If you’re from Kentucky then you know that you have to watch out for more than just crazy Wildcat fans in Lexington and busted, angry moonshiners in Louisville: The Bluegrass State has some pretty dangerous places, too.
It’s not all bougie Kentucky Derby fans, either. This flyover state has some pretty scary criminals, and they can be found in Kentucky’s most dangerous cities. Lucky for you, RoadSnacks has created a list of the most dangerous places in Kentucky for 2020 and we think that you should definitely check it out before you make any major moves.
How’d we determine the most dangerous places in horse country? We consulted the numbers. In total, we analyzed 64 cities. We looked at the FBI’s latest crime report for violent crime and property crime statistics for every place with over 5,000 residents. We discovered that there has been an uptick in both violent and property crimes compared to the national average over the last four years and that the most violent place in Kentucky is Louisville. The ‘Ville just can’t catch a break: this city also made it on the list of most dangerous cities in the country. And, surprisingly, it’s not the most dangerous place in this Midwest state.
If you already live in Kentucky’s safest city, consider yourself lucky. But if you don’t, and you’re looking to move, we suggest crank some Bluegrass and check out our list below before you head out: we wouldn’t want you to get caught in any crossfire.
If you guessed that most of Kentucky’s problems are centered around many of the state’s biggest cities, you guessed right. Cheaper rent and the promise of better jobs with higher wages is usually the draw, but not always the outcome. Surprisingly, however, the state’s most dangerous city is not one of the state’s most populated.
What’s the most dangerous place in Kentucky? That would be, Mayfield.
If you want to know where the rest of Kentucky’s most dangerous cities are located, take a look below. And if you don’t find what you’re looking for there, head to the bottom.
Learn more about the safest places in Kentucky.
For more Kentucky reading, check out:
- 10 Best Places To Live In Kentucky
- These Are The 10 Best Counties To Live In Kentucky
- 10 Cheapest Places To Live In Kentucky
Graphing The Most Dangerous And Safest Places In Kentucky
The 10 Most Dangerous Places To Live In Kentucky For 2020
Mayfield is also the home to quite a bit of crime.
Despite the fact that violent crime and property crime dropped between 2015-17, Mayfield’s crime statistics are still pretty terrible.
In 2017, residents still faced a 1 in 280 chance of being the victim of violence, and a 1 in 454 chance of being the victim of a property crime for every year they spent in Mayfield city limits.
Coming in 2nd place for most dangerous places in Kentucky is Bowling Green.
Here residents face a 1 in 328 chance of being the victim of a violent crime, and a 1 in 20.6 shot for property crime.
Property crime has been pretty consistent lately, while violent crime is on an upward trend, meaning it may overtake some of the other cities in a few years if the situation continues.
Oak Grove is the smallest city to make this list, but don’t let that fool you — the city is also one of the most violent in the state.
Oak Grove residents had a 1 in 241 chance of being the victim of a violent crime in 2017.
The only reason Oak Grove is so low on this list is because it has the lowest frequency of property crime (about 1 per 310 residents in 2017) of any city on this list.
Campbellsville’s violent crime rate resembles something more like a big city than the small town that it is.
The crime mentality of the populous gave Campbellsville a 9th place finish for violent crime rank and 4th for property crime.
Located just across the Ohio River from Cincinnati, Newport is the 5th most dangerous place in Kentucky overall.
It may not be the most violent place, but since residents faced a 1 in 26.3 chance of being the victim of theft or arson in 2017, its overall crime ranking is pretty poor.
While their abysmal property crime has improved 12% in recent years, violent crime has seen a 17% increase — probably not a good trade in the eyes of most Newport residents.
Owensboro comes in 6th on our list for the most dangerous places in Kentucky.
Residents of Owensboro have a 1 in 21.3 chance of being the victim of a crime. For reference, the most dangerous place in the country has about a 1 in 5 chance of being the victim of a crime.
Owensboro ranks as the 7th highest city for property crime per capita which contributes to its high chance of crime.
A suburb of Louisville, Shively is the 5th most violent place in Kentucky, though its decent property crime statistics keep it off the top of this list.
And things have only been getting worse in terms of violence — the 1 in 288 chance of being the victim of a violent crime in 2017 represented an 11% increase from 2011.
Property crime fell by nearly the same percentage, but that doesn’t seem like a very good trade.
Frankfort has placed 9th for property crime per capita in the state.
Residents of Frankfort faced a 1 in 9th chance of being the victim of theft or arson in 2017.
As if that wasn’t bad enough, violent crime bumped up between 2015-17, making Frankfort the 13th most violent city in Kentucky.
The 1st most populated city in the state and home of the University of Kentucky, Lexington’s recent rise in crime lands it on this list.
Between 2015-17, violent crime rose and property crime increased, which “earned” Lexington the title of 9th most dangerous city in Kentucky.
Hopkinsville almost escaped being included on this list, but being the 10th most violent city in the state kept it in the top ten most dangerous.
Residents of Hopkinsville had a 1 in 360 chance of being the victim of a violent crime in 2017.
Property crime also went down to a 1 in 30.7 chance in 2015-17, meaning, if the trends continue, Hopkinsville may avoid this list altogether come next year.
How Is Your Town In ?
How we determined the most dangerous cities in Kentucky for 2020?
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 64 cities in Kentucky.
We then ranked each city from 1 to 64 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 Kentucky — Mayfield.
Read on for a detailed look at the 10 most dangerous cities in Kentucky.
Locking It All Up In Kentucky
The latest FBI crime data shows that Mayfield ranks as the most dangerous city in Kentucky for 2020.
We want to point out again that there’s still safes places in Mayfield 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 Kentucky:
- Fort Mitchell (Pop. 8,260)
- Fort Thomas (Pop. 16,274)
- Villa Hills (Pop. 7,455)
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