These Are The 10 Most Dangerous Cities In Tennessee For 2017


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

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Do you live in one of the most dangerous cities in Tennessee?

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 Tennessee — and anyone looking to move to Tennessee — know just how close they are to danger, we took data from the annual FBI report and did some serious analysis.

Turns out Knoxville finds itself out of the top ten at 11 and Nashville falls out of the top quarter at number 25. The data shows that these ten cities are currently the most dangerous in the Volunteer State:

  1. Covington (Photos)
  2. Dyersburg (Photos)
  3. Newport (Photos)
  4. Athens (Photos)
  5. Dickson (Photos)
  6. Memphis (Photos)
  7. Pigeon Forge (Photos)
  8. Crossville (Photos)
  9. Savannah (Photos)
  10. Chattanooga (Photos)

Why did Covington 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 Tennessee.

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 Tennessee 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 93 cities in Tennessee.

We then ranked each city from 1 to 93 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 Tennessee — Covington. Read on for a detailed look at the 10 most dangerous cities in Tennessee.

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1. Covington

Covington, Tennessee

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 9,008
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 2,231
Property Crimes Per 100k: 7,471
Located in the western part of the state, the trajectory of Covington’s crime rate gives it a 1st place finish in our analysis.

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Violent crime shot up from 2013-15, while instances of property crime also went up.

That left residents of Covington with a 1 in 44 chance of being the victim of a violent crime in 2015.

2. Dyersburg

Dyersburg, Tennessee

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 16,766
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 1,509
Property Crimes Per 100k: 7,759
Located in western Tennessee, Dyersburg has seen a rapid rise in its violent crime in recent years.

Between 2013-15, the rate of violent crime increased a staggering amount, leaving Dyersburg residents a 1 in 66 chance of being the victim of rape, murder, or assault in 2015.

Property crime also went up during this interval, but that’s a lot less scary than the boom in violence.

3. Newport

Newport, Tennessee

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 6,865
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 1,354
Property Crimes Per 100k: 8,506
Located in eastern Tennessee, Newport is one of the smaller cities to appear on this list.

Newport has achieved some impressive improvements in its crime rate in recent years, with violent crime falling by 34% from 2013-15, and property crime falling by about half as much.

Still, folks living in Newport had a 1 in 11.8 chance of being the victim of theft or arson in 2015, which is pretty unacceptable.

4. Athens

Athens, Tennessee

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 13,692
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 1,351
Property Crimes Per 100k: 7,376
Coming in as the 4th most dangerous city in Tennessee is Athens, whose nickname, “the Friendly City” is somewhat hampered by its crime situation.

While violent crime has been steadily dropping in recent years, with a 10% total drop in violent crime from 2013-15, property crime went up by nearly the same rate during this interval.

That left residents of Athens a 1 in 1213.6 chance of being the victim of a property crime in 2015, and a 1 in 74 chance of being the victim of violence.

5. Dickson

Dickson, Tennessee

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 15,074
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 1,081
Property Crimes Per 100k: 6,620
A city of Dickson County, Dickson’s ranked as the 5th most dangerous city in Tennessee.

With regards to crime, Dickson 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 13.0 chance of being the victim of a crime.

6. Memphis

Memphis, Tennessee

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 657,936
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 1,740
Property Crimes Per 100k: 5,630
The largest city in the state has the 3rd highest rate of violent crime of any city in all of Tennessee.

Residents faced a 1 in 57 chance of being raped, assaulted, or murdered in 2015, a 5% higher rate than in 2014.

With violence so prevalent, Memphis can at least take solace in a solid drop in property crime from 2013-15.

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7. Pigeon Forge

Pigeon Forge, Tennessee

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 6,196
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 871
Property Crimes Per 100k: 7,553
The smallest place to make this list, Pigeon Forge ranks as the 7th most dangerous city in Tennessee.

Though Pigeon Forge’s property crime numbers are somewhat thrown off by law-breaking tourists, the city has still achieved a 24% reduction in property crime from 2013-15.

To be clear though, that’s only a difference between a 1 in 8 chance of being robbed in 2014 down to a 1 in 13.2 chance in 2015. Yikes.

8. Crossville

Crossville, Tennessee

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 11,445
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 996
Property Crimes Per 100k: 6,719
Crossville earns the top spot on this list mostly by having a terrible rate of property crime, with residents facing a ridiculously high 1 in 14.9 chance of being the victim of a property crime in 2015.

That means that, statistically, almost every neighborhood in Crossville has at least one resident who’s the victim of theft or arson each year.

Don’t let the 15th place ranking for violence fool you either — for every 100 residents in Crossville, there was 1 instance of violent crime in 2015, which is makes violence pretty darn common in Crossville.

9. Savannah

Savannah, Tennessee

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 7,069
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 862
Property Crimes Per 100k: 7,257
Savannah is the least populated city on this list, as well as the least violent.

Residents of Savannah faced a 1 in 13.8 chance of being the victim of a property crime in 2015.

Savannah has been improving a lot lately too, with reductions in both violent and property crime between 2013-15.

10. Chattanooga

Chattanooga, Tennessee

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 174,969
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 989
Property Crimes Per 100k: 5,918
The 4th biggest city in Tennessee, Chattanooga has experienced some unfortunate growth in its crime statistics in recent history.

Violent crime rose by from 2013-15, leaving residents about a 1% chance of being attacked or killed in 2015.

Property crime went up by half as much during this interval, which made for about a 1 in 16.9 chance of being robbed in Chattanooga.

Locking It All Up In Tennessee

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

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

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

  1. Signal Mountain
  2. Oak Ridge
  3. Brentwood

For more Tennessee reading , check out:

Detailed List Of The Most Dangeroues Cities In Tennessee

Rank City Population Violent Crimes Per Capita Property Crimes Per Capita
1 Covington 9,008 2,231 7,471
2 Dyersburg 16,766 1,509 7,759
3 Newport 6,865 1,354 8,506
4 Athens 13,692 1,351 7,376
5 Dickson 15,074 1,081 6,620
6 Memphis 657,936 1,740 5,630
7 Pigeon Forge 6,196 871 7,553
8 Crossville 11,445 996 6,719
9 Savannah 7,069 862 7,257
10 Chattanooga 174,969 989 5,918
11 Knoxville 185,638 926 6,002
12 Ripley 8,216 1,131 5,209
13 Cleveland 43,650 843 6,068
14 Brownsville 9,898 1,242 4,849
15 Fayetteville 7,173 1,212 4,182
16 Alcoa 8,831 951 4,903
17 Millington 11,061 804 5,532
18 Lawrenceburg 10,514 741 5,640
19 Jackson 67,415 1,073 4,491
20 Union City 10,604 773 5,479
21 Sweetwater 5,892 678 5,821
22 Bolivar 5,089 1,041 4,106
23 East Ridge 21,397 785 5,192
24 Morristown 29,377 738 5,249
25 Nashville 658,029 1,101 3,805
26 La Follette 7,055 609 5,868
27 Rockwood 5,396 500 6,931
28 Humboldt 8,324 913 4,108
29 Mcminnville 13,622 1,013 3,721
30 Springfield 16,817 808 3,966
31 Pulaski 7,570 713 4,636
32 Kingsport 53,091 651 4,912
33 Harriman 6,182 711 4,529
34 Lewisburg 11,434 1,889 2,536
35 Manchester 10,404 490 5,795
36 Clinton 9,901 595 4,888
37 Elizabethton 14,265 399 5,909
38 Lebanon 30,266 826 3,403
39 Sevierville 16,759 459 5,250
40 Paris 10,152 531 4,875
41 Shelbyville 21,205 726 3,268
42 Lexington 7,873 673 3,505
43 Sparta 5,114 215 6,765
44 Milan 7,827 664 3,705
45 Winchester 8,555 666 3,343
46 Greeneville 15,031 405 4,703
47 Red Bank 11,814 668 3,013
48 Dunlap 5,131 409 3,975
49 Cookeville 31,509 453 3,913
50 Columbia 36,405 590 3,216
51 Murfreesboro 123,994 542 3,242
52 Clarksville 150,319 581 2,856
53 Bristol 26,732 576 2,929
54 Lenoir City 9,126 372 3,714
55 Tullahoma 18,966 479 3,037
56 Lafayette 5,075 551 2,600
57 Jefferson City 8,392 345 3,801
58 Johnson City 66,369 346 3,714
59 Dayton 7,443 241 3,882
60 Smyrna 46,659 400 2,713
61 Goodlettsville 17,259 370 3,001
62 Portland 12,396 459 1,984
63 La Vergne 34,678 550 1,568
64 Kingston 5,804 310 2,153
65 White House 11,233 293 2,537
66 Munford 6,082 312 2,055
67 Soddy-Daisy 13,250 241 2,581
68 Henderson 6,559 335 1,722
69 Bartlett 58,578 308 1,862
70 Maryville 28,541 217 2,070
71 Martin 11,285 203 2,472
72 Erwin 6,005 366 1,115
73 Atoka 9,042 298 1,470
74 Fairview 8,331 204 1,788
75 Greenbrier 6,746 326 1,082
76 Mount Juliet 30,609 166 1,907
77 Gallatin 34,080 308 1,267
78 Hendersonville 56,106 180 1,686
79 Jonesborough 5,283 132 1,722
80 Franklin 72,696 207 1,455
81 Collegedale 11,353 123 1,708
82 Millersville 6,711 253 789
83 Collierville 49,432 101 1,662
84 Spring Hill 35,658 140 1,065
85 Germantown 39,361 101 1,313
86 Church Hill 6,753 118 1,066
87 Oakland 7,495 66 1,214
88 Loudon 5,797 120 1,000
89 Nolensville 6,562 106 1,005
90 Mount Carmel 5,458 36 1,044
91 Brentwood 41,984 40 874
92 Oak Ridge 29,297 6 17
93 Signal Mountain 8,579 384
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