Tennessee Crime Rate | Cove Security
Security Sale – 50% Off Equipment + Free Indoor Camera Ends Thursday.

Tennessee Crime Rate: Popular Cities Ranked by Safety Level

Tennessee is known for its music. It’s the country-center of the world, with famous music stars such as Elvis Presley from Memphis, or Dolly Parton from Locust Ridge. Every year 110 million people make the trip to Tennessee for a variety of reasons. With such an influx of visitors, some of Tennessee’s main tourist attractions also see a large influx of crime rates.

Which of Tennessee’s main city attractions see the most crime? Here are Tennessee’s cities ranked by their safety levels.

What Makes a City Safe?

Cities are ranked by their crime rates. A crime rate is “the number of crimes per 100,000 people.” To find the crime rate of a state or city, the total number of crimes in an area is divided by the population and then multiplied by 100,000. This ensures that the numbers are uniform and comparable. For example, a crime rate from a small Tennessee town (population of 2,000 people) can be compared to the crime rate from New York City (population of 8.62 million), since both crime rates are recorded as the number of crimes per 100,000 people.

However, what determines whether a crime rate is safe? Every year, the FBI updates the crime rate for the country, called the national crime rate. This update is published as the FBI Uniform Crime Reporting Statistic. The national crime rate is considered a baseline for all other states and cities. If a state or city has a higher crime rate than the national average, the area is considered unsafe. If the state or city has a lower crime rate, it is considered safe.

The national crime rate is divided into two types of crimes in order to make it easier to record the total number of crimes: violent crimes and property crimes. According to the National Institute of Justice, violent crime includes murder, nonnegligent manslaughter, aggravated assault, forcible rape, robbery, and sexual assault. The national violent crime rate is 382.9 violent crimes per 100,000 people. The national violent crime rate can be separated into specific crimes such as murder, rape, robbery, and assault. The crime rates for these crimes are:

  • National Murder Rate: 5 murders per 100,000
  • National Rape Rate: 43 rapes per 100,000
  • National Robbery Rate: 86 robberies per 100,000
  • National Assault Rate: 247 assaults per 100,000

Property crime is defined as burglary, theft, arson, and motor vehicle theft. The national average property crime rate is 2,362.2 property crimes per 100,000 people. Similar to the violent crime rate, the property crime rate can be separated into specific crimes (burglary, theft, and motor vehicle theft). These crime rates are:

  • National Burglary Rate: 376 burglaries per 100,000
  • National Theft Rate: 1,595 thefts per 100,000
  • National Motor Vehicle Theft Rate: 229 car thefts per 100,000

Is Tennessee a Safe State?

Tennessee has a population of 6,770,010 people and has a total of 233,505 reported crimes yearly. Of those 233,505 crimes, 42,226 are violent crimes and 191,279 are property crimes. This means that the violent crime rate is 624 violent crimes per 100,000 people and the property crime rate is 2,825 property crimes per 100,000 people.

Specifically, Tennessee’s violent crimes break down into the following crime rates:

  • Tennessee Murder Rate: 7 murders per 100,000
  • Tennessee Rape Rate: 42 rapes per 100,000
  • Tennessee Robbery Rate: 106 robberies per 100,000
  • Tennessee Assault Rate: 468 assaults per 100,000

As a whole, Tennessee is only slightly more dangerous than average, when looking at violent crime rates. The property crime rates of specific property crimes are:

  • Tennessee Burglary Rate: 489 burglaries per 100,000
  • Tennessee Theft Rate: 2,034 thefts per 100,000
  • Tennessee Car Theft Rate: 302 car thefts per 100,000

The property crime rate is above average but is fairly standard. Residents of Tennessee are more likely to experience burglary, theft, or car theft, but the crime rates aren’t considered dangerous or life-threatening.

Tennessee also employs 150,976 police officers in over 375 law enforcement agencies. There are about 276 police for every resident in Tennessee. Tennessee has many diligent police who are dedicated to their positions, ensuring that Tennessee remains as safe as possible. Residents are encouraged to visit their local sheriff’s office to get to know police officers and express neighborhood concerns. In fact, by expressing concerns to the county sheriff’s office, police will be able to better serve their communities and address the specific concerns that residents may have.

Overall, Tennessee is a safe state. It’s crime rates are only slightly higher than average, ensuring that citizens aren’t in danger. If you ever do feel in danger while living in Tennessee, do not hesitate to contact your local police.
Although Tennessee isn’t particularly dangerous, some of its main cities attract enough crime to be considered dangerous. Here are Tennessee’s most popular cities ranked by their safety levels, from the safest place to visit to the most dangerous. As we move down the list of popular cities, the cities become increasingly more dangerous. Our final city on the list, number seven, is the most dangerous city in Tennessee.

1. Franklin TN Crime Rate

The safest and most popular city in Tennessee is Franklin. Franklin has a population of 80,914 and sees virtually no crime every year. The violent crime rate in Franklin is 147 violent crimes per 100,000 people. While in Franklin, residents have a 1 in 680 chance of being targeted for violent crime (compared to a 1 in 160 chance in the rest of Tennessee). In the entire city of Franklin, there are only 119 violent crimes reported per year. For a dense population like Franklin, this is a stunningly low violent crime rate. Of the violent crimes reported, the murder, rape, robbery, and assault rates are:

  • Franklin Murder Rate: 0 murders per 100,000
  • Franklin Rape Rate: 23 rapes per 100,000
  • Franklin Robbery Rate: 11 robberies per 100,000
  • Franklin Assault Rate: 112 assaults per 100,000

Franklin is one of the safest places to live in Tennessee, ranking as the eighth safest place in the state. In Franklin, even property crimes are low. The property crime in Franklin is 1,214 property crimes per 100,000 people, which is twice as low as the national average. The specific crime rates for burglary, theft, and car theft are:

  • Franklin Burglary Rate: 95 burglaries per 100,000
  • Franklin Theft Rate: 1,050 thefts per 100,000
  • Franklin Car Theft Rate: 68 car thefts per 100,000

The chances of becoming a victim of property crime are 1 in 82 (compared to 1 in 35 in Tennessee). Essentially, residents of Franklin are extremely safe. The only thing that residents should worry about is growing too complacent in their safety. Regardless of how safe your city is, it’s important to still take safety precautions. Residents should continue to lock their doors and arm their home security systems. Residents should also carry pepper spray if they are traveling alone, just as a safety precaution.

2. Murfreesboro TN Crime Rate

Murfreesboro is the number two safest city in Tennessee. Murfreesboro has a population of 141,344 people and reports 5,151 incidents of crime yearly. The violent crime in Murfreesboro is 30 percent lower than the Tennessee average, ensuring that Murfreesboro is the second safest popular city in Tennessee. The violent crime rate in Murfreesboro is 437, which is only slightly higher than the national average. The specific crime rates for violent crimes in Murfreesboro are:

  • Murfreesboro Murder Rate: 8 murders per 100,000
  • Murfreesboro Rape Rate: 57 rapes per 100,000
  • Murfreesboro Robbery Rate: 76 robberies per 100,000
  • Murfreesboro Assault Rate: 296 assaults per 100,000

Murfreesboro is more dangerous than the national average, though not by much. Murfreesboro has 11 percent more violent crime than the national average.

Property crime in Murfreesboro is higher than the Tennessee average and higher than the national average. The property crime rate in Murfreesboro is 3,207 property crimes per 100,000 people. The specific crime rates for burglary, theft, and car theft are:

  • Murfreesboro Burglary Rate: 463 burglaries per 100,000
  • Murfreesboro Theft Rate: 2,522 thefts per 100,000
  • Murfreesboro Car Theft Rate: 223 car thefts per 100,000

In Murfreesboro, residents are less likely to be a victim of car theft but are more likely to become victims of burglary or theft. Although Murfreesboro is the second safest city on our list does not mean that the city is safe. According to the crime data, Murfreesboro is more dangerous than average. Residents of Murfreesboro should take necessary safety precautions to ensure that they remain safe while living in Murfreesboro. That being said, Murfreesboro is not necessarily dangerous. In fact, it is only 39 percent higher than the national average.

3. Clarksville TN Crime Rate

Clarksville ranks as number three on our list and is the first city whose violent crime rate and property crime rate are both higher than the national average and the Tennessee average. The violent crime rate in Clarksville is 667 violent crimes per 100,000 people, which is 75 percent higher than the national average. The specific violent crime rates for Clarksville are:

  • Clarksville Murder Rate: 10 murders per 100,000
  • Clarksville Rape Rate: 52 rapes per 100,000
  • Clarksville Robbery Rate: 84 robberies per 100,000
  • Clarksville Assault Rate: 520 assaults per 100,000

In Clarksville, there is a 1 in 150 chance that residents will become victims of violent crime. The murder rate in Clarksville is also double the national average, making this city extremely dangerous. Police speculate that the high murder rate is due to drug usage and gang activity.

The property crime rate in Clarksville is 2,914 property crimes per 100,000 people, which is 31 percent higher than the national average. The property crime rates for burglary, theft, and auto theft are:

  • Clarksville Burglary Rate: 386 burglaries per 100,000
  • Clarksville Theft Rate: 2,307 thefts per 100,000
  • Clarksville Car Theft Rate: 221 car thefts per 100,000

There is a 1 in 34 chance of becoming a victim of property crime in Clarksville. The most common crime in Clarksville in theft. Police recommend that to stay safe, residents should carry theft-proof bags and keep an eye on their belongings while in public areas.

4. Crime Rate in Nashville TN

Nashville, Tennessee, the center of music, ranks as number four. Nashville is not a safe city. The crime rates as a whole in Nashville are 99 percent higher than the national average. The city has a population of 669,053 and has 35,997 reported crimes every year. Of those 35,997, 7,713 are violent crimes and 28,284 are property crimes. The violent crime rate in Nashville is 1,153, which is 192 percent higher than the national average. The crime rates for muder, rape, robbery, and assault are:

  • Nashville Murder Rate: 14 murders per 100,000
  • Nashville Rape Rate: 73 rapes per 100,000
  • Nashville Robbery Rate: 319 robberies per 100,000
  • Nashville Assault Rate: 747 assaults per 100,000

The reported violent crime rate in Nashville is reported to be significantly higher than the national average. The murder rate in Nashville is three times higher than the national average. The chances of becoming a victim of violent crime in Nashville is 1 in 90, a scarily high rate.

The property crime in Nashville is also high. The property crime in Nashville is 89 percent higher than the national average at 4,227 property crimes per 100,000 people. The property crime rates in Nashville for burglary, theft, and car theft are:

  • Nashville Burglary Rate: 547 burglaries per 100,000
  • Nashville Theft Rate: 3,209 thefts per 100,000
  • Nashville Car Theft Rate: 421 car thefts per 100,000

While in Nashville, there is a 1 in 24 chance of becoming a victim of property crime. A poll taken on Area Vibes (a safety ranking website) asked residents of Nashville if they felt safe walking alone at night in Nashville. Of those who responded, 46 percent said, “Not at all. I never walk alone at night.” Another 21 percent responded with, “Not very safe. I avoid walking in most areas at night.”

Police in Nashville dutifully patrol streets at night, hoping that nightly patrols will decrease the numbers of crimes that are committed. However, in a high-life city of fame and fortune, it’s impossible to rid the entire city of crime. Police recommend that residents avoid walking alone and that residents should carry pepper spray and a personal alarm.

5. Knoxville TN Crime Rate

Ranking as number five, Knoxville is not known for being safe. In fact, Knoxville is one of the top five most dangerous cities in Tennessee. In a population of 187,500, there are 10,597 reported crimes. There is a 1 in 17th chance that residents in Knoxville will be victim to either property crime or violent crime.

The violent crime rate in Knoxville is 808 violent crimes per 100,000 people. Violent crime in Knoxville is 110 percent higher than the national average and residents have a 1 in 124 chance of becoming a victim of violent crime. The violent crime rates for murder, rape, robbery, and assault are:

  • Knoxville Murder Rate: 11 murders per 100,000
  • Knoxville Rape Rate: 73 rapes per 100,000
  • Knoxville Robbery Rate: 134 robberies per 100,000
  • Knoxville Assault Rate: 591 assaults per 100,000

Knoxville is not a safe area. On April 7, 2020, four women were stabbed at a gas station in Knoxville. Of the four women, three were killed and one was left in critical condition. The attacker was killed on the scene by the sheriff’s deputy. According to the news article, the police were not able to determine a motive behind the attack, and the attack seemed to be a random act of violence. However, scenes like this are not uncommon in Knoxville. The murder rate in Knoxville is twice the national average.

The property crime rate does little to redeem Knoxville in terms of safety. The property crime rate is 4,822 property crimes per 100,000 people, meaning that residents have a 1 in 21 chance of becoming a victim of property crime. The property crime rates for burglary, theft, and car theft are:

  • Knoxville Burglary Rate: 741 burglaries per 100,000
  • Knoxville Theft Rate: 3,519 thefts per 100,000
  • Knoxville Car Theft Rate: 583 car thefts per 100,000

The Knoxville property crime rate is 133 percent higher than the national average. Residents are twice as likely to be burglarized while living in Knoxville than the national average.

6. Chattanooga TN Crime Rate

Chattanooga, Tennessee, is the sixth city on the list (out of seven). Chattanooga is not a safe place to live or visit. With a population of 180,557 people, there are 12,970 reported crimes. Of those 12,970 crimes, 1,899 are violent crimes and 11,071 are property crimes. The violent crime rate in Chattanooga is 1,052 violent crimes per 100,000 people. The violent crime rates for murder, rape, robbery, and assualt in Chattanooga are:

  • Chattanooga Murder Rate: 11 murders per 100,000
  • Chattanooga Rape Rate: 84 rapes per 100,000
  • Chattanooga Robbery Rate: 172 robberies per 100,000
  • Chattanooga Assault Rate: 785 assaults per 100,000

Residents have a 1 in 95 chance of becoming a victim of violent crime in Chattanooga. The violent crime rate in Chattanooga is 175 percent higher than the national average. The property crime rate in Chattanooga is 6,132, which is 180 percent higher than the national average. The property crime rates for burglary, theft, and car theft are:

  • Chattanooga Burglary Rate: 814 burglaries per 100,000
  • Chattanooga Theft Rate: 4,525 thefts per 100,000
  • Chattanooga Car Theft Rate: 793 car thefts per 100,000

Residents have a 1 in 16 chance of becoming a victim of property crime while living in Chattanooga. Burglary, theft, and car theft are all extremely common in this city. To avoid becoming a victim of property crime, security professionals recommend that Chattanooga residents install home security systems, lock their doors, and guard their possessions. While traveling, residents should travel with another person and keep a close eye on all belongings.

7. Memphis TN Crime Rate

The most dangerous city in Tennessee is Memphis. Memphis crime is 212 percent higher than the Tennessee average and 414 percent higher than the national average. In a population of 650,618, there are 54,868 reported crimes. Of those crimes, 12,688 are violent crimes and 42,180 are property crimes. Memphis ranks as the fourth most dangerous city in the United States.The violent crime rate in Memphis is 1,950 violent crimes per 100,000 people. The crime rates for murder, rape, robbery, and assault are:

  • Memphis Murder Rate: 29 murders per 100,000
  • Memphis Rape Rate: 76 rapes per 100,000
  • Memphis Robbery Rate: 469 robberies per 100,000
  • Memphis Assault Rate: 1,377 assaults per 100,000

The murder rate in Memphis is nearly six times higher than the national average. Assault in Memphis is also six times higher than the national average. On AreaVibes, a poll was conducted to see how safe Memphis residents felt at night. The poll asked, “Do you feel safe walking alone at night?” Out of those who responded to the poll, 65 percent said, “Not at all. I never walk alone at night.” Another 25 percent said, “Not very safe. I avoid walking in most areas at night.”

The property crime rate in Memphis is also incredibly high, with 6,483 property crimes per 100,000 people. The property crime rates for burglary, theft, and car theft are:

  • Memphis Burglary Rate: 1,309 burglaries per 100,000
  • Memphis Theft Rate: 4,474 thefts per 100,000
  • Memphis Car Theft Rate: 700 car thefts per 100,000

While in Memphis, residents are four times more likely to experience burglary than the national average. Those living in Memphis should take extreme precaution to deter crime. Homeowners should invest in home security systems and should lock and bar their windows.

Looking for the perfect
system for your home?