The Top 5 Most Dangerous Neighborhoods In Memphis

Heather Robbins
by Heather Robbins
Memphis is a great city, but it has an unfortunate element of danger. Areas such as Downtown have high crime rates and are unsafe. Let’s take a look at the neighborhoods in Memphis that you should avoid as a safety measure.

There are just too many misconceptions about Memphis’ neighborhoods to list. Hipster districts, preppy regions, college-friendly communities, and, of course, ghettos all exist. In Memphis, it seems that there is a neighborhood for everyone. While Memphis is frequently ranked as one of the most incredible places to live in the country, due to a robust economy and a plethora of entertainment options, the city isn’t all rainbows and sunshine.

The most dangerous neighborhood in Memphis is Shelby Forest-Frayser, due to the higher murder rate and the 1 in 12 chance of becoming a victim of a crime. Next is Downtown Parkway Village-Oakhaven, White Haven-Coro Lake, and Berclair-Highland Heights.

We looked at 13 different areas in Memphis to discover the worst places to live. These establishments do not live up to Memphis’ reputation. Please continue reading to learn how we came up with the list of locations in Memphis that need a pick-me-up. Also, don’t point the finger at the messenger.

Related Content: Safest Neighborhoods In Memphis | Pros And Cons Of Living In Memphis | Memphis vs. Nashville | Most Dangerous Cities In Tennessee | Best Places To Live In Tennessee

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Determining The Worst Neighborhoods Of Memphis

In order to determine which neighborhoods are the worst, several key elements were evaluated. We were then able to combine several factors together to create a ranking of which area was worse than the other. Thus, this list was created just for you.

Factors Used To Determine The Worst Neighborhoods In Memphis

The following are the critical areas that we used to support our findings:

  • Unemployment Rate: A family’s ability to provide is essential to a community’s health. This is a key metric when it comes to the number of unemployed people in specific locations.
  • Is the area densely populated? Is it a popular tourist destination? It’s unlikely that it’ll be fixed if there isn’t a lot of traffic in the area. People who live in areas where environmental protection is lacking are more likely to commit crimes.
  • Real Estate Costs in the Area: When a property is sold for less than it is worth, it is vital to investigate. The fact that the area is uninhabitable is a major source of concern.
  • What is the current state of the business? Are companies doing well? A neighborhood’s income is a critical component in determining its value.
  • The crime rate is an essential factor to consider while determining the worst areas. After a thorough study, accurate data for this component was obtained.

Top 5 Most Dangerous Neighborhoods In Memphis

Here are the top five most dangerous neighborhoods in Memphis. While it’s relatively safe to visit these areas, we highly suggest you do not live here. Instead, choose a safe neighborhood to live in.

1. Shelby Forest-Frayser

  • Violent Crime (per 100k): 2,434
  • Property Crime (per 100k): 6,623
  • Average Income: $24,694

For the past few years, we’ve classified Shelby Forest-Frayser as Memphis’ worst neighborhood, as have many others. Nothing has changed, and the neighborhood’s future is bleak. Shelby Forest is a densely populated area, yet even with a population of 34,952, you have a 1 in 12 risk of becoming a victim of crime. Those are hardly favorable odds.

Furthermore, because this neighborhood has a greater murder rate than the other neighborhoods on our list, violent crimes in this area typically result in death or severe injury. That alone should be enough to keep you away from this community.

However, it’s a gorgeous area, which is why so many people are attracted to it. But, since it’s on the Mississippi River and the edge of the Meeman-Shelby Forest State Park, it’s attracted a lot of criminals due to the isolated area.

2. Downtown

  • Violent Crime (per 100k): 3,070
  • Property Crime (per 100k): 8,447
  • Average Income: $25,786

The proximity of the highways has an influence on Downtown. Of course, the proximity of three different highways adds to the chaos since there is greater space for the homeless population and two primary escape routes. But the homeless don’t just reside under the overpasses; they also take a run of the waterfront.

Regardless of the violence and the poverty level of Downtown Memphis, this is still a very high traffic area for tourists. After all, it’s the country capital of the world. So, we aren’t saying to avoid downtown Memphis altogether but maybe refrain from staying downtown when booking your hotel room.

3. Parkway Village-Oakhaven

  • Violent Crime (per 100k): 2,759
  • Property Crime (per 100k): 7,838
  • Average Income: 34,723

Parkway Village-Oakhaven is located in southeast Memphis and sits right in the middle of three different highways, making the area prone to violence, as well as high traffic for transients. Transient activity does not equal high crime; however, it brings the area’s value down, which then contributes to the crime factor.

Therefore, as poverty became increasingly prevalent in the region, so did crime. This has lowered the desire to revive the area, which has resulted in the emergence of new problems, such as drug-related crimes. You have a 1 in 10 chance of becoming a victim here.

4. White Haven-Coro Lake

  • Violent Crime (per 100k): 2,094
  • Property Crime (per 100k): 6,483
  • Average Income: $34,319

White Haven is a larger community within Memphis, and a little over 80,000 residents call it home. Renters account for half of the population. The White Haven-Coro Lake community as a whole has a $734 median rent and a $69,690 median house value. This is mainly because no one wants to move here due to the lack of care put into the areas.

This area has a total crime rate that is more than 245% higher than the national average, with violent crime being 452% higher. In addition, white Haven and Coro Lake have considerably higher violent crime rates than Memphis, and the same is true for property crime.

5. Berclair-Highland Heights

  • Violent Crime (per 100k): 2,409
  • Property Crime (per 100k): 7,503
  • Average Income: $29,979

This neighborhood isn’t nearly as bad as the previously mentioned ones, as it’s considered an up-and-coming area. However, it isn’t quite there yet, which is why we’ve decided to include it on the list.

In terms of crime, Berclair-Highland Heights has a rate of violent crime that is 535% greater than the national average. It’s also only 10% safer than other areas of Memphis, Tennessee. In this neighborhood, you have a 1 in 11 chance of becoming a victim of a crime.

Is Memphis Safe?

In comparison, Memphis is safer than only 4% of US cities, according to the crime index. The violent crime rate per 1000 people in Georgia is 8.43, compared to 2.93 in Tennessee. The national average is four. In Memphis, the chances of becoming a victim of violent crime are 1 in 119, compared to 1 across 341 in Tennessee. Property crime is nearly twice as high as the state and national averages.

However, when compared to metro regions of comparable size, the crime rate in Memphis is actually lower. Memphis, for example, has a lower crime rate than Charlotte, Orlando, and San Antonio.

What Are the Safest Memphis Neighborhoods?

The top three safest neighborhoods in Memphis include:

  • Windyke-Southwind
  • Eads-Fisherville
  • Cordova-Appling

Windyke-Southwind has a crime rate of 1,112 per 100k people, and the chances of becoming a victim in this area are 1 in 92 chance of becoming a victim of a crime, making it the safest neighborhood in Memphis.

Eads-Fisherville has a crime rate of 1,463 per 100k people, with a 1 in 69 chance of falling victim to a crime. That means that 93% of people will be free of victimization in this particular neighborhood.

Cordova-Appling has a 63% less rate of crime than the city of Memphis, with a slightly higher chance of becoming a victim of a crime at 1 in 34. This is a relatively safe neighborhood compared to others throughout Memphis.

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Related Questions

How dangerous is Memphis?

Is there a lot of crime in Memphis? Memphis’ crime rate in 2019 was 820, which is three times more than the national average. Memphis has a long history of being a dangerous city to visit and live in owing to high crime rates and abandoned regions.

Is it safe to walk around Memphis?

Memphis is a tourist-friendly city in general. Even though there is a lot of police presence downtown (particularly around Beale Street) both during the day and at night, tourists should still be cautious in tourist areas where panhandlers are known to congregate.There are several precautions you should take, though, as you should anywhere else, like don’t get in an unmarked car if you’re ridesharing, make sure your driver is really your driver. Also, don’t walk around alone at night, and always lock your door.

Is Memphis more dangerous than Atlanta?

In 2016, Atlanta had a violent crime rate three times higher than the national average, with 1,084 violent offenses reported per 100,000 people. Check out our guide on the most dangerous neighborhoods in Atlanta.Based on FBI statistics, Atlanta was also designated one of America’s top 25 murder capitals in a 2016 analysis by 24/7 Wall St. Memphis was ranked No. 4 due to its high crime rate.

Wrapping It Up

When visiting or moving anywhere, it’s important to know what the good and bad areas are so that you can steer clear of any possible issues you may run into. The top neighborhood that you should beware of in Memphis is Shelby Forest-Frayser, due to the crime rate as well as the poverty level.

The area’s value has gone down considerably due to the increasing homeless population. From there, it’s become a lower-income area, and crime has increased. It doesn’t help that it’s nearby some main highways, inviting criminals.

Following, are Downtown Memphis as well as Parkway Village-Oakhaven. But if you’re looking for a good neighborhood to stay in or move to then, you’ll want to choose either Windyke-Southwind, Eads-Fisherville, or Cordova-Appling. These areas have fewer chances of you falling victim to any crime.

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Heather Robbins
Heather Robbins

Heather is a passionate writer who loves anything DIY. Growing up, she learned everything from home repairs to design, and wants to share her tips with you. When she's not writing, she's usually hiking or searching for her next DIY project.

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