The Most Dangerous Neighborhoods In Nashville: 2021’s Ultimate List

Nashville can easily be called the city of endless fun. But this fun image often hides the fact that it has many dangerous neighborhoods wrought with crime. Keep reading to find out where you should look for your next home in Nashville so you can avoid buying a house in a part of town that you will regret.

The Most Dangerous Neighborhoods In Nashville

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. Nashville, though petite in size, 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.

Some of the worst neighborhoods in Nashville include Bordeaux, Jones-Buena Vista, Capitol View, Mckissack Park, Elizabeth Park, Osage-North Fisk, Cleveland Park, College Heights-Clifton, Buena Vista Heights, and Shepherd Hills. Steering clear of these areas when visiting Nashville will ensure you’re less likely to fall victim to property or violent crime.

So, without further ado, let’s get talking about Nashville’s neighborhoods, shall we?

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The Worst Places To Live In Nashville

Nashville has amazing 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 rate, 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…

#10: Bordeaux

Bordeaux TN

Among locals in Nashville, Bordeaux is known as the “single mother capital” of Nashville, and rightfully so. Approximately 20 percent of households in this low-income neighborhood are run by single mothers. Statistically, this is linked with higher crime rates and lower wages—both of which are readily visible within the neighborhood’s limits.

Bordeaux claims some of the highest crime rates as well as 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.

#9: Jones-Buena Vista

Jones-Buena Vista TN

Be prepared, you’re going to see Buena Vista more than once here. This particular suburb regularly gets ranked as one of the worst places to live in Nashville year after year. A high crime rate plagues this area on a daily basis, 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.

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.

#8: Capitol View

Capitol View

Capitol View has a lot of 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. The low wages are also regularly paired with poor job prospects and a shockingly high unemployment rate of 13.1 percent. Economically, this place is a nightmare.

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. People here have a 110 percent higher chance of being a victim of a crime.

#7: Mckissack Park

Mckissack Park

Mckissack Park’s reputation in Nashville is one that is pretty foul. Crime here, like in most of the other neighborhoods on this list, is high enough to cause alarm. In fact, 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. 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.)

#6: Elizabeth Park

Elizabeth Park

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 absolutely 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. The median household income is also shockingly low, at only $22,000 per family. To make matters worse, the high school dropout rate is also climbing, so any kids who grow up here automatically are at a disadvantage.

#5: Osage-North Fisk

Osage-North Fisk

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 very strange 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 prior to COVID-19!)

Though they have amenities, the locals rarely are able to enjoy using them. 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.

#4: Cleveland Park

Cleveland Park

Part of being able to say that you live in a good neighborhood is knowing that you will get some kind of return on the investment you made while moving to the neighborhood. This is why Cleveland Park is on this list. While the price of 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.

#3: College Heights-Clifton

College Heights-Clifton

With a name like College Heights, you might expect this to be a wonderland for America’s future. It’s not. It’s actually 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.

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.

Even when it comes to the amenities available around the area, College Heights-Clifton ends up lagging. So if you were hoping to have some kind of convenience aside from cheap rent, you’re out of luck here.

#2: Buena Vista Heights

Buena Vista Heights TN

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.

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.

#1: Shepherd Hills

Shepherd Hills TN

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 that is 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.

Gang activity and drug use are both serious 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.

Strangely enough, the income levels in Shepherd Hills are fairly high…for those who can get a job. Unemployment in this neighborhood still remains 70 percent higher than the national average. Even if the higher incomes try to pull you in, living in Shepherd Hills just doesn’t make sense. You can get better housing and safer streets elsewhere.

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.

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 actually 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 just love it here.

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Related Questions

Why is Nashville known as Music City?

Nashville is nicknamed “Music City” because of the high number of independent music venues and record labels that call the town home. Some of the most famous venues include Ryman Auditorium, the Grand Ole Opry, and Cannery Ballroom. Even if you’re not a fan of country, you’re bound to find one venue you’ll love.

Why does Nashville have a Parthenon?

At one point, Nashville was regarded as the “Athens of the South.” When the city hosted the Tennessee Centennial Exposition, builders decided to add a life-sized replica of the Greek Parthenon to celebrate the state’s 100th birthday. It’s been there ever since, and now is used as an art gallery and event space.

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.

What are the most common industries in Nashville?

Nashville is home to a wide range of different industries, including healthcare management, finance, automotive manufacturing, insurance, and higher education. Of course, the city still remains primarily famous for its booming music industry, most of which is centered around its country music hotspots.

Does Nashville get snow?

While it is located in the South, Nashville still gets snow once in a while. Nashville will get around 6.5 to 7 inches of snow in a typical year. So, while it might not exactly be a “blizzard country,” it’s still possible to experience a white Christmas while living in this area of Tennessee.

See How Nashville Compares To Other Cities

Ossiana Tepfenhart

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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