7 Most Dangerous Neighborhoods in Memphis

By PropertyClub Team
Nov 10th 2023
Memphis is the music and barbecue capital of Western Tennessee. Memphis often gets a bad reputation for crime and has many “most dangerous” lists. While some neighborhoods have improved, much of Memphis’ bad reputation is well earned. To help you stay out of the bad part of town, we’ve made a list of the seven worst neighborhoods in Memphis. 

hash-mark7 Most Dangerous Neighborhoods in Memphis

  1. Downtown
  2. Parkway Village-Oakhaven
  3. Berclair-Highland Heights 
  4. New Pathways
  5. Riverside
  6. Shelby Forest-Frayser
  7. White Haven-Coro Lake 

hash-mark1. Downtown

The most dangerous neighborhood in Memphis is Downtown. This area is the cultural and economic center of Memphis, but it is also the worst neighborhood in Memphis for crime. The violent crime rate in Downtown Memphis is 890% above the national average, with many homicides, shootings, and robberies occurring annually. Downtown has problems stemming from poverty, gang activity, and drug trafficking as well. 

hash-mark2. Parkway Village-Oakhaven

Parkway Village-Oakhaven is another one of the worst neighborhoods in Memphis due to its soaring crime rate. This area is located in the southeastern part of Memphis and is home to a large homeless population. The average income for residents is far below the poverty line, with the school system receiving low rankings. The violent crime rate in Parkway Village is 781% above the national average, with dozens of shootings and homicides occurring annually. 

hash-mark3. Berclair-Highland Heights 

Berclair-Highland Heights is also one of the most dangerous neighborhoods in Memphis. The Berclair-Highland Heights neighborhood is located in east Memphis and has a population of 33,880. The neighborhood’s total crime rate is 318% higher than the national average. Berclair’s violent crime right is exorbitantly high, with shootings, gang activity, robberies, and muggings being common. In 2022, there were 6,813 incidents of property crime, including burglary, car theft, and larceny. 

hash-mark4. New Pathways

New Pathways is a rough neighborhood near downtown Memphis that has struggled with high crime rates for decades. With a population of 7,711, New Pathways has a total crime rate that is 300% above the national average. Violent crimes like shootings and robberies are common in this area, with police presence being minimal. Walking alone at night is not advised, and taking public transportation can be unsafe. 

hash-mark5. Riverside

Another one of the most violent neighborhoods in Memphis is Riverside. This neighborhood is located in South Memphis near Martin Luther King Riverside Park. Riverside has a high violent crime rate, with shootings, robberies, and homicides being common. There is also a heavy gang presence in Riverside, which contributes to much of the crime. Property crimes like personal theft, burglary, and car break-ins occur regularly. 

hash-mark6. Shelby Forest-Frayser

Located just 12 miles north of downtown Memphis, Shelby Forest-Frayser is known for being one of the most dangerous parts of the city. This neighborhood has a population of 34,652, with a crime rate that is 285% higher than the national average. The violent crime rate alone is far above the state average, with thousands of violent incidents per year. Homicides, shootings, theft, and robberies are all common in Shelby Forest-Frayser. 

hash-mark7. White Haven-Coro Lake

White Haven-Coro Lake is another one of the most dangerous neighborhoods in Memphis. This large community is located in south Memphis and has a population of 88,153. With a total crime rate that is 261% above the national average, White Haven-Coro Lake is a hotbed for both violent and property crime. In 2022, there were 5,887 violent and 2,592 property crime incidents in the area. Gang activity, shootings, robberies, and property theft are some of the common types of crime in the area. Walking through White Haven-Coro Lake at night or taking public transit is not advised.