These Are The 10 Most Dangerous Cities In Kentucky For 2017


We used data and science to identify the most dangerous cities in the Bluegrass State for 2017.

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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.

The data shows that these ten cities are currently the most dangerous in the Bluegrass State:

  1. Hazard (Photos)
  2. Newport (Photos)
  3. Paducah (Photos)
  4. Bowling Green (Photos)
  5. Louisville (Photos)
  6. Shively (Photos)
  7. Frankfort (Photos)
  8. Princeton (Photos)
  9. Winchester (Photos)
  10. Campbellsville (Photos)

Why did Hazard 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 Kentucky.

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

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How we determined the most dangerous cities in Kentucky for 2017?

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 second release of 2015 data, specifically the 2015 Crime In The United States Report. We will update the results when data becomes available for 2016 in September 2017.

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 75 cities in Kentucky.

We then ranked each city from 1 to 75 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 — Hazard. Read on for a detailed look at the 10 most dangerous cities in Kentucky.

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Here’s a visualization of the criteria:
Most Dangerous Cities In Kentucky Graph

Click To Enlarge

Read on for a detailed look at the 10 most dangerous cities in Kentucky.

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1. Hazard

Hazard, Kentucky

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 5,308
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 395
Property Crimes Per 100k: 5,463
The very name of this city, Hazard, suggests its status as one of the most dangerous places in Kentucky.

Hazard has experienced some wild swings in its crime of late, with violent crime going up by 58% between 2013-15, while property crime fell by 41% in the same time period.

This drop in property crime was a necessary change for Hazard to not have the #1 spot on this list.

2. Newport

Newport, Kentucky

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 15,413
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 337
Property Crimes Per 100k: 5,553
Located just across the Ohio River from Cincinnati, Newport is the 2nd most dangerous place in Kentucky overall.

It may not be the most violent place, but since residents faced a 1 in 18.0 chance of being the victim of theft or arson in 2015, 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.

3. Paducah

Paducah, Kentucky

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 24,968
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 308
Property Crimes Per 100k: 5,763
Paducah is the 3rd most dangerous city in Kentucky overall.

From 2014, 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 11th in Kentucky.

4. Bowling Green

Bowling Green, Kentucky

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 63,346
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 355
Property Crimes Per 100k: 4,952
A city of Warren County, Bowling Green’s ranked as the 4th most dangerous city in Kentucky.

With regards to crime, Bowling Green has little to celebrate of late, with violent and property crime rates each going up by roughly 11% between 2013-15.

There’s now a 1 in 18.8 chance of being the victim of a crime.

5. Louisville

Louisville, Kentucky

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 680,550
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 631
Property Crimes Per 100k: 4,166
Louisville is the 1st most violent city, with residents facing a 1 in 158 chance of being the victim of violence in 2015.

Progress has been made in recent years, however, reflected by a 12% drop in violent crime, and an 11% drop in property crime between 2013-15.

6. Shively

Shively, Kentucky

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 15,733
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 521
Property Crimes Per 100k: 3,845
A suburb of Louisville, Shively is the 2nd most violent place in Kentucky, though its decent property crime statistics keep it off the top of this list.

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And things have only been getting worse in terms of violence — the 1 in 191 chance of being the victim of a violent crime in 2015 represented an 11% increase from 2011.

Property crime fell by nearly the same percentage, but that doesn’t seem like a very good trade.

7. Frankfort

Frankfort, Kentucky

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 27,603
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 336
Property Crimes Per 100k: 4,097
Frankfort, located in Franklin County, is the 7th most dangerous and 7th most violent city in Kentucky.

Violent crime has remained high from 2013-15, during which time property crime fell by only small amounts.

8. Princeton

Princeton, Kentucky

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 6,166
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 324
Property Crimes Per 100k: 4,135
Folks who live in little Princeton have the 308 highest chance of being the victim of a rape or attack. The city, located in Kentucky, has seen a moderate population decline in recent years, perhaps due to the crime happening within its city limits.

In 2015, 1 out of 22.4 Princeton residents were the victim of a crime.

9. Winchester

Winchester, Kentucky

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 18,462
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 249
Property Crimes Per 100k: 5,264
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 2015.

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 401.

10. Campbellsville

Campbellsville, Kentucky

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 11,380
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 307
Property Crimes Per 100k: 4,182
A city of Taylor County, Campbellsville’s ranked as the 10th most dangerous city in Kentucky.

With regards to crime, Campbellsville has little to celebrate of late, with violent and property crime rates each going up by roughly 11% between 2013-15.

There’s now a 1 in 22.3 chance of being the victim of a crime.

Locking It All Up In Kentucky

The latest FBI crime data shows that Hazard ranks as the most dangerous city in Kentucky for 2017.

However, there will be new data coming out later this year. At that point we can revisit Hazard’s status — that is if they haven’t beaten us all up already.

If you’re curious enough, here are the safest cities in Kentucky:

  1. Flatwoods
  2. Fort Thomas
  3. Lawrenceburg

For more Kentucky reading , check out:

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Detailed List Of The Most Dangeroues Cities In Kentucky

Rank City Population Violent Crimes Per Capita Property Crimes Per Capita
1 Hazard 5,308 395 5,463
2 Newport 15,413 337 5,553
3 Paducah 24,968 308 5,763
4 Bowling Green 63,346 355 4,952
5 Louisville 680,550 631 4,166
6 Shively 15,733 521 3,845
7 Frankfort 27,603 336 4,097
8 Princeton 6,166 324 4,135
9 Winchester 18,462 249 5,264
10 Campbellsville 11,380 307 4,182
11 Lexington 314,077 332 3,949
12 Somerset 11,473 278 4,811
13 Covington 41,056 426 3,643
14 Versailles 9,105 263 4,744
15 Mount Sterling 7,247 220 4,995
16 Ashland 21,232 221 4,813
17 Middlesboro 9,792 194 5,586
18 St. Matthews 18,016 233 4,207
19 Florence 32,357 216 4,685
20 Shepherdsville 11,990 233 3,753
21 Pikeville 7,373 162 6,171
22 Hopkinsville 32,756 296 3,248
23 Richmond 33,943 250 3,396
24 Owensboro 58,608 221 3,716
25 Bardstown 13,087 305 3,048
26 Henderson 28,928 307 2,647
27 Radcliff 23,040 312 2,426
28 Dayton 5,446 183 3,782
29 Oak Grove 7,515 212 3,446
30 Mayfield 10,141 236 2,790
31 Franklin 8,755 171 3,860
32 Maysville 8,809 192 3,269
33 Russellville 7,054 212 3,218
34 London 8,158 159 4,094
35 Glasgow 14,413 180 3,115
36 Leitchfield 6,911 217 2,474
37 Nicholasville 29,351 160 3,529
38 Murray 18,810 164 3,248
39 Lebanon 5,639 283 1,578
40 Corbin 7,305 177 2,724
41 Georgetown 32,273 170 2,934
42 Jeffersontown 27,027 181 2,379
43 Danville 16,703 215 1,879
44 Elizabethtown 30,241 158 2,919
45 Hillview 8,103 185 1,826
46 Elsmere 8,534 175 2,003
47 Harrodsburg 8,360 119 2,763
48 Paris 9,747 164 1,918
49 Bellevue 5,909 118 2,606
50 Madisonville 19,549 158 1,974
51 Williamsburg 5,279 170 1,496
52 Alexandria 8,860 124 2,009
53 Fort Wright 5,780 86 2,456
54 Morehead 7,012 71 2,595
55 Monticello 6,072 115 2,025
56 Berea 14,894 93 2,148
57 Erlanger 22,774 162 1,607
58 La Grange 8,625 150 1,762
59 Cold Spring 6,215 112 1,979
60 Cynthiana 6,348 141 1,811
61 Shelbyville 15,209 144 1,643
62 Lakeside Park-Crestview Hills 6,119 81 1,699
63 Mount Washington 12,376 64 1,115
64 Central City 5,879 51 1,411
65 Vine Grove 5,782 51 1,297
66 Fort Mitchell 8,292 60 1,000
67 Taylor Mill 6,748 74 844
68 Wilmore 6,179 32 938
69 Highland Heights 7,214 27 928
70 Edgewood 8,775 34 923
71 Independence 26,773 41 720
72 Villa Hills 7,455 925
73 Lawrenceburg 11,135 26 826
74 Fort Thomas 16,358 18 764
75 Flatwoods 7,380 257

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