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.
Turns out Knoxville finds itself out of the top ten at 11 and Nashville falls out of the top quarter at number 25. The data shows that these ten cities are currently the most dangerous in the Volunteer State:
- Covington (Photos)
- Dyersburg (Photos)
- Newport (Photos)
- Athens (Photos)
- Dickson (Photos)
- Memphis (Photos)
- Pigeon Forge (Photos)
- Crossville (Photos)
- Savannah (Photos)
- Chattanooga (Photos)
Why did Covington 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.
How we determined the most dangerous cities in Tennessee for 2017?
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 second release of 2015 data, specifically the 2015 Crime In The United States Report. We will update the results when data becomes available for 2016 in September 2017.
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 — Covington. Read on for a detailed look at the 10 most dangerous cities in Tennessee.
Population: 9,008Violent Crimes Per 100k: 2,231
Property Crimes Per 100k: 7,471
Located in the western part of the state, the trajectory of Covington’s crime rate gives it a 1st place finish in our analysis.
Violent crime shot up from 2013-15, while instances of property crime also went up.
That left residents of Covington with a 1 in 44 chance of being the victim of a violent crime in 2015.
Population: 16,766Violent Crimes Per 100k: 1,509
Property Crimes Per 100k: 7,759
Located in western Tennessee, Dyersburg has seen a rapid rise in its violent crime in recent years.
Between 2013-15, the rate of violent crime increased a staggering amount, leaving Dyersburg residents a 1 in 66 chance of being the victim of rape, murder, or assault in 2015.
Property crime also went up during this interval, but that’s a lot less scary than the boom in violence.
Population: 6,865Violent Crimes Per 100k: 1,354
Property Crimes Per 100k: 8,506
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 2013-15, and property crime falling by about half as much.
Still, folks living in Newport had a 1 in 11.8 chance of being the victim of theft or arson in 2015, which is pretty unacceptable.
Population: 13,692Violent Crimes Per 100k: 1,351
Property Crimes Per 100k: 7,376
Coming in as the 4th 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 2013-15, property crime went up by nearly the same rate during this interval.
That left residents of Athens a 1 in 1213.6 chance of being the victim of a property crime in 2015, and a 1 in 74 chance of being the victim of violence.
Population: 15,074Violent Crimes Per 100k: 1,081
Property Crimes Per 100k: 6,620
A city of Dickson County, Dickson’s ranked as the 5th 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 2013-15.
There’s now a 1 in 13.0 chance of being the victim of a crime.
Population: 657,936Violent Crimes Per 100k: 1,740
Property Crimes Per 100k: 5,630
The largest city in the state has the 3rd highest rate of violent crime of any city in all of Tennessee.
Residents faced a 1 in 57 chance of being raped, assaulted, or murdered in 2015, a 5% higher rate than in 2014.
With violence so prevalent, Memphis can at least take solace in a solid drop in property crime from 2013-15.
7. Pigeon Forge
Population: 6,196Violent Crimes Per 100k: 871
Property Crimes Per 100k: 7,553
The smallest place to make this list, Pigeon Forge ranks as the 7th 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 2013-15.
To be clear though, that’s only a difference between a 1 in 8 chance of being robbed in 2014 down to a 1 in 13.2 chance in 2015. Yikes.
Population: 11,445Violent Crimes Per 100k: 996
Property Crimes Per 100k: 6,719
Crossville earns the top spot on this list mostly by having a terrible rate of property crime, with residents facing a ridiculously high 1 in 14.9 chance of being the victim of a property crime in 2015.
That means that, statistically, almost every neighborhood in Crossville has at least one resident who’s the victim of theft or arson each year.
Don’t let the 15th place ranking for violence fool you either — for every 100 residents in Crossville, there was 1 instance of violent crime in 2015, which is makes violence pretty darn common in Crossville.
Population: 7,069Violent Crimes Per 100k: 862
Property Crimes Per 100k: 7,257
Savannah is the least populated city on this list, as well as the least violent.
Residents of Savannah faced a 1 in 13.8 chance of being the victim of a property crime in 2015.
Savannah has been improving a lot lately too, with reductions in both violent and property crime between 2013-15.
Population: 174,969Violent Crimes Per 100k: 989
Property Crimes Per 100k: 5,918
The 4th biggest city in Tennessee, Chattanooga has experienced some unfortunate growth in its crime statistics in recent history.
Violent crime rose by from 2013-15, leaving residents about a 1% chance of being attacked or killed in 2015.
Property crime went up by half as much during this interval, which made for about a 1 in 16.9 chance of being robbed in Chattanooga.
Locking It All Up In Tennessee
The latest FBI crime data shows that Covington ranks as the most dangerous city in Tennessee for 2017.
However, there will be new data coming out later this year. At that point we can revisit Covington’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:
- Signal Mountain
- Oak Ridge
For more Tennessee reading , check out:
- These Are The 10 Snobbiest Places In Tennessee
- If You’re From Tennessee This Will Be A Highlight Of Your Day. No Doubt.
- These Are The 10 Best Places To Retire In Tennessee
Detailed List Of The Most Dangeroues Cities In Tennessee