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:
- Newport (Photos)
- Memphis (Photos)
- Sweetwater (Photos)
- Savannah (Photos)
- Covington (Photos)
- Dyersburg (Photos)
- Dickson (Photos)
- Athens (Photos)
- Chattanooga (Photos)
- 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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
- Signal Mountain (Pop. 8,624)
- Brentwood (Pop. 43,468)
- Church Hill (Pop. 6,739)
For more Tennessee reading, check out:
- 10 Best Places To Raise A Family In Tennessee
- These Are The 10 Best Places To Retire In Tennessee For 2018
- These Are The 10 Richest Cities In Tennessee
- 10 Safest Places In Tennessee
- 10 Worst Places To Live In Tennessee
Detailed List Of The Most Dangerous Cities In Tennessee