Did you know, nearly 100 people are packing their bags and moving to Nashville every day? Music City is growing at an exponential rate, and we’re seeing new communities pop up all around town. However, even with so many unique neighborhoods in Nashville, the number one deciding factor still boils down to overall safety.
Frankly, many urban locations, including Nashville, receive a bad reputation when it comes to crime. On the surface, metropolitan crime rates don’t always portray an accurate representation of the city. While it’s true that a larger population density can lead to higher rates of crime, that doesn’t mean there aren’t safe neighborhoods great for raising a family.
In this article, we’re taking a look at crime statistics throughout Nashville’s city center. We’ll also see how the metrics stack up against other popular metropolitan destinations. Lastly, we've compiled a full list of the safest neighborhoods in Nashville to further help you choose which area is best for you.
This article is specifically dedicated to neighborhoods in and around Nashville’s urban core, but if you’re curious about safety in the suburbs you can find that information here.
In order to provide you with the most accurate and up-to-date information, we will be analyzing data provided by Crime Mapping and the FBI's Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR). Both sources partner with the Metro Nashville Police Department to collect and disclose crime reported in Nashville. In addition, we will leverage resources, such as Niche and Area Vibes, to further break down the crime occurring in Music City.
What Are The Different Types Of Crime That Are Tracked
To best understand Nashville’s crime statistics, let’s first take a moment to differentiate between the types of crime. The FBI and the state of Tennessee classify crime into two main categories; violent crimes and property crimes.
The National Institute of Justice (NIJ) defines a violent crime, as when a victim is harmed by or threatened with violence. The types of violent crimes include murder and nonnegligent manslaughter, rape, robbery, and aggravated assault.
A property crime occurs when a victim’s property is stolen or destroyed, without the use or threat of force against the victim. The types of property crimes include burglary, theft (larceny and motor vehicle), vandalism, and arson.
Crime statistics are also relative or benchmarked against a given total number of residents. Therefore, if violent crime is ‘30 per 1,000’, this means, on average, 30 of 1,000 residents are victims of a violent crime.
Now that we’ve covered the basics, let’s get into the analysis.
How Does Nashville Compare To Similar Cities
According to Crime Grade, Nashville’s metro area falls within the 29th percentile for safety. In simpler terms, that means 71% of other metro areas are safer, while 29% are more dangerous than Nashville.
If these numbers come as a surprise, let us clarify. As with any metropolitan location, you’ll always find some pockets with higher crime. However, that’s not to say each neighborhood is the same, or that city-living can’t be safe. Differentiating between the good and bad areas is often apparent, but with a little bit of extra research, you’ll surely be able to determine a location’s overall safety.
When comparing overall crime between 100 of the largest metropolitan regions, Nashville ranks safer than Orlando, West Palm Beach, and Dallas. However, Austin, New Orleans, and Denver each hold a small safety advantage over Nashville.
What Are The Top 10 Safest Cities In The U.S.
Buckingham Township, Pennsylvania
Oakland Township, Michigan
Bernards Township, New Jersey
New Castle Town, New York
Sparta Township, New York
Hamburg Township, Michigan
Bedford Town, New York
What Are The Most Common Types Of Crime In Nashville
According to the Nashville Metro Police Department, larceny (theft) was the most common offense reported in 2020. Other prevalent types of crime include assault, vehicle break-in/theft, and burglary. Overall, the UCR reports a higher number of property crimes per 100,000 residents when compared to the number of violent crimes in Nashville.
In total, Area Vibes notes a 1 in 20 chance of becoming a victim to some sort of crime in Nashville. However, if only considering violent crime offenses, the odds decrease to a 1 in 94 chance. Likewise, when it comes to only property crime, the chances of becoming a victim are 1 in 25.
Is Gun Violence An Issue In Nashville
The Nashville Metro Council passed a resolution that recognizes gun violence as a public health crisis. It comes after the city endured 109 homicides in 2020, the third-highest in Nashville’s history. The resolution is a step in the right direction and helps fuel many necessary conversations for improvement.
In the past year, several group marches and vigils took place around the city to shed light and honor the victims of gun violence in Nashville. In addition, the state-established group, Safe Tennessee Project, advocates as a gun violence prevention group across the state lines.
Has Crime Been Increasing Or Decreasing In Nashville Over The Past 5 Years
When looking at crime rates in Nashville over the past 5 years, Music City reported a slight increase in overall crime each year. However, Nashville did see fewer murders and rape crimes committed. The types of crime that saw a steady yearly rise were assault and larceny - which isn’t much of a surprise considering the sheer number of tourists visiting the area.
One thing to note, if comparing the last 5 years against the early 2000s, Nashville’s crime statistics improved tremendously.
What Are Some Initiatives The City Has Implemented To Decrease The Crime Rate
Nashville recognizes the importance of putting an end to the growing crime rates in the city. The Metro Police Department implemented a new preventative strategy, which focuses on more resources responding to the scenes of homicides and gun violence. The police department also rolled out a “power shift”, which assigns a number of officers to work from 5 PM - 3 AM. Additionally, the city continues to fund advocacy groups, such as Metro Nashville Project Safe and The Raphah Institute, in hopes of putting an end to the city’s violence.
What Are The Safest Neighborhoods In Nashville
Before we get into the lists below, some clarification is needed. As with most metropolitan cities, you’ll find safe parts and more dangerous parts in nearly every Nashville neighborhood. This list serves as a general guide on the areas in Nashville that crime is more prevalent. For more information, and to see the specific offenses committed, please reference Crime Mapping.