The SafeWise Team is pleased to release the seventh annual Safest Cities report.
Tennessee’s 20 Safest Cities of 2021
Here are the 10 Safest Cities in Tennessee for 2021
1. Church Hill
2. Signal Mountain
3. Mount Carmel
7. Pleasant View
See if your city made the top 20.
Tennesseans worry more about safety on a daily basis than most Americans, despite a three-year trend of falling crime rates. The safest cities in The Volunteer State boast crime rates far below both national and statewide averages.
2021 Tennessee crime rates
Tennessee’s violent crime rate of 6.0 incidents per 1,000 is 62% higher than the national rate of 3.7, but the safest cities only reported 1.0 incident per 1,000 people.
Regionally, Tennessee has the highest violent crime rate in the East South Central region, and the second-highest property crime rate behind Alabama. Tennessee is also the most populous state in the region.
Despite higher-than-average crime rates, both property and violent crime rates fell for the third consecutive year. Property crime fell by 6% from 28.3 incidents per 1,000 to 26.5, and violent crime fell by 3%.
Level of concern and experience with crime in Tennessee
Along with lower crime rates, Tennessee survey participants also reported fewer personal experiences with both violent and property crime year over year.
Experience with gun violence increased year over year, from 10% in 2019 to 15% 2020—a 50% rise.
Overall concern about safety dropped 15% this year but still remains higher than average. Tennessee is one of the only states that worries more about violent crime than any other crime issue. Despite higher overall concern and higher-than-average crime rates, more than half of Tennesseeans say The Volunteer State is a safe place to live.
Crime concerns in Tennessee
We asked Tennessee residents which crimes they worry may happen to them. See if Tennesseans are concerned about the same crime issues as the rest of the country.
View the complete 2021 State of Safety report.
Violent crime in Tennessee: Fear vs. reality
Both the violent crime rate and reported experience with violent crime fell year over year, but Tennesseans worry more about violent crime than any other crime or safety issue. Tennessee survey respondents are 15% more concerned than the average American when it comes to worries about a violent crime actually happening to them.
- Tennessee’s violent crime rate is falling faster than the East South Central region—dropping 9% since 2019 versus a regional drop of 4%.
- Violent crime in Tennessee happens 62% more often than the national average with a crime rate of 6.0 incidents per 1,000, versus 3.7 nationwide.
- Aggravated assault is the most common violent crime in Tennessee, accounting for 77% of all reported violent crimes—that’s nearly 10 points higher than the national ratio of assaults.
- Tennessee reported fewer rapes than the rest of the country, with sexual assaults accounting for 7% of all violent crime, compared to 8% nationwide.
- 45% of Tennesseans use some form of personal protection like a stun gun or pepper spray (US 34%).
- 37% say their personal safety has been affected by the pandemic (US 44%).
Attitudes about police and gun violence in Tennessee
- 55% of Tennessee survey respondents named gun violence their top safety concern (US 53%).
- 39% are most worried about a gun violence incident happening to them (US 38%).
- Mass shooting incidents climbed to 19 this year versus 7 in all of 2019—that’s a 171% jump year over year.
- Fewer Tennessee residents worry about police violence daily (38% versus 40% nationally).
- 67% have confidence in how law enforcement approaches crime prevention—20% higher than the national average of 56%.
Property crime in Tennessee: Fear vs. reality
Folks in Tennessee are slightly less worried about property crime than most Americans, but the state’s property crime rate is 26% higher than the national average. Even so, both the property crime rate and personal experience with property crime are dropping statewide.
- Tennessee’s property crime rate has fallen 11% since 2019, almost identical to the regional decrease. But year over year, Tennessee dropped 6% while the region fell just 5%.
- Larceny-theft is the most common property crime in Tennessee, but it takes up a larger proportion of property crime in the safest cities—83% compared to 73% across the state and nationwide.
- Tennessee sees slightly more burglaries than the rest of the US, but the safest cities report 34% fewer burglaries than the rest of the state.
- Despite lower-than-average experience with property crime, 73% of survey respondents use some form of property protection (US 62%), with firearms used most often at 44%.
- 28% say the security of their property has been affected by the pandemic—one percentage point below the national average of 29%.
A closer look at the safest cities in Tennessee
For the purposes of this report, the terms “dangerous” and “safest” refer explicitly to crime rates as calculated from FBI crime data—no other characterization of any community is implied or intended.
- 123 cities met the criteria to be considered for ranking.
- Church Hill is the safest city in Tennessee for the second year running, with no violent crimes reported and only 10 property crimes.
- The violent crime rate in the safest cities is 1.0 incidents per 1,000 people.
- Half of the safest cities reported 5 or fewer total violent crimes.
- No murders were reported among the safest cities.
- Camden saw the biggest jump this year, leaping 48 spots to land at number 6 on our list. Mount Pleasant was second, jumping 29 spots to number 14.
- Camden’s property crime rate plummeted 72% year over year from 30.9 incidents per 1,000 to 8.7.
- Mount Pleasant’s violent crime rate dropped 59% this year from 3.9 incidents per 1,000 last year to 1.6.
- 12 cities (60%) improved in ranking year over year.
- The property crime rate in the safest cities is 8.3 incidents per 1,000—that’s 69% below the statewide rate of 26.5.
- 16 cities (80%) reported fewer than 100 total property crimes.
- Although Franklin reported the most property crimes (926), it has only the fifth-highest property crime rate among the safest cities. Kingston, Germantown, Huntingdon, and Pleasant View have higher rates when adjusted for population.
How we determined the safest cities
Learn how we identified the safest cities on our methodology page.
How to make a safe home anywhere
Didn't find your city in the top 20?
We calculated crime rates for every city in the state that met our population threshold, based on the state’s median population. See how the remaining cities ranked in the list below.
NOTE: If you don’t see your city on the list, it means that it was below the population threshold or didn’t submit a complete crime report to the FBI in 2019.
VC per 1,000
PC per 1,000
Find the safest cities in each state
Click on the state image or dropdown menu below to check out the safest cities for each state.
Related articles on SafeWise
FBI: Uniform Crime Reporting Program, “2019 Crime in the United States,” Accessed March 15, 2021.
US Census Bureau, "Data Explorer," Accessed November 18, 2020.
Best Places, “Find a Place Search Tool,” Accessed January 6, 2021.
SafeWise, “2021 State of Safety survey,” Accessed March 15, 2021.
Gun Violence Archive, “Past Summary Ledgers,” Accessed January 6, 2021.
Gun Violence Archive, “General Methodology,” Accessed March 15, 2021.
Melody Hicks, Ben Stickle, Joshua Harms, American Journal of Criminal Justice, “Assessing the Fear of Package Theft,” January 04, 2021. Accessed March 15, 2021.
For definitions and more on data sources, see our methodology page.