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5 Most Hazardous Cities in Kentucky: Violent Crime Rates Soar in 2022

Top 5 Most Hazardous Cities in Kentucky for 2022 – A Must-Read Before You Move

Rising Crime Rates in Kentucky – Louisville Tops the List of Most Violent Cities

According to the Southwest Journal, if you’re from Kentucky, you know there’s more to worry about than just Wildcats fans in Lexington and illegal distillers in Louisville. The state has its share of dangerous places. RoadSnacks has made a list of the most hazardous cities in Kentucky for 2022, which you should check out before moving. We analyzed data from 74 cities using the FBI’s latest crime report for violent and property crimes in places with over 5,000 people. Crime rates in Kentucky have risen above the national average in the past four years, with Louisville being the most violent city in the state and one of the most hazardous in the country. A recent downtown shooting in Louisville highlighted the need for better safety measures. If you live in Kentucky’s safest city, count yourself lucky. But if you’re considering a move, take a look at our list to avoid ending up in a dangerous area.

READ ALSO: Crime In Montana’s Most Dangerous Cities: Insights And Recommendations For 2024

(PHOTO: House Grail)

Bowling Green

Bowling Green is the most hazardous city in Kentucky for 2022. Be careful in this southern town, where 247 violent crimes were reported in 2020. Besides personal safety, 71 of these crimes were robberies, so your belongings are at risk too. Known for making Corvettes, this city also has car thieves. In 2020, 317 people reported their cars stolen. Population: 71,861, Rank Last Year: 5 (Up 4), Violent Crimes Per 100k: 343 (Seventh most hazardous), Property Crimes Per 100k: 4,446 (Fourth most hazardous).

Oak Grove

Oak Grove, with a small population of 7,299, might seem safe, but it’s not. The police are busy dealing with property crimes. In 2020, Oak Grove residents reported 169 larcenies, 38 burglaries, and 28 stolen vehicles. Population: 7,299, Rank Last Year: 4 (Up 2), Violent Crimes Per 100k: 575 (most hazardous), Property Crimes Per 100k: 3,219 (11th most hazardous).


As of 2024, Mayfield is the third most hazardous city in Kentucky. Despite attractions like Cartwright Grove, crime rates are high, with a population of 9,791. The city ranks 50th for murders and 9th for rapes in the state. Its high poverty rate and poor reputation add to its challenges. In 1994, the murder of 18-year-old Jessica Currin shocked the town, remaining unsolved until Quincy Cross was convicted in 2006. Population: 9,791, Rank Last Year: 1 (Down 2), Violent Crimes Per 100k: 377 (Fourth most hazardous), Property Crimes Per 100k: 3,748 (Eighth most hazardous).


Shively, a stop on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail, has the highest murder rates in the state. In 2020, there were 30 aggravated assaults, 35 robberies, and 8 rapes. Residents need to be alert to stay safe. Population: 15,735, Rank Last Year: 8 (Up 4), Violent Crimes Per 100k: 495 (Second most hazardous), Property Crimes Per 100k: 3,234 (Tenth most hazardous).


Founded by William Clark in 1827, Paducah has become one of Kentucky’s most hazardous cities, ranking sixth in the state for total crime. In 2020, the city reported 993 property crimes. Paducah was also the site of a tragic school shooting in 1997 when 14-year-old Michael Carneal killed three students and injured five others, igniting a national debate on gun control and school safety. Carneal received a life sentence with the possibility of parole after 25 years. Population: 24,966, Rank Last Year: 9 (Up 4), Violent Crimes Per 100k: 328 (Seventh most hazardous), Property Crimes Per 100k: 3,947 (Sixth most hazardous).

READ ALSO: Kentucky’s Most Dangerous Cities: 248 Violent Crimes Per 100,000 Residents In 2022 Revealed

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