10 Most Dangerous Cities In Kentucky For 2020


We used data and science to identify the most dangerous cities in the Bluegrass State for 2020.

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This article is an opinion based on facts and is meant as infotainment. It is our fifth time ranking the most dangerous places to live in Kentucky and is updated for 2020.

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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.

If you’re looking for something more national, check out the most dangerous cities in America or the most dangerous states in America.

For more Kentucky reading, check out:

Graphing The Most Dangerous And Safest Places In Kentucky

Most Dangerous Cities In Kentucky Graph

Click To Enlarge

The 10 Most Dangerous Places To Live In Kentucky For 2020

Mayfield, KY

Source: Public domain

Overall SnackAbility

3
/10

Population: 9,819
Rank Last Year: 2 (Up 1)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 356 (4th most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 4,623 (3rd most dangerous)
More on Mayfield:  Data | Photos

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.

Bowling Green, KY

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 68,268
Rank Last Year: 6 (Up 4)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 304 (7th most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 4,851 (1st most dangerous)
More on Bowling Green:  Data | Photos

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, KY

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 7,232
Rank Last Year: 1 (Down 2)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 414 (1st most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 4,286 (8th most dangerous)
More on Oak Grove:  Data | Photos

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, KY

Source: Public domain

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 11,503
Rank Last Year: 22 (Up 18)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 278 (9th most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 4,537 (4th most dangerous)
More on Campbellsville:  Data | Photos

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.

Newport, KY

Source: Public domain

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 14,972
Rank Last Year: 11 (Up 6)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 307 (6th most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 3,800 (10th most dangerous)
More on Newport:  Data | Photos

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, KY

Source: Public domain

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 59,686
Rank Last Year: 8 (Up 2)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 268 (11th most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 4,419 (7th most dangerous)
More on Owensboro:  Data | Photos

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.

Review Of Owensboro by HomeSnacks User

I Live in Owensboro and it is one of the most fd yo cities its also one of the biggest cities in ky mfs stay getting.l robbed shot raped stabbed etc.. those small towns u listed are candy lands compared to Louisville or Owensboro or Lexington Paducah bowlinggreen hopkinsville Madisonville Henderson

Shively, KY

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 15,876
Rank Last Year: 5 (Down 2)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 346 (5th most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 3,640 (14th most dangerous)
More on Shively:  Data | Photos

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, KY

Source: Public domain

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 27,664
Rank Last Year: 15 (Up 7)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 256 (13th most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 3,802 (9th most dangerous)
More on Frankfort:  Data | Photos

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.

Lexington, KY

Source: Public domain

Population: 325,579
Rank Last Year: 10 (Up 1)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 301 (8th most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 3,172 (17th most dangerous)
More on Lexington:  Data | Photos

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.

Review Of Lexington by HomeSnacks User

Great small university centric city with just enough shopping, activities, and nightlife to keep folks of all ages entertained.

Living within New Circle Road is ideal for quick transit times. Avoid the mall around Christmas time.

Hopkinsville, KY

Source: Public domain

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 30,606
Rank Last Year: 23 (Up 13)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 277 (10th most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 3,257 (16th most dangerous)
More on Hopkinsville:  Data | Photos

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:

  1. Fort Mitchell (Pop. 8,260)
  2. Fort Thomas (Pop. 16,274)
  3. Villa Hills (Pop. 7,455)

For more Kentucky reading, check out:

Where Are The Most Dangerous Cities In Kentucky?

Rank City Population Violent Crimes Per Capita Property Crimes Per Capita
1 Mayfield 9,819 356 4,623
2 Bowling Green 68,268 304 4,851
3 Oak Grove 7,232 414 4,286
4 Campbellsville 11,503 278 4,537
5 Newport 14,972 307 3,800
6 Owensboro 59,686 268 4,419
7 Shively 15,876 346 3,640
8 Frankfort 27,664 256 3,802
9 Lexington 325,579 301 3,172
10 Hopkinsville 30,606 277 3,257

About Chris Kolmar

Chris Kolmar has been in the real estate business for almost ten years now. He originally worked for Movoto Real Estate as the director of marketing before founding HomeSnacks.

He believes the key to finding the right place to live comes down to looking at the data, reading about things to do, and, most importantly, checking it out yourself before you move.

If you've been looking for a place to live in the past several years, you've probably stumbled upon his writing already.

You can find out more about him on LinkedIn or his website.

3 thoughts on “10 Most Dangerous Cities In Kentucky For 2020

  1. Your website is a MUST for anyone searching for properties when moving to another town or state within the USA. I fell in love with an old colonial home but, once I did more research and found this site, I learned it was one of ten worst cities within the state for crime, poverty, and other issues that would have made that move a really bad choice. Thank you…your site is on my favorite toolbar!

  2. No prison in Winchester and my 62-year-old mom used to walk at night all the time down to speedway like at one in the morning

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