Most Dangerous Neighborhoods in Atlanta: 2023's Ultimate List
Atlanta is one of the south’s most thriving and vibrant cities. It’s seen tremendous development and expansion in the past decade, thanks to its low cost-of-living and economic opportunities. With that being said, as is the case with all big cities, there are unsafe and dangerous neighborhoods in Atlanta.
The most dangerous neighborhoods in Atlanta are as follows:
- Oakland City
- Lakewood Heights- Southeast Atlanta
- West End
- Grove Park
- Adams Park
- Center Hill
- English Avenue and Vine City
- Adair Park
It’s best to avoid these areas whenever possible. If you cannot avoid traveling through these areas, always be aware of your surroundings.
We delve into some of the worst Atlanta neighborhoods based on factors, including crime, household income, and median housing costs.
Video: Most Dangerous Areas in Atlanta
1. Oakland City
- Violent Crime Rate (Per 100k people): 1246
- Property Crime Rate (Per 100K people): 3027
- Population: 6350
- Median Household Income: $22,857
Oakland City is frequently described as one of the most dangerous neighborhoods in Atlanta. The neighborhood is in southwestern Atlanta, across the Beltline from two other neighborhoods often described as dangerous—West End and Adair Park.
The majority of Oakland City residents are renters. Oakland City has recently seen an uptick in violence, and especially gun violence. Members of the community say they’re worried about their safety, and they fear for the kids in the neighborhood. The crime rate in Oakland City is 29% higher than the national average. The median home value in Oakland City is $117,720, while the median rent is $969 a month. Both are below the national average.
While there are downsides to Oakland City, it’s often described as a community of people who are hard workers and who want to see the neighborhood thrive and move past its troubled reputation for violence.
2. Lakewood Heights—Southeastern Atlanta
- Violent Crime Rate (Per 100K people): 994
- Property Crime Rate (Per 100K people): 2552
- Population: 9326
- Median Household Income: $27,765
Lakewood Heights is a neighborhood in southeast Atlanta, and it includes the Lakewood Heights Historic District, which is on the National Register of Historic Places. One interesting thing to note is that Lakewood Heights is a center of television and film production in Atlanta. The EUE/Screen Gems soundstage was opened there in 2010, at the historic Lakewood Fairgrounds.
Unfortunately, the crime is problematic in this community adjacent to the Beltline. Residents say they hear gunshots every night, and the FBI crime data indicates Lakewood Heights is the ninth most dangerous neighborhood in the country. The median home value in Lakewood Heights is $127,788, and the median rent is $835. Around 68% of neighborhood residents are renters, and 32% are owners.
Don’t Want to Read The Rest of the List? Take a Look At This Infographic!
3. West End
- Violent Crime Rate (Per 100K): 2334
- Property Crime Rate (Per 100K): 10,132
- Population: 6659
- Median Household Income: $29,204
The West End neighborhood, like so many communities in Atlanta, is historic and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It’s one of the oldest neighborhoods in the city outside of Downtown Atlanta. The neighborhood is adjacent to the Atlanta University Center and is just north of Oakland City. The West End has been the site of a number of revitalization efforts over the years, including the BeltLine project, which aimed to add biking and walking paths to communities throughout the city. The median home value is $216,308, with a median rent in the West End of $980.
4. Grove Park
- Violent Crime Rate (Per 100k): 829
- Property Crime Rate (Per 100k): 2868
- Population: 10,437
- Median Household Income: $28,073
Grove Park is located inside the Perimeter and is in Northwest Atlanta. The majority of residents in the neighborhood are renters—69%, while only 31% own a home. The median home value is below the national average at $143,887, and 25% of the homes in Grove Park have a value of $50,000 or less. The median rent is $876 in Grove Park.
Public schools in the neighborhood are poorly rated, but currently, there are extensive efforts to revitalize the neighborhood. Currently, there is no grocery store or pharmacy in Grove Park, and nearly one in four residents don’t have health insurance. The hope in the community is that a combination of public-private investments can make it a more accessible, safe place to live.
- Violent Crime Rate (Per 100k):859
- Property Crime Rate (Per 100k): 3055
- Population: 7789
- Median Household Income: $21,264
Adamsville is located on the west side of Atlanta, where Interstate 20 and Interstate 286 meet. Around 42% of the households in Adamsville are headed by single mothers. The average per capita income in Adamsville is lower than 99.7% of U.S. neighborhoods, and 95% of children in the neighborhood live in poverty. It’s estimated that around 89% of residents of Adamsville are renters.
The median home value is well below the national average at $79,269. The median rent is only $712. Adamsville, despite the high crime rate, is ranked as one of the neighborhoods with the lowest cost of living in Atlanta.
6. Adams Park
- Violent Crime Rate (Per 100k): 623
- Property Crime Rate (Per 100k): 4357
- Population: 3146
- Median Household Income: $50,074
Adams Park is in southwest Atlanta that’s home to some of the oldest homes in the city. While there are some beautiful old homes and a lot of outdoor spaces in Adams Park, it is also frequently named as one of the most dangerous neighborhoods in Atlanta. Adams Park has a median home value of $106,267 and a median rent of $1,044. While the crime rate is comparatively high, there are a lot of elements of Adams Park that are better than some of the other neighborhoods on this list.
For example, the median household income, while still below the national average, is higher than most of the other neighborhoods included on this list of the most dangerous in Atlanta. There are also more homeowners than renters in Adams Park.
7. Center Hill
- Violent Crime Rate (Per 100k): 1048
- Property Crime Rate (Per 100k): 3720
- Population: 5471
- Median Household Income: $28,553
Center Hill has a strong neighborhood association that is a strength of this community, but it’s still plagued by a high crime rate. The neighbors do come together and work consistently to make Center Hill a good place to call home. The median home value in Center Hill is around $85,863, and the median rent is $868. There are more renters than owners in Center Hill.
8. English Avenue and Vine City
- Violent Crime Rate (Per 100k): 2126
- Property Crime Rate (Per 100k): 15,013
- Population: 4486
- Median Household Income: $30,776
English Avenue and Vine City are two neighborhoods that are adjacent to one another, and both have faced issues with crime and other community problems. One section, in particular, The Bluff, is known as one of Atlanta’s highest crime sections. There have been several revitalization efforts over recent years, but English Avenue and Vine City continue to rank among the most dangerous neighborhoods in Atlanta.
Homes in Vine City only have a median value of $148,000, and there are 14% of homes with a value of $50,000 or less. The median rent is $949, which is below the national average. Eighty-five percent of Vine Center residents rent, and only 15% own. Recent Census data found less than 40% of Vine City residents were employed, and more than 50% of families with children live below the poverty level.
- Violent Crime Rate (Per 100k): 2517
- Property Crime Rate (Per 100k): 8221
- Population: 5886
- Median Household Income: $22,608
Mechanicsville is an Atlanta neighborhood that dates back to the 1880s. Unfortunately, by 1990, this once-thriving and diverse community had lost almost 70% of its population because of construction of the interstates. While it’s located near Turner Field, Mechanicsville is often ranked as one of the worst neighborhoods in Atlanta because of crime.
The cost of living is low in Mechanicsville, likely because of the high crime rate. The median home value is only $112,360, and the median rent is $799. Around 88% of Mechanicsville’s residents are renters, versus only 12% owning their homes.
10. Adair Park
- Violent Crime Rate (Per 100k): 2024
- Property Crime Rate (Per 100k): 6324
- Population: 1479
- Median Household Income: $42,679
Adair Park is one of the most dangerous neighborhoods in Atlanta, with 138% more crime than the city as a whole. The neighborhood is southwest of downtown Atlanta, and it was originally developed from the 1890s to the 1940s. There is an Adair Park neighborhood association, and there are frequent events like neighborhood clean-ups and porch parties. Despite the efforts, crime rates remain stubbornly high in Adair Park.
The median home value in Adair Park is below the national average at $176,300, and the median rent is similarly lower than the national average at $842. However, the level of education among neighborhood residents as well as the median household income in Adair Park is higher than in some of Atlanta’s other neighborhoods with a reputation for high crime rates.
What Are the Safest Neighborhoods in Atlanta?
While the above rank as some of the worst neighborhoods in Atlanta, at least in terms of violent and property crime rates, some of the neighborhoods considered among the safest include:
- Brookhaven: This community has a median home listing price of more than $1.4 million, and it’s known as a safe, peaceful community with walkable streets. Violent crime in the Brookhaven area is 9% lower than the national average.
- Argonne Forest: This is not only one of the neighborhoods in Atlanta with the lowest crime rates, but it’s also ranked as one of the wealthiest. It’s located on the north side of town, and the median listing price of homes in Argonne Forest is nearly $2 million.
- North Buckhead: This is one of the most popular Atlanta suburbs, and it’s known for shopping and restaurants.
- Peachtree Heights East: Peachtree Heights East is known as a safe and family-friendly neighborhood with top-rated public schools.
- Virginia Highland: This Atlanta neighborhood boasts a violent crime rate that’s 57% lower than the national average. It’s also home to many great restaurants and shopping.
Is Atlanta Safe?
Overall, with the above neighborhoods in mind, you might be wondering if Atlanta can be considered a safe city. Unfortunately, Atlanta is ranked as being safer than only 3% of U.S. cities. The violent crime rate in Atlanta is 8.28 per 1,000 residents, well above the national median of four. Georgia’s violent crime rate is only 3.41 per 1,000 residents. There are 206 crimes per square mile in Atlanta versus 25 per square mile in Georgia.
These are considerations to keep in mind if you’re considering a move to Atlanta. With that being said, there are a lot of very safe neighborhoods and suburbs. The high crime rate isn’t consistent across every neighborhood and is similar to what you see in other big cities across the country. Here is a list of the Richest Neighborhoods in Atlanta.
See How Atlanta Compares To Other Major Cities
Ashley Sutphin Watkins studied journalism at the University of North Carolina. She now works as a full-time writer with an interest in all things real estate and interior design. She lives in East Tennessee and enjoys the nearby Smoky Mountains with her family.
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