The Most Dangerous Neighborhoods In Nashville: 2022's Ultimate List
When many people think of Tennessee, they don’t usually think of high crime rates. Unfortunately, that’s starting to not become the case anymore.
Though petite in size, Nashville is now considered to be one of the most dangerous cities of its size. On average, Nashville has a 1 in 19 chance of being a victim of crime here. However, the news isn’t entirely bad.
In every city, there will still be decent neighborhoods as well as neighborhoods that everyone avoids. If you have been mulling over the idea of moving to Nashville, it’s possible to find a part of town that will be a dream to work with. The first step to getting the right home for your family is knowing which neighborhoods to avoid.
According to FBI statistics, Heron Walk, Glenncliff, West Meade, Talbot’s Corner, and Bordeaux are the most dangerous neighborhoods within Nashville. All of these neighborhoods have a consistent amount of violent and property crimes that rank the highest per capita with 90-184% higher crimes than other Nashville neighborhoods. Other areas to avoid include Osage-North Fisk, Mckissack Park, and Shepherd Hills.
So, without further ado, let’s get talking about Nashville’s neighborhoods, shall we?
The Worst Places To Live In Nashville
Nashville has impressive attractions that make it a tourist hotspot, especially among fans of country music. Even so, there are just some places that you shouldn’t go (or visit) if you want to stay safe or happy.
We took a look at the locations’ crime rates, unemployment rates, amenities, school systems, average income, and crime rates to determine which areas had the worst quality of life. Here’s what we found.
1. Heron Walk
- Population: 11,940
- Violent Crimes: 4,026
- Property Crimes: 10,806
- Total Reported Crimes: 14,832
There are 11,940 individuals living in this neighborhood, which has a whopping 938 percent more violent crimes than the national average. Despite no reform of the police department, crime has barely changed throughout the years. Obviously, this is one of the Nashville hotspots to avoid.
According to FBI statistics, Heron Walk has a total of 14,832 crimes. These crimes include but are not limited to murder, rape, assault, auto theft, burglary, mugging, and more.
In 2020, property crimes made up over half of the reported crimes, with 10,806 property crimes being reported. As far as violent crimes go, there were 4,026 incidents reported per capita.
Exploring the area may be done quite easily by walking or bike, and both can be done at any time of day or night. However, keep in mind that most of the crime in this neighborhood happens during nighttime, in secluded areas. So always take the more populated pathways.
- Population: 7,729
- Violent Crimes: 3,962
- Property Crimes: 8,993
- Total Reported Crimes: 12,955
This area of South Nashville was designated as an aristocratic property, which has been built by slaves in the middle of the nineteenth century and then extended into a neighborhood. This area appears to fit the criteria, with an average cost of living and livability that is regarded as more than ideal. That is until the total crime rate is revealed or witnessed.
Overall, there have been 12,955 reported crimes in 2020. These crimes included everything from murder and rape to misdemeanor property offenses, such as minor property damage.
Of the 12,955 incidents reported, 3,962 of these incidents were reported as violent crimes, while 8,993 were made up of property-based incidents.
The area has a current population of 7,729 people and is exceptionally walkable in terms of safety. As a result, afternoon walks or bike trips are highly encouraged. However, especially for women who travel alone, caution should be exercised after 9 p.m. However, some hotels have been suggested by locals because they are located closer to downtown Nashville.
3. West Meade
- Population: 469
- Violent Crimes: 4,711
- Property Crimes: 6,636
- Total Reported Crimes: 11,347
Even though there are only 469 people who live here in West Meade, the violent crime rate is off the charts, coming in at 1,115% more than the national average! Considering these statistics, West Meade still ranks 30% better than other neighborhoods in the Nashville area.
For 2020 the FBI reported 11,347 total crimes were reported. These crimes range from the worst crimes, including everything from murder and rape to car theft and property damage.
In 2020, property crimes outweighed violent crimes by a couple thousand as there were 6,636 property crimes reported and 4,711 violent crimes reported per capita.
In West Meade, your chances of becoming a victim of crime are as high as 1 in 9. However, this highly depends on the area that you are in. For example, the southeast region of West Meade has a 1 in 4 chance of becoming a victim, while the northside is 1 in 13.
4. Talbot’s Corner
- Population: 12,018
- Violent Crimes: 2,878
- Property Crimes: 8,092
- Total Reported Crimes: 10,970
This is an East Nashville neighborhood named after a grandfather and Revolutionary War veteran named Thomas Talbot. The total crime rate in this neighborhood of 12,018 people is 642 percent higher than the national average.
Residents on this side of town remark about how, despite the fact that shootings are rare, they escalate quickly. In May of this year, a few of people were killed in a series of gunshots. The number of violent crimes in Talbot’s Corner is 604 percent higher than the national average. Without a doubt, this is one of Nashville’s most dangerous areas!
According to FBI stats, Talbot’s Corner had a total of 10,970 crimes reported in 2020. These included violent and property crimes combined. Of that total, there were 2,878 violent crimes and 8,092 property crimes reported per capita.
- Population: 5,092
- Violent Crimes: 2,932
- Property Crimes: 7,003
- Total Reported Crimes: 9,935
Among locals in Nashville, Bordeaux is known as the “single mother capital” of Nashville, and rightfully so. Single mothers run approximately 20 percent of households in this low-income neighborhood.
Statistically, this is linked with higher crime rates and lower wages—both of which are readily visible within the neighborhood’s limits.
According to statistics for that year, Bordeaux had a total of 9,935 reported crimes in 2020. Violent crimes contributed to 2,932 of that total, while the 7,003 left unaccounted for were the number of property crimes reported.
Bordeaux claims some of the highest crime rates and the lowest household incomes. On average, a typical Bordeaux household will only rake in $37,259.
A high unemployment rate of 5.4 percent also explains why 12 percent of the houses in this neighborhood stay empty. No one wants to be around here.
#6: Osage-North Fisk
- Population: 2,243
- Violent Crimes: 1,726
- Property Crimes: 6,082
- Total Reported Crimes: 7,808
Osage-North Fisk might not have the terrifying crime rate that Elizabeth Park or Mckissack Park has, but that doesn’t mean it’s going to be a cakewalk living here.
The crime here is still higher than average, but it’s paired with a bizarre juxtaposition of problems. The property values are high here, but so is the unemployment rate at 11.9 percent. (And the unemployment rate was this high before COVID-19!)
In 2020, there was a total reported 7,808 crimes for this neighborhood, with 1,726 violent crimes and 6,082 property crimes, according to statistics. This included everything from murder and rape to property damage.
High dropout rates, a median household income under $27,000, and urban blight all make Osage-North Fisk a uniquely frustrating place to live. No matter how you look at it, the chips are stacked against people who choose to call this place home.
#7: Mckissack Park
- Population: 487
- Violent Crimes: 1,707
- Property Crimes: 6,015
- Total Reported Crimes: 7,721
Mckissack Park’s reputation in Nashville is pretty foul. Like in most of the other neighborhoods on this list, crime is high enough to cause alarm.
If you live in this part of Nashville, you’re twice as likely to become a victim of a violent crime or a property crime than if you lived in any other part of the city.
Along with a worryingly high crime rate, Mckissack Park also happens to be an extremely low-income area with few things to do nearby.
FBI stats show 7,721 total reported crimes, ranging from murder to car thefts. There were 1,707 violent crimes and 6,015 property crimes per capita in 2020.
As a result, home prices are extremely low. Unfortunately, this is one of those situations where you get what you pay for…, and you’re not paying much. (Well, they have a playground. So, that’s something, if you don’t mind the horrible crime rate.)
#8: Shepherd Hills
- Population: 349
- Violent Crimes: 1,187
- Property Crimes: 4,182
- Total Reported Crimes: 5,368
With such a peaceful-sounding name, you might never guess that Shepherd Hills is currently considered to be the most dangerous neighborhood in Nashville.
With a crime rate well over eight times the average American neighborhood, doing something as simple as taking a walk outside can easily lead to problems. Many people don’t want to go here during the daylight, let alone at night.
In 2020 the FBI reported 5,368 total crimes. These crimes included everything from murder to property damage. There were 1,187 violent crimes and even more property crimes per capita, which was reported at 4,182.
Gang activity and drug use are both severe issues in Shepherd Hills and the surrounding areas. People who raise their children here often see their kids fall victim to the toxic culture and terrible school system. As a result, local social services are often strained beyond their usefulness.
#9: Buena Vista Heights
- Population: 814
- Violent Crimes: 960
- Property Crimes: 3,384
- Total Reported Crimes: 4,345
I told you that you were going to see Buena Vista on here again. This time, we’re talking about Buena Vista Heights, which somehow manages to be worse than almost any other place to live in all of Nashville.
If you live in the heights, the probability of you becoming a crime victim is 650 percent higher than if you lived in an area with an average crime rate. Needless to say, it’s not safe to walk around at night.
Statistics show a total reported 4,345 crimes for 2020 in the area. These crimes included the worst violent crimes, including murder and rape, to the less serious property crimes. There were a total of 960 violent crimes and 3,384 property crimes reported per capita.
It’s hard to tell what is causing the crime in this area. Is it the high unemployment rate? Is it the median household income of $30,261 a year?
Or is it the sheer amount of social upheaval this area has? Though amenities are high here, rent is cheap, and people are struggling to find a way to leave.
#10: Elizabeth Park
- Population: 1,402
- Violent Crimes: 1,685
- Property Crimes: 5,940
- Total Reported Crimes: 7,626
Elizabeth Park is Mckissack’s twin in a lot of ways. Both neighborhoods are known for having alarmingly high violent crime rates, especially when gang activity is concerned.
Elizabeth Park, however, has slightly less crime than Mckissack. But, don’t worry, this neighborhood makes up for it by offering up other ways to be terrible.
Its violent crime rate is much higher than Mckissack’s. If you live here, you are going to be six times more likely to be a victim of a violent crime than if you lived in a suburb with an average crime rate.
There was a total reported 7,626 crimes according to FBI Statistics in 2020 for Elizabeth Park. These crimes included everything from murder to less serious property crimes.
Of the total, there were 1,685 violent crimes reported per capita, while the property crimes were reported as 5,940 per capita for 2020.
#11: College Heights-Clifton
- Population: 885
- Violent Crimes: 1,651
- Property Crimes: 5,819
- Total Reported Crimes: 7,470
With a name like College Heights, you might expect this to be a wonderland for America’s future. It’s not, and it’s a fairly dangerous part of town where violent crime is over three times more common than the national average. Ironically, the schools here regularly receive a grade of “F” for the high dropout rates and poor curriculum.
For 2020, FBI statistics reported the total crime count for College Heights-Clifton to be 7,470. These crimes included everything from murder to burglary and car theft.
There were significantly more property crimes than violent crimes per capita for this neighborhood in 2020. Violent crimes had 1,651 incidents, while property crimes towered in at 5,819 reports per capita.
Could part of it be a matter of drunk college kids getting into fights? Possibly, but it also could have to do with the fact that the average household income here is less than half the national average.
Along with low income, the locals from College Heights-Clifton also struggle with the highest unemployment rates in Nashville—12 percent.
#12: Capitol View
- Population: 3,126
- Violent Crimes: 1,625
- Property Crimes: 5,726
- Total Reported Crimes: 7,350
Capitol View has many features, very few of which are pleasant. In this large neighborhood, the average household income is only $33,000 per year—far below what a typical American family makes.
Perhaps it’s due to the bad economy or just the lack of things to do, but Capitol View also happens to have an above-average crime rate for the city of Nashville, and people here have a 110 percent higher chance of being a victim of a crime.
According to FBI statistics, the total reported crimes for the Capitol View area totaled 7,350 in 2020. This number included everything from murder and rape to car theft and lesser property crimes.
However, the property crimes were almost 4 times the amount of violent crimes. Violent crimes were reported as 1,625, while property crimes were 5,726.
Credit: Nashville Scene
- Population: 341
- Violent Crimes: 4,245
- Property Crimes: 3,042
- Total Reported Crimes: 7,287
It might be surprising to see that Salemtown’s crime rate is 211 percent higher than Nashville’s. It has a bad reputation for being unsafe, crime-ridden, and it has violent crime streaks once in a while.
If visiting, extreme caution should be exercised while strolling during the day, and no activity should be undertaken at night for safety concerns. It should not be necessary for female travelers to travel alone. With no small incidents reported, public transportation poses less of a risk. As a result, cash is kept safe in purses.
The total number of reported crimes for the Salemtown area was 7,287, which included both violent and property crimes alike. And surprisingly, violent crimes, 4,245, had more incidents than property crimes, 3,042.
14: Jones-Buena Vista
- Population: 834
- Violent Crimes: 1,485
- Property Crimes: 5,235
- Total Reported Crimes: 6,721
Be prepared; you’re going to see Buena Vista more than once here. This particular suburb regularly gets ranked as one of Nashville’s worst places to live year after year.
A high crime rate plagues this area daily, with drug use being one of the most common issues locals face. When combined with a 6 percent unemployment rate and exceptionally low wages, it’s easy to see why people hate it here.
The FBI reported a total of 6,721 crimes to hit the Buena Vista neighborhood in 2020. These crimes stemmed from the worst violent crimes to the less serious property crimes.
Violent crimes for 2020 were reported as 1,485 incidents, while property crimes had 6,721 incidents reported per capita.
If you were hoping for a chance at getting good schools, Jones-Buena Vista is not for you. It’s notorious when it comes to terrible school systems. However, if you were looking for affordability, this might be worth it. Or, maybe not.
15: Cleveland Park
- Population: 2,206
- Violent Crimes: 1,323
- Property Crimes: 4,664
- Total Reported Crimes: 5,987
Part of being able to say that you live in a good neighborhood is knowing that you will get some return on the investment you made while moving to the neighborhood.
This is why Cleveland Park is on this list. While the price of the property is going up, so are the crime and unemployment rates. Like, why are you even staying there?!
Like most of the other neighborhoods on this list, Cleveland Park is regularly spotted on lists of the most dangerous neighborhoods in Nashville.
The average person has a 1 in 9 chance of being a crime victim here, so it’s still not a safe place to be. When you pair that with the social unrest that many locals feel, it’s easy to see why people try to avoid this area.
Furthermore, according to FBI stats, there have been 5,987 crimes reported in 2020 for the Cleveland Park neighborhood. This includes both violent and property crimes.
There were more property-based crimes than violent crimes in 2020 for this neighborhood. Property crimes had a total reported number of 4,664, while violent crimes had 1,323 incidents reported per capita.
Should You Move To Nashville?
Nashville might have higher than average crime rates, but there’s a reason why people tend to be drawn to this city.
There are plenty of things to do, buildings that ooze old Southern charm, and the restaurant scene is one of the best in the country. Seeing a list of the worst neighborhoods in Nashville shouldn’t dissuade you from coming here—at least, for a visit.
Choose The Right Neighborhood
If you choose the right neighborhood, there is no reason why you would regret moving here. Many of Nashville’s schools offer high-quality educations, and the housing is still fairly affordable compared to other cities of its size. So, while there are some bad sides to Nashville, don’t discount the entire city.
You never know what kind of amenities a city holds until you’ve taken a tour through it and experienced it for yourself. What might be one person’s idea of a terrible place to live could be the golden opportunity you’ve always wanted. Who knows? If you take a visit, you might love it here.
Is Nashville expensive?
To a person who is used to living in New York City, Nashville would appear to be dirt cheap. However, to most people, Nashville is somewhat expensive.
It is the most expensive city in Tennessee and has a higher cost of living than similar cities like New Orleans or Memphis. On average, a family would have to earn around $70,000 to be comfortable in this city.
See How Nashville Compares To Other Cities
Ossiana Tepfenhart is an expert writer, focusing on interior design and general home tips. Writing is her life, and it's what she does best. Her interests include art and real estate investments.
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