Is Nashville safe? That’s a big question to ask if you’re thinking about moving to Nashville. The Music City is famous for its rich history, universities, nightlife, and, of course, its country music with Music Row and honky tonk bars. Nashville crime has also earned a reputation.
If you’re concerned about safety, you may be worried about the high Nashville crime rate. Nashville recently ranked #4 among state capitals for violent crime and the 18th most dangerous city in the U.S. with a homicide rate that recently reached an all-time high.
While this is definitely concerning, it’s crucial to remember that the crime rate in Nashville, TN doesn’t make Nashville dangerous. Most Nashville crime and homicides are concentrated in a few areas with many safe places to live, work, and play.
Here’s everything you want to know about crime in Nashville including crime reports, crime maps, and statistics.
Table of Contents
Understanding the Nashville Crime Rate
An important tool to assess crime is crime rates. Based on FBI crime data reported by the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department, these crime rates tell you the number of crimes per 100,000 people in the city. You can compare these crime rates to your current city, the national average, or the Tennessee average.
Just remember that crime rates do not tell the whole story. Uniform Crime Reporting crime rates are based on eight index crimes that are considered the most serious and the best tracked by police departments. Many offenses are not included. A city crime rate does not reveal your true risk of being a victim of crime as most offenses can be concentrated in a small area while most of the city has very little violent crime.
Nashville Crime Rate
The crime rate in Nashville is:
- 5,114 total crimes per 100,000 people
- 1,073 violent crimes per 100,000 people
- 4,041 property crimes per 100,000 people
You have a 1 in 20 chance of being the victim of crime in Nashville.
Here’s how Nashville crime compares to the Tennessee crime rate:
- 3,248 total crimes per 100,000 people
- 595 violent crimes per 100,000 people
- 2,653 property crimes per 100,000 people
By comparison, the national crime rate is 2,346 total crimes per 100,000 people with 388 violent crimes and 1,958 property crimes per 100,000 people.
Nashville Violent Crime Rate
The violent crime rate in Nashville, TN is 1,073 violent crimes per 100,000 people. There were 7,376 violent crimes reported in 2019 including:
- 4,877 aggravated assaults
- 1,978 robberies
- 438 rapes
- 83 murders
You have a 1 in 93 chance of being the victim of violent crime. The Nashville murder rate was 12 murders per 100,000 people in 2019 compared to the national homicide rate of 5 per 100,000. In 2020, the Nashville homicide rate was up to 16.5 murders per 100,000 people.
Here are Nashville murder statistics by year:
- Nashville murders (2021): 101
- Nashville murders (2020): 114
- Nashville murders (2019): 84
Nashville violence reached an all-time high in 2020, but the city wasn’t alone. Most cities in America experienced a sharp rise in crime during the COVID-19 pandemic and 2020 lockdowns. Nashville was one of 9 major cities to set an all-time homicide record with the number of murders up almost 36% from 2019 to 2020. The national homicide rate in 2020 hit 6.5 murders per 100,000.
Violent crime in Nashville rose 8.76% from 2019 to 2020. The biggest rise was in homicide (up almost 36%), aggravated assault (up 17%), and burglary (up 8%).
Robberies and sexual assaults decreased. In fact, the rate of rape and robbery in Nashville reached an almost 50-year low during 2020.
You can see a breakdown of violent crime statistics for 2019 and 2020.
Nashville Property Crime Rate
The property crime rate in Nashville, TN is 4,041 property crimes per 100,000 people. This included the following property crimes in 2019:
- 21,655 thefts
- 3,374 burglaries
- 2,748 car thefts
- 60 arsons
You have a 1 in 25 chance of being the victim of property crime.
The Nashville crime rate increased to 4,286 property crimes per 100,000 people in 2020.
Nashville Crime Map & Crime Statistics
A good way to understand your risk of crime and find the safest neighborhoods in Nashville is to use a crime map. The Nashville Police Department has partnered with CrimeMapping.com to provide an interactive Nashville crime map. You can sign up for crime alerts, find crime hot spots, explore offenses by neighborhood, and more.
You can also view Nashville crime reports through the MNPD Data Dashboard. This dashboard includes interactive maps of gunshot injuries, a UCR crime map, gun-related offenses by precinct and council district, and more.
Bad Areas of Nashville
There are many ways to define a “bad” neighborhood and it’s important to remember that even a high crime rate does not necessarily mean a neighborhood is unsafe. Tourist areas and areas with a lot of nightlife may have a very high crime rate, but crime may be easy to avoid with certain precautions. Areas with a low resident population but high daytime or nighttime population like tourist areas can also have a skewed crime rate because it’s calculated per 100,000 people.
One of the biggest threats you will face is Nashville gangs which are usually local neighborhood gangs, but there are some Nashville, TN gangs with national ties. An estimated 2,000 people have gang affiliations in Davidson County.
If you’re concerned about the crime rate in Nashville, you’ll find most violent crime happens in North Nashville (including neighborhoods such as Buena Vista and Salemtown) and South Nashville. These areas have the highest crime rates in Nashville and here’s a look at the worst neighborhoods in Nashville for crime examined in a few ways.
Crime in Nashville by Precinct
Below, you can see an interactive map of fatal and nonfatal gunshot injuries in the city. When gun violence is viewed by precinct, most fatal and nonfatal shootings occur in the following precincts:
- North Precinct: 25 fatal, 119 nonfatal shootings in 2021
- South Precinct: 19 fatal, 79 nonfatal shootings in 2021
- Hermitage Precinct: 10 fatal, 69 nonfatal shootings in 2021
- East Precinct: 8 fatal, 73 nonfatal shootings in 2021
You can also click here to view an interactive Nashville crime map by offense type and precinct. Here is how crime broke down by precinct in 2021.
- North Precinct: 29 homicides, 78 rapes, and 1,152 aggravated assaults
- South Precinct: 22 homicides, 111 rapes, and 1,331 aggravated assaults
- Hermitage Precinct: 16 homicides, 132 rapes, and 938 aggravated assaults
- Midtown Hills Precinct: 11 homicides, 56 rapes, and 627 aggravated assaults
- East Precinct: 9 homicides, 55 rapes, and 813 aggravated assaults
- Madison Precinct: 7 homicides, 34 rapes, and 669 aggravated assaults
- West Precinct: 6 homicides, 21 rapes, and 387 aggravated assaults
- Central Precinct: 4 homicides, 44 rapes, and 412 aggravated assaults
During the first two months of 2021 alone, 9 of 24 homicides in Nashville were in the South Precinct. 21 of the murders involved shootings.
High Crime Neighborhoods in Nashville
The following areas to avoid in Nashville have the highest crime rates with up to 300% more crime than the city average. However, keep in mind that many of these neighborhoods are actually quite safe if you are aware of your surroundings.
- Salemtown (pop. 400) is in North Nashville just north of Germantown in the Capitol District. There is a Salemtown Neighborhood Association dedicated to improving safety.
- Heron Walk (pop. 12,000) has 4,026 violent crimes per 100,000 people with 248% more crime than the city average.
- Glencliff (pop. 7,750) in South Nashville has 3,962 violent crimes per 100,000 people.
- Bordeaux (pop. 5,000) has 2,932 violent crimes per 100,000 people with one of the lowest household incomes in the city and a high rate of single parent households.
- Talbot’s Corner (pop. 12,000) In 2020, there were almost as many reported crimes as there were residents in Talbot’s Corner.
Council Districts with the Most Crime in Nashville
The Metropolitan Nashville Police Department breaks down index crimes by the 35 council districts in the city. You can explore the Nashville council district map below.
The following council districts had the highest share of violent and property crimes.
- Population: 17,000
- Share of violent offenses: 12.9%
- Total violent offenses: 1,063
- Share of property crimes: 9.9%
District 19 is Nashville’s main tourist area and home to the downtown Broadway strip and central business district. Many of the top attractions are in the district including the Tennessee State Museum and the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum.
Popular tourist areas include Honkytonk, Music Row, and the Gulch. Neighborhoods in the district include Southside, Germantown, Salemtown, North Nashville, Midtown, Fisk/Meharry, and Capitol Hill.
- Population: 18,500
- Share of violent offenses: 8.2%
- Total violent offenses: 678
- Share of property crimes: 4.7%
District 2 is home to neighborhoods such as Salemtown, Buena Vista Heights, Bordeaux, Highland Trace, Trinity Hills, Grand Staff Apartments, and Holiday Mobile Village.
- Population: 17,500
- Share of violent offenses: 7.0%
- Total violent offenses: 580
- Share of property crimes: 4.9%
District 21 is home to Tennessee State University and Vanderbilt University. It contains the neighborhoods of Elizabeth Park, Hadley Park, Hadley/Washington, Midtown, and West End Park.
- Population: 20,000
- Share of violent offenses: 4.5%
- Total violent offenses: 372
- Share of property crimes: 5.7%
District 15 is home to the suburban neighborhood of Donelson which is famous for the Grand Ole Opry.
- Population: 18,000
- Share of violent offenses: 4.2%
- Total violent offenses: 348
- Share of property crimes: 4.1%
District 8 includes neighborhoods of Inglewood, Williams Valley, Capitol View, Primrose Acres, Cobblestone Corners, and more.
Safest Neighborhoods in Nashville
Now that you have a better understanding of the Nashville, Tennessee crime rate, what are the best areas in Nashville with low crime?
As a general rule, North Nashville is the most dangerous area of the city while West Nashville and southwest Nashville are the safest. East Nashville crime has dropped significantly and many neighborhoods in the area are now very safe.
The following are some of the safest areas in Nashville with 55% to 90% less crime than the city average.
- Poplar Creek Estates (pop. 1,000) is a quiet neighborhood in southwest Nashville popular with outdoor enthusiasts and families. It’s near the Bellevue YMCA and over 3,100 acres of Percy and Edwin Warner Parks.
- Edmondson-Cloverland (pop. 2,500) is a residential area of southeast Nashville east of I-65 off Cloverland Drive.
- Hermitage Hills (pop. 1,600) is part of the large Hermitage neighborhood of Nashville with a population of 40,000. While an incorporated part of Nashville, Hermitage has its own suburban identity with commercial and residential areas.
- Sylvan Park (pop. 4,000) is one of the most desirable safe neighborhoods in Nashville. This historic and affluent neighborhood is southwest of downtown with plenty of green space and walkability. The adjacent Sylvan Heights is also a good choice for a low crime, residential area close to amenities.
- The Nations is one of Nashville’s coolest and fastest-growing neighborhoods. Popular with young professionals and millennials, it’s one of the city’s oldest neighborhoods and a developing entertainment and dining hub next to Sylvan Park. While it doesn’t have the lowest Nashville, TN crime rate, it’s one of the safest places to live if you’re looking for an urban neighborhood near the city center with plenty to do.
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Nashville Safety Tips – How to Avoid Crime in Nashville
- Be aware of your surroundings, especially at night or in tourist areas.
- Reduce your risk of burglary by investing in exterior lights, keeping exterior doors locked with a deadbolt, locking windows, and using a bar to lock sliding doors.
- Car theft and theft from vehicles is a common problem. Reduce the risk by never leaving valuables in your car, always locking your car, and parking in a well-lit, secure area.
- Vanderbilt University is located close to many high-crime areas of the city. Campus security and safety is handled by the Vanderbilt University Police Department. There are 100+ emergency phones throughout the campus. The Vandy Vans escort system is offered by the campus police to provide a van escort to designated campus locations and there is a walking escort service during nighttime hours.
Nashville Police Department
- Chief of Police: John Drake
- Officers: 1,757 sworn officers
- Non-emergency number: (615) 862-8600
- Address: Metro Nashville Police Department Headquarters, 600 Murfreesboro Pike, Nashville, TN 37210
The Metropolitan Nashville Police Department provides law enforcement for Metro Nashville and Davidson County with a jurisdiction covering 526 square miles. While the Nashville Police Department was established in 1806, the modern Metro Nashville Police Department was created when the city and county consolidated in 1963.
The MNPD responds to over 950,000 calls each year with eight precincts, each with their own commanders and control over separate resources to address different crime trends and concerns.
The Nashville metro police have been involved in Operation Safer Streets for more than 15 years and have added a specialized gang unit to address the growing problem of Nashville gangs like the Bloods, Crips, MS-13, Kurdish Pride, and Brown Pride.
In 2020, the department began new “power shifts” during peak violent crime hours with more officers working 10.5-hour shifts. To address violent crime, Chief John Drake also implemented a centralized Homicide Unit and six groups of TITANS (The Investigative Team Addressing Neighborhood Shootings).
Nashville Crime Rate FAQ
Is Nashville safe?
the Nashville TN crime rate is 5,114 total crimes and 1,073 violent crimes per 100,000 people. This is 65% higher than the Tennessee crime rate and 123% above the national average. However, Nashville crime is concentrated in a handful of areas and there are many safe places to live.
Is East Nashville safe?
East Nashville is one of the safest areas of Nashville and one of the most desirable. In addition to low East Nashville crime, the area is known for its boutique shops and sense of community.
Is North Nashville safe?
North Nashville has the highest crime rate in Nashville, particularly for violent crime.
Is downtown Nashville safe?
The Central Police District covering downtown Nashville has the lowest number of violent crimes in the city. As a nightlife and entertainment hub, it’s still important to be aware of your surroundings in downtown Nashville and take steps to reduce your risk of robbery, pickpocketing, and assault.
Hopefully you now have a better understanding of the crime rate in Nashville, TN and the best areas in Nashville where you can enjoy safety, a great quality of life, and all the charm of the Music City. Are you ready to relocate to the city? After you have settled on a safe neighborhood to call home, give the best Nashville movers a call to discuss your upcoming transition and request a free moving quote!