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.
The data shows that these ten cities are currently the most dangerous in the Volunteer State:
- Newport (Photos)
- Savannah (Photos)
- Dyersburg (Photos)
- Memphis (Photos)
- Sweetwater (Photos)
- Athens (Photos)
- Dickson (Photos)
- Brownsville (Photos)
- Fayetteville (Photos)
- Pigeon Forge (Photos)
Why did Newport 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.
For more Tennessee reading, check out:
- 10 Cheapest Places To Live In Tennessee
- 10 Best Places To Raise A Family In Tennessee
- 10 Most Ghetto Places In Tennessee
How we determined the most dangerous cities in Tennessee for 2018?
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 2016 data, specifically the 2016 Crime In The United States Report. We will update the results when data becomes available for 2017 in October 2018.
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 92 cities in Tennessee.
We then ranked each city from 1 to 92 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 — Newport. Read on for a detailed look at the 10 most dangerous cities in Tennessee.
Read on for a detailed look at the 10 most dangerous cities in Tennessee.
Population: 6,812Rank Last Year: 3 (Up 2)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 1,453
Property Crimes Per 100k: 9,336
More on Newport: Data | Photos | Rankings
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 2014-16, and property crime falling by about half as much.
Still, folks living in Newport had a 1 in 10.7 chance of being the victim of theft or arson in 2016, which is pretty unacceptable.
Population: 7,035Rank Last Year: 9 (Up 7)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 1,421
Property Crimes Per 100k: 7,476
More on Savannah: Data | Photos | Rankings
The smallest place to make this list, Savannah ranks as the 2nd most dangerous city in Tennessee.
There’s a 1 in 13.4 chance being robbed in 2016. Yikes.
Located in western Tennessee, Dyersburg has seen a rapid rise in its violent crime in recent years.
Between 2014-16, the rate of violent crime increased a staggering amount, leaving Dyersburg residents a 1 in 72 chance of being the victim of rape, murder, or assault in 2016.
Property crime also went up during this interval, but that’s a lot less scary than the boom in violence.
Population: 656,434Rank Last Year: 6 (Up 2)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 1,819
Property Crimes Per 100k: 5,634
More on Memphis: Data | Photos | Rankings
The largest city in the state has the 1st highest rate of violent crime of any city in all of Tennessee.
Residents faced a 1 in 54 chance of being raped, assaulted, or murdered in 2016, a 5% higher rate than in 2015.
With violence so prevalent, Memphis can at least take solace in a solid drop in property crime from 2014-16.
Population: 5,957Rank Last Year: 21 (Up 16)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 1,141
Property Crimes Per 100k: 6,446
More on Sweetwater: Data | Photos | Rankings
Residents of Sweetwater faced an unbelievable 1 in 87 chance of being the victim of violence in 2016. That contributed to an overall ranking of 5th most dangerous in Tennessee.
Population: 13,717Rank Last Year: 4 (Down 2)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 998
Property Crimes Per 100k: 7,785
More on Athens: Data | Photos | Rankings
Coming in as the 6th 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 2014-16, property crime went up by nearly the same rate during this interval.
That left residents of Athens a 1 in 1212.8 chance of being the victim of a property crime in 2016, and a 1 in 100 chance of being the victim of violence.
Dickson has more violent crime than most cities in the Volunteer State.
While property crime dropped by 10% between 2014-16, violent crime rose by 11%, producing very little net gain for the city’s overall crime rate.
In 2016, Dickson residents had a 1 in 16.8 chance of being the victim of a violent crime.
Population: 9,795Rank Last Year: 14 (Up 6)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 1,684
Property Crimes Per 100k: 4,696
More on Brownsville: Data | Photos | Rankings
With 460 property crimes reported in 2016 for a town of only 9,795, Brownsville residents had a greater than 5% chance of being the victim of a property crime.
The good news? The number of crimes is down over 15% from the year prior.
Population: 7,182Rank Last Year: 15 (Up 6)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 1,086
Property Crimes Per 100k: 5,485
More on Fayetteville: Data | Photos | Rankings
The smallest city to make this list, Fayetteville is located 45 miles northwest of Tennessee’s capital, Nashville.
The small city experienced a large rise in violent crime between 2014-16.
Still, Fayetteville is the 10th most violent place on this list, with residents facing about a 1 in 92 chance of being the victim of violence in 2016.
10. Pigeon Forge
Population: 6,230Rank Last Year: 7 (Down 3)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 754
Property Crimes Per 100k: 7,961
More on Pigeon Forge: Data | Photos | Rankings
The smallest place to make this list, Pigeon Forge ranks as the 10th 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 2014-16.
To be clear though, that’s only a difference between a 1 in 8 chance of being robbed in 2015 down to a 1 in 12.6 chance in 2016. Yikes.
Locking It All Up In Tennessee
The latest FBI crime data shows that Newport ranks as the most dangerous city in Tennessee for 2018.
However, there will be new data coming out later this year. At that point we can revisit Newport’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:
- Signal Mountain
For more Tennessee reading, check out:
Detailed List Of The Most Dangeroues Cities In Tennessee