Atlanta, Georgia was formed in 1837 and has always been known as a transportation hub, first with railroads and now with airlines. It is also known as one of the most prominent cities for banking in the country. Atlanta boasts a wide variety of entertainment, from museums, to parks, fine art attractions, music venues, professional sports, and innovative dining options. There are also 3 major Universities in Atlanta, they are Georgia State University, Georgia Institute of Technology, and Emory University. The population of Atlanta is 498,073. The median household income is $65,345 and the median property value is $302,200. If Atlanta sounds like your next home, you’ll want to know about crime there. Is Atlanta a safe place to live?
Atlanta is safer than 44% of cities in the country, and although the crime rates are 118% higher than the national average, crime has fallen steadily from 2011-2018. There is much more than looking at overall crime rates for the city to determine if a city is safe. So, what is crime like in Atlanta?
Understanding the Crime Rate in Atlanta
How are crime rates calculated and understood? When cities, researchers, and law enforcement employees evaluate crime in a city, the number of crimes reported is divided by the city’s population, and multiplied by 100,000. This is done for crime overall, as well as for the categories of property crime and violent crime. Violent crime includes offenses such assault, rape, robbery and homicide, whereas property crime includes theft, vandalism, and burglary. The data below is from FBI Uniform Crime Statistics – 2019.
Here’s a brief summary of overall crime rates in Atlanta:
- Atlanta total crimes: 26,905
- Atlanta total crime rate: 5,423 per 100,000 people
- Chance of being a victim of a crime in Atlanta: 1 in 18
Vital crime data are documented on regularly by the city government and/or police department website. This is an easy way for residents and visitors to stay informed about crimes committed in specific areas, often as quickly as the day after crimes occur. The City of Atlanta updates its crime reports weekly on their website and can be found here. There is also a crime map of Atlanta, GA provided for visualization of where crimes are committed.
Violent Crime in Atlanta
Violent crime is higher in Atlanta than the rest of the United States, and is also slightly more than double the violent crime rate in Georgia as a whole. The violent crime rate in Atlanta fell by almost 20% from 2017 to 2018 and has been falling almost every year since 2011. Daily violent crime rates in Atlanta are 1.8 times the average for all of Georgia. With a rate of 796 per 100,000 people, the violent crime rate in Atlanta is higher than the national average of 337 per 100,000 people.
- Atlanta Murder Rate: 17.7 per 100,000 people
- Atlanta Total Violent Crimes: 3,814
- 1 in 130 chance of being the victim of a violent crime in Atlanta
Gang Violence in Atlanta
One of the biggest contributors to violent crime in Atlanta is gang crime. Gangs have been present in Atlanta since the 1970s and grown at an exponential rate. More than half of the violent crime in Atlanta is due to gang members. There are over 192 gangs in Atlanta. They commit violent crimes along with drug dealing, carjacking, identity theft, and credit card fraud.
Human Trafficking in Atlanta
Atlanta is one of the 14 cities with the highest levels of sex trafficking of children. Atlanta is a major transportation hub for children coming from Mexico to be sex trafficked. In 2007, the sex trafficking ring generated $290 million.
Property Crime in Atlanta
Property crime rates are generally higher than violent crime rates across the country, and this is also true with Atlanta. Property crime has had an overall decline in Atlanta from 2011 to 2018. Theft is the most common property crime offense in Atlanta, and this is true for most cities. Motor vehicle theft is significantly more common in Atlanta compared to the United States, with a rate of 667 per 100,000 compared to 284 per 100,000. This is most likely due to the high number of gangs in Atlanta.
- Atlanta total property crimes: 23,091
- Property crime rate of 4,654per 100,000 people
- 1 in 21 chance of being the victim of a property crime in Atlanta
Dangerous Areas of Atlanta
Large cities such as Atlanta, Georgia are divided into many neighborhoods. The differences between neighborhoods can be extreme, in everything from types of building, home styles, and crime. Some neighborhoods in a city may have more crime than others based on the area of the neighborhood and crime data reported by local law enforcement precincts. Here are a few of the least safe neighborhoods in Atlanta:
- Population: 3,231
- Crime rate: 213% more crime than Atlanta
Mechanicsville is across from Downtown, and it’s known for high gang activity. It’s one of the oldest and most dangerous neighborhoods in Atlanta.
- Population: 1,503
- Crime rate: 1,929 property crimes per 100,000 people
Grove Park is known as a working class Black neighborhood on the westside of Atlanta. Currently, efforts are in place to try and revive the city, but it’s known for its high rate of property crime.
- Population: 5,299
- Crime rate: 138% higher than the Atlanta average
Adair Park is a historic neighborhood in Atlanta that is often a hub for gang activity. There have been multiple efforts to try and help the urban area with federal programs, but little has been accomplished.
Safest Neighborhoods in Atlanta
Atlanta is home to many remarkably safe neighborhoods! With each having its own personality, there are many from which to choose for your next home. Here are some of the safest neighborhoods in Atlanta:
- Population: 2,335
- Median home listing price: $1,400,000
- Property crime is 50% lower than Georgia’s average
Brookhaven is located on the north side of the city. It is widely known as one of the safest Atlanta neighborhoods. With the Peachtree Creek Greenway, residents can easily get from North Druid Hills to Briarwood Road. Plus, the area has walkable streets thanks to a new sidewalk ordinance.
- Population: 8,917
- Median home listing price: $549,000
- Crime rates 85% lower than Atlanta’s average
North Buckhead is the fourth most populated suburb in Atlanta, and it is placed on the north side of the city. This upscale neighborhood is known among the wealthiest areas in Atlanta. Violent crime in North Buckhead is 35% lower than the national average. Shopping enthusiasts will love having world-class restaurants, designer stores, the Phipps Plaza Shopping Center, and a 14-screen movie theater.
- Population: 12,541
- Median home listing price: $2,450,000
- Crime rates 80% lower than the rest of Atlanta
This is another one of the affluent Atlanta suburbs located on the north side of the city. It is home to the Chastain Arts Center and the Chastain Park Playground. People move to the area because of its reputation for top schools and low crime.
Atlanta Safety Tips – How to Avoid Crime in Atlanta
- Avoid walking around alone, especially in downtown Atlanta and after dark. Traveling in a group is always safer.
- Participate in neighborhood programs and become friendly with neighbors in order to watch out for each other.
- Use the City of Atlanta website to plan your activities and avoid being lost. Share your daily plans with someone else if out alone.
- Avoid areas that are known for gang violence and trafficking.
Atlanta Police Department
The Atlanta Police Department was formed in 1873, with 26 officers. Thomas Jones was the first Atlanta Chief of Police. They had a rural-based Marshal and Deputy Marshal model that they shifted from at the end of the 19th century. Now, the officer force is being led by Assistant Police Chief Rodney Bryant after Chief Erika Shields resigned after the shooting and killing of Rayshard Brooks. Though she was not personally involved in the shooting, she would resign the day after.
The department currently employs 1,600 officers, 490 civilians, and has 3.2 officers per 1,000 Atlanta residents. Michael W. Rallings is currently the Director of Police Services.
Atlanta Police Headquarters Address
226 Peachtree St SW, Atlanta, Ga. 30303, (404) 546-4995
Atlanta Crime Rates FAQ
What is the crime rate in Atlanta, Georgia?
Atlanta’s total crime rate is 5,425 per 100,000 people. There is a 1 in 18 chance of being a victim of a crime in Atlanta.
What are some of the worst areas of Atlanta?
Several of the most dangerous areas in the Atlanta area are Downtown, Kirkwood, Grove Park, Mechanicsville, and Adair Park.
Is Atlanta safer than Chicago?
Atlanta’s crime rate is slightly higher than Chicago’s, but they have less murders in Atlanta than Chicago.
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