The SafeWise Team is pleased to release the eighth annual Safest Cities report.
Tennessee’s 20 Safest Cities of 2022
Here are the 10 Safest Cities in Tennessee for 2022
See if your city made the full list.
Tennesseans worry more about safety on a daily basis than most Americans. This matches a rise in the violent crime rate but contrasts with a three-year trend of falling property crime rates. The safest cities in The Volunteer State boast crime rates far below both national and statewide averages.
In this report
2022 Tennessee crime rates
Tennessee's violent crime rate increased this year from 6.0 incidents per 1,000 people to 6.7. In contrast, the property crime rate went down from 26.6 incidents per 1,000 people to 24.9.
In the East South Central Region, Tennessee has the highest rates of violent and property crime, ahead of Alabama in both categories. Tennessee is also the most populous state in the region.
Tennessee comes in above the US rate for both violent (4.0) and property crime (19.6). Among all 50 states, Tennessee has the third-highest violent crime rate (behind Alaska and New Mexico) and the tenth-highest property crime rate.
Level of concern and experience with crime in Tennessee
Similar to how crime rate fell year over year, State of Safety survey participants in Tennessee also reported fewer personal experiences with both violent and property crime. Experience with gun violence increased year over year, from 10% to 15%—a 50% rise.
Tennesseans’ 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. Most states worry most about package theft (compared to violent crime, property crime, and gun violence).
Despite higher overall concern and higher-than-average crime rates, more than half of Tennesseans say The Volunteer State is a safe place to live—matching the national average.
Image: SafeWise. Past 12 months=12 months prior to survey.
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 2022 State of Safety report.
Violent crime in Tennessee: Fear vs. reality
Although the violent crime rate rose year over year, personal experience with violent crime was lower. Still, 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.
- After a small dip last year, Tennessee saw a 13% rise in the violent crime rate statewide.
- Despite a higher crime rate than the US, murder accounts for a smaller percentage of all violent crimes in Tennessee (1% vs US 2%).
- Aggravated assault is the most common violent crime in Tennessee, accounting for 81% of all reported violent crimes—one of the highest ratios of assaults in the country behind Montana and Kansas.
- Tennessee reports fewer rapes than the rest of the country, with sexual assaults accounting for 6% of all violent crime, compared to 10% 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 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 dropped to 15 in 2021 versus 19 in all of 2020—that’s a 21% decrease year over year.
- Fewer Tennessee residents worry about police violence daily than most Americans (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 27% 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 16% since 2019, which is lower than the regional decrease over the same period (20%). But year over year, Tennessee dropped just 6% while the region fell 10%.
- Larceny-theft is the most common property crime in Tennessee, but it takes up a larger proportion of property crime in the safest cities—78% compared to 72% across the state and 71% nationwide.
- Tennessee saw fewer burglaries (15%) as a share of total property crime than the US (16%) this year.
- The safest cities collectively reported over 800 fewer property crime incidents compared to last year.
- Despite lower-than-average experience with property crime, 73% of survey respondents use some form of property protection (US 60%), 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.
- 122 cities met criteria to be considered for ranking.
- After rocketing up the rankings last year, Camden moved up 5 spots this year to land at number 1. It replaced 2-time winner Church Hill, which moved down to second.
- Unicoi (ranked number 4) is the only new city on the list this year.
- Greenbrier (up 18 spots) and Tiptonville (up 15 spots) made the biggest improvements this year, moving up to ranks 14 and 15, respectively.
- Hendersonville (population 58,901), Spring Hill (population 45,765), and Brentwood (population 43,454) are the largest cities on the list and the only ones with more than 12,000 residents.
- The violent crime rate in the safest cities is 1.2 incidents per 1,000 people—that's over 5 times lower than the state rate of 6.7.
- 17 cities (85%) reported 0 murders this year.
- 14 cities reported 10 or fewer violent crimes this year, with Camden having the lowest violent crime rate in the state. Camden reported 0 violent crimes in 2021.
- The property crime rate in the safest cities is 8.0 incidents per 1,000 people. That's 68% below the state rate of 24.9.
- 16 cities (80%) reported fewer than 100 total property crimes.
- Church Hill had the lowest property crime rate in Tennessee for the third consecutive year.
How we determined the safest cities
Learn how we identified the safest cities on our methodology page.
How to make a safe home anywhere
Whether your city made our list or not, we encourage everyone to be proactive about home security. One of the best ways to stop a burglary before it happens is to add a home security system.
Find security and safety resources in your area
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 as calculated using FBI data. To request a report of the remaining cities in your state, sign up for our email newsletter (we make it easy in a quick form below!) or email email@example.com with the subject line: Safest Cities Full Report.
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 2020.
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: Crime Data Explorer, Accessed March 8, 2022.
US Census Bureau, "Data Explorer," Accessed January 24, 2022.
Best Places, “Find a Place Search Tool,” Accessed January 24, 2022.
SafeWise, “2021 State of Safety survey,” Accessed March 8, 2022.
Gun Violence Archive, “Past Summary Ledgers,” Accessed January 24, 2022.
Gun Violence Archive, “General Methodology,” Accessed March 8, 2022.
Melody Hicks, Ben Stickle, Joshua Harms, American Journal of Criminal Justice, “Assessing the Fear of Package Theft,” January 04, 2021. Accessed March 8, 2022.
For definitions and more on data sources, see our methodology page.