These Are The 10 Most Dangerous Cities In Kentucky For 2019


We used data and science to identify the most dangerous cities in the Bluegrass State for 2019.

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This article is an opinion based on facts and is meant as infotainment. Don’t freak out that we updated it for 2019.

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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 for 2019:

  1. Oak Grove (Photos)
  2. Mayfield (Photos)
  3. Louisville (Photos)
  4. Paducah (Photos)
  5. Shively (Photos)
  6. Bowling Green (Photos)
  7. Winchester (Photos)
  8. Owensboro (Photos)
  9. Middlesboro
  10. Lexington (Photos)

After analyzing 74 cities in Kentucky, why did Oak Grove 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.

For more Kentucky reading, check out:

Graphing The Most Dangerous And Safest Places In Kentucky

Most Dangerous Cities In Kentucky Graph

Click To Enlarge

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.

Oak Grove, KY

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 7,347
Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 462 (2nd most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 5,648 (3rd most dangerous)
More on Oak Grove:  Data | Photos

Oak Grove ranks as the 1st most dangerous city in Kentucky.

That’s due to it ranking 2nd in violent crimes and 3rd in property crimes. Residents had about a 1 in 17.7 chance of being a victim of a property crime.

Mayfield, KY

Source: Public domain

Overall SnackAbility

3
/10

Population: 9,991
Rank Last Year: 25 (Up 23)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 390 (5th most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 5,384 (5th most dangerous)
More on Mayfield:  Data | Photos

Mayfield is the 2nd most violent city in the state, mostly due to the violent crime rate in 2017.

From 2015-17, violent crime in Mayfield went up, leaving residents with a 1 in 256 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 Mayfield residents.

Louisville, KY

Source: Public domain

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 684,362
Rank Last Year: 2 (Down 1)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 647 (1st most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 4,122 (13th most dangerous)
More on Louisville:  Data | Photos

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.

Paducah, KY

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 25,169
Rank Last Year: 4 (Up 1)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 329 (10th most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 5,478 (4th most dangerous)
More on Paducah:  Data | Photos

Paducah, located in McCracken County, is the 4th most dangerous and 10th most violent city in Kentucky.

Violent crime has remained high from 2015-17, during which time property crime fell by only small amounts.

Shively, KY

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 15,830
Rank Last Year: 6 (Up 1)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 410 (4th most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 4,125 (12th most dangerous)
More on Shively:  Data | Photos

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, KY

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 66,317
Rank Last Year: 9 (Up 3)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 339 (9th most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 4,657 (8th most dangerous)
More on Bowling Green:  Data | Photos

Bowling Green ranks as the 6th most dangerous city in Kentucky.

The Bowling Green ranks as having the 9th highest violent crime rate and 8th highest property crime rate.

Winchester, KY

Source: Public domain

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 18,478
Rank Last Year: 7 (No Change)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 221 (20th most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 6,088 (1st most dangerous)
More on Winchester:  Data | Photos

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.

Owensboro, KY

Source: Public domain

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 59,576
Rank Last Year: 15 (Up 7)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 298 (12th most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 4,359 (10th most dangerous)
More on Owensboro:  Data | Photos

Owensboro is home to the 8th most dangerous population in Kentucky.

Violent crime has been decreasing of late, but the 1 in 22.9 chance of being the victim of a property crime has been fairly consistent.

9. Middlesboro

Middlesboro, KY

Overall SnackAbility

/10

Population: 9,534
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, KY

Source: Public domain

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 322,332
Rank Last Year: 10 (No Change)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 350 (7th most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 3,782 (17th most dangerous)
More on Lexington:  Data | Photos

Lexington ranks as the 10th most dangerous city in Kentucky according to 2017’s data.

While there’s still a 1 in 26.4 chance of being the victim of a property crime in Lexington, their crime statistics in both categories have been falling steadily over recent years.

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:

  1. Vine Grove (Pop. 6,055)
  2. Edgewood (Pop. 8,771)
  3. Villa Hills (Pop. 7,494)

For more Kentucky reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Most Dangerous Cities In Kentucky

Rank City Population Violent Crimes Per Capita Property Crimes Per Capita
1 Oak Grove 7,347 462 5,648
2 Mayfield 9,991 390 5,384
3 Louisville 684,362 647 4,122
4 Paducah 25,169 329 5,478
5 Shively 15,830 410 4,125
6 Bowling Green 66,317 339 4,657
7 Winchester 18,478 221 6,088
8 Owensboro 59,576 298 4,359
9 Middlesboro 9,534 220 5,779
10 Lexington 322,332 350 3,782
11 Newport 15,202 276 4,065
12 Covington 40,845 452 3,283
13 London 8,184 219 4,435
14 Russellville 7,006 342 3,554
15 Radcliff 22,473 329 3,675
16 Frankfort 27,975 357 3,363
17 Hazard 5,268 246 3,758
18 Princeton 6,084 213 3,977
19 Richmond 35,161 261 3,486
20 Ashland 20,927 186 4,128
21 St. Matthews 18,163 176 4,756
22 Campbellsville 11,486 200 3,752
23 Hopkinsville 31,761 248 2,902
24 Maysville 8,841 192 3,709
25 Corbin 7,411 215 3,090
26 Franklin 8,884 270 2,521
27 Dayton 5,423 295 2,341
28 Florence 32,866 158 3,973
29 Nicholasville 30,333 197 3,148
30 Mount Sterling 7,298 191 3,480
31 Shepherdsville 12,204 204 2,851
32 Henderson 28,846 239 2,333
33 Pikeville 7,121 70 4,999
34 Bardstown 13,325 195 2,724
35 Georgetown 34,184 187 2,741
36 Glasgow 14,690 136 3,573
37 Paris 9,845 182 2,742
38 Lebanon 5,656 212 1,785
39 Murray 19,205 135 3,035
40 Leitchfield 6,900 188 2,072
41 Berea 15,406 155 2,544
42 Elizabethtown 30,065 202 1,559
43 Bellevue 5,826 154 2,368
44 Shelbyville 15,758 177 1,884
45 Jeffersontown 27,400 113 2,416
46 Cold Spring 6,276 95 2,629
47 Harrodsburg 8,427 177 1,673
48 Cynthiana 6,375 94 2,352
49 Versailles 26,320 102 1,922
50 Madisonville 19,316 155 1,511
51 Danville 16,891 148 1,485
52 Monticello 6,070 148 1,301
53 La Grange 8,831 90 1,675
54 Wilmore 6,380 47 2,257
55 Morehead 7,915 50 1,895
56 Elsmere 8,541 81 1,475
57 Erlanger 22,947 95 1,215
58 Hillview 8,942 55 1,319
59 Alexandria 9,486 21 1,676
60 Highland Heights 7,178 97 808
61 Lawrenceburg 11,211 80 1,106
62 Fort Wright 5,780 51 1,349
63 Fort Mitchell 8,306 72 1,083
64 Independence 27,400 91 543
65 Lakeside Park-Crestview Hills 6,133 0 1,548
66 Mount Washington 14,511 55 882
67 Central City 5,837 17 1,216
68 Taylor Mill 6,774 44 1,018
69 Williamsburg 5,342 37 973
70 Fort Thomas 16,485 48 703
71 Flatwoods 7,284 54 466
72 Vine Grove 6,055 0 1,106
73 Edgewood 8,771 11 912
74 Villa Hills 7,494 26 520

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One thought on “These Are The 10 Most Dangerous Cities In Kentucky For 2019

  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!

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