Is Louisville, Kentucky Safe? (Crime Rates And Crime Stats)


If you are thinking about visiting Louisville and have some qualms about the safety of the city, we got you covered.

We are going to deep dive into the statistics, look at some maps, graphs and talk to the residents of the city to give you a better understanding of how safe Louisville really is.

Is Louisville, Kentucky Safe To Visit?

Statistically speaking, Louisville is a slightly unsafe place to visit. In 2020, Louisville had a violent crime rate of 926.58 per 100,000 people and is on par with cities like Chicago, Houston and Cincinnati.

Murder in the city is particularly bad. In 2021 Louisville reported 188 homicides, which broke its all time record that was set in 2020.

is louisville kentucky safe

Louisville, Kentucky Crime Stats

Here’s a breakdown of all the crimes in the city for 2020 compared to 2019:

2019

2020

Percent Change

Homicide

93

150

61%

Rape

213

146

-31%

Robbery

1,008

1,131

12%

Aggravated Assault

3,377

4,280

27%

Burglary

4,358

4,436

2%

Larceny/Theft

18,189

13,969

-23%

Motor Vehicle Theft

3,963

4,025

2%

Arson

58

56

-3%

TOTALS

31,259

28,193

-10%

**All data is from the FBI Crime Data Explorer**

Louisville’s Violent Crime Stats

In 2020 Louisville reported 5,707 violent crimes and had a violent crime rate of 926.58 per 100,000 people.

  • The national average for violent crime is 398.5 per 100,000 residents. Louisville’s violent crime rate is 2.3x greater than the national average.
  • Louisville’s violent crime rate is 3.6x greater than the state average.
  • Year over year violent crime has increased by 22%.

Here’s a map showing you how violent crime has trended in Louisville over a 17 year period.

  • Violent crime in Louisville is at its highest level in the last 17 years.

violent crimes in louisville kentucky graph

*Violent crimes include; homicides, rape, robbery and aggravated assaults and the violent crime rate is calculated by dividing the number of reported crimes by the total population; the result is multiplied by 100,000.

Louisville’s Property Crime Stats

In 2020 Louisville reported 22,430 property crimes and had a property crime rate of 3,641.68 per 100,000 people.

  • The national average for property crime is 1958.2 per 100,000 residents. Louisville’s property crime rate is roughly 1.9x greater than the national average.
  • Louisville’s property crime rate is 2.1x greater than the state average.
  • Year over year property crime in Louisville has decreased by 18%.
  • Louisville has a similar property crime rate to Jacksonville, Corpus Christi and Phoenix.

Here’s a map showing you how property crime has trended in Louisville over a 17 year period.

  • Property crime peaked in 2003 when there were 31949 property crimes reported and the city had a property crime rate of roughly 5,705.18 per 100,000 people.
  • Property crime has decreased over 30% from it’s 17-year high in 2003.

property crimes in louisville kentucky graph

*Property crimes include; burglary, larceny-theft, motor vehicle theft, and arson and property crime rate is calculated by dividing the number of reported crimes by the total population; the result is multiplied by 100,000.

Louisville’s Murder Stats

In 2020, Louisville reported 150 homicide and had a homicide rate of 24.35 per 100,000 people.

  • Year over year murder has increased by 61%.
  • Louisville’s murder rate is 3.8x greater than the national average.
  • Louisville’s murder rate is 3.4x greater than the state average.
  • Louisville has a similar homicide rate to cities like Chicago, Washington, D.C. and Cincinnati.
  • In 2021 Louisville reported 188 homicides and that is the most amount of homicides ever reported in the city.

homicides in louisville kentucky graph

Here’s a map showing you all the locations of homicides in Louisville from July 20, 2021 – January 15, 2022

louisville kentucky crime map

Louisville vs The Rest Of Kentucky

Here’s a graph showing you the violent crime rates of the 10 most populous cities in Kentucky. Louisville’s has the highest violent crime rate of all the cities on the list.

louisville vs kentucky cities

City

Population

Violent Crime Rate

1. Louisville

615,924

926.58

2. Covington

40,961

375.97

3. Bowling Green

72,294

341.66

4. Lexington

322,570

323.34

5. Hopkinsville

31,180

285.44

6. Owensboro

60,183

267.52

7. Richmond

34,585

193.73

8. Florence

31,946

172.17

9. Georgetown

37,086

169.88

10. Elizabethtown

31,394

140.15

Louisville, Kentucky vs The Most Dangerous Cities in the United States

Here’s a list of the top 18 most dangerous cities in the United States ranked by violent crime rates. Louisville’s violent crime rate is 2.6x less than Memphis, the most dangerous city on the list.

most dangerous cities in the us vs louisville

City

Number of violent crimes in 2020

Violent Crime Rate

Memphis

15,310

2,418.24

Detroit

14,370

2,248.44

St. Louis

6,017

1,995.17

Little Rock

3,657

1,805.11

South Bend

1,765

1,706.09

Cleveland

6,294

1,689.10

Milwaukee

9,407

1,629.70

Birmingham

3,166

1,577.22

Kansas City

7,919

1,558.58

Lansing

1,699

1,508.29

Springfield

2,545

1,504.35

Baltimore

8,552

1,404.20

San Bernardino

3,033

1,365.59

New Orleans

5,215

1,358.08

Albuquerque

7,552

1,337.68

Oakland

5,653

1,282.89

Stockton

4,023

1,254.04

The Most Dangerous Neighborhoods In Louisville, Kentucky

most dangerous neighborhoods in louisville kentucky

  • The West End of Louisville
  • South Louisville – particularly around Churchill Downs race track.
  • West End Market Street
  • Phoenix Hill
  • River Park
  • Russell
  • Chickasaw
  • Park Hill
  • Newburg
  • Bicknell ave
  • California
  • Village West
  • Smoketown
  • Shelby Park
  • Shively

Safest Neighborhoods In Lousiville, Kentucky

safest neighborhoods in louisville kentucky

  • Highlands
  • NuLu
  • St. Matthews
  • Crescent Hill
  • Old Louisville
  • Prospect
  • Anchorage
  • Indian Hills
  • Lyndon
  • Hikes Point
  • Middletown
  • Jeffersontown

Here’s a map that roughly outlines the good and bad parts of Louisville, Kentucky.

Red – high crime.

Blue – some petty crime associated with dense/urban environments.

Green – little crime, suburbs

best and worst neighborhoods in louisville

Is Downtown Louisville, Kentucky Safe?

is downtown louisville kentucky safe

Downtown Louisville is generally a safe area to visit during the day time. You should be careful not to stray too far west and go past 9th street as you will be entering a sketchy area.

Many residents say that Downtown Louisville is not too lively, especially after Covid hit and is mostly just a business center now. They say that Highlands, Germantown or NuLu are more vibrant and have better options for bars, breweries, restaurants, and shops.

Is Louisville, Kentucky Safe From Tornadoes?

Louisville is not safe from tornadoes and is susceptible to them.

At the beginning of 2022, Kentucky was hit by a flurry of hurricanes throughout southern Kentucky with wind speeds ranging between 85 mph and 110 mph. These tornadoes hit just 3 weeks after a series of deadly tornadoes killed 77 people in Kentucky

Is Louisville in Tornado Alley?

Louisville is not in tornado alley. The states of Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Kansas, South Dakota, Iowa and Nebraska are consider part of tornado alley. A study of tornadoes that occurred between 1921–1995 concluded almost 1/4 of all significant tornadoes occur in this area.

What do residents of Louisville say about it’s safety?

  1. "Avoid the West End and South Louisville. East Louisville is decent."
  2. "The worst part of Louisville is probably deep in the west end. In downtown if you get past about 9th or 10th street you are starting to get into a sketchy area. The Nulu neighborhood is more geared towards tourists."
  3. "Avoid the south end of Louisville around Churchill Downs."
  4. "West Louisville is bad from downtown to the Ohio River. East Louisville is good."
  5. "West of 65 and North of 264 – BAD. West of 65 and South of 264 – IFFY. East of 65 toward Downtown – BAD and IFFY. East of 64 – GOOD"
  6. "The west end of Louisville is the bad part of town. A lot of shootings, killings and dope being sold 24/7."

Is Louisville Safe For Women?

While there are no guarantees, Louisville is generally safe for female solo travelers as long as you learn the layout of the city, avoid problem areas, stay in well lit/well populated areas and avoid walking by yourself at night.

Is Louisville Safe At Night?

Louisville is safe at night as long as you stay away from the sketchy neighborhoods mentioned above. Most of the violent crime in Louisville is concetrated in the west end and southern parts.

You should be able to mitigate your chances of being a victim if you study the layout of the city and avoid areas where crime is high.

Is Louisville Tap Water Safe To Drink?

The tap water in Louisville, Kentucky is safe to drink. While the tap water in Louisville meets the EPA health guidelines, it can still contain contaminants present in trace amounts that could potentially cause health issues over the long-run.

If you have any concerns about the tap water in Louisville, we suggest that you use bottle water for your drinking needs. Although many residents have praised the tap water in Louisville and said it is frequently awarded best tasting tap water in the country.

Tips to stay safe while visiting Louisville, Kentucky

  • Do you research before you visit. Create a itinerary of places you want to visit, scout out the locations ahead of time using Google Street View and see if it’s an area that you are comfortable with visiting.
  • Don’t leave valuables in your car.
  • Make sure you gas tank is full. The last thing you want is to have pull over into a sketchy neighborhood and look for a gas station.
  • A lot of the crime and violence in Louisville occurs in areas you probably don’t want to visit. It is best to be knowledgeable of those locations, so you don’t accidentally stumble into them.
  • Use your eyes. Does the area look sketchy? Are there people roaming the streets as if they’re patrolling? Are there gang taggings sprayed all over walls and on signs? Are the houses dilapidated? Detroit is literally block by block and you need to be mindful enough to stay out of these areas.
  • Trust your gut. If something doesn’t seem right, remove yourself from the situation.
  • Stay away from drugs, drug dealers and areas consumed by drugs. Areas with high drug use are usually places with high crime rates.
  • Avoid using public transportation late at night. Get a taxi or use Uber instead.
  • Avoid alleys. It might seem like common sense, but you’d be amazed how many people still do it.
  • It’s almost never a good idea to wonder around at night alone.
  • Walk with a purpose. Know where you are going ahead of time.

A Few Things You Should Do While Visiting Louisville According To Locals

Other Cities You Might Be Interested In:

Albuquerque, Atlanta, Austin, Baltimore, Barstow, Chicago, Dallas, Corpus Christi, El Paso, Fort Worth, Houston, Las Vegas, Long Beach, Memphis, Milwaukee, Nashville, Oakland, Philadelphia, Reno, San Antonio, San Bernardino, San Jose, Slab City, St. Louis, Stockton

Mariska Lee

Mariska is a recovering attorney who gave up her professional job to discover new perspectives of life while traveling in a 2009 Ford Transit. She has been living the van life for 3 years and has not looked back since.

Recent Posts

Skip to content