Most Dangerous Cities in Tennessee

Top 10 Most Dangerous Cities in Tennessee With Higher Crime Rate (2023)

Tennessee has become a popular destination for many with its rich country music legacy and stunning Appalachian landscapes. However, this influx of people has resulted in a rise in crime rates within the state.

You may be shocked to learn that Tennessee frequently appears among the top 10 states with the highest crime rates in the United States. This article will highlight the most dangerous areas to reside in within Tennessee.

10 Most Dangerous Cities in Tennessee

1. Dyersburg

Dyersburg, a city in Tennessee with a population of 16,164, has earned the title of the most dangerous city in the state. The crime rate in Dyersburg is incredibly high, with a staggering 244% increase from the national average. Residents of this city face a 1 in 13 chance of falling victim to any crime, as the total crime rate is 8,073 per 100,000 people. Violent crimes are unfortunately common in this city, while property crimes occur at an even higher rate. In 2022, Dyersburg’s most frequently reported crimes were assault, theft, and burglary.

2. Memphis

According to recent statistics, Memphis is recognized as one of the most violent cities in Tennessee and the most dangerous large city in the US. Situated on the far Western end of Tennessee, Memphis has a population of 633,104. Shockingly, the crime rate in Memphis is a staggering 237% higher than the US average, standing at 7,913 per 100,000. This means that residents have a 1 in 14 chance of being subjected to any crime. Regrettably, violent crime is a significant concern in Memphis, with over 300 murders reported in 2021 alone. Property crimes, such as burglary and vehicle theft, remain prevalent, with an average of over 5,000 reported cases annually.

3. Chattanooga

Located in Hamilton County in the Appalachian foothills, Chattanooga is considered one of the most dangerous places in Tennessee. With a population of 181,100, the city’s total crime rate is 7,716 per 100,000, 229% higher than the national average. This means that residents have a 1 in 16 chance of becoming victims of any crime. Shockingly, there were 33 murders, 193 robberies, and 2,108 assaults reported in Chattanooga in 2021 alone.

4. Nashville

Despite being the capital of Tennessee, Nashville is not immune to crime. The city, known for its iconic music venues and vibrant nightlife, attracts many visitors yearly. Unfortunately, Nashville suffers from high crime rates, with a total crime rate of 5,229 per 100,000, significantly higher than the national average. With a population of 689,447, residents of Nashville have a 1 in 19 chance of becoming victims of any crime. Pickpocketing and theft can happen even in popular tourist areas, while violent crimes are confined to specific neighbourhoods. Despite these challenges, the city remains a popular destination for music enthusiasts and tourists alike.

5. Kingsport

Kingsport, a city located in Sullivan and Hawkins counties, has a population of 55,442 people. Unfortunately, the total crime rate in Kingsport is 5,157 per 100,000, which is 120% higher than the average rate in the US. This means that residents in Kingsport have a 1 in 20 chance of becoming a victim of any crime. Shockingly, in 2021, 413 violent crimes and 2,102 non-violent crimes were reported in the city.

6. Knoxville

With a population of 190,740, Knoxville is the third-largest city in Tennessee. Unfortunately, the city has a high crime rate, with 5,038 crimes per 100,000 people, 115% higher than the national average. Last year, 1,595 violent crimes and 7,850 property crimes were reported, with assault, burglary, and vehicle theft being the most frequent offences.

7. Crossville

Crossville, a city in Cumberland County, is home to approximately 12,071 individuals. However, the crime rate in Crossville is a cause for concern, with a staggering 4,670 crimes per 100,000 people. This rate is 99% higher than the national average and 48% higher than the average in Tennessee. Unfortunately, residents of Crossville have a 1 in 22 chance of becoming the victim of any crime. Shockingly, in 2022, there were two murders, 31 robberies, and 356 assaults in this area.

8. Johnson City

Located in eastern Tennessee, Johnson City has been struggling with high crime rates and violence. Despite having a population of 71,046, the city’s total crime rate is 91% higher than the national average, with a staggering 4,477 incidents per 100,000 inhabitants. This means that residents have a 1 in 23 chance of becoming a victim of any crime. Unfortunately, the city recorded five murders, 38 robberies, and 179 assaults in 2021, along with 2,282 property crimes reported in the same year. These numbers serve as a reminder of the alarming crime situation in Johnson City.

9. Murfreesboro 

With a population of 152,769, Murfreesboro is considered one of Tennessee’s most dangerous cities. The city serves as the county seat of Rutherford County. Although the total crime rate in Murfreesboro is 6% lower than the state average, it is still 27% higher than the national average. In 2021, the city reported 633 violent crimes and 3,532 property crimes. Within the same year, Murfreesboro had seven murders, 53 robberies, and 453 assaults on record.

10. Clarksville 

Situated in the northwestern region of Tennessee in Montgomery County, Clarksville is home to 166,722 people. However, the city’s crime rate is 2,853 per 100,000 individuals, 22% higher than the national average. Shockingly, residents in Clarksville have a 1 in 36 likelihood of falling victim to any crime. In 2021 alone, 633 violent crimes and 3,532 property crimes were recorded in the city. The most common crimes reported in Clarksville include assault, theft, and burglary.


Tennessee is a state on the rise despite a few crime concerns. Cities such as Nashville have many neighbourhoods experiencing significant revitalization efforts. On the other hand, in areas like Memphis, there is still a persistent problem with violent crime and theft.

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