Do you live in one of the most dangerous cities in Kentucky?
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 Kentucky — and anyone looking to move to Kentucky — know just how close they are to danger, we took data from the annual FBI report and did some serious analysis.
So what is the most dangerous city in Kentucky? After analyzing 74 cities in Kentucky, Oak Grove takes the top spot as the most dangerous city in Kentucky based on the most recent FBI data.
For a detailed explanation of the data and analysis we used in creating this ranking, read on.
Or 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
How we determined the most dangerous cities in Kentucky 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 74 cities in Kentucky.
We then ranked each city from 1 to 74 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 — Oak Grove.
Read on for a detailed look at the 10 most dangerous cities in Kentucky.
The 10 Most Dangerous Places To Live In Kentucky For 2019
Located in Christian County, Oak Grove has the 3rd worst rate of property crime in Kentucky.
Instances of property crime went up between 2015-17, with 2017’s rate being 1 in 17.7.
Violent crime went to 2nd worst overall during this time.
Mayfield is the 2nd most dangerous city in Kentucky.
From 2015-17, violent crime went up by 25%, leaving residents with about a 1 in 256 chance of being the victim of a violent crime in 2017.
Louisville is the 1st most violent city, with residents facing a 1 in 154 chance of being the victim of violence in 2017.
Progress has been made in recent years, however, reflected by a 12% drop in violent crime, and an 11% drop in property crime between 2015-17.
Located in McCracken County, Paducah has the 4th worst rate of property crime in Kentucky.
Instances of property crime went up between 2015-17, with 2017’s rate being 1 in 18.3.
Violent crime went to 10th worst overall during this time.
A suburb of Louisville, Shively is the 4th 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 243 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.
Bowling Green is the 6th most violent city in the state, mostly due to the violent crime rate in 2017.
From 2015-17, violent crime in Bowling Green went up, leaving residents with a 1 in 294 shot of being a victim of violence in 2017.
On the other hand, property crime was reduced between 2015-17, so there is some silver lining for Bowling Green residents.
Located 24 miles east of Lexington, Winchester’s motto is Rich in History and Ready for the Future.
That’s a pretty accurate way to describe their violent crime numbers — a rich history of violent crime that’s been reformed in recent years. This city’s violence has dropped recently and maintained into 2017.
To give some perspective into how impressive this improvement is, consider how in 2011, Winchester residents faced a 1 in 128 chance of being the victim of violence which compares to a 1 in 450.
Located 15 miles east of Portland, Owensboro’s violent crime looks to be an issue.
Violent crime went to 178 occurrences between 2015-17, leaving residents with a 1 in 334 chance of being the victim of violence in 2017.
Though Owensboro is the 12th most violent city in Kentucky overall, it does only have the 10th most property crime on this list (which still leaves residents a 1 in 22.9 chance of being robbed each year).
Rank Last Year: 5 (Down 4)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 220 (21st most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 5,779 (2nd most dangerous)
More on Middlesboro:
The largest city in southeastern Kentucky, Middlesboro is inside what scientists believe to be an enormous meteor crater.
While that’s pretty cool, the 1 in 16 chance residents face of being the victim of theft or arson each year is definitely not.
The good news for Crater City is that both property crime and violent crime fell by more than 10% between 2015-17.
Lexington experienced a rise in violent crime between 2015-17.
Still, the 1 in 284 chance Lexington residents faced of being the victim of violence in 2017 is still lower than other places in the state.
Meanwhile, you have a 1 in 26.4 chance of being the victim of a property crime, making Lexington the 17th worst city in Kentucky with regards to theft and arson.
Locking It All Up In Kentucky
The latest FBI crime data shows that Oak Grove ranks as the most dangerous city in Kentucky for 2019.
We want to point out again that there’s still safes places in Oak Grove 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:
- Vine Grove (Pop. 6,055)
- Edgewood (Pop. 8,771)
- Villa Hills (Pop. 7,494)
For more Kentucky reading, check out:
- 10 Best Places To Raise A Family In Kentucky
- These Are The 10 Best Places To Retire In Kentucky
- These Are The 10 Richest Cities In Kentucky
- 10 Safest Places In Kentucky
- 10 Worst Places To Live In Kentucky
Detailed List Of The Most Dangerous Cities In Kentucky
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