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Top 7 Most Dangerous Cities in Kentucky for 2024: Stay Informed and Safe

Kentucky’s Most Hazardous Cities Revealed

Crime Statistics and Safety Tips in Kentucky’s Most Dangerous Cities

According to Southwest Journal, Kentucky has some most dangerous places to avoid. They examined 74 cities looking at the latest FBI crime data and found that both violent and property crimes are above the national average. So if you’re thinking of moving to Kentucky it’s wise to check out which areas to steer clear of to stay safe.

READ ALSO: Montana’s Most Dangerous Cities: The Top 6 Most Violent And Crime-Ridden Places In The State

(PHOTO: Redfin)

Most Dangerous Cities in Kentucky

Bowling Green

Bowling Green is considered the most dangerous city in Kentucky for 2022. The city reported 247 violent crimes in 2020 including 71 robberies and putting residents’ safety and belongings at risk. Known for Corvette production, Bowling Green also saw 317 car thefts in 2020 making vehicle security a major concern.

Oak Grove

Despite its small population of 7,299 Oak Grove faces significant crime issues. In 2020, residents reported 169 larcenies, 38 burglaries, and 28 stolen vehicles keeping the local police busy. The crime rate is notable for a town of its size challenging its reputation as a tranquil community.


Mayfield ranks as the third most dangerous city in Kentucky as of 2024. With a population of 9,791 it struggles with high rates of violent crimes including murder and rape. The city’s bleak reputation is compounded by its high poverty rate and status as one of the worst places to live in Kentucky. The murder of Jessica Currin in 1994 and the subsequent conviction of Quincy Cross in 2006 left a lasting impact on the community.


Shively a stop on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail has the highest murder rate in the state. In 2020,the city reported 30 aggravated assaults, 35 robberies, and 8 rapes. The crime rate in Shively requires residents to stay vigilant to ensure their personal safety.


Founded by William Clark in 1827 Paducah has become one of Kentucky’s most dangerous cities. In 2020 the city reported 993 property crimes contributing to its ranking as the sixth most crime-ridden city in the state. The tragic school shooting in 1997 by Michael Carneal which killed three students and injured five, left a lasting scar on the community.


Newport is a small city of 14,874 Americans across the Ohio River from Cincinnati and has a high crime rate. The city had the highest rate of arson in the state in 2020 and recorded 12 cases of sexual assault. Newport’s high crime rate is probably a result of its close proximity to a large metropolitan area.


Owensboro is known for the Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame and its famous food festival ranks as the seventh most dangerous city in Kentucky. The city reported 284 car thefts and 1,638 larcenies in 2020. In 2019 a quadruple homicide shocked the community with Cylar Shemwell charged with four counts of murder highlighting the city’s ongoing struggle with violent crime.

READ ALSO: Kentucky’s Dark Side: Violent Crime Soars In Bowling Green And Beyond

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