When it’s time to rest, it’s essential to feel confident in the security of your space, free of the concern of whether you’ve adequately secured your property. However, how can you be sure if your new residence will offer this peace of mind?
If you’re planning a move to Georgia, the region is a mixture of safe havens and more questionable neighborhoods. This state offers stunning views, beautiful beaches, and rich history, but it also has certain cities with somewhat risky areas, particularly during the evening hours. So, we have highlighted the most perilous cities in Georgia for 2023, using FBI data as a reference.
Our focus has been on violent and property crimes per capita for cities with populations over 5,000. Our aim is to equip you with knowledge about crime hotspots, facilitating a well-informed decision. However, it’s important to note that we’re not commenting on the effectiveness of local police forces, and every city we discuss has secure zones as well.
Taking the whole state into account, Georgia ranks relatively high among the riskier U.S. states, landing within the top third. The cities listed contribute significantly to this state-wide perception of danger.
So, as you enjoy your chicken and dumplings and sip your favorite locally brewed beer, read on to learn more.
Georgia’s Most Riskiest Cities
|Rank||City||Population||Violent Crimes per 100k||Property Crimes per 100k|
- College Park
- Garden City
- Forest Park
1. College Park
College Park, sitting on the southern side of Atlanta, tops the list once again as Georgia’s most perilous city. It houses the busiest airport globally, but also a significant amount of crime.
The city reports the highest rate of violent crime in Georgia, including the 16th highest rape cases rate and the highest murder rate. Property crime is also prevalent; in 2020 alone, 213 residents of College Park reported their cars stolen.
However, it’s worth noting that the FBI’s crime data is based on crime locations, and the police department covers Clayton and Fulton County areas associated with the city, not just the city itself.
That said, College Park produced well-known artists like Ludacris, 2 Chainz, and Jung Joc, whose songs don’t exactly depict a utopian scene.
- Population: 15,204
- Rank Last Year: 1
- Violent Crimes Per 100k: 1,756
- Property Crimes Per 100k: 6,143
Coming in second place as one of Georgia’s most perilous places is Americus, a city of 14,910 residents in Sumter County. Americus had the 13th highest rate of rape cases in the state, with a total of 161 violent crimes reported in 2020.
The city’s murder and burglary rates rank as the 22nd and 15th highest statewide, so it’s important to remain alert and ensure your property is secure.
Americus hosts the international headquarters for Habitat for Humanity, so a little focus on reducing local crime could see this city disappear from this list in no time.
- Population: 14,910
- Rank Last Year: 2
- Violent Crimes Per 100k: 1,079
- Property Crimes Per 100k: 5,231
3. Garden City
Garden City, despite its idyllic name and appealing location on the outskirts of charming Savannah, is the third riskiest city in Georgia. This place, contrary to its serene image, records the third-highest violent crime rate in the state.
- Population: 8,716
- Rank Last Year: –
- Violent Crimes Per 100k: 1,376
- Property Crimes Per 100k: 4,612
Albany, Georgia’s seventh-largest city, stands as the fourth riskiest place to live in the state. In 2020, residents faced a 1 in 58 chance of being a violent crime victim. Alarmingly, this is the second-highest violent crime rate in Georgia.
Furthermore, Albany has Georgia’s second-highest burglary rate, with approximately two break-ins occurring daily.
While Chehaw Park & Zoo may boast frightening predators, there’s far scarier happenings on the streets of Albany.
- Population: 71,567
- Rank Last Year: 3
- Violent Crimes Per 100k: 1,724
- Property Crimes Per 100k: 4,398
Situated in southeast Georgia, Waycross is a hub for travel. Its name originates from its 19th-century role as a central railroad junction.
While its accessibility may seem appealing, it’s unfortunately also home to Georgia’s fifth-highest crime rate, meaning you might find those transportation routes handy for a swift escape.
- Population: 13,363
- Rank Last Year: –
- Violent Crimes Per 100k: 965
- Property Crimes Per 100k: 5,672
Griffin is notable for its role in the renowned First Amendment case, Lovell v. City of Griffin, in 1938. However, its current reputation is marred by high rates of larcenies and burglaries, landing it amongst the top five cities in Georgia for these crimes.
- Population: 22,773
- Last Year’s Rank: –
- Violent Crimes Per 100k: 1,132
- Property Crimes Per 100k: 4,786
7. Forest Park
Situated just south of Atlanta, Forest Park saw a high number of car thefts and larcenies in 2020. The city also ranks among the top ten in Georgia for rape and murder rates. It’s a notable leap from not being on the list the previous year.
- Population: 20,202
- Last Year’s Rank: 4
- Violent Crimes Per 100k: 1,004
- Property Crimes Per 100k: 4,341
Known as the Watermelon Capital of the World, Cordele draws crowds every June for its Watermelon Festival. However, it also has a high number of larcenies and sexual assaults, ranking fifth in the state for these offences.
- Population: 10,451
- Last Year’s Rank:
- Violent Crimes Per 100k: 688
- Property Crimes Per 100k: 5,042
A short drive from the Alabama border, LaGrange offers history, culture, and outdoor activities. But it also suffers from a high property crime rate, especially larcenies, making it the ninth most dangerous city in Georgia.
- Population: 30,406
- Last Year’s Rank: –
- Violent Crimes Per 100k: 578
- Property Crimes Per 100k: 5,686
Eastman, known as the birthplace of Stuckey’s pecan log roll, also has a less savory reputation. It’s the tenth most dangerous city in Georgia, with notable burglary and robbery rates.
- Population: 5,018
- Last Year’s Rank: –
- Violent Crimes Per 100k: 916
- Property Crimes Per 100k: 3,925
To determine the most dangerous cities in Georgia for 2023, we followed a specific methodology. We relied on the 2020 Crime In The United States Report released by the FBI, which provides comprehensive crime data for cities across the country. Although the report is preliminary and limited to the largest cities, it serves as a valuable resource.
To ensure a fair comparison, we only considered cities in Georgia with a population of over 5,000. This narrowed down our analysis to 76 cities in the state. We focused on two key criteria: Violent Crimes Per Capita and Property Crimes Per Capita.
For each criterion, we ranked the cities from 1 to 76, with a ranking of #1 indicating the highest level of danger in that particular category. Once we had the rankings for both violent crimes and property crimes, we calculated an average to create a “Dangerous Index” for each city.
The final step involved ranking the cities based on their “Dangerous Index,” with the city having the lowest index considered the most dangerous in Georgia. In cases of ties, preference was given to smaller cities.
Please note that the data used in this analysis is from the 2020 report, and we will update our results when the 2022 data becomes available in September 2023. You can find the downloadable data for further reference.
Here are the safest cities in Georgia:
- Folkston (Pop. 5,072)
- Jefferson (Pop. 12,349)
- Braselton (Pop. 13,758)
- McRae-Helena (Pop. 8,246)
- Peachtree City (Pop. 36,421)
- Douglas (Pop. 11,696)
- Hampton (Pop. 8,201)
- Tyrone (Pop. 7,575)
- Milton (Pop. 40,368)
- Johns Creek (Pop. 85,408)
What factors were considered in determining the dangerousness of these cities?
The analysis focused on two main factors: Violent Crimes Per Capita and Property Crimes Per Capita. Violent crimes include offenses such as murder, rape, robbery, and aggravated assault.
Property crimes include offenses like burglary, larceny, motor vehicle theft, and arson. These factors were used to assess the level of danger in each city.
Are these rankings definitive, or do they change over time?
The rankings are based on data from the 2020 report, and they provide a snapshot of the most dangerous cities in Georgia at that time.
It’s important to note that crime rates can change over time, and new data from subsequent years may alter the rankings. The analysis will be updated when the 2022 data becomes available in September 2023.
Does being ranked as a dangerous city mean that the entire city is unsafe?
No, being ranked as a dangerous city does not mean that the entire city is unsafe. The analysis focuses on specific criteria related to violent and property crimes.
Cities can have safe neighborhoods or areas alongside more high-crime areas. It’s essential to exercise caution and be aware of your surroundings, especially in areas with higher crime rates.
Does the analysis consider the effectiveness of local police forces?
The analysis based on FBI data does not directly consider the effectiveness of local police forces. It focuses primarily on crime statistics and rates per capita.
The presence and effectiveness of local law enforcement can vary from city to city and may have an impact on crime rates, but it is not explicitly addressed in this analysis.
What should I do if I’m planning to move to one of these cities?
If you’re planning to move to one of the cities listed as more dangerous, it’s important to research and gather as much information as possible about the specific neighborhoods you are considering. Look into crime rates for those areas, consult local resources and community forums, and consider reaching out to local law enforcement for their insights.
Taking precautionary measures like securing your property, being vigilant, and getting to know your neighbors can help enhance your safety.
Are there any safe areas within these cities?
Yes, within each of these cities, there are likely safer neighborhoods or areas. It’s crucial to do thorough research, consult local resources, and potentially visit the city in person to get a better understanding of the different neighborhoods.
Some neighborhoods may have lower crime rates or a stronger sense of community and security. Working with a real estate agent or local residents can provide valuable insights into identifying safer areas within these cities.
While Georgia offers beautiful landscapes, rich history, and vibrant communities, it is important to be aware of the crime rates in certain cities. Based on the analysis of FBI data for 2020, we have highlighted the most dangerous cities in Georgia for 2023. It is crucial to note that these rankings are based on specific criteria such as violent crimes and property crimes per capita.
College Park, Americus, Garden City, Albany, and Waycross were ranked as the top five most perilous cities in Georgia. Each city has its own unique challenges and crime rates that should be considered when making decisions about moving or residing in these areas.