Memphis is a wonderful city to visit, but unfortunately, some areas have higher rates of crime and are not considered safe. Downtown is one such neighborhood that should be approached with caution. To ensure your safety, it’s worth considering which neighborhoods to avoid when in Memphis.
There are numerous misconceptions surrounding the neighborhoods in Memphis, with options ranging from trendy and hipster districts to preppy areas, college-friendly communities, and even low-income neighborhoods. Memphis offers a diverse range of neighborhoods that cater to different preferences. Despite being recognized as one of the best places to live in the United States due to its thriving economy and abundant entertainment options, Memphis is not without its challenges.
Shelby Forest-Frayser is considered the most perilous neighborhood in Memphis due to its high incidence of homicides and the likelihood of being a victim of a crime, which stands at 1 in 12. Following closely are Downtown Parkway Village-Oakhaven, White Haven-Coro Lake, and Berclair-Highland Heights neighborhoods.
We examined 13 distinct neighborhoods in Memphis to identify the least desirable places to reside that fail to meet the city’s standards. We invite you to read on to learn about our methodology for compiling the list of areas in Memphis that require improvement. Please note that we are merely reporting our findings and are not responsible for the state of these neighborhoods.
Determining The Worst Neighborhoods Of Memphis in 2023
To identify the most disadvantaged neighborhoods in Memphis, we assessed several crucial factors and utilized a ranking system to compare and contrast the neighborhoods. We present this list to you, compiled after thorough evaluation, to provide insight into the city’s most challenging areas.
Factors Used To Determine The Worst Neighborhoods In Memphis in 2023
Our findings were based on the following key factors:
- Unemployment Rate: The number of unemployed individuals in a neighborhood is a crucial indicator of its economic health and well-being.
- Population Density and Tourism: Neighborhoods with high population density and those that are popular tourist destinations are more likely to receive attention and resources for improvements.
- Environmental Protection: The lack of environmental protections can lead to an increase in crime rates in certain areas.
- Real Estate Costs: Examining real estate costs is crucial to determine if a property is undervalued due to inhabitable or unsafe conditions.
- Business Performance: The economic strength of a neighborhood, as indicated by the success of local businesses, is a significant factor in assessing its overall value.
- Crime Rates: We gathered accurate and comprehensive data on crime rates in each neighborhood to assess the safety and security of its residents.
Top 5 Most Dangerous Neighborhoods In Memphis in 2023
The following are the five most dangerous neighborhoods in Memphis, and while they may be relatively safe to visit, we strongly advise against living in these areas. We recommend selecting a safer neighborhood for long-term residence.
1. Shelby Forest-Frayser
Shelby Forest-Frayser remains the most challenging neighborhood in Memphis, as it has been for several years, according to our analysis. With a violent crime rate of 2,434 per 100,000 and a property crime rate of 6,623 per 100,000, the neighborhood is exceptionally unsafe. Despite being densely populated with 34,952 residents, the likelihood of becoming a crime victim in this area is 1 in 12, which are unfavorable odds.
What’s more, the murder rate in Shelby Forest-Frayser is higher than in other neighborhoods on our list, making violent crimes in the area particularly perilous, often resulting in fatalities or severe injuries. We strongly advise against living in this community due to the high risk of crime and violence.
Despite its attractiveness, Shelby Forest-Frayser is a stunning region that has drawn the attention of many people. However, its location on the Mississippi River and the outskirts of Meeman-Shelby Forest State Park has also made it an attractive target for criminals, especially given the isolated nature of the area.
- Violent Crime (per 100k) -3,070
- Property Crime (per 100k) – 8,447
- Average Income: $25,786
Downtown Memphis is situated close to several highways, making it a chaotic and unsafe area. The presence of homeless people is also prevalent due to the availability of escape routes and open spaces under the overpasses. The high poverty level and crime rate in this area can be alarming.
Despite the issues, Downtown Memphis remains a popular tourist destination, given its status as the country music capital. However, if you are planning to visit, it’s better to stay in a safer area and avoid booking a hotel room downtown.
3. Parkway Village-Oakhaven
- Violent Crime (per 100k): 2,759
- Property Crime (per 100k): 7,838
- Average Income: 34,723
The neighborhood of Parkway Village-Oakhaven, located in the southeastern part of Memphis, is situated at the intersection of three highways. This makes the area vulnerable to violence and attracts a high volume of transient activity, which can contribute to the area’s lower property value and higher crime rates.
The poverty rate in the area has risen, leading to an increase in criminal activity, particularly drug-related crimes. As a result, the area has not seen much development or improvement, further exacerbating the issue. The chance of becoming a victim of crime in Parkway Village-Oakhaven is 1 in 10.
4. White Haven-Coro Lake
- Violent Crime (per 100k): 2,094
- Property Crime (per 100k): 6,483
- Average Income: $34,319
White Haven, one of the larger communities in Memphis, has a population of over 80,000 residents, with 50% of them being renters. The median rent in the White Haven-Coro Lake community is $734, and the median house value is $69,690, which is a reflection of the lack of upkeep in the area.
White Haven-Coro Lake has a crime rate that is more than 245% higher than the national average, with violent crime rates 452% higher. Moreover, both violent and property crime rates are significantly higher in White Haven and Coro Lake than in the rest of Memphis. Due to these alarming statistics, the area is not a desirable location for relocation or living.
5. Berclair-Highland Heights
- Violent Crime (per 100k): 2,409
- Property Crime (per 100k): 7,503
- Average Income: $29,979
Although Berclair-Highland Heights is an area that is beginning to improve, it still has a long way to go. This is why we have decided to include it on our list. The neighborhood has a violent crime rate that is 535% higher than the national average, which is a cause for concern. It is only 10% safer than other parts of Memphis, and you have a 1 in 11 chance of being a victim of a crime in this area.