Total crime NAT. AVG.
Violent crime NAT. AVG.
Property crime NAT. AVG.
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Date & Last Updated: This data reflects the 2022 calendar year and was released from the FBI in September, 2023; this is the most current data available.
StatisticReportedincidents/100k peopleKnoxville/100k peopleTennessee/100k peopleNational/100k people
Total crime9,249n/a (estimate)4,7502,9242,324
Violent crime1,640n/a (estimate)842622370
Vehicle theft955n/a490.4362.3282.7
Property crime7,609n/a (estimate)3,9082,3021,954

An Overview of Crime Rates in Knoxville, TN

Crime can be categorized into two primary types: violent and property crimes. Violent crimes encompass offenses such as murder, rape, robbery, and assault, whereas property crimes involve acts like burglary, theft, and vehicle theft. The overall crime rate in Knoxville is 104.4% higher than the national average. Specifically, there were 1640 violent crimes reported in Knoxville, equivalent to 842 per 100,000 residents, which is higher than the national average by 127.8%. Additionally, Knoxville recorded 7609 property crimes, amounting to 3908 per 100,000 people, higher than the national average by 99.9%.

With a total of 4750 crimes per 100,000 people, the Knoxville crime rates stand at 104.36 higher than the national average. Consequently, the area grapples with one of the nation's highest total crime rates. Addressing this challenge is crucial for enhancing the safety and livability in Knoxville, making it a priority to reduce crime through community engagement, effective law enforcement, and collaborative efforts to secure a better future for residents and prospective residents.

With a violent crime rate of 842 crimes per 100,000 residents, Knoxville is known as one of the most dangerous cities in the United States. In fact, Knoxville ranks in the bottom 10% of all cities that reported violent crime last year. This translates into a 1 in 119 chance of becoming a victim of a violent crime. Keep in mind that some areas will be safer than others and this doesn't necessarily mean that the entire city suffers from a high violent crime rate.

Despite a steady decline in murder rates in the United States since 1990, recent years have witnessed an unfortunate uptick. Knoxville stands out with one of the nation's highest murder rates, surpassing other cities that reported crime. In Knoxville, there were a total of 32 murders, translating to 16 murders per 100,000 people, underscoring the pressing need for continued efforts to address and reduce severe violent crime in the area.

Knoxville faces some of the nation's most elevated property crime rates, recording 3908 incidents per 100,000 people. This places the city among the worst 10% of all U.S. cities that reported crime. Regrettably, the likelihood of falling victim to property crime in Knoxville stands at 1 in 26, significantly surpassing the national average. These statistics underscore the imperative need for bolstered community safety measures to mitigate property crimes and enhance the well-being of its residents.

Vehicle thefts across all of America are on the rise and Knoxville has one of the highest vehicle theft rates in the country. In the most recent crime report, Knoxville reported 955 vehicle thefts, which equates to 490 stolen vehicles per 100,000 people. This falls in the bottom 10% of all cities, meaning that 90% of cities have better vehicle theft rates. The chance of having your vehicle stolen in Knoxville is 1 in 204.

What Do the Locals Say About Crime in Knoxville?

What is the prevailing sentiment among Knoxville residents regarding the state of crime? A comprehensive survey conducted by AreaVibes, involving 235 respondents, sheds light on this matter. The results were as follows: 41% of Knoxville residents expressed a notable sense of security, asserting that crime was virtually non-existent in their community, and they felt at ease strolling the streets after dark. While, 59% of those surveyed held a contrasting viewpoint, perceiving a higher incidence of crime, leading them to feel apprehensive about walking alone at night.

Is Knoxville a Safe Place to Live?

Is Knoxville a safe place to live? While the answer may not be straightforward due to variations in safety levels across the city, gaining an understanding of the overall crime rate can prove to be advantageous. In general, Knoxville has a crime rate that is higher than the national average by 104%. Breaking this down on a daily basis, it translates to 25.34 daily incidents, encompassing 4.49 violent crimes and 20.85 property crimes. Evaluating these statistics can aid in forming a more informed perspective on the safety of Knoxville as a potential place to call home.

Has Crime in Knoxville Increased Since Last Year?

Year-over-year crime data allows residents and potential residents to assess the crime in Knoxville. A decrease in crime rates may indicate improving safety, while an increase could raise concerns. The year-over-year crime rate in Knoxville has decreased by 0.8%. Violent crimes have increased by 3.3%, while property crimes have decreased by 1.7%. By comparing crime rates from one year to the next, authorities and communities can identify trends and patterns in criminal activity. This helps in understanding whether crime is increasing, decreasing, or remaining stable over time.

Knoxville Neighborhood Crime Rates

Knoxville is a large urban city with at least 16 distinct neighborhoods. As a result, crime rates will differ dramatically from one neighborhood to the next. Typically, high density neighborhoods that are located close to the city center, experience more crime than neighborhoods on the outskirts of the city. Some of the safest neighborhoods in Knoxville include: Old City, Downtown Knoxville and Fourth And Gill. Some neighborhoods that have a higher number of reported crime that you might want to avoid include: Oakwood, Fort Sanders and Beaumont.

Potential Causes for Crime in Knoxville

Highly populated regions typically encompass expansive urban hubs teeming with diverse economic prospects. Within these areas, income inequality can be exacerbated, giving rise to enclaves of poverty amid affluence. Communities marked by economic disparities may contend with heightened property crimes, and in certain instances, violent crimes. Conversely, regions characterized by low population density often exhibit lower Knoxville crime rates. For instance, in Knoxville, the population density stands at 1899.2 people per square mile, diverging from the national average of 90.6 people per square mile.

Rising cost of living expenses, including increased housing costs, grocery, utility and healthcare expenditures, can induce financial strain on individuals and families, particularly those with limited financial resources. Such economic stress may propel individuals towards crime, including theft or burglary, as a means of addressing their financial hardships. Conversely, cities characterized by a lower cost of living may alleviate economic pressures, potentially resulting in a reduced crime rate. In Knoxville, the cost of living is 15.74% lower than the national average, reflecting a more affordable economic environment that could contribute to a decrease in crime levels.

The impact of law enforcement and community policing efforts plays a crucial role in shaping crime rates in any city. A robust and cooperative bond between law enforcement and the community can serve as a deterrent to criminal activities, enhancing overall safety. In Knoxville, the ratio of police officers and civilians per 1,000 residents stands at 2.79, differing from the national average of 3.25. Effective law enforcement hinges not solely on officer numbers but also on the manner in which they interact and collaborate with the community. Building trust and cooperation are central tenets of community policing, amplifying its influence on crime prevention.

Knoxville crime map

The Knoxville crime map provides a detailed overview of all crimes in Knoxville as reported by the local law enforcement agencies. Based on the color coded legend above, the crime map outlines the areas with lower crime compared to the areas with higher crime. The Knoxville crime heat map offers insight into the total crimes on a block group level. Please note that the red areas on the Knoxville crime map does not always indicate that it is a dangerous area for its residents. Areas on the heat map could be inflated if they are located in high traffic areas like airports, sports centers or large parks. Other areas on the heat map could see increased crime rates if they are located in major tourist areas like the downtown core.
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Crime Quick Facts

  • Knoxville crime rates are 104% higher than the national average
  • Violent crimes in Knoxville are 128% higher than the national average
  • In Knoxville you have a 1 in 22 chance of becoming a victim of crime
  • Knoxville is safer than 5% of the cities in the United States
  • Year over year crime in Knoxville has decreased by 2%

Knoxville, TN Crime Quiz


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        Daily Crime In Knoxville (per 100,000 people)

        The graph above looks at the comparison of crimes committed in Knoxville on a daily basis (per 100,000 people) to crimes committed throughout the state of Tennessee and the USA. According to the latest crime statistics, daily crimes in Knoxville (which include property crimes as well as violent crimes), when compared to Tennessee, are 1.62 times more than the state average and 2.04 times more than than national average. Violent crimes committed in Knoxville on a daily basis are 1.35 times more than than Tennessee average and 2.28 times more than the average nationwide. Daily property crime rates in Knoxville are 1.70 times more than the daily state average and 2.00 times more than the daily national numbers.

        How Safe is Knoxville (higher is better)

        Is Knoxville safe in comparison to other cities in the state of Tennessee as well as in comparison to the rest of the areas across the United States. Using the gauges above, which compare crime in Knoxville to other cities in the state and across the country, Knoxville is 7% safer than other cities of Tennessee and 5% safer than other cities in the nation. Knoxville has a ranks below average in comparison to other cities in the country.

        Chance of Being A Victim of Crime in Knoxville

        The chance of being a victim of violent crime in Knoxville is 1 in 119
        The chance of being a victim of property crime in Knoxville is 1 in 26
        The chance of being a victim of crime in Knoxville is 1 in 22
        Interested in knowing the odds that you will be a crime victim in Knoxville? In Knoxville, you have a 1 in 119 chance of falling victim to a violent crime, such as rape, robbery, assault, or even murder. In terms of property crime, your chances of being a victim are 1 in 26. These crimes include theft, vehicle theft, and burglary. Your overall chance of being a victim of crime in Knoxville, TN is 1 in 22.

        Year Over Year Crime In Knoxville (per 100,000 people)

        An ideal indicator of whether Knoxville is becoming a safer or more dangerous place to live can be done by analyzing the year over year crime rates per 100,000 people. Year over year violent crime in Knoxville has increased by 2% and the rate of property crime in Knoxville has decreased by 3%. The total crime rate in Knoxville has decreased by 2% year to year.

        Knoxville police department

        Item Knoxville Tennessee National
        Law enforcement employees (officers & civilians)50911,551558,732
        Police officers & civilians /1000 residents2.83.63.3
        There are a total of 509 Knoxville police officers. This results in 2.8 police officers per 1,000 residents which is 21.9% less than the Tennessee average and 14.1% less than the National average.

        Sex offenders in Tennessee

        State Total offenders Tennessee /100K National /100K
        There are a total of 24,578 sex offenders in Tennessee. This yields a total of 412 sex offenders in Tennessee per 100,000 residents which is 55% greater than the national average.

        Nearby Cities With Low Crime Rates

        City Population Violent crime/100k people Property crime/100k people Total crime/100k people
        Louisville, TN4,151162598759
        Wildwood, TN1,2212298471,076
        Farragut, TN23,1102619671,228
        Blaine, TN1,9872859991,284
        Plainview, TN2,1102741,0131,287
        Mascot, TN2,6812991,1051,403
        Eagleton Village, TN5,8094951,8322,327
        Knoxville, TN187,4878423,9084,750

        Cities with similar population

        City Population Violent crime/100k people Property crime/100k people Total crime/100k people
        Frisco, TX188,3871031,3371,440
        Cape Coral, FL189,6333582,1662,524
        Worcester, MA185,1866031,6672,270
        Shreveport, LA189,8908113,7904,601
        Mobile, AL189,9949273,0133,940
        Knoxville, TN187,4878423,9084,750
        Source: The Knoxville, TN crime data displayed above is derived from the FBI's uniform crime reports for the year of 2022. The crime report encompasses more than 18,000 city and state law enforcement agencies reporting data on property and violent crimes. The uniform crime reports program represents approximately 309 million American residents, which results in 98% coverage of metropolitan statistical areas.