10 Most Dangerous Cities In Tennessee


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. It is our fifth time ranking the most dangerous places to live in Tennessee and is updated 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.

Here are the 10 most dangerous cities in Tennessee 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)

So what is the most dangerous city in Tennessee? After analyzing 93 cities in Tennessee, Newport takes the top spot as the most dangerous city in Tennessee based on the most recent FBI data.

For 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

The 10 Most Dangerous Places To Live In Tennessee For 2019

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.

Review Of Memphis by HomeSnacks User

Crime everywhere dirty streets and roads no jobs no money the people are the worst. The Christian whites are arrogant hypocrites and the regular whites are hateful drunks and druggies. Outside Dallas-Fort Worth Memphis has without a doubt the nastiness meanest people I’ve ever met. Lived there most of my life. Racism from blacks and whites add to the mix. Businesses close. Weather is hot as h**l in summer and cold as ice in winter. Rains all the time. It will rain for DAYS. About the only thing good is perhaps Topps Bar BBQ. I cannot reiterate the hatefulness and nastiness of the people that live in that city. I still think about it even though I moved away years ago. A vicious pack of vipers. But so many people in that city think Memphis is somehow good or great. Delusional.

Worst: The people. Wish I could say otherwise.

Better but still bad: weather.

Only good thing: low cost of living if you can call it that.

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

Both property crime and violent crime fell in Sweetwater between 2015-17, but both bounced back up in 2017 relative to the one year previous.

Residents still faced a 1 in 79 chance of being the victim of violence in 2017.

Review Of Sweetwater by HomeSnacks User

I’m originally from Chicago and live in Sweetwater. If you want to talk crime, check out Illinois. I know people here that don’t even lock their doors! Also, there are plenty of fun things to do here. If you need city” life, we are between Chattanooga and Knoxville. Seems like something is wrong with your facts. Cost of living isn’t as high here and there are plenty of jobs nearby.

Savannah, TN

Overall SnackAbility

5
/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 ranks as the 4th most dangerous city in Tennessee with the 14th highest violent crime rate in the state.

However, the city ranks as one of the poorer in Tennessee according to one of earlier analyzes, so that must also contribute to a higher than average crime rate.

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.

Review Of Covington by HomeSnacks User

I am from Covington, TN. I am extremely proud of where I was raised because it made a humble man with intentions of building the community.

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

Dickson, a city in Dickson County, has seen its crime increase overall for the last few years. According to the FBI, violent crimes have nearly doubled here, and residents have a 1 in 89 chance of being robbed.

Additionally, there were 175 attacks in a city of only 15,637 residents.

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.

Review Of Chattanooga by HomeSnacks User

I love Chattanooga Tennessee. It’s such a amazing City. There’s so much to do and great places to eat. We love the Tennessee Aquarium. The city has a small-town feel. We enjoyed riding the transportation system in downtown. One of my favorite places to eat was sticky fingers barbecue. Unbelievably good food. When we go to Chattanooga I we stay in the Sheridan Hotel. It is a great place to stay.

Chattanooga is just a beautiful city. It is so close to the mountains. Awesome river bear by. A lot of attractions in the city. Lookout mountain is not too far off. Rock city is near by. Lots of hiking and camping nearby. It’s a great place to visit.

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

Union City is the 10th most dangerous city in Tennessee.

Union City is crime country, with residents facing a 1 in 16.2 chance of being the victim of a property crime each year.

The trend is neither negative nor positive in Union City, as both violent and property crimes have remained stagnant over the last few years.

How Is Your Town In ?

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.

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:

Where Are 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

About Chris Kolmar

Chris Kolmar has been in the real estate business for almost ten years now. He originally worked for Movoto Real Estate as the director of marketing before founding HomeSnacks.

He believes the key to finding the right place to live comes down to looking at the data, reading about things to do, and, most importantly, checking it out yourself before you move.

If you've been looking for a place to live in the past several years, you've probably stumbled upon his writing already.

You can find out more about him on LinkedIn or his website.

2 thoughts on “10 Most Dangerous Cities In Tennessee

  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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