Tennessee’s rich cultural heritage in country music and breathtaking Appalachian vistas have attracted a significant influx of people, leading to a significant population growth and transformation in recent times. However, this surge in population has also resulted in a rise in criminal activities within the state.
Many people may be surprised to learn that Tennessee frequently ranks among the top 10 most dangerous states in the United States. Below are the areas within Tennessee that are considered the most dangerous places to reside.
10 Most Dangerous Cities in Tennessee
- Johnson City
Dyersburg, with a population of 16,164, has been deemed the most dangerous city in Tennessee due to its crime rate, which is 244% higher than the national average. The total crime rate in Dyersburg is 8,073 per 100,000, making it highly likely for residents to become victims of any type of crime, with a 1 in 13 chance. Violent crimes are prevalent, with property crimes occurring even more frequently. In 2022, the most common types of crime reported in Dyersburg were assault, theft, and burglary.
With a population of 633,104, Memphis holds the dubious distinction of being one of the most violent cities in Tennessee and the most dangerous large city in the US. The crime rate in Memphis is 7,913 per 100,000, which is a staggering 237% higher than the national average. Unfortunately, the residents of Memphis have a 1 in 14 chance of falling victim to any type of crime. Violent crime is a significant problem in Memphis, with over 300 murders reported in 2021 alone. On average, there are over 5,000 property crimes like burglary and vehicle thefts each year in the city.
Located in Hamilton County in the Appalachian foothills, Chattanooga is known to be one of the most dangerous places in Tennessee with a population of 181,100. The city has a total crime rate of 7,716 per 100,000, which is 229% higher than the national average. Residents of Chattanooga have a 1 in 16 chance of becoming victims of any type of crime. Shockingly, in 2021, the city had 33 murders, 193 robberies, and 2,108 assaults.
Despite being the capital of Tennessee, Nashville is not immune to crime. Although it may not be the most dangerous city in the state, it still suffers from high crime rates. With a population of 689,447, Nashville is a popular tourist destination known for its iconic music venues and vibrant nightlife. Unfortunately, the city has a total crime rate of 5,229 per 100,000, which is a staggering 123% higher than the national average. This means that residents have a 1 in 19 chance of becoming a victim of any crime. Pickpocketing and theft can happen even in popular tourist areas, while violent crime is mostly concentrated in specific neighborhoods.
With a population of 55,442, Kingsport is a city located in Sullivan and Hawkins counties. Sadly, the total crime rate in Kingsport is 5,157 per 100,000, which is 120% higher than the national average. This means that residents in Kingsport have a 1 in 20 chance of falling victim to any type of crime. In the year 2021 alone, there were 413 violent crimes and 2,102 non-violent crimes reported.
With a population of 190,740, Knoxville is the third-largest city in Tennessee. Unfortunately, the city has a high crime rate, with a total of 5,038 crimes per 100,000 people, which is 115% higher than the national average. The year 2021 saw a total of 1,595 violent crimes and 7,850 property crimes reported in Knoxville. The most common types of crime in the city were assault, burglary, and vehicle theft.
Crossville, Cumberland County’s home to 12,071 residents, experiences a high crime rate of 4,670 per 100,000. This rate is 99% higher than the national average and 48% higher than Tennessee’s average. Unfortunately, residents in Crossville have a 1 in 22 chance of falling victim to any form of crime. In 2022, the city reported two murders, 31 robberies, and 356 assaults.
8. Johnson City
Located in eastern Tennessee, Johnson City is struggling with high crime rates and violence. The city, which has a population of 71,046, has a total crime rate of 4,477 per 100,000, which is 91% higher than the national average. This means that residents of Johnson City have a 1 in 23 chance of falling victim to any type of crime. In 2021, the city reported five murders, 38 robberies, and 179 assaults, as well as 2,282 property crimes.
With a population of 152,769, Murfreesboro, the county seat of Rutherford County, is among the most perilous cities in Tennessee. The city’s total crime rate stands at 2,973 per 100,000, which is 6% below the state average but 27% higher than the national average. In 2021, Murfreesboro recorded 633 violent crimes and 3,532 property crimes. The city saw seven murders, 53 robberies, and 453 assaults in the same year.
Montgomery County’s Clarksville is situated in northwestern Tennessee, boasting a population of about 166,722. Unfortunately, the area has a total crime rate of 2,853 per 100,000, which is 22% higher than the US average. This means that residents in Clarksville have a 1 in 36 chance of becoming the victim of any type of crime. In 2021, Clarksville recorded a total of 633 violent crimes and 3,532 property crimes. The most common crimes in the area are assault, theft and burglary.
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