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The 6 Most Hazardous Cities in Kentucky: A Guide to Avoiding Danger!

Covington, Kentucky, USA - April 22, 2016: A sign welcoming visitors to the state of Kentucky near the Ohio border.

Kentucky’s Most Hazardous Cities in 2022 – A Detailed Look

Rising Crime Rates in Kentucky – Cities to Avoid in 2022

According to the article in Southwest Journal, if you are from Kentucky, you know there’s more to worry about than just Wildcats fans in Lexington and unhappy distillers in Louisville. The Bluegrass State has some most hazardous places too. It’s not just about fancy Kentucky Derby fans. The state has some scary cities with high crime rates. Luckily, RoadSnacks has made a list of these most hazardous spots for 2022. We looked at data from 74 cities, using the FBI’s latest crime report. We checked violent crimes and property crimes for every city with more than 5,000 people. Our study showed a rise in crime in the past four years, with Louisville being the most violent city in Kentucky. Sadly, Louisville also made it onto the list of the most hazardous cities in the country. Recently, a shooting in downtown Louisville highlighted the need for better safety measures. If you live in Kentucky’s safest city, you’re lucky. But if you’re thinking of moving, check our list before you decide.

READ ALSO: Over 670 Violent Crimes Annually: Crime Disparity In South Dakota Cities Revealed

(PHOTO: Britannica)

6 Most Hazardous Cities

Bowling Green

Bowling Green is the most hazardous city in Kentucky for 2022. In this southern Kentucky town, 247 violent crimes were reported in 2020. There were 71 robberies, so your belongings are at risk too. Known for making Corvettes, Bowling Green also has a high rate of car thefts, with 317 vehicles stolen in 2020. With a population of 71,861, Bowling Green moved up from fifth place last year to the top spot this year.

Oak Grove

Oak Grove has a small population of 7,299, but it’s not as safe as it seems. In 2020, residents reported 169 larcenies, 38 burglaries, and 28 stolen vehicles. Oak Grove has the highest rate of violent crimes per 100,000 people, with 575. The city’s crime rate has risen, moving up two spots from last year.


Mayfield is the third most hazardous city in Kentucky. It has a unique attraction called Cartwright Grove, a replica of a 19th-century western town. But with a population of 9,791, it faces serious crime problems. Mayfield ranks 50th in the state for murder and ninth for rape. The city also has a high poverty rate. In 1994, a high school student named Jessica Currin was murdered, which left a lasting impact on the community.


Shively is a prominent stop on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail, but it also has the highest murder rate in the state. In 2020, the city reported 30 aggravated assaults, 35 robberies, and 8 rapes. With a population of 15,735, Shively ranks second in violent crimes per 100,000 residents. The increasing crime rate has moved Shively up four spots from last year’s ranking.


Paducah, founded by William Clark in 1827, is now one of Kentucky’s most hazardous cities. In 2020, the city reported 993 property crimes. Paducah was also the site of a tragic school shooting in 1997. With a population of 24,850, Paducah moved up one spot from last year’s ranking, showing ongoing crime problems.


Newport’s proximity to Cincinnati may contribute to its high crime rate. With a population of 14,874, Newport experienced 12 sexual assaults and has the highest arson rate. The city has climbed 11 spots from last year, indicating a significant rise in crime. Residents should exercise caution in Newport.

READ ALSO: North Dakota’s Top 5 Riskiest Places For 2022: Crime Rates Soar Beyond National Average

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