These Are The 10 Most Dangerous Cities In Tennessee For 2019


We used data and science to identify the most dangerous cities in the Volunteer 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 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 for 2019:

  1. Newport (Photos)
  2. Memphis (Photos)
  3. Sweetwater (Photos)
  4. Savannah (Photos)
  5. Covington (Photos)
  6. Dyersburg (Photos)
  7. Dickson (Photos)
  8. Athens (Photos)
  9. Chattanooga (Photos)
  10. Union City (Photos)

After analyzing 93 cities in Tennessee, 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:

Graphing The Most Dangerous And Safest Places In Tennessee

Most Dangerous Cities In Tennessee Graph

Click To Enlarge

How we determined the most dangerous cities in Tennessee 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 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 — Newport.

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

Newport, TN

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 6,816
Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 1,467 (3rd most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 9,022 (1st most dangerous)
More on Newport:  Data | Photos

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 2015-17, and property crime falling by about half as much.

Still, folks living in Newport had a 1 in 11.1 chance of being the victim of theft or arson in 2017, which is pretty unacceptable.

Memphis, TN

Overall SnackAbility

3
/10

Population: 652,765
Rank Last Year: 4 (Up 2)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 2,003 (1st most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 6,297 (6th most dangerous)
More on Memphis:  Data | Photos

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 49 chance of being raped, assaulted, or murdered in 2017, a 5% higher rate than in 2016.

With violence so prevalent, Memphis can at least take solace in a solid drop in property crime from 2015-17.

Sweetwater, TN

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 5,957
Rank Last Year: 5 (Up 2)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 1,259 (6th most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 6,328 (5th most dangerous)
More on Sweetwater:  Data | Photos

The largest city in McMinn County, Sweetwater has experienced a 13% increase in its violent crime rate and a 19% rise in property crime rate between 2015-17.

Folks in Sweetwater had about a 1 in 15.8 chance of being robbed or burnt in 2017, which is just the heavy price you pay for living in Sweetwater.

Savannah, TN

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 7,023
Rank Last Year: 2 (Down 2)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 1,082 (14th most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 7,375 (2nd most dangerous)
More on Savannah:  Data | Photos

Savannah isn’t in the top for either category of crime, but a cumulatively bad score lands it in 4th place.

On the bright side, violent crime was reformed in a serious way between 2016, with the instances dropping to 76.

That amounts to a 1 in 92 chance of being the victim of a violent crime in 2017.

Covington, TN

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 8,909
Rank Last Year:
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 1,683 (2nd most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 5,455 (16th most dangerous)
More on Covington:  Data | Photos

Located in the western part of the state, the trajectory of Covington’s crime rate gives it a 5th place finish in our analysis.

Violent crime shot up from 2015-17, while instances of property crime also went up.

That left residents of Covington with a 1 in 59 chance of being the victim of a violent crime in 2017.

Dyersburg, TN

Source: Public domain

Overall SnackAbility

3
/10

Population: 16,612
Rank Last Year: 3 (Down 3)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 1,125 (11th most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 5,989 (9th most dangerous)
More on Dyersburg:  Data | Photos

Located in western Tennessee, Dyersburg has seen a rapid rise in its violent crime in recent years.

Between 2015-17, the rate of violent crime increased a staggering amount, leaving Dyersburg residents a 1 in 88 chance of being the victim of rape, murder, or assault in 2017.

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

Dickson, TN

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 15,637
Rank Last Year: 7 (No Change)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 1,119 (12th most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 5,985 (11th most dangerous)
More on Dickson:  Data | Photos

A city of Dickson County, Dickson’s ranked as the 7th 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 2015-17.

There’s now a 1 in 14.1 chance of being the victim of a crime.

Athens, TN

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 13,783
Rank Last Year: 6 (Down 2)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 892 (21st most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 6,798 (4th most dangerous)
More on Athens:  Data | Photos

Coming in as the 8th 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 2015-17, property crime went up by nearly the same rate during this interval.

That left residents of Athens a 1 in 1214.7 chance of being the victim of a property crime in 2017, and a 1 in 112 chance of being the victim of violence.

Chattanooga, TN

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 178,753
Rank Last Year: 12 (Up 4)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 1,065 (15th most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 5,985 (10th most dangerous)
More on Chattanooga:  Data | Photos

The 4th biggest city in Tennessee, Chattanooga has experienced some unfortunate growth in its crime statistics in recent history.

Violent crime rose by from 2015-17, leaving residents about a 1% chance of being attacked or killed in 2017.

Property crime went up by half as much during this interval, which made for about a 1 in 16.7 chance of being robbed in Chattanooga.

Union City, TN

Source: Public domain

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 10,544
Rank Last Year: 11 (Up 1)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 863 (24th most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 6,155 (7th most dangerous)
More on Union City:  Data | Photos

Coming in 10th is Union City, a city of over 10,544.

With residents facing a 1 in 115 chance of being the victim of violence in 2017, Union City ranked 24th for that criteria.

Property crime now ranks 7th in Tennessee.

Locking It All Up In Tennessee

The latest FBI crime data shows that Newport ranks as the most dangerous city in Tennessee for 2019.

We want to point out again that there’s still safes places in Newport 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:

  1. Signal Mountain (Pop. 8,624)
  2. Brentwood (Pop. 43,468)
  3. Church Hill (Pop. 6,739)

For more Tennessee reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Most Dangerous Cities In Tennessee

Rank City Population Violent Crimes Per Capita Property Crimes Per Capita
1 Newport 6,816 1,467 9,022
2 Memphis 652,765 2,003 6,297
3 Sweetwater 5,957 1,259 6,328
4 Savannah 7,023 1,082 7,375
5 Covington 8,909 1,683 5,455
6 Dyersburg 16,612 1,125 5,989
7 Dickson 15,637 1,119 5,985
8 Athens 13,783 892 6,798
9 Chattanooga 178,753 1,065 5,985
10 Union City 10,544 863 6,155
11 Pigeon Forge 6,254 767 7,003
12 Fayetteville 7,099 1,253 4,437
13 Millington 10,944 1,087 4,897
14 Cleveland 44,778 870 5,616
15 Knoxville 187,539 893 5,444
16 Brownsville 9,698 1,247 4,351
17 Alcoa 10,128 859 5,766
18 Ripley 8,067 1,264 3,818
19 Crossville 11,555 865 5,019
20 Humboldt 8,210 1,157 4,080
21 Jackson 67,031 977 4,351
22 Nashville Metropolitan 674,942 1,138 3,817
23 Kingsport 52,810 721 5,461
24 Morristown 29,774 745 4,658
25 La Follette 6,897 797 4,465
26 Lawrenceburg 10,780 686 5,148
27 Manchester 10,702 925 3,812
28 Pulaski 7,742 736 4,469
29 Lexington 7,792 911 3,734
30 Bolivar 5,066 1,362 2,743
31 Dunlap 5,185 713 4,397
32 Elizabethton 13,771 421 5,910
33 Rockwood 5,424 534 5,235
34 Springfield 16,869 924 3,183
35 Clinton 10,146 680 4,326
36 Winchester 8,573 746 3,802
37 East Ridge 21,351 702 4,224
38 Sevierville 16,991 417 4,843
39 Cookeville 32,860 392 5,033
40 Columbia 38,031 738 3,413
41 Milan 7,780 861 3,110
42 Shelbyville 21,618 800 3,085
43 McMinnville 13,786 515 4,272
44 Jefferson City 8,351 383 4,466
45 Paris 10,194 500 3,825
46 Harriman 6,196 597 3,566
47 Johnson City 67,193 397 4,213
48 Sparta 5,101 156 6,018
49 Lebanon 32,248 707 2,911
50 Red Bank 11,838 599 3,226
51 Greeneville 15,065 517 3,624
52 Tullahoma 19,386 608 3,146
53 Murfreesboro 136,102 540 3,188
54 Goodlettsville 17,119 420 3,417
55 Clarksville 153,294 623 2,877
56 Bristol 27,176 404 3,366
57 Lewisburg 11,684 676 2,276
58 Oak Ridge 29,355 528 2,619
59 Henderson 6,589 591 2,094
60 Lafayette 5,251 228 3,656
61 Lenoir City 9,187 293 3,211
62 Smyrna 50,091 347 2,888
63 Martin 10,656 328 2,590
64 Bartlett 58,895 395 1,998
65 Dayton 7,262 206 2,712
66 White House 11,591 293 1,898
67 Portland 12,710 291 1,841
68 Soddy-Daisy 13,264 203 2,314
69 Munford 6,079 263 1,760
70 Erwin 5,894 305 1,594
71 McKenzie 5,610 231 1,818
72 Gallatin 36,689 343 1,308
73 Maryville 28,918 169 2,209
74 Jonesborough 5,378 167 2,156
75 Fairview 8,648 219 1,711
76 Kingston 5,823 223 1,494
77 Mount Juliet 34,888 174 1,757
78 Hendersonville 58,034 175 1,752
79 Collierville 49,790 150 1,829
80 Franklin 76,995 189 1,361
81 Mount Carmel 5,427 239 810
82 Greenbrier 6,853 189 1,225
83 Millersville 6,792 191 1,001
84 Spring Hill 39,366 172 1,003
85 Nolensville 7,889 126 1,267
86 Loudon 5,811 86 1,359
87 Collegedale 12,005 49 1,657
88 Atoka 9,197 152 1,130
89 Germantown 39,086 79 1,256
90 Oakland 7,884 114 761
91 Signal Mountain 8,624 104 591
92 Brentwood 43,468 71 940
93 Church Hill 6,739 74 400

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

  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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