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:
- Bessemer (Photos)
- Anniston (Photos)
- Tarrant (Photos)
- Lanett (Photos)
- Jasper (Photos)
- Birmingham (Photos)
- Gadsden (Photos)
- Childersburg (Photos)
- Talladega (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.
How we determined the most dangerous cities in Alabama for 2017?
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 second release of 2015 data, specifically the 2015 Crime In The United States Report. We will update the results when data becomes available for 2016 in September 2017.
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 87 cities in Alabama.
We then ranked each city from 1 to 87 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.
Population: 26,828Violent Crimes Per 100k: 1,770
Property Crimes Per 100k: 9,844
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 2015, the last year that data was available, there were 475 violent crimes in Bessemer. Meaning residents had a 1 in 56 chance of being raped, attacked or murdered. Simply unbelievable.
The property crime rates are even higher here. Residents had a staggering 1 in 10.2 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.
Population: 22,306Violent Crimes Per 100k: 2,721
Property Crimes Per 100k: 7,374
There were a staggering 607 violent crimes here in 2015. To put things into perspective, in Bessemer, there were 607. Additionally, residents had a 1 in 13.6 chance of being the victim of a property crime.
Anniston is located on I-20 on the eastern side of Alabama.
Population: 6,225Violent Crimes Per 100k: 1,734
Property Crimes Per 100k: 8,144
Tarrant is certainly lively when it comes to nighttime activities. This tiny city ranks 12.3 in the state for property crimes.
Residents here in Tarrant have a 1 in 10.1 chance of being the victim of a crime in 2015, which was the last reporting year. That means if you live in Tarrant, someone you know was likely the victim of a theft, home break in or arson.
Population: 6,444Violent Crimes Per 100k: 1,489
Property Crimes Per 100k: 8,271
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.
Population: 14,042Violent Crimes Per 100k: 1,637
Property Crimes Per 100k: 7,164
Jasper is the most populous city in Walker County.
Jasper experienced a massive rise in violent crime between 2013-15.
Property crime statistics, meanwhile, remained stagnant, with residents facing a 1 in 14.0 chance of being the victim of theft or arson each year — the 6th highest rate in the state.
Population: 212,291Violent Crimes Per 100k: 1,746
Property Crimes Per 100k: 6,358
We didn’t make it through this list without seeing a major city. Birmingham is the 6th most violent city in the state, and when you look at the numbers, you can see why.
Statistically, 1 in 57 residents was a victim of a violent crime here. That’s just eye-opening for a city of this size. To put things into perspective, in the safest city on our list, Helena, residents had about a 1 in 1,000 chance of being involved in a violent crime.
And when you consider the fact that 1 in 15.7 residents is robbed every year in Birmingham, you can see why people need to watch their backs here, especially in the center of the city where it’s absolutely crime ridden.
Crime has been trending downward lately in Birmingham. Let’s hope that continues.
Population: 36,148Violent Crimes Per 100k: 1,006
Property Crimes Per 100k: 7,535
There were 3 murders in Gadsden last years, and things aren’t looking much better this year. In fact, crime has been skyrocketing here since 2010. Residents have a 1 in 13.3 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.
Population: 5,044Violent Crimes Per 100k: 1,467
Property Crimes Per 100k: 6,165
Childersburg, a smaller town with almost 5,044 residents, is, according to the FBI, a very dangerous place.
There were more than 74 violent crimes here in 2015, meaning that 1 in 68 residents was the victim of a serious attack. Crime seems to be ticking up here as well, as violent crimes have gone up 10% since 2014.
Population: 22,236 Violent Crimes Per 100k: 1,511
Property Crimes Per 100k: 4,483
According to the FBI, Prichard is statistically, the 26th most dangerous city in the state of Alabama when it comes to property crimes. Prichard saw 14 murders in 2015. Plus, overall, residents had a 1 in 66 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.
Population: 16,006Violent Crimes Per 100k: 762
Property Crimes Per 100k: 6,291
Crime isn’t absolutely horrible in Talladega, but it’s still high enough to land this city in the top 10 most dangerous cities in the state list.
Residents had a 1 in 15.9 chance of being robbed in 2015. And crime has been ticking upward, according to the latest FBI list. The safest areas are on the south end of town, but if you don’t want to worry about safety, avoid the central part of the city.
Locking It All Up In Alabama
The latest FBI crime data shows that Bessemer ranks as the most dangerous city in Alabama for 2017.
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:
- Vestavia Hills
- Mountain Brook
For more Alabama reading , check out:
- These Are The 10 Kinkiest Cities In Alabama
- A Hilarious Look At The 10 Most Redneck Cities In Alabama
- These Are The 10 Dumbest Cities In Alabama
Detailed List Of The Most Dangeroues Cities In Alabama