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 for 2019:
- Bessemer (Photos)
- Fairfield (Photos)
- Gadsden (Photos)
- Anniston (Photos)
- Lanett (Photos)
- Prichard (Photos)
- Tarrant (Photos)
- Troy (Photos)
- Jasper (Photos)
After analyzing 81 cities in Alabama, 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.
For more Alabama reading, check out:
- 10 Best Places To Live In Alabama
- These Are The 10 Best Counties To Live In Alabama
- 10 Cheapest Places To Live In Alabama
Graphing The Most Dangerous And Safest Places In Alabama
How we determined the most dangerous cities in Alabama for 2019?
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 2017 data, specifically the 2017 Crime In The United States Report. We will update the results when data becomes available in September 2019.
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 81 cities in Alabama.
We then ranked each city from 1 to 81 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.
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 2017, the last year that data was available, there were 787 violent crimes in Bessemer. Meaning residents had a 1 in 33 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.
Fairfield saw four murders two years ago. No wonder the population here has dropped 8% over the last 10 years. Most of the trouble is apparently happening on the city’s north end, past Aaron Aronov Drive near the Walmart.
Residents in Fairfield had a 1 in 60 chance of being attacked, murdered or raped. As one local summed up Fairfield on City-Data.com: “Fairfield itself isn’t someplace you’d want to live, and neither are the areas immediately surrounding Fairfield.”
Fairfield, the hometown of Willie Mays, is on I-20 south of Birmingham.
There were 3 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 13.5 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.
There were a staggering 754 violent crimes here in 2017. To put things into perspective, in Bessemer, there were 754. Additionally, residents had a 1 in 16.2 chance of being the victim of a property crime.
Anniston is located on I-20 on the eastern side of Alabama.
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 13.5 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.
According to the FBI, Prichard is statistically, the 9th most dangerous city in the state of Alabama when it comes to property crimes. Prichard saw 9 murders in 2017. Plus, overall, residents had a 1 in 54 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.
The trajectory of Tarrant’s crime rate gives it a 7th place finish in our analysis.
Violent crime shot up from 2015-17, while instances of property crime also went up.
That left residents of Tarrant with a 1 in 58 chance of being the victim of a violent crime in 2017.
Rank Last Year: 8 (Up 1)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 1,244 (10th most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 5,679 (10th most dangerous)
More on Midfield: Data
Midfield is the smallest city to make this list.
And this city in Alabama has been making great strides to get off this list altogether — the violent crime rate fell between 2015-17.
That’s means residents have a 1 in 80 chance of being a victim of violence in 2017.
Located in the heart of the Heart of Dixie, Troy has the 16th worst rate of property crime in the state, with residents facing a 1 in 11th chance of being the victim of theft or arson in 2017.
The city had a 1 in 87 chance of being the victim of a violent crime in 2017.
Coming in as the 10th most dangerous city in Alabama is Jasper.
While violent crime has been steadily dropping in recent years, with a 10% total drop in violent crime from 2015-17, property crime went up by nearly the same rate during this interval.
That left residents of Jasper a 1 in 1215.2 chance of being the victim of a property crime in 2017, and a 1 in 131 chance of being the victim of violence.
Locking It All Up In Alabama
The latest FBI crime data shows that Bessemer ranks as the most dangerous city in Alabama for 2019.
We want to point out again that there’s still safes places in Bessemer and that this isn’t a comment on the people that live there. So please don’t beat us up.
If you’re curious enough, here are the safest cities in Alabama:
- Vestavia Hills (Pop. 34,781)
- Helena (Pop. 18,965)
- Satsuma (Pop. 6,198)
For more Alabama reading, check out:
- 10 Best Places To Raise A Family In Alabama
- These Are The 10 Best Places To Retire In Alabama
- These Are The 10 Richest Cities In Alabama
- 10 Safest Places In Alabama
- 10 Worst Places To Live In Alabama
Detailed List Of The Most Dangerous Cities In Alabama