Safest Cities Tennessee - header

Tennessee – This southeastern state is well-known for its frontier history, Nashville music, Elvis Presley’s home - and whisky. Originally part of North Carolina, North Carolina was a frontier territory for quite some time . It rapidly diversified into agriculture and latterly industry from the Second World War, however. In addition to its many historic attractions, it is home to the US most visited national park “The Great Smokey Mountains.”

With a population of 6.7 million, Tennessee is the 16th state in terms of population, and ranks 20th in the list of the most densely populated states. The state's economy retains a significant agricultural presence, but manufacturing and tourism are major contributors as well. Average household income levels are over 10% below US averages, at $51,000. Per capita income at $29,000 shows a similar percentage below average US figures.

5.91 Average violent crime per 1,000
36.21 Average property crime per 1,000

Tennessee suffers from relatively high violent crime statistics when compared to US averages. The detailed figures show that:

  • It’s the 38th safest state for property crime (where 1st = lowest crime)
  • The violent crime rate is significantly over the national average with a ratio of 1.7 based upon 5.91 crimes per 1,000 versus a national average of 3.47. When examining violent crime statistics, this makes Tennessee the 40th safest state in the US
  • Property crime is slightly under the US average being 36.21 per 1,000 compared to the national average of 40.43.

In Tennessee, statistically, some areas are safer than others. The top 5 safest areas are:

  1. ​Germantown
  2. Brentwood
  3. Gallatin
  4. Collierville
  5. Portland

Safest Cities in Tennessee, 2019

RankCityViolent CrimesProperty CrimesViolent Crime RateProperty Crime Rate
1Germantown314910.79312.562
2Brentwood314090.7139.409
3Gallatin1264803.43413.083
4Collierville759111.50618.297
5Portland372342.91118.411
6Spring Hill683951.72710.034
7Franklin1461,0481.89613.611
8Martin352763.28525.901
9Hendersonville1021,0171.75817.524
10Soddy-Daisy273072.03623.145
11Collegedale61990.50016.576
12Bartlett2331,1773.95619.985
13Mount Juliet616131.74817.571
14Lebanon2289397.07029.118
15Maryville496391.69422.097
16White House342202.93318.980
17Greeneville785465.17836.243
18Lewisburg792666.76122.766
19Oak Ridge1557695.28026.197
20Bristol1109154.04833.669
21Paris513905.00338.258
22Goodlettsville725854.20634.173
23Sevierville718234.17948.437
24Clinton694396.80143.268
25Jackson6552,9179.77243.517
26Manchester994089.25138.124
27Clarksville9564,4116.23628.775
28Alcoa875848.59057.662
29Crossville1005808.65450.195
30Smyrna1741,4473.47428.887
31Columbia2811,2987.38934.130
32Shelbyville1736678.00330.854
33Red Bank713825.99832.269
34Lawrenceburg745556.86551.484
35McMinnville715895.15042.725
36Johnson City2672,8313.97442.132
37Tullahoma1186106.08731.466
38Murfreesboro7354,3395.40031.881
39Springfield1565379.24831.834
40Morristown2221,3877.45646.584
41Union City916498.63161.552
42Nashville Metropolitan7,68225,76911.38238.180
43Cookeville1291,6543.92650.335
44Dyersburg18799511.25759.896
45Elizabethton588144.21259.110
46East Ridge1509027.02542.246
47Kingsport3812,8847.21554.611
48Dickson17593611.19159.858
49Memphis13,07741,11020.03362.978
50Chattanooga1,90510,70010.65759.859
51Knoxville1,67610,2118.93754.447
52Cleveland3902,5158.71056.166
53Athens1239378.92467.982

METHODOLOGY

To identify the safest cities in Tennessee, we reviewed the most recent FBI Uniform Crime Report statistics. A total of 7,639 cities were factored into this ranking with populations ranging from 7,639 to 4,007,147. However, we eliminated any cities that failed to submit a complete crime report to the FBI and removed cities with populations under 10,000.

Overall, data from 8,793 law enforcement agencies that represented more 193 million of the US population helped us draw interesting insights between the size of the police force and incidence of crime.

There are two broad classifications of crimes: violent crimes and non-violent crimes. According to the FBI, “Violent crime is composed of four offenses: murder and non-negligent manslaughter, rape, robbery, and aggravated assault. Violent crimes are defined in the UCR Program as those offenses that involve force or threat of force. Property crime includes the offenses of burglary, larceny-theft, motor vehicle theft, and arson. The object of the theft-type offenses is the taking of money or property, but there is no force or threat of force against the victims. ”

We computed the total number of crimes reported by each city by adding violent crimes and property crimes. We then rated them using the population of the city and created a crime rate as the number of crimes per 1,000 population. Then we transformed the total crime rate variable so that the skewness was reduced and we normalized it so the final number became a score between 0 and 1.

Next, we computed a new variable called Police Adequacy (TotalCrimes / Number of police employees). We consider that the smaller the police adequacy statistic is, the safer the city is. We transformed and normalized this police adequacy variable also, resulting in a score between 0 and 1. Finally, we combined the two scores to create a safety score for each city.

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