N/A
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 1,804
Property Crimes Per 100k: 7,737
Crime in Selma has been trending downward recently, which is a positive sign. Since 2011, the number of violent crimes has dropped 70%. Just imagine how dangerous it was in Selma just a few years ago.

That crime drop has coincided with a slight uptick in the city’s population,especially on the city’s south end. Perhaps residents are moving back here because they realize the local law enforcement is making a huge effort to crack down on the violence.

However, Selma still remains one of the more dangerous places in Alabama. And with an unemployment rate at 12%, there are issues larger than just the crime rate in Selma.

Selma is way out on Route 80 west of Montgomery.

4. Lanett

Lanett, Alabama

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 6,451
Rank Last Year: 4 (No Change)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 1,612
Property Crimes Per 100k: 8,277
Lanett is one of the smallest cities to top this list. Despite the fact that this tiny city saw a murder three years ago, the property crimes are sky high. Residents have a 1 in 12.1 chance of being robbed in Lanett. Wow.

The population here has dropped nearly 1,500 people in the last 15 years, which isn’t surprising considering how dangerous it is. If you have to make Lanett your home, stay away from the city’s east side, where things are by far the worst.

5. Gadsden

Gadsden, Alabama

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 35,927
Rank Last Year: 7 (Up 2)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 1,291
Property Crimes Per 100k: 7,017
There were 4 murders in Gadsden last year’s, and things aren’t looking much better this year. In fact, crime has been skyrocketing here since 2010. Residents have a 1 in 14.3 chance of being robbed in Gadsden.

Cadillac Williams, a former first round NFL pick, is from Gadsden. If he drove through his old home town today, would be have his cadillac stolen?

Gadsden is right off of I-59 north of Birmingham. If you go there, avoid the areas in the central part of town. The north end appears to be a lot safer.

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6. Prichard


Population: 22,299
Rank Last Year: 9 (Up 3)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 1,699
Property Crimes Per 100k: 5,502
According to the FBI, Prichard is statistically, the 13th most dangerous city in the state of Alabama when it comes to property crimes. Prichard saw 8 murders in 2016. Plus, overall, residents had a 1 in 58 chance of being killed, brutally attacked or raped. That’s simply astounding.

Plus, detectives in Prichard just opened up their 11th homicide case of the year two weeks ago when a passerby shot and killed a man who was walking on a city road.

Prichard borders the north side of Mobile.

7. Tarrant


Population: 6,176
Rank Last Year: 3 (Down 4)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 1,149
Property Crimes Per 100k: 6,930
Tarrant is the 7th most dangerous city in Alabama overall.

From 2015, the property crime rate dropped, which is good news for people who like knowing that their stuff is safe.

The bad news for people who like their safety, though, is that violent crime ranks 14th in Alabama.

8. Midfield

Midfield, Alabama

Source: Google Maps

Population: 5,195
Rank Last Year: 16 (Up 8)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 1,270
Property Crimes Per 100k: 5,697
Midfield is the least populated city on this list, as well as the least violent.

Residents of Midfield faced a 1 in 17.6 chance of being the victim of a property crime in 2016.

Midfield has been improving a lot lately too, with reductions in both violent and property crime between 2014-16.

9. Jasper

Jasper, Alabama

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 14,009
Rank Last Year: 6 (Down 3)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 1,142
Property Crimes Per 100k: 6,388
Jasper is the most populous city in Walker County.

Jasper experienced a massive rise in violent crime between 2014-16.

Property crime statistics, meanwhile, remained stagnant, with residents facing a 1 in 15.7 chance of being the victim of theft or arson each year — the 7th highest rate in the state.

10. Clanton


Population: 8,888
Rank Last Year: 15 (Up 5)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 1,293
Property Crimes Per 100k: 5,153
With 458 property crimes reported in 2016 for a town of only 8,888, Clanton residents had a greater than 5% chance of being the victim of a property crime.

The good news? The number of crimes is down over 15% from the year prior.

Locking It All Up In Alabama

The latest FBI crime data shows that Bessemer ranks as the most dangerous city in Alabama for 2018.

However, there will be new data coming out later this year. At that point we can revisit Bessemer’s status — that is if they haven’t beaten us all up already.

If you’re curious enough, here are the safest cities in Alabama:

  1. Vestavia Hills
  2. Mountain Brook
  3. Helena

For more Alabama reading , check out:

Detailed List Of The Most Dangeroues Cities In Alabama

City Rank Previous Rank Population Violent Crimes Per Capita Property Crimes Per Capita
Bessemer 1 1 26,592 2,869 9,036
Anniston 2 2 22,205 3,310 7,709
Selma 3 19,283 1,804 7,737
Lanett 4 4 6,451 1,612 8,277
Gadsden 5 7 35,927 1,291 7,017
Prichard 6 9 22,299 1,699 5,502
Tarrant 7 3 6,176 1,149 6,930
Midfield 8 16 5,195 1,270 5,697
Jasper 9 6 14,009 1,142 6,388
Clanton 10 15 8,888 1,293 5,153
Arab 11 22 8,334 839 6,131
Alexander City 12 13 14,695 1,884 4,470
Troy 13 21 18,985 984 4,998
Ozark 14 14,679 1,233 4,707
Andalusia 15 12 9,071 926 5,258
Huntsville 16 17 192,587 927 4,879
Valley 17 14 9,465 760 5,515
Talladega 18 10 15,645 786 5,266
Boaz 19 11 9,729 1,500 4,245
Monroeville 20 18 6,039 745 5,265
Phenix City 21 19 38,521 848 4,716
Guntersville 22 26 8,421 605 5,438
Opelika 23 20 30,180 732 4,890
Lincoln 24 23 6,579 699 4,939
Sylacauga 25 28 12,623 538 5,648
Jacksonville 26 44 12,150 1,012 4,123
Childersburg 27 8 5,023 1,114 4,041
Fairfield 28 10,869 901 4,324
Atmore 29 40 10,021 928 4,121
Greenville 30 24 7,788 796 4,545
Scottsboro 31 30 14,711 1,556 3,439
Tuskegee 32 29 8,623 1,194 3,629
Mobile 33 31 249,921 683 4,709
Leeds 34 36 11,964 685 4,638
Sheffield 35 27 9,121 800 4,111
Montgomery 36 38 199,565 608 4,504
Gulf Shores 37 34 11,340 343 5,723
Brewton 38 25 5,441 827 3,712
Fultondale 39 84 9,188 544 4,505
Robertsdale 40 35 6,019 431 4,834
Gardendale 41 32 13,675 804 3,144
Muscle Shoals 42 39 13,810 391 4,257
Oxford 43 48 21,234 372 4,469
Chickasaw 44 42 5,927 472 3,796
Eufaula 45 49 12,503 535 3,639
Tuscaloosa 46 33 99,925 480 3,734
Decatur 47 50 55,374 278 4,695
Florence 48 45 40,160 488 3,486
Roanoke 49 5,993 684 2,903
Hueytown 50 54 15,632 415 3,492
Wetumpka 51 43 8,280 386 3,514
Demopolis 52 37 7,089 550 2,976
Irondale 53 47 12,439 578 2,701
Homewood 54 25,823 325 3,771
Pell City 55 13,835 390 3,259
Prattville 56 63 35,698 235 3,812
Northport 57 51 25,045 327 3,505
Russellville 58 41 9,847 365 3,188
Oneonta 59 57 6,624 377 3,125
Tuscumbia 60 65 8,450 414 2,556
Opp 61 6,657 570 1,817
Rainbow City 62 77 9,573 501 1,901
Madison 63 70 47,729 437 2,118
Enterprise 64 56 28,227 347 2,773
Fort Payne 65 14,156 317 3,242
Cullman 66 58 15,459 142 3,719
Saraland 67 60 13,967 243 3,322
Hamilton 68 79 6,749 340 2,622
Fairhope 69 71 19,470 184 3,333
Orange Beach 70 5,932 202 3,152
Albertville 71 68 21,525 134 3,349
Attalla 72 67 5,870 323 2,061
Moody 73 78 12,764 336 1,731
Auburn 74 69 63,871 328 1,761
Montevallo 75 59 6,716 208 2,218
Pleasant Grove 76 76 10,293 262 1,933
Rainsville 77 64 5,047 158 2,437
Alabaster 78 61 33,040 293 1,476
Spanish Fort 79 66 8,312 180 2,177
Pelham 80 80 23,162 177 2,197
Glencoe 81 75 5,150 233 1,650
Hartselle 82 62 14,540 123 2,283
Athens 83 82 25,603 70 2,484
Daphne 84 81 25,564 136 1,967
Daleville 85 72 5,109 215 1,233
Southside 86 83 8,602 197 1,290
Satsuma 87 74 6,187 113 1,309
Helena 88 86 18,525 134 620
Mountain Brook 89 85 20,737 67 1,393
Vestavia Hills 90 87 34,191 73 1,161
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