Off key country singers in Nashville, and crazy squirrel hunters in Knoxville are just a few of the dangerous things that Tennesseans have to deal with on a regular basis; unfortunately, however, not the most dangerous.
That’s right folks, the people who live in Tennessee’s most dangerous places know danger. They are after all the fifth most dangerous state in the country. So, RoadSnacks thought it would be a good idea to produce a list of the most dangerous places in Tennessee for 2020 so people are well informed before making any life changing decisions.
How’d we do it? We consulted the numbers. In total, we analyzed 88 cities. We looked at the FBI’s latest crime report for violent crime and property crime statistics for every place with over 5,000 residents.
We discovered that although the state has 375 law enforcement agencies employing close to 16,000 police officers, they just can’t be everywhere. So, bigger cities like Chattanooga and Memphis are starting to feel the effects.
We’re not talking speeding through Jackson or hopping the fence at Graceland people, we’re talking about the crime that gets you put in jail. So, whether you’re looking to move to Tennessee or already live in Tennessee and need a new scene, we strongly suggest you take a look at this list. There may be some that surprise you.
Want to know what places in The Volunteer State have more issues than The Newport Plain Talk? Read on.
Sadly, this is not a list that any city in any state wants to make. You probably won’t see a sign entering the most dangerous place in a state that reads “number one most dangerous city in Tennessee”: it’s not something to brag about. But, people need to know.
So, what’s the most dangerous city in Tennessee for 2020? That would be, Memphis.
Take a look at the list below to see the rest of Tennessee’s most dangerous places.
Learn more about the safest places in Tennessee.
For more Tennessee reading, check out:
- 10 Best Places To Live In Tennessee
- These Are The 10 Best Counties To Live In Tennessee
- 10 Cheapest Places To Live In Tennessee
Graphing The Most Dangerous And Safest Places In Tennessee
The 10 Most Dangerous Places To Live In Tennessee For 2020
The largest city in the state has the highest rate of violent crime of any city in all of Tennessee.
Residents faced a 1 in 51 chance of being raped, assaulted, or murdered in 2018, a 5% higher rate than in 2017.
With violence so prevalent, Memphis can at least take solace in a solid drop in property crime from 2017-2018.
Savannah Tennessee has seen crime within its city limits head downwards over the last few years, but it’s still a relatively dangerous place.
Chances are if you live in Savannah, someone you know was the victim of a break-in or theft in recent years, as nearly 1 in 12.1 residents had a run in with a criminal last year.
Located in western Tennessee, Dyersburg has seen a rapid rise in its violent crime in recent years.
Between 2017-2018, the rate of violent crime increased a staggering amount, leaving Dyersburg residents a 1 in 80 chance of being the victim of rape, murder, or assault in 2018.
Property crime also went up during this interval, but that’s a lot less scary than the boom in violence.
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 2017-2018, and property crime falling by about half as much.
Still, folks living in Newport had a 1 in 12.7 chance of being the victim of theft or arson in 2018, which is pretty unacceptable.
The 4th biggest city in Tennessee, Chattanooga has experienced some unfortunate growth in its crime statistics in recent history.
Violent crime rose by from 2017-2018, leaving residents about a 1% chance of being attacked or killed in 2018.
Property crime went up by half as much during this interval, which made for about a 1 in 16.5 chance of being robbed in Chattanooga.
The smallest place to make this list, Pigeon Forge ranks as the 6th 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 2017-2018.
To be clear though, that’s only a difference between a 1 in 8 chance of being robbed in 2017 down to a 1 in 12.9 chance in 2018. Yikes.
Coming in as the 7th 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 2017-2018, property crime went up by nearly the same rate during this interval.
That left residents of Athens a 1 in 1213.1 chance of being the victim of a property crime in 2018, and a 1 in 114 chance of being the victim of violence.
Millington, with a population of around 11,016 has experienced decent amount of crime in recent years.
Currently, residents have a 1 in 18.8 chance of being the victim of theft or arson in 2018 and a 1 in 109 chance of being the victim of violent crime. That’s good for a 8th overall ranking on our list of dangerous places in Tennessee.
Cleveland comes in 9th on our list for the most dangerous places in Tennessee.
Residents of Cleveland have a 1 in 15.4 chance of being the victim of a crime. For reference, the most dangerous place in the country has about a 1 in 5 chance of being the victim of a crime.
Cleveland ranks as the 9th highest city for property crime per capita which contributes to its high chance of crime.
Sweetwater ranks as the 10th most dangerous city in Tennessee.
The sheer volume of people passing through Sweetwater probably contributes to the high occurrence of violent crime within the city. There were 51 violent crimes in 2018.
How Is Your Town In ?
How we determined the most dangerous cities in Tennessee for 2020?
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 2018 data, specifically the 2018 Crime In The United States Report. We will update the results when data becomes available in September 2020.
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 88 cities in Tennessee.
We then ranked each city from 1 to 88 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 — Memphis. Any ties went to the smaller city. You can download the data here.
Read on for a detailed look at the 10 most dangerous cities in Tennessee.
Locking It All Up In Tennessee
The latest FBI crime data shows that Memphis ranks as the most dangerous city in Tennessee for 2020.
We want to point out again that there’s still safes places in Memphis 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 Tennessee:
- Loudon (Pop. 5,815)
- Signal Mountain (Pop. 8,602)
- Church Hill (Pop. 6,664)
For more Tennessee reading, check out: