The online publication SafeWise released its annual list of Tennessee’s safest cities on Wednesday, with Spring Hill and Franklin being ranked as the 12th and 18th safest cities in the state, respectively. Both cities were placed six spots higher than in SafeWise’s 2019 list of safest Tennessee cities.
The city of Brentwood and the town of Nolensville dropped from their previous standings, however. Previously ranked as the fourth safest city, Brentwood’s recent ranking from Safewise placed it at the number eight spot. Nolensville also dropped in its 2019 safety ranking of 11th to the 23rd safest city.
With an estimated population of 41,354, Spring Hill was first placed among the top 20 safest cities by SafeWise in 2019, coming in as the 18th safest city. Its 2019 ranking was calculated from its violent crime and property crime rates, which in the 2019 study were at 1.73 and 10 incidents per 1,000 people, respectively.
Looking at crime rates used to calculate Spring Hill’s safety ranking in 2020, its violent crime rate dropped from 1.73 to just 1 indecent per 1,000 people. Spring Hill’s property crime rate increased, however, from 10 to 10.8.
Previously coming in as the 24th safest city, Franklin’s ranking jumped to number 18 in this latest study. With an estimated population of 80,825, the 2019 study found Franklin’s violent crime and property crime rates to be 1.9 and 13.6 incidents per 1,000 people, respectively.
In the 2020 study, both violent crime and property crime rates dropped to 1.5 and 12.1, respectively.
While the city of Brentwood saw its safety ranking drop by four spots since 2019, it is still ranked as the single safest city in Williamson County, coming in as the eighth safest city in the state.
Estimated to have a population of 43,507, Brentwood’s violent crime and property crime rates in the 2019 study were reported as .7 and 9.3 incidents per 1,000 people, respectively. In this new study, the violent crime rate increased by a single decimal to .8, whereas the property crime rate dropped a single decimal to 9.3.
Second only to Thompson’s Station as the smallest municipality in Williamson County, the town of Nolensville ranked as the 23rd safest city in the state in this new study, dropping significantly from its previous rank of 11th.
Estimated to have a population of 8,545, the 2019 study found Nolensville’s violent and property crime rates to have been 1.27 and 12.68 incidents per 1,000 people, respectively. In this new study, both those rates increased to 1.9 and 14.6, respectively.
Looking at the state as a whole, Tennessee’s violent crime rate currently stands at 6.2 incidents per 1,000 people, which is down from the 6.6 reported last year, but still significantly higher than the national rate of 3.7.
Tennessee’s property crime rate currently sits at 28.3 incidents per 1,000 people. This is also down from the previous year, which showed a property crime rate of 29.5, but still higher than the national property crime rate of 22.
How the study was conducted
SafeWise generated its rankings by analyzing 2018 FBI crime report statistics, which are the most recent complete report available. SafeWise’s 2019 safest cities list used FBI crime data from 2017.
Population estimates were taken from the U.S. Census Bureau, with crime rates being calculated as incidents per 1,000 people, rather than the typical format of incidents per 100,000 people as to better “compare the likelihood of these crimes occurring in cities with vastly different populations.”