This Is the Most Dangerous City in Georgia

Written by Clemence-Maureen Feniou
Published: September 20, 2023
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In the heart of the peach state of Georgia lies a city with a negative reputation in 2021. Eastman, a town with just over 5,000 people, gained notoriety for being the most dangerous city in the state, according to the latest crime data available in 2021.

To understand why Eastman is the most dangerous city in Georgia, it is essential to understand that the ranking is determined thanks to the violent crime rate (including murder, rape, robbery, and aggravated assault) per 1,000 people. To calculate the violent crime rate, they divided the number of violent crimes by the city population and multiplied it by 1,000 to get to the violent crime rate.

The Most Dangerous City in Georgia

Outside view of Eastman Municipal Building with City Hall and Council Chamber

Eastman, GA, is the seat of Dodge County.

©Michael Rivera / CC BY-SA 4.0 < – License

In a city with a relatively small population, 321 violent crimes happened, making Eastman the most dangerous city in Georgia, with a violent crime rate of 63.5 per 1,000 people.

Many factors can partly be responsible for this elevated crime rate. Eastman also suffers from persistently high unemployment rates due to the limited job market in the area. In 2021, the median household income of Eastman households was $34,638. According to the latest data, 21.0% of Eastman families live in poverty. In comparison, the national median household income in the United States is $70,784, according to the most recent U.S. Census Bureau Current Population Survey data for 2021.

Plus, the city struggles to attract businesses and investment. Without these investments, Eastman has limited resources to address poverty and unemployment effectively.

Eastman’s proximity to major highways and interstates made it a convenient location for drug traffickers. The availability of drugs like opioids, methamphetamine, and heroin contributes to substance abuse issues and drug-related crimes. Eastman’s police department also faces staffing shortages, making it challenging to patrol the city effectively.

Eastman also faces challenges due to insufficient resources for their schools. Many residents had limited access to higher education opportunities, leading to a cycle of lower-paying jobs and financial instability. Without access to education beyond high school, breaking out of poverty became increasingly difficult.

Local Initiatives and Efforts to Reduce Crime

outside view of the dodge county courthouse in Eastman GA

The city is also home to the county’s courthouse.

©Bubba73 (Jud McCranie) / CC BY-SA 3.0 – License

Eastman’s residents can participate in neighborhood watch programs, which foster a sense of community and collective responsibility for safety. These programs also empower residents to report suspicious activities promptly through an anonymous reporting system. In addition, local organizations organize crime prevention workshops and seminars to educate residents about safety measures and strategies to protect themselves and their property.

To fight against crimes, law enforcement agencies are actively collaborating with community organizations, schools, and residents to establish strong community policing partnerships. These partnerships help build trust between law enforcement and the community, leading to more effective crime prevention efforts. Similar programs exist for children living in Eastman to provide them with positive role models and constructive activities.

Eastman’s History

view of the confederate monument outside of the Eastman courthouse

In 2020, more than 2,000 people signed a petition to remove the Confederate memorial and flag located outside of the courthouse. It still stands today.

©Michael Rivera / CC BY-SA 4.0 – License

Eastman, Georgia, a city that has faced its share of challenges in recent years, has a rich and storied history that dates back to its founding in the late 19th century. Named after William Pitt Eastman, an influential lawyer and judge, the city was officially incorporated in 1871. Eastman’s early years were marked by agricultural prosperity, with cotton and timber playing pivotal roles in the local economy. The city’s strategic location along the Central of Georgia Railway also facilitated trade and commerce, contributing to its growth.

In the early 20th century, Eastman continued to flourish as a hub for agriculture and transportation. The city still celebrates its agricultural heritage to this day. In the early 20th century, Eastman continued to flourish as a hub for agriculture and transportation. The city still celebrates its agricultural heritage to this day. It then became the home of the original Stuckey Candy Plant in 1937. The company creates old-fashioned candies based on pecans; their signature item is the pecan log roll. Their headquarters are still in Eastman and gave the city the nickname “Candy Capital of Georgia.”

Throughout its history, Eastman has weathered various challenges, including economic shifts and the impact of war. Still, its resilient spirit has endured, making it a place where tradition and progress converge.

Summary of the 10 Most Dangerous Cities in Georgia

While not at the top of the list, these cities in Georgia also struggle directly with significant criminal challenges. Here are other cities in Georgia with substantial violent crime figures and their violent crime rates per 1,000 persons.

RankNamePopulation (2021)Violent crimes (2021)Violent crime rate per 1,000 persons
1Eastman5,05432163.5
2Garden City9,26853757.9
3LaGrange30,8741,29041.8
4College Park15,24158538.3
5Fitzgerald8,56332838.3
6Milledgeville18,55170638.1
7Vidalia10,45238436.7
8Forest Park20,01573136.5
9Douglasville34,4751,25936.5
10Albany70,2142,46935.2

The photo featured at the top of this post is © Gorodenkoff/Shutterstock.com


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About the Author

Clémence-Maureen is a writer at A-Z animals primarily covering geography, locations and travel. She holds a Master of Science in Journalism from the University of Southern California, which she earned in 2023. A resident of Hawai'i, Clémence-Maureen enjoys hiking, surfind and volunteering in taro farms.

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