What Are the 10 Worst Neighborhoods in Chattanooga, TN? | Improved Home (2023)

Moving to Chattanooga, Tennessee? Navigating between the good and bad neighborhoods can be challenging. Whether it's Eastdale, Avondale, or Lake Hills, let's take a look at the worst neighborhoods in Chattanooga.

What Are the 10 Worst Neighborhoods in Chattanooga, TN? | Improved Home (1)

Chattanooga is a well known Tennessee city and a widely popular destination to visit and live in. This area has rivers along the edges and is close to the mountains and offers a fantastic range of outdoor activities. The University of Tennessee is nearby and the cost of living is relatively low compared to other places in the United States.

Chattanooga has a crime rate that is 166% higher than the national average, and there are some fairly large neighborhoods that you shouldn't move to. For safety, avoid places like Eastdale, Avondale, Washington Hills, Lake Hills, and Riverside.

As with any city you live in, there will be crime, and Chattanooga is no exception. Living in Chattanooga means you have a 1 in 18 chance of being a victim of a property crime and a 1 in 93 chance of a violent crime. Living here means you need to take precautions, and the best way to do that is to avoid the neighborhoods listed below.

Related content:Safest neighborhoods in Chattanooga, TN|The Most Dangerous Cities in Tennessee|The best places to live in Tennessee

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What Are the 10 Worst Neighborhoods in Chattanooga, TN? | Improved Home (2)

Worst neighborhoods in Chattanooga

Although many of the individual neighborhoods don't have statistics, they have very low ratings. Many of the parents in these neighborhoods rate the school system as low, the crime rate as high, and some people are simply afraid to walk through these neighborhoods at night.

(Video) Chattanooga Tennessee Worst Hoods

  1. Eastdale
  2. Avondale
  3. Washington Hills
  4. Lake Hills
  5. River bank
  6. Downtown
  7. Roßville
  8. Citico
  9. Noah Reid Street
  10. MLK BLVD

The 10 Worst Neighborhoods in Chattanooga, TN

If you're looking for places to avoid and wondering why? Let's get into that! Some of the neighborhoods don't have much information about them but do have plenty of reviews that we've read through for you. No matter where you choose to live, you should read reviews and always explore the neighborhood first. This will help you decide which areas to avoid and what the neighbors really think of a place.

1. Eastdale

  • Population density: 8,083
  • Median household income: $40,688
  • Average Rentals: $750

This area is a pretty seedy place but has some nice homes. Most of the community will agree that you should avoid the sidewalk tunnels and stay sane. There is a large number of pickpockets and jumpers who will take advantage of you.

A section of the community has never experienced this and feels safe with the surrounding police force. The best thing to do is drive through this area and if you are walking keep your wits about you.

2. Avondale

  • Population density: 4,017
  • Median household income: $27,600
  • Average Rents: $1,212

Avondale is another area that looks a bit run down. You can find some pretty decent houses to rent or buy for a relatively small amount. The median home value for this area is $102.5,000.

There are actually many people who move to this area because of the cheap price. However, schools in Avondale are rated 1 out of 10 by locals. If you have kids this might not be the best place to exercise.

3. Washington-Hügel

  • Population density: 4,223
  • Median household income: $49,447
  • Average Rentals: $925

One of the best things about Washington Hills is that school ratings in this area are slightly higher than in the others. The average rating for schools here is 5/10 and the kids are pretty happy here. Many of the people living in this community choose to invest in a good home security system to ensure their safety.

If you are looking for a home in this area you may want to invest in a security system. Many locals say they should avoid walking around at night and taking occasional walks to other designated parks and areas for safety reasons.

4. Sea Hill

  • Population density: 2,752
  • Median household income: $47,310
  • Average Rentals: $929

This neighborhood is 41.3% more expensive than other neighborhoods in the area. The median home value of Lake Hills is $154,129. You would think that the higher price would mean more security, but in fact there is a higher risk of property crime in this area.

This neighborhood is a little less seedy and a little more composed than other areas. It's close to many of the city's amenities that you might want to do, and there are a few hotels in the neighborhood that are highly rated. You should still avoid walking around at night, but most people find walking around during the day comfortable.

5. Riverside

  • Population density: 550
  • Median household income: N/A
  • Average Rents: $1,073

One of the best features of this area is that there are huge parks nearby. You can easily visit the Chattanooga Zoo and Aquarium and even take a day trip to the museums in town. The view is exceptionally beautiful as most of the apartments are by the river.

As you can see, this is a smaller area with a tiny population. Not many people live here and you won't find many places to live if you're lucky. Schools are rated lower in this area, and the crime rate can be just as high as you walk around.

(Video) Top 5 Neighborhoods in Chattanooga Tennessee

6. Downtown

  • Population Density: 1,959 per square mile
  • Median household income: $43,964
  • Average Rents: $1,270

Living in downtown Chattanooga is like any other city as it is more expensive to live within the city limits. You will find more places to rent and fewer places to buy. The average home value in downtown Chattanooga is $202,762, which is a huge difference from the areas outside of downtown.

There are lots of things to do in this area and great if you love shopping, bars or cafes. There are always events and lots of fun things to attend if you are single and want to have fun.

7. Roßville

  • Population density: 4,105
  • Median household income: $45,527
  • Average Rentals: $800

The area's nightlife is rated below average as there isn't much to do in this area. Although the nightlife is poor, there is also a lot of crime in this area, so most people choose to stay indoors. The school system is also rated below average, making it not a desirable community for families.

However, the price of buying a home is relatively much lower than in other parts of the city. You'll find that the average home value in this area is $86,700, which is significantly lower than downtown.

8. Citico

  • Population density: 900
  • Median household income: $43,964
  • Average Rents: $1,073

Citico is a long avenue that stretches over a few blocks. It is close to a number of amenities that make it a desirable place to live. The crime risk in this area is moderate compared to other areas and certain roads can be more dangerous to walk past.

You should ask neighbors what are the best places to avoid and what their experiences are. Half of the neighborhood has been deemed safe by the municipality. The other half feels uncomfortable walking around in this area.

9. Noah Reid Street

  • Population Density: N/A
  • Median household income: $55,152
  • Average Rents: N/A

People choose to live in this area because it's another long stretch of a neighborhood that happens to be very close to the local airport. It is also close to Harrison Bay State Park, which offers an array of water activities for the adventurous, and also close to the Tennessee River. The average selling price of this area is $218,450, making it a more expensive place to live than other areas.


  • Population density: 905
  • Median household income: $61,926
  • Average Rents: $1,443

Before it was called MLK BLVD, it was known as the "Big Nine." It was home to many black-owned businesses that attracted crowds. Local officials changed the name in honor of Martin Luther King in 1981. Many of the streets intersect with downtown, which can be considered dangerous.

The areas closest to downtown make it an unstable place to meander in the middle of the night. There are many pickpockets around the city and you have to be careful when walking down the street.

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What Are the 10 Worst Neighborhoods in Chattanooga, TN? | Improved Home (3)


While overall Chattanooga is not the safest place to live, there are some better areas to live in. You should check out places like Georgetown, Collegedale, Brainerd Hills, Lookout Mountain and Lakeshore. They have great reviews and are all a little further away than downtown.

Most parents in this area are incredibly happy with the way the schools are run and children enjoy attending the schools in these areas. Nightlife in these neighborhoods tends to rate poorly as they are quieter and further from downtown. Check them out while touring Chattanooga.

Whatever you choose, avoid places like Eastdale and Avondale. They have very bad reviews from the locals and are not the best for the kids school. Each neighborhood has its own unique history and some features that draw a certain crowd.

As with any city you travel to or live in, there is some risk involved, and Chattanooga, Tennessee is no exception. There is a high level of crime and if you are not careful it can easily happen to you. The best thing you can do is be cautious, read reviews, get to know your neighbors and understand the areas to avoid at all costs.

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How bad is the crime in Chattanooga TN? ›

A person has a 1 in 72 chance of being a victim of a violent crime in Chattanooga, whereas they have only a 1 in 149 chance in the whole state of Tennessee. The city also has a much higher rate of burglary, rape, robbery, and theft per 100,000 people than the whole of the U.S.

What are the pros and cons of living in Chattanooga TN? ›

Pros and Cons of Living in Chattanooga, TN
Pros of Living in ChattanoogaCons of Living in Chattanooga
1. Affordable Housing Programs1. The City has Income Disparities
2. There are No State Income Taxes2. High Crime Rates
3. They have a Beautiful Fall Season3. The Allergy Seasons May be Rough
5 more rows

Which is safer Chattanooga or Knoxville? ›

Tennessee cities on the list ranked from safest to the least safe: Knoxville- 70.90 safety score. Nashville- 70.42 safety score. Chattanooga- 60.54 safety score.

Is Lookout Mountain a safe place to live? ›

Lookout Mountain GA is a beautiful and quiet place to live. It is clean and safe in the neighborhood I live in. One downside is it is not very diverse or affordable for lower income people.

Where is the cheapest place to live in Chattanooga? ›

1. Amnicola / East Chattanooga. With a median home price of $121,906 and a median rent of $724, Amnicola / East Chattanooga is the cheapest neighborhood on our list.

Is Chattanooga good for retirees? ›

Great medical care, neighborhoods, and friendly people make it a great place to retire along with the low cost of living that fits your wallet just fine.

Which city is better Knoxville or Chattanooga? ›

In terms of population and density, Chattanooga and Knoxville are fairly similar. However, when it comes to diversity, Chattanooga wins compared to Knoxville. It's much more diverse in Chattanooga as compared with Knoxville.

What town in TN has the lowest crime rate? ›


What is the safest area in TN? ›

Here are the 10 Safest Cities in Tennessee for 2022
  • Camden.
  • Church Hill.
  • Signal Mountain.
  • Unicoi.
  • Nolensville.
  • Kingston.
  • Brentwood.
  • Oakland.

Does Chattanooga have poisonous snakes? ›

There are several venomous snakes native to the region, including copperheads, cottonmouths/water moccasins and various species of rattlesnakes, according to a news release from Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

Does Chattanooga have good medical care? ›

Award-Winning Care

Greater Chattanooga is home to three award-winning health care systems — Erlanger Health System, CHI Memorial and Parkridge Health System — all of which provide comprehensive care and employ leading-edge technology at multiple regional locations.

What percentage of Chattanooga is white? ›

Persons 65 years and over, percent 16.8%
Female persons, percent 52.5%
Race and Hispanic Origin
White alone, percent 59.5%
57 more rows

Are people friendly in Chattanooga? ›

Chattanooga is overall a wonderful place to live and to get an education. People are friendly, the area is diverse, and it is somewhat affordable. Chattanooga is a great tourist city . It has alot of historic attractions and was built on top of the old city of Chattanooga.

What is the nicest neighborhood in Tennessee? ›

Brentwood. In 2017, the town of Brentwood was ranked as “The #1 Best Place to Live in Tennessee,” and the “21st Best Place to Live in America.” With a current population of around 42,000 people, this Nashville suburb is continually growing.

What is the cheapest and safest place to live in Tennessee? ›

Cheapest Places to Live In Tennessee: Bartlett

Located just outside of Memphis in Shelby County, Bartlett is close to a big city yet far enough away to enjoy some peace and quiet. CNN and Money magazine called Bartlett one of the top 100 places to live. The area is safe, with respected public schools.

Is Nashville safer than Chattanooga? ›

Germantown is our pick for Tennessee's safest city. The affluent Memphis suburb garnered a Safety Index score of 0.84, which is remarkable for a city its size.
Safest Cities in Tennessee, 2019.
RankCitySafety Index
49Nashville Metropolitan-1.43
49 more rows

What happened at Lookout Mountain? ›

The Battle of Lookout Mountain also known as the Battle Above The Clouds was fought November 24, 1863, as part of the Chattanooga Campaign of the American Civil War. Union forces under Maj. Gen. Joseph Hooker assaulted Lookout Mountain, Chattanooga, Tennessee, and defeated Confederate forces commanded by Maj.

Is Park Ridge a safe place to live? ›

The study indicated that Park Ridge is considered to be safer than 68% of the cities across the nation with populations of 25,000 or more, with the chance of becoming a victim of violent crime in Park Ridge listed as one in 1,637.

Is Rocky Ridge safe? ›

On an annual basis, Rocky Ridge experienced a total of 63 crimes as of October 2022, which is up 40% in comparison to 45 crimes as of October 2021.

Where is the cheapest place to buy a house in Tennessee? ›

2022 Most Affordable Cities in Tennessee
  • Memphis.
  • Lawrenceburg.
  • Lewisburg.
  • Union City.
  • Millington.
  • Paris.
  • Knoxville.
  • McMinnville.

Is it cheaper to live in Knoxville or Chattanooga? ›

The cost of living in Knoxville, TN is -3.9% lower than in Chattanooga, TN. You would have to earn a salary of $57,678 to maintain your current standard of living. Employers in Knoxville, TN typically pay 1.8% more than employeers in Chattanooga, TN.

Where is the best affordable place to live? ›

Here are the top 10 cheapest places to live; you can access the full list here.
  • Brownsville, Texas.
  • South Bend, Indiana.
  • Dayton, Ohio.
  • Toledo, Ohio.
  • Evansville, Indiana.
  • Buffalo, New York.
  • Beaumont, Texas.
  • Akron, Ohio.
Jul 28, 2022

Where not to live in Chattanooga? ›

Chattanooga Crime Rates FAQ

Chattanooga's total crime rate is 7,101 per 100,000 people. There is a 1 in 14 chance of being a victim of a crime in Chattanooga. What are some of the worst areas of Chattanooga? Some of the most dangerous areas in Chattanooga include Glenwood, Highland Park, and Alton Park.

Does Chattanooga have a homeless problem? ›

The number of homeless people sleeping outside in Chattanooga on any given night rose from 201 people in 2020 to 1,008 people in 2022. In the last year alone, the number of homeless women increased from 75 to 528.

Is it better to retire in Georgia or Tennessee? ›

With a lower average property tax rate and a special "tax freeze" program for those 65 and older, retirees can financially benefit from living in Tennessee.

What is the racial makeup of Chattanooga Tennessee? ›

Race & Ethnicity

The largest Chattanooga racial/ethnic groups are White (56.3%) followed by Black (30.3%) and Hispanic (7.3%).

Is it cheaper to live in Georgia or Tennessee? ›

Tennessee is 5.7% cheaper than Georgia.

Where is the poorest county in TN? ›

The poorest county in Tennessee is Grundy County, according to new data from the U.S. Census Bureau's American Community Survey.

Where is Tornado Alley in Tennessee? ›

Where is Tornado Alley in Tennessee? Tennessee is not part of Tornado Alley, but it is in the tornado-prone Dixie Alley — the South's version of Tornado Alley that also sees an unproportionately high number of twisters each year compared to other parts of the U.S.

What is the number one cause of death in Tennessee? ›

Heart Disease

What city in TN has the most tornadoes? ›

Tennessee Tornado Index City Rank
RankTornado Index ▼City / Population
1.299.02Elora, TN
2.298.46Dyersburg, TN / 16,998
3.295.47Ardmore, TN / 1,182
4.294.05Jackson, TN / 67,190
160 more rows

Do snakes come out at night in Tennessee? ›

Time of the Day. Snakes are active both day and night.

Does Chattanooga have a lot of bugs? ›

Pests like ants, spiders, ticks, mosquitoes, and cockroaches thrive in the moist Chattanooga environment. If you don't have a plan of defense against these pests, you may be putting your home at risk!

Does Chattanooga have mountain lions? ›

There haven't been any cougars in Tennessee since the early 1900s. Similar to Tennessee's wild elk and buffalo, the cougar was extirpated from the state around the early 1900s due to overhunting and habitat loss.

What is the best hospital in the state of Tennessee? ›

The number 1 hospital in Tennessee is Vanderbilt University Medical Center. See also Best Children's Hospitals in Tennessee.

What is the best ER in Chattanooga? ›

Best Emergency Rooms near me in Chattanooga, TN
  • Balanced Life M.D. 3.7 mi. ...
  • Memorial North Park Hospital. 5.7 mi. ...
  • Hobgood Donna K MD. 5.7 mi. ...
  • Starr Regional Medical Center - Athens. 45.9 mi. ...
  • Rohrer Jane L MD. 5.6 mi. ...
  • Bernard Parham, MD. 1.4 mi. ...
  • Unity Medical Center. 55.9 mi. ...
  • AFC Urgent Care Athens. 44.9 mi.

What is the main industry in Chattanooga? ›

Today, major industry that drives the economy includes automotive, advanced manufacturing, food and beverage production, healthcare, insurance, tourism, and back office and corporate headquarters. Chattanooga remains a transit hub in the present day, served by multiple Interstate highways and railroad lines.

Does Chattanooga have a lot of mosquitoes? ›

The risk for mosquito activity is moderate.

Does Chattanooga get snow? ›

Snowfall during the wintertime in Chattanooga is common, with monthly averages reaching 1.7 inches in January. Snow is actually rare in the city proper and in adjacent valleys, but snowfall occurs more frequently at higher elevations in the north and west of Chattanooga.

Is Chattanooga a dog friendly city? ›

Dog lovers have plenty of reasons to love Chattanooga. Dogs (on a leash) are allowed in most parks in Chattanooga, and many of the city's best attractions permit dogs to join in. Most importantly, Chattanooga is surrounded by nearby trails that are perfect for your dog.

Where is safe to stay in Chattanooga? ›

The Best Areas to Stay in Chattanooga, Tennessee
  • Recommended Area: Riverfront. Riverfront is the best area to stay in Chattanooga as it covers several neighborhoods full of places to see. ...
  • Central Chattanooga. Central Chattanooga is the prime business area of the city. ...
  • Near Lookout Mountain.
Oct 23, 2022

Is Chattanooga Tennessee safe to live in? ›

Germantown is our pick for Tennessee's safest city. The affluent Memphis suburb garnered a Safety Index score of 0.84, which is remarkable for a city its size.
Safest Cities in Tennessee, 2019.
RankCitySafety Index
49Nashville Metropolitan-1.43
49 more rows

What city in TN is safest? ›

Safest Large Cities in Tennessee
RankCityCrime Score
2 more rows

Is it safe to walk around Chattanooga at night? ›

There's a robbery in Chattanooga every other day, on average. About 25% of those robberies happen in public places. Nearly 40% of violent crimes happen in public places. Based on recent crime trends, there's a higher risk when going out after dark or late into the overnight hours.

Is it safe to walk in downtown Chattanooga at night? ›

Be Careful at Night

During the day the streets are safe, but there are real dangers at night, just about anywhere in the downtown area. Stats show that 40 or more cars are stolen per week, so keep your car locked at all times and keep valuables out of sight.

Which is better to visit Chattanooga or Knoxville? ›

In terms of population and density, Chattanooga and Knoxville are fairly similar. However, when it comes to diversity, Chattanooga wins compared to Knoxville. It's much more diverse in Chattanooga as compared with Knoxville.

Is Chattanooga water safe to drink? ›

For the latest quarter assessed by the U.S. EPA (January 2021 - March 2021), tap water provided by this water utility was in compliance with federal health-based drinking water standards.


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