10 Most Dangerous Cities In Alabama 2024: Explore With Caution

I’ve always found Alabama fascinating for its rich and significant history, which really helps understand the United States’ evolution.

I often think of it as the “Heart of Dixie,” a place where pivotal moments of the Civil Rights movement happened, with heroes like Rosa Parks and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. playing key roles.

It’s also where famous figures like Channing Tatum and Helen Keller were born, which adds to its charm.

Alabama’s love for college football and its role as a major steel piping producer show the diverse culture and economy here.

From my experience, when planning a trip to Alabama, it’s important to be aware of certain areas that might be risky.

Continue reading to discover more!

Riskiest Places In Alabama

Key Takeaways

  • Risky Cities Identified: My travels revealed Anniston, Fairfield, Bessemer, Birmingham, Prichard, Lanett, Selma, Gadsden, Tarrant, and Troy as cities with higher crime rates.
  • Climate Preparedness: In Alabama, I always gear up for hot summers with essentials like bug spray and sunscreen, and stay cautious during mild winters with occasional ice storms.
  • Valuables Discretion: I’ve learned to keep expensive items discreet due to higher poverty rates, often leaving them at home or in hotel safes.
  • Situational Awareness: Exploring Alabama requires constant vigilance. If I feel uneasy in any neighborhood, I promptly leave.
  • Avoiding Protests: Observing the dynamics of protests, I choose to stay clear from any gatherings that might escalate into conflict.

10 Riskiest Places 2024

City Population Violent Crime Rate per 100,000 Property Crime Rate per 100,000
Anniston 22,400 2,992 6,250
Fairfield 11,000 1,500 5,000
Bessemer 26,800 721 3,371
Birmingham 212,000 1,483 6,132
Prichard 22,300 1,193 5,650
Lanette 6,200 1,129 4,516
Selma 19,500 1,641 6,205
Gadsden 36,300 1,000 5,234
Tarrant 6,300 511 2,674
Troy 19,000 445 2,105

10. Troy

Troy, a town with just under 19,000 residents, records double the national average violent crime rate, with 445 violent crimes and 676 property crimes according to the A-Z Animals. While violent crimes have decreased, property crimes have seen an increase in recent years, making Troy the tenth city on this list. Daytime activities are safe, but caution is advised for nighttime activities. Accommodation options with robust security systems are available, but flashing valuables or carrying large sums of cash is discouraged.

Troy’s small-town charm is undeniable, but being aware of the crime statistics, I keep my visits to well-lit, busier areas, especially during the day, and stay vigilant about my surroundings.

  • Population: 19,000
  • Violent Crime Rate per 100,000: 445
  • Property Crime Rate per 100,000: 2,105

9. Tarrant

Tarrant Alabama

Tarrant is a small town with a population of 6,300, ranking ninth in terms of crime rate as per NewsBreak Original. The town’s crime rate is 143% higher than the state average and 210% higher than the national average. Daytime activities are typically safe, but the town has recorded 511 violent crimes and 2,674 property crimes per 100,000 people. Despite a few panhandlers and pickpockets, public transportation is generally considered safe.

In Tarrant, despite its size, the high crime rate makes me cautious. I find it’s best to stick to daytime activities and use prearranged transportation when moving around at night.

  • Population: 6,300
  • Violent Crime Rate per 100,000: 511
  • Property Crime Rate per 100,000: 2,674

8. Gadsden

Gadsden Alabama

A city with rich historical roots related to the Civil War, is an industrial hub with a population of 36,300. Despite police efforts, Gadsden records 1,000 violent crimes per 100,000 people, a staggering 179% higher than the U.S. average as per same source as above. Property crime rates are also high. While daytime exploration is safe, solo female travelers need to be cautious at night. Public transportation is considered safe for commuting around the city.

  • Population: 36,300
  • Violent Crime Rate per 100,000: 1,000
  • Property Crime Rate per 100,000: 5,234

7. Selma

Located in south-central Alabama, Selma has a history of drug-related crime and gang violence. Despite having a small population of only 19,500, the city still suffers from a high crime rate for its size as per Alabama Law Enforcment Agency. However, recent statistics show a 5% decrease in crime, making Selma marginally safer than other U.S. cities. While police patrols are sparse in some parts of the town, day trips are generally safe but nighttime activities are discouraged.

Selma’s rich history always draws me in, but I stay vigilant about safety. My visits are typically short and during the daytime, avoiding less populated areas.

  • If you want to read more articles on Alabama check here.
  • Population: 19,500
  • Violent Crime Rate per 100,000: 1,641
  • Property Crime Rate per 100,000: 6,205

6. Lanett

Lanett, a small town located in east-central Alabama, houses just 6,200 residents but experiences a crime rate that’s three times the national average as per Travel Safe Abroad. Once notorious for gang violence, Lanett’s local government has worked hard to alleviate this issue since the early 2010s. While property crime has been on a downward trend, violent crime has seen a slight increase in recent years. Daytime activities are generally safe, but residents and visitors are advised to remain indoors at night.

  • Population: 6,200
  • Violent Crime Rate per 100,000: 1,129
  • Property Crime Rate per 100,000: 4,516

5. Prichard


A city with approximately 22,300 inhabitants, suffers from a crime rate that’s 2.1 times the national average, making it a less desirable place to live. The city experienced a 32% drop in crime after 2017, with violent crime numbers reaching 1,193. Despite decreasing crime rates and increased police activity, Prichard is still ranked the 12th worst place to live in the U.S. Daytime activities are relatively safe, but nighttime activities, particularly for solo female travelers, should be avoided.

Prichard has a community spirit that’s hard to miss, but the crime statistics are sobering. I make sure to plan my visits during the day and stay in areas with more activity and people around.

  • Population: 22,300
  • Violent Crime Rate per 100,000: 1,193
  • Property Crime Rate per 100,000: 5,650

4. Birmingham

Birmingham, popularly referred to as The Magic City due to its rapid expansion in the steel and iron sectors, is the most populous city in Alabama, boasting over 212,000 residents. A high murder rate (88 murders) places Birmingham in a peculiar position, having a higher per capita murder rate than most larger cities.

Areas like downtown, Ensley, and Norwood are known for gang violence and should be avoided if possible. The suburbs, on the other hand, are generally safer, with reliable public transportation options.

  • Population: 212,000
  • Violent Crime Rate per 100,000: 1,483
  • Property Crime Rate per 100,000: 6,132

3. Bessemer

Bessemer, Alabama

Located in Birmingham’s southwestern region with a population of about 26,800, is renowned for its natural resources of limestone, iron ore, and coal. However, it’s also the sixth most dangerous place to live in Alabama due to its high crime rate, even with a decrease by 25% in recent years.

Bessemer reports about 4,500 crimes per 100,000 people, with violent crime constituting 721 incidents and property crime accounting for 3,371 according to Paw Research Center.

Bessemer’s industrial heritage is fascinating, but I’m always mindful of its safety concerns. I tend to stick to the main areas and avoid less frequented neighborhoods, especially after dark.

  • Population: 26,800
  • Violent Crime Rate per 100,000: 721
  • Property Crime Rate per 100,000: 3,371

2. Fairfield

Fairfield AL

Fairfield’s crime rate stands at an alarming 219% higher than Alabama’s average and 308% above the U.S. average, despite its relatively small population of just under 11,000. This makes it the 34th most dangerous place to live in the U.S. Fairfield’s crime, including both violent and property crime, has been consistently high over recent years. Daytime activities are generally safe, but caution is advised at night, with prearranged transportation being preferable.

Every time I visit Anniston, I’m struck by its quaint charm, but I’m always cautious. The high crime rates mean I usually plan my activities during the day and try to stay in well-populated areas.

  • Population: 11,000
  • Violent Crime Rate per 100,000: 1,500
  • Property Crime Rate per 100,000: 5,000

1. Anniston

Situated in Alabama’s northeast region, is unfortunately recognized as one of the most dangerous cities in the state. It has a population of roughly 22,400. Anniston’s violent crime rate is a whopping 2,992 per 100,000 people, which is significantly higher than the U.S. average by 68% according to the 24/7 Wall Street. Both residents and tourists have a 1 in 10 likelihood of becoming a crime victim, making it advisable to restrict activities during the day and night, and consider bypassing this city entirely if possible.

  • Population: 22,400
  • Violent Crime Rate per 100,000: 2,992
  • Property Crime Rate per 100,000: 6,250

5 Crucial Safety Guidelines for Your Alabama Visit

One: Prepare for the Climate

In my trips to Alabama, I’ve learned that its summers are hot and humid due to its location. Most places are air-conditioned, but for outdoor activities like hiking, it’s crucial to have bug spray, sunscreen, and plenty of water.  Dressing for the weather is key.  Although winters are usually mild, watch out for rare ice storms that can make driving or walking treacherous.

Two: Be Discreet with Valuables

I noticed that Alabama has a higher poverty rate, and displaying expensive items can be risky. I’ve made it a point to either leave my costly belongings at home or keep them secure in a hotel safe. It’s better to be safe than sorry, especially to avoid attracting attention that could lead to theft.

Three: Stay Alert in Different Areas

Exploring Alabama’s neighborhoods is part of its appeal, but I always stay vigilant. If I feel uneasy, I trust my gut and leave the area. Although many places are safe both day and night, knowing the quickest way out is always smart.

Four: Avoid Protests

In America, protests are a right and can be powerful, but they sometimes turn violent. I’ve learned that  even peaceful protests can escalate quickly.  So, if I see a crowd gathering, I steer clear. It’s important to stay out of potential conflicts, especially to avoid injury or legal issues while traveling.

Five: Be Cautious When Camping

Alabama’s natural beauty is stunning, but camping here needs caution. I always let the local ranger’s office know my plans and carry a first-aid kit. Sticking to marked paths and using designated camping sites is best to avoid encounters with dangerous wildlife.

Stick to the designated paths and set up camp only at officially designated camping sites.


What are the best cities in Alabama for families?

Several cities in Alabama are known for their family-friendly environments, good schools, and community activities. Cities like  Madison, Hoover, and Auburn are often recommended for families  due to their excellent educational institutions and low crime rates.

Job market in Alabama?

Alabama’s job market varies by region, with cities like Huntsville and Birmingham offering more opportunities, especially in sectors like technology, manufacturing, and healthcare. Research the job market in specific areas based on your industry for a better understanding.

Cost of living in Alabama?

The cost of living in Alabama is generally lower than the national average. This includes housing, utilities, groceries, and transportation. However, it can vary depending on the city or town you choose to live in.

What is the healthcare system like in Alabama?

Alabama has a range of healthcare facilities, including hospitals and clinics, with notable institutions in larger cities. However, access to healthcare may vary in rural areas.

Are there any natural disaster risks in Alabama?

Alabama can experience severe weather, including tornadoes, hurricanes, and severe thunderstorms. It’s important to be aware of these risks and the local emergency procedures in your area.

How is the public transportation system in Alabama?

Public transportation options vary greatly across Alabama. Larger cities like Birmingham and Montgomery have more developed public transportation systems, while in smaller towns and rural areas, options are limited.

What are the recreational activities available in Alabama?

Alabama offers a wide range of recreational activities, from hiking and camping in its numerous state parks to enjoying beaches along the Gulf Coast. The state is also known for its rich cultural heritage, including museums, historical sites, and a vibrant music scene.


In conclusion, Alabama offers a rich tapestry of history, culture, and natural beauty for visitors to explore. While the state has notable cities and neighborhoods with higher crime rates, it is important to remember that crime can occur anywhere, and many areas in Alabama are safe and welcoming.

By familiarizing yourself with the potential risks and following essential safety guidelines, you can enjoy a memorable and secure visit to Alabama. Be aware of the specific neighborhoods with higher crime rates, such as those mentioned in the article, and exercise caution when venturing into these areas.


Please note that the insights and data presented in this blog post are based on my personal observations and interpretations, supplemented by various online sources. The information provided is intended for general informational purposes and should not be considered as any form of advice. The economic landscapes and data are subject to change, and I encourage readers to consult additional sources for the most current information. The views expressed are my own and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position.

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