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 73 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, Paducah.
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
Crime in Paducah has been heading in the right direction over the past few years, as both property and violent crimes have been on the decrease .
Paducah residents have a 1 in 22.0 chance of being the victim of a property crime, good for 4th worst in the state. Additionally, they have a 1 in 268 chance of being the victim of a violent crime, 4th worst in Kentucky.
A smaller city on this list, Mayfield has experienced some wild swings in crime in recent years.
While instances of violent crime fell to 35 between 2017-2018, property crime now stands at 3rd worst.
If they could get the same magic working for property crime as they have for violence, Mayfield may one day be the idyllic place its residents want it to be.
Oak Grove is the smallest city to make this list.
And this city in Kentucky has been making great strides to get off this list altogether — the violent crime rate fell between 2017-2018.
That’s means residents have a 1 in 241 chance of being a victim of violence in 2018.
Bowling Green ranks as the 4th most dangerous city in Kentucky.
That’s due to it ranking 10th in violent crimes and 1st in property crimes. Residents had about a 1 in 20.6 chance of being a victim of a property crime.
Campbellsville has placed 5th for property crime per capita in the state.
Residents of Campbellsville faced a 1 in 5th chance of being the victim of theft or arson in 2018.
As if that wasn’t bad enough, violent crime bumped up between 2017-2018, making Campbellsville the 12th most violent city in Kentucky.
Located just across the Ohio River from Cincinnati, Newport is the 6th 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 2018, 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.
A suburb of Louisville, Shively is the 7th 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 2018 represented an 11% increase from 2011.
Property crime fell by nearly the same percentage, but that doesn’t seem like a very good trade.
The city of over 59,686 ranks as the 8th most dangerous city in Kentucky and has the 9th highest rate of property crime in the state.
Frankfort has experienced an unfortunate boom in its crime rate recently.
Between 2017-2018, violent crime and property crime increased.
That left residents of Frankfort with a 1 in 26.3 chance of being the victim of a property crime and a 1 in 389 chance of being the victim of violence in 2018.
This trend holds true today as Radcliff ranked 5th for violent crime in Kentucky and 10th in the most dangerous overall ranking.
But it’s really parts of Radcliff that you need to look out for. Certain neighborhoods have much more violent crime than others.
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 2018 data, specifically the 2018 Crime In The United States Report. We will update the results when data becomes available in September 2020.
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 73 cities in Kentucky.
We then ranked each city from 1 to 73 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 — Paducah. Any ties went to the smaller city. You can download the data here.
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 Paducah ranks as the most dangerous city in Kentucky for 2020.
We want to point out again that there’s still safes places in Paducah 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)
For more Kentucky reading, check out: