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)
- Selma (Photos)
- Lanett (Photos)
- Gadsden (Photos)
- Tarrant (Photos)
- Midfield (Photos)
- Jasper (Photos)
- 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.
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.
Read on for a detailed look at the 10 most dangerous cities in Alabama.
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.
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.
Population: 22,205Rank 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.
Population: 19,283Rank 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.
Population: 6,451Rank 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.
Population: 35,927Rank 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.
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.
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.
Population: 5,195Rank 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.
Population: 14,009Rank 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.
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:
- Vestavia Hills
- Mountain Brook
For more Alabama reading , check out:
- This Guy Asked People In Alabama To Show Him The Last Photo On Their Phones. Here’s What Happened.
- These Are The 10 Kinkiest Cities In Alabama
- This Will Make You Believe Alabama Will Win It All This Year
Detailed List Of The Most Dangeroues Cities In Alabama