Kentucky’s Most Dangerous Cities: Statistics Revealed

most dangerous city in kentucky

Kentucky is renowned for its rural and Appalachian scenery rather than its high crime rate. Nevertheless, because of their high rates of violent crime and theft, quite a few areas in the state should still be avoided. See our ranking of Kentucky’s ten worst locations to live if you’re considering moving to the Bluegrass State.

most dangerous city in kentucky1

Is Kentucky Dangerous?

Living in and visiting Kentucky is safer than living in the entire country. There is a one in 467 risk that you may fall victim to violent crime. The U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics recently released statistics that show that the country’s total violent crime rate is four per 1,000 inhabitants. Property crime rates in the nation are 20.7 per 1,000 inhabitants.

The rate of violent crime in Kentucky is 2.7 per 1,000 residents. The state has 14.5 property crimes per 1,000 citizens. According to Kentucky’s statistics, both forms of crime are less common in the Bluegrass State than nationwide. However, no matter how secure a region is, there will always be some that deal with crime and violence. Let’s examine the top five riskiest locations in Kentucky.

  • Bowling Green
  • Owensboro
  • Shively
  • Paducah
  • Winchester
  • Oak Grove
  • Louisville
  • Mayfield
  • Covington
  • Pikeville

Bowling Green:

Bowling Green’s high crime rate—76% more than the national average—makes it the most dangerous city in Kentucky. The most notable aspect of Bowling Green, a town in Warren County, is its involvement in the Civil War. With 72,294 residents, theft and burglary account for most crimes in Bowling Green. In 2023, Bowling Green had 3,053 criminal occurrences, of which four included murder, fifty-six involved robbery, and eighty-seven involved assault. Compared to the national average, Bowling Green’s average income is 18% lower. 


Situated in Daviess County in western Kentucky, Owensboro is a violent city. With 60,183 residents, Owensboro has a crime rate that is 65% higher than the national average. Most crimes in Owensboro are property crimes, such as car theft and break-ins. In Owensboro in 2023, there were thirty-nine robberies, three homicides, and 130 assaults reported.


Additionally, Shively has some of Kentucky’s highest rates of crime. Shively is a component of the larger Louisville metro region in Jefferson County. Shively has 15,264 citizens, making it a town with a 54% higher crime rate than the national average. In Shively, houses and automobiles are frequently the targets of theft. In 2023, there were 75 violent crimes reported, comprising 35 robberies and five murders. A significant portion of the crimes in Shively and the surrounding region are related to drug trafficking and addiction. 


The city of Paducah is situated between Nashville and St. Louis. Paducah, which has 25,024 residents, has a crime rate that is 42% higher than the national average. In the city, crimes like assault, theft, burglary, and car theft are frequent. In Paducah, there were six documented murders in 2023. Many of the region suffers from poverty, with an average household income in the city that is 29% less than the national average. 


A city in Clark County, Winchester is part of the larger Lexington-Fayette metropolitan region. Winchester residents have a 1 in 31 chance of becoming victims of crime, and the city has a 41% higher crime rate than the national average. In Winchester in 2023, there were 459 criminal occurrences, including 335 theft cases, five robberies, and one murder. Winchester’s average family income is 29% less than the U.S. average. 

Oak Grove:

One of Kentucky’s most deadly communities, Oak Grove, is near Fort Campbell Army Base. The crime rate of Oak Grove, which is in Christian County, is 33% higher than the overall rate. The neighborhood is rife with theft, and houses and cars are frequently the targets. In 2023, there were three murders and seven robberies reported. Even though these figures might not seem like much, they are significant given that only 7,931 people live in the city. Drug involvement in the neighborhood is an important contributing factor to crime in Oak Grove.


Kentucky’s largest populated city, Louisville, is a top draw for tourists visiting the region. Because of the crime there, it’s also among Kentucky’s worst cities. Louisville, which has a population of 633,045, has a crime rate 32% higher than the national average. With frequent killings, robberies, and gunshots, Louisville has a high murder rate. Gang activities and related drug trafficking are significant contributors to crime in many communities. 


Mayfield is a city in western Kentucky’s Graves County. With 10,017 residents, the city has a crime rate 12% higher than the national average. Mayfield sees a high rate of theft, burglary, and auto theft. The prevalence of drug use causes a large portion of the crime in the area. Mayfield’s violent crime rate is 43% lower than the national average. 


Covington is a violent city in northern Kentucky, just south of Cincinnati. Theft-related offenses account for most crimes in Covington, with a lower crime rate than the national average. In 2023, there were 821 crime events in Covington, which included 32 robberies, 97 burglaries, and two murders. The average household income in the Covington region is 17% below the national average, and the area suffers from poverty and unemployment. 


Pike County has the town of Pikeville, which is situated in the Appalachian foothills. Pikeville, with a population of 7,754, has one of the highest crime rates in Kentucky, with a rate of 8% higher than the state average. There were 178 crime events in Pikeville in 2023, including thirty-nine burglaries, thirteen assaults, and seven robberies. The bulk of crimes that occur in Pikeville are associated with property theft.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Solverwp- WordPress Theme and Plugin