2015 Safest Places in Tennessee

When deciding where to live, safety is a top priority. Our team at ValuePenguin has analyzed the most recent FBI Crime Report to determine the safety of cities in Tennessee. These 89 ranged in a crime score from 303 to 6,096, with an average of 1,901. The top five safest cities and towns are from every corner of the state.

Nashville, Tennessee’s capital, fell near the bottom of our rankings with a crime score of 3,832 but was well ahead of the slightly more populous Memphis (657,691), which finished dead last. This was true despite the fact that we adjusted our crime score metric for population size. The score also took into account both the amount of violent and property-related crimes per 100,000 people (more on our methodology below). For more insight, take a look at the report:

5 Safest Places in Tennessee

These cities have an average crime score of 349, 82 percent lower than their typical peer in Tennessee. With some of the state’s lowest total violent crime rates, these five are the safest places in the state.

1. Loudon, Tenn.

With five violent crimes and 47 property crimes, both the lowest totals in the state, Loudon is the state’s safest – and among the smallest. Situated along the Tennessee River and just a 45-minute drive southwest of Knoxville, the home of the University of Tennessee, Loudon County hosts its Institute of Agriculture here. Given the presence of other schools, parks and manufacturing plants, the city’s police department estimates its service population is greater than its residential coverage.

Factor

Value

Population

5,710

Crime Score

303

2. Signal Mountain, Tenn.

Signal Mountain, which registered the fewest property crimes per 100,000 people (658) in our study, is our second-safest place in Tennessee but isn’t completely safe from bad characters. One of its residents admitted in April to plotting a murderous attack on a group of people in Delaware County, N.Y. These days, a fifteen-officer police department patrols the town, which boasts 18 miles of trails for hiking, trail running and mountain biking.

Factor

Value

Population

7,751

Crime Score

331

3. Brentwood, Tenn.

Ten miles south of Nashville, Brentwood recorded the fewest violent crimes per 100,000 people (50 and is the only large city in the top five (more on our population breakdown below). Its residents are among the wealthiest, with a median household income $132,738 that is 210% higher than Tennessee’s average, plus an estimated home value ($509,172) that is 270% higher than a given in-state peer. Brentwood, which was incorporated only as recently as 1969, is also the home of Michael Oher, the Memphis-born NFL offensive lineman whose rise from poverty was chronicled in print and on the silver screen, in “The Blind Side.”

Factor

Value

Population

39,635

Crime Score

362

4. Oakland, Tenn.

Thirty-five miles east of Memphis, Oakland, recorded a crime score that is 81 percent less than the study’s overall average. While the town government here has excelled in safety standards, its leaders of recent years haven’t escaped scandal. One of its former mayors, Bill Mullins, was convicted of three counts of official misconduct in 2010, and another, Scott Ferguson, stepped down in 2013 as news broke that he had two wives. Oakland replaced the latter man with the appropriately-named Chris Goodman, who has been at the helm while the city recorded the state’s fourth-best crime score.

Factor

Value

Population

6,976

Crime Score

367

5. Nolensville, Tenn.

Nolensville is a close neighbor of third-ranked Brentwood and has a similarly strong crime score. With a motto of “Community, history, proximity,” the town also values transparency, posting its most recent crime report on its own website. Whether you consider its publicly-provided findings from last May or the data it reported to the FBI in 2013 (more on our methodology below), Nolensville is very deserving of rounding out Tennessee’s five safest places.

Factor

Value

Population

6,164

Crime Score

382

Population Breakdown

Although we adjusted for population in our crime rankings, it is still difficult to compare a small town to a large city. To account for this fact, we separated the safest cities into three categories: towns with populations between 5,000 and 10,000, midsize cities with populations between 10,000 and 25,000, and larger cities with populations greater than 25,000. Here are our findings:

Safest Place in Tennessee

Full List of Places in Tennessee

Below is the entire list of places that we included in our “Safest Places in Tennessee” study. They are listed from the safest to the least safe, according to our analysis. The calculation for the crime scores can be found in the methodology section below. Take a look at the graph and see where your hometown ranks.

Full List of Tennessee Cities

Methodology

To rank these places, we collected data from the 2013 FBI crime statistics by city, which provides the most recent crime data available. Not every town participates in this report and we also excluded towns with fewer than 3,000 residents because towns with small populations are more sensitive to crime score fluctuations for fewer crimes committed. The raw data report included property crimes (burglary, larceny-theft, motor vehicle theft, and arson), and violent crimes (murder/manslaughter, forcible rape, robbery, and aggravated assault) from all law enforcement agencies that chose to partake in the FBI Uniform Crime Reporting program.

We standardized the data to reflect violent and property crimes per 100,000, to account for population. Then, we aggregated a “crime score” by weighting violent crime at 90% and property crime at 10%. Though property crime is more prevalent, we figured that violent crime is more concerning to town residents. Then we adjusted the crime score for population size, giving more slack to larger cities. Finally, we ranked the cities based on their crime scores.

Here is an alphabetical table of all cities included with their ranks, making it easier to compare different cities. See where your city lies!

Rank

CityPopulationViolent Crime per 100KProperty Crime per 100KCrime Score
63Alcoa8,6057095,1712,273

84

Athens13,50411928,1833,906

7

Atoka8,8211251,406499

22

Bartlett56,3601881,971870

54

Bolivar5,2316695,0282,054

3

Brentwood39,635501,125362

40

Bristol26,6603604,2161,650

79

Brownsville9,88614464,5113,501

85

Chattanooga172,2869826,6564,057

18

Church Hill6,7272381,739743

48

Clarksville145,5995142,8441,928

75

Cleveland42,7357935,7102,975

31

Clinton9,8813953,3091,371

14

Collegedale9,4681691,658632

69

Columbia34,9527904,1062,548

55

Cookeville31,1744595,1162,078

78

Covington9,07612566,3683,497

87

Crossville11,199126810,5554,447

25

Dayton7,3512183,6871,092

44

Dickson14,9203695,4161,823

38

Dunlap5,0054804,3761,609

88

Dyersburg17,01315527,2184,482

70

East Ridge21,3867115,3822,551

37

Elizabethton14,2202954,8521,559

30

Erwin6,0386291,1921,296

10

Fairview8,0591611,266530

67

Fayetteville7,1556995,7862,328

17

Franklin67,4651731,464729

29

Gallatin31,9613971,9681,248

8

Germantown39,631961,327504

51

Goodlettsville16,5705374,4961,968

19

Greenbrier6,5862881,640808

47

Greeneville15,0154664,7621,870

57

Harriman6,2406415,4332,126

28

Henderson6,3963752,4551,109

15

Hendersonville53,6171701,410695

80

Humboldt8,45815494,1743,557

86

Jackson67,37113735,1284,221

34

Jefferson City8,2133654,2251,470

50

Johnson City64,9284573,9611,943

12

Jonesborough5,1631551,491536

65

Kingsport51,4965185,1602,314

20

Kingston5,8502911,863844

81

Knoxville183,2498416,2423,634

71

La Follette7,2567177,8282,757

72

Lawrenceburg10,4459485,8022,880

61

Lebanon28,2087093,5632,213

36

Lenoir City8,9453354,6951,523

46

Lewisburg11,2427382,5621,864

76

Lexington7,84411225,1892,977

1

Loudon5,71088823303

56

Manchester10,2585655,4402,111

23

Martin11,4042022,762929

24

Maryville28,0092182,6211,019

35

McKenzie5,4063884,6241,515

89

Memphis657,69116566,0526,096

39

Milan7,7895393,4281,611

11

Millersville6,5961971,031535

68

Millington10,5008764,7812,546

66

Morristown29,3005535,4032,318

6

Mount Carmel5,4221291,236448

16

Mount Juliet27,5421741,667718

21

Munford6,0362322,485864

64

Murfreesboro115,5876103,5052,277

83

Nashville635,67310403,8483,832

77

Newport6,9128398,7823,136

5

Nolensville6,164130844382

4

Oakland6,976115874367

52

Paris10,1684625,6751,970

73

Pigeon Forge6,0237148,9662,909

32

Portland11,9444692,7131,414

60

Pulaski7,7177784,3672,210

53

Red Bank11,8655904,4251,983

82

Ripley8,37316005,1003,825

49

Rockwood5,4753846,8681,930

62

Savannah6,9875017,1422,239

59

Sevierville15,8835355,6792,204

43

Shelbyville20,6695762,8061,724

2

Signal Mountain7,751116658331

26

Smyrna42,2402632,3581,093

27

Soddy-Daisy13,0042463,0991,093

45

Sparta5,0882168,0391,850

9

Spring Hill31,807151943518

74

Springfield16,5989944,9702,936

41

Sweetwater5,8705114,3101,679

33

Tullahoma18,7733893,1751,427

58

Union City10,7385775,5042,156

13

White House10,679942,032580

42

Winchester8,4105953,3061,700

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