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.

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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

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 6,812
Rank Last Year: 3 (Up 2)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 1,453
Property Crimes Per 100k: 9,336
Located in eastern Tennessee, Newport is one of the smaller cities to appear on this list.

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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

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 7,035
Rank Last Year: 9 (Up 7)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 1,421
Property Crimes Per 100k: 7,476
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: Wikipedia

Population: 16,711
Rank Last Year: 2 (Down 1)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 1,382
Property Crimes Per 100k: 6,750
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

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 656,434
Rank Last Year: 6 (Up 2)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 1,819
Property Crimes Per 100k: 5,634
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

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 5,957
Rank Last Year: 21 (Up 16)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 1,141
Property Crimes Per 100k: 6,446
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

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 13,717
Rank Last Year: 4 (Down 2)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 998
Property Crimes Per 100k: 7,785
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

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 15,501
Rank Last Year: 5 (Down 2)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 967
Property Crimes Per 100k: 5,948
Dickson has more violent crime than most cities in the Volunteer State.

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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

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 9,795
Rank Last Year: 14 (Up 6)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 1,684
Property Crimes Per 100k: 4,696
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

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 7,182
Rank Last Year: 15 (Up 6)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 1,086
Property Crimes Per 100k: 5,485
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

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 6,230
Rank Last Year: 7 (Down 3)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 754
Property Crimes Per 100k: 7,961
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

City Rank Previous Rank Population Violent Crimes Per Capita Property Crimes Per Capita
Newport 1 3 6,812 1,453 9,336
Savannah 2 9 7,035 1,421 7,476
Dyersburg 3 2 16,711 1,382 6,750
Memphis 4 6 656,434 1,819 5,634
Sweetwater 5 21 5,957 1,141 6,446
Athens 6 4 13,717 998 7,785
Dickson 7 5 15,501 967 5,948
Brownsville 8 14 9,795 1,684 4,696
Fayetteville 9 15 7,182 1,086 5,485
Pigeon Forge 10 7 6,230 754 7,961
Union City 11 20 10,506 866 6,244
La Follette 12 26 6,977 788 6,836
Chattanooga 13 10 177,801 1,023 5,484
Cleveland 14 12 44,423 864 6,086
Ripley 15 13 8,129 1,193 4,453
Knoxville 16 11 186,583 896 5,533
Alcoa 17 16 9,503 810 5,587
Crossville 18 8 11,514 825 5,072
Bolivar 19 22 5,032 1,192 3,795
East Ridge 20 23 21,311 915 4,607
Lawrenceburg 21 19 10,595 745 5,304
Jackson 22 18 66,990 937 4,399
Nashville Metropolitan 23 668,685 1,102 3,696
Mcminnville 24 29 13,789 979 3,792
Milan 25 44 7,803 1,076 3,447
Kingsport 26 32 53,059 695 4,713
Manchester 27 35 10,596 717 4,511
Rockwood 28 28 5,400 444 5,555
Harriman 29 34 6,195 726 3,987
Winchester 30 46 8,545 725 4,154
Pulaski 31 31 7,572 660 4,582
Paris 32 40 10,143 483 5,481
Millington 33 17 11,002 690 3,799
Humboldt 34 27 8,287 748 3,535
Clinton 35 36 10,091 644 4,360
Lexington 36 42 7,859 750 3,282
Sevierville 37 39 16,843 332 5,569
Shelbyville 38 41 21,511 729 3,226
Springfield 39 30 16,873 728 3,265
Cookeville 40 49 32,292 510 4,319
Lewisburg 41 33 11,552 952 1,990
Dunlap 42 48 5,167 406 4,431
Elizabethton 43 37 13,672 336 4,761
Tullahoma 44 55 19,229 551 3,645
Red Bank 45 47 11,789 721 2,714
Bristol 46 53 26,656 592 3,376
Dayton 47 59 7,421 471 3,651
Lebanon 48 38 31,125 642 3,055
Oak Ridge 49 92 29,296 669 2,945
Columbia 50 50 37,219 682 2,899
Johnson City 51 58 66,511 395 3,740
Lafayette 52 56 5,088 373 3,793
Murfreesboro 53 51 129,730 608 2,980
Sparta 54 43 5,131 175 5,223
Clarksville 55 52 152,526 613 2,526
La Vergne 56 63 35,228 684 1,833
Smyrna 57 60 48,016 520 2,624
Greeneville 58 45 15,101 324 3,681
Jefferson City 59 57 8,549 339 3,017
Portland 60 62 12,502 359 2,223
Fairview 61 74 8,440 343 1,895
White House 62 65 11,419 359 1,716
Martin 63 71 10,859 294 2,449
Soddy-Daisy 64 67 13,215 264 2,255
Lenoir City 65 54 9,175 163 3,051
Kingston 66 64 5,823 326 1,648
Goodlettsville 67 61 23,358 231 2,217
Gallatin 68 76 35,154 395 1,285
Henderson 69 68 6,597 378 1,409
Maryville 70 70 28,661 191 2,372
Mckenzie 71 5,294 170 2,776
Bartlett 72 69 58,897 320 1,623
Millersville 73 82 6,748 414 889
Munford 74 66 6,140 260 1,547
Greenbrier 75 75 6,807 396 866
Franklin 76 79 74,771 205 1,451
Jonesborough 77 80 5,338 187 1,479
Atoka 78 73 9,176 207 1,100
Collierville 79 83 49,531 161 1,494
Mount Juliet 80 77 33,048 163 1,482
Nolensville 81 89 7,164 167 1,465
Hendersonville 82 78 56,965 131 1,534
Spring Hill 83 85 37,599 191 832
Mount Carmel 84 90 5,424 184 682
Loudon 85 88 5,800 120 1,258
Germantown 86 84 39,311 117 1,279
Church Hill 87 86 6,714 178 417
Erwin 88 72 5,959 117 1,040
Collegedale 89 81 11,245 71 1,218
Brentwood 90 91 42,739 58 928
Oakland 91 87 7,670 52 977
Signal Mountain 92 93 8,577 46 431
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