These Are The 10 Most Dangerous Cities In Tennessee For 2018


We used data and science to identify the most dangerous cities in the Volunteer State for 2018.

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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.

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

  1. Newport (Photos)
  2. Savannah (Photos)
  3. Dyersburg (Photos)
  4. Memphis (Photos)
  5. Sweetwater (Photos)
  6. Athens (Photos)
  7. Dickson (Photos)
  8. Brownsville (Photos)
  9. Fayetteville (Photos)
  10. 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.

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 Tennessee reading, check out:

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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.

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

Click To Enlarge

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

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1. Newport

Newport, Tennessee

Population: 6,812
Rank 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.

2. Savannah

Savannah, Tennessee

Population: 7,035
Rank 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.

3. Dyersburg

Dyersburg, Tennessee

Source: Public domain

Population: 16,711
Rank Last Year: 2 (Down 1)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 1,382
Property Crimes Per 100k: 6,750
More on Dyersburg: Data | Photos | Rankings

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.

4. Memphis

Memphis, Tennessee

Population: 656,434
Rank 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.

5. Sweetwater

Sweetwater, Tennessee

Population: 5,957
Rank 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.

6. Athens

Athens, Tennessee

Population: 13,717
Rank 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.

7. Dickson

Dickson, Tennessee

Population: 15,501
Rank Last Year: 5 (Down 2)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 967
Property Crimes Per 100k: 5,948
More on Dickson: Data | Photos | Rankings

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.

8. Brownsville

Brownsville, Tennessee

Population: 9,795
Rank 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.

9. Fayetteville

Fayetteville, Tennessee

Population: 7,182
Rank 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

Pigeon Forge, Tennessee

Population: 6,230
Rank 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:

  1. Signal Mountain
  2. Oakland
  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 Newport 6,812 1,453 9,336
2 Savannah 7,035 1,421 7,476
3 Dyersburg 16,711 1,382 6,750
4 Memphis 656,434 1,819 5,634
5 Sweetwater 5,957 1,141 6,446
6 Athens 13,717 998 7,785
7 Dickson 15,501 967 5,948
8 Brownsville 9,795 1,684 4,696
9 Fayetteville 7,182 1,086 5,485
10 Pigeon Forge 6,230 754 7,961
11 Union City 10,506 866 6,244
12 La Follette 6,977 788 6,836
13 Chattanooga 177,801 1,023 5,484
14 Cleveland 44,423 864 6,086
15 Ripley 8,129 1,193 4,453
16 Knoxville 186,583 896 5,533
17 Alcoa 9,503 810 5,587
18 Crossville 11,514 825 5,072
19 Bolivar 5,032 1,192 3,795
20 East Ridge 21,311 915 4,607
21 Lawrenceburg 10,595 745 5,304
22 Jackson 66,990 937 4,399
23 Nashville Metropolitan 668,685 1,102 3,696
24 Mcminnville 13,789 979 3,792
25 Milan 7,803 1,076 3,447
26 Kingsport 53,059 695 4,713
27 Manchester 10,596 717 4,511
28 Rockwood 5,400 444 5,555
29 Harriman 6,195 726 3,987
30 Winchester 8,545 725 4,154
31 Pulaski 7,572 660 4,582
32 Paris 10,143 483 5,481
33 Millington 11,002 690 3,799
34 Humboldt 8,287 748 3,535
35 Clinton 10,091 644 4,360
36 Lexington 7,859 750 3,282
37 Sevierville 16,843 332 5,569
38 Shelbyville 21,511 729 3,226
39 Springfield 16,873 728 3,265
40 Cookeville 32,292 510 4,319
41 Lewisburg 11,552 952 1,990
42 Dunlap 5,167 406 4,431
43 Elizabethton 13,672 336 4,761
44 Tullahoma 19,229 551 3,645
45 Red Bank 11,789 721 2,714
46 Bristol 26,656 592 3,376
47 Dayton 7,421 471 3,651
48 Lebanon 31,125 642 3,055
49 Oak Ridge 29,296 669 2,945
50 Columbia 37,219 682 2,899
51 Johnson City 66,511 395 3,740
52 Lafayette 5,088 373 3,793
53 Murfreesboro 129,730 608 2,980
54 Sparta 5,131 175 5,223
55 Clarksville 152,526 613 2,526
56 La Vergne 35,228 684 1,833
57 Smyrna 48,016 520 2,624
58 Greeneville 15,101 324 3,681
59 Jefferson City 8,549 339 3,017
60 Portland 12,502 359 2,223
61 Fairview 8,440 343 1,895
62 White House 11,419 359 1,716
63 Martin 10,859 294 2,449
64 Soddy-Daisy 13,215 264 2,255
65 Lenoir City 9,175 163 3,051
66 Kingston 5,823 326 1,648
67 Goodlettsville 23,358 231 2,217
68 Gallatin 35,154 395 1,285
69 Henderson 6,597 378 1,409
70 Maryville 28,661 191 2,372
71 Mckenzie 5,294 170 2,776
72 Bartlett 58,897 320 1,623
73 Millersville 6,748 414 889
74 Munford 6,140 260 1,547
75 Greenbrier 6,807 396 866
76 Franklin 74,771 205 1,451
77 Jonesborough 5,338 187 1,479
78 Atoka 9,176 207 1,100
79 Collierville 49,531 161 1,494
80 Mount Juliet 33,048 163 1,482
81 Nolensville 7,164 167 1,465
82 Hendersonville 56,965 131 1,534
83 Spring Hill 37,599 191 832
84 Mount Carmel 5,424 184 682
85 Loudon 5,800 120 1,258
86 Germantown 39,311 117 1,279
87 Church Hill 6,714 178 417
88 Erwin 5,959 117 1,040
89 Collegedale 11,245 71 1,218
90 Brentwood 42,739 58 928
91 Oakland 7,670 52 977
92 Signal Mountain 8,577 46 431

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One thought on “These Are The 10 Most Dangerous Cities In Tennessee For 2018

  1. Pigeon Forge is 10th on the list and Sevierville is 37th? They are literally 5 minutes apart. You can drive from Pigeon Forge into Sevierville and never know you went into a different town. You work think crime would be as bad in Sevierville as well. Makes me wonder how accurate this is.

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