The 6 Most Dangerous Areas in Atlanta to Avoid in 2024

I-75 Atlanta
© © Katherine Welles/iStock via Getty Images

Written by Katie Melynn Wood

Published: January 25, 2024

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Atlanta has plenty of amazing spots that attract visitors from all over the world. Whether it is seeing spectacular exhibits at the Georgia Aquarium, Zoo Atlanta, or Atlanta Botanical Gardens or taking in an Atlanta Braves ballgame, there’s something in the capital city of Georgia for everyone. Founded in 1847, the city has a long history with plenty of historic architecture and sites to visit. Unfortunately, some of the most historic parts of the city are also very run-down and known for their high crime rates. Looking at data published by the Atlanta Police Department, these are some of the neighborhoods with the highest crime rates representing the most dangerous areas in Atlanta. Some of these neighborhoods have top tourist attractions while others are more residential. Either way, make sure to follow common sense and be safe when visiting Atlanta.

Downtown

Downtown Atlanta has plenty of office buildings and skyscrapers.

©Marcus E Jones/Shutterstock.com

The downtown Atlanta neighborhood has some of the highest crime rates in the city. According to 2023 statistics, there were 164 reported aggravated assaults against individuals that year. Overall, there were more than 3,600 crimes reported in this small section of Atlanta during 2023. These included crimes against people, property, and society.

Downtown Atlanta covers a large area and includes some of the most visited spots in the city. Fortunately, well-populated areas mean a higher law enforcement presence, which may contribute to the higher report rates in this section of the city. There are numerous stadiums, convention centers, and the Centennial Olympic Park. As long as you exercise caution and keep your sightseeing to the daytime when there are plenty of people around, you can avoid many of the dangers associated with downtown.

Midtown

Piedmont Park is located on the edge of Midtown in Atlanta.

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Located north of downtown is the neighborhood of Midtown, Atlanta. It also has high crime rates, with 93 reported aggravated assaults in 2023. Midtown is also home to some amazing historic places and interesting spots to visit. These include the Margaret Mitchell House, the 1929 Fox Theater, and the Midtown Historic District. Many of the reports were made in the evening, night, or early morning hours. Crime rates during the day were much lower. When visiting the Midtown neighborhood, it’s best to keep your sightseeing limited to peak daytime hours.

Southwest

View of Atlanta from Mableton

Southwest is a neighborhood in Atlanta near Highway 285, the city’s beltway.

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As its name suggests, the Southwest neighborhood is located in the southwest part of the city, near Cascade Springs Nature Preserve. During 2023, 73 aggravated assaults were reported in the neighborhood. There were also 252 crimes against property reported, including burglary, theft, and others. The majority of this area is residential, with shopping malls and other services sprinkled throughout.

Campbellton Road

The Campbellton Road neighborhood in Atlanta is in the southwestern section of the city.

Just east of Southwest is the Campbellton Road neighborhood. Named for the main road that makes up its northern boundary, Campbellton Road had 70 aggravated assaults reported in 2023. There were a total of 173 crimes against persons and 298 crimes against property reported during the entire year. Like Southwest to the west, most of this neighborhood is residential. A few smaller shopping centers and businesses cater to the neighborhood residents.

Lakewood Heights

Labrador dog barking at city park

The South Bend dog park is located in the Lakewood Heights neighborhood of Atlanta.

©sanjagrujic/Shutterstock.com

Further east on the other side of Interstate 85 is the Lakewood Heights neighborhood. In 2023, there were 70 aggravated assaults reported in this neighborhood as well. Lakewood, the neighborhood just to the southeast of Lakewood Heights, only had 8 aggravated assaults reported during the same period. Compared to some other neighborhoods in Atlanta, Lakewood Heights has a lot of wooded areas and parks, including the South Bend park, pool, and dog park. The Lakewood stadium, part of the Atlanta Public Schools system, is also located in this neighborhood.

Old Fourth Ward

The historic Old Fourth Ward in Atlanta is home to many of the city’s oldest buildings and homes.

©Robert Neff/ CC BY 2.0 - Original

A historic neighborhood near downtown Atlanta, Old Fourth Ward also had some high crime statistics. There were 70 reported aggravated assaults in the neighborhood in 2023. It has plenty of historic buildings, including the 1920s Sears, Roebuck & Co building that is now the Ponce City Market. Old Fourth Ward is worth checking out to get a taste of the history of Atlanta as well as the trends and tastes taking over the city today. Just be sure to stay safe by sticking to the well-populated areas. Fortunately, Old Fourth Ward is also very popular and there are always people in this vibrant part of the city.


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About the Author

Katie is a freelance writer and teaching artist specializing in home, lifestyle, and family topics. Her work has appeared in At Ease Magazine, PEOPLE, and The Spruce, among others. When she is not writing, Katie teaches creative writing with the Apex Arts Magnet Program in Anne Arundel County, Maryland. You can follow Katie @katiemelynnwriter.

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