This Town in Kentucky State Takes the Crown for Most Violent

Horse racing, bourbon, and scenic beauty are the state’s specialties. Its negative side, meanwhile, is that it is one of the top 10 states in the union for violent crime rates. And Pikeville, one Kentucky hamlet, sticks out as the most violent of them all.

What Drives the Violence in Pikeville?

At roughly 7,000 residents, Pikeville is a little town in eastern Kentucky. Pike County, which borders Virginia and West Virginia, has its county seat there. The private liberal arts college University of Pikeville is also located in Pikeville.

The FBI’s Uniform Crime Report indicates that in 2023 Pikeville had a violent crime rate of 1,446 per 100,000 people, more than four times the national average of 366. Murder, rape, robbery and aggravated assault are examples of violent crimes. In 2023 Pikeville recorded 10 murders, 21 rapes, 38 robberies, and 79 serious assaults.

Pikeville’s high crime rate is caused by a number of issues, including unemployment, drug usage, poverty, and illiteracy. At 27%, the poverty rate in Pike County is more than twice the 11% national average. In February 2024, Pikeville had a 9.8% unemployment rate as compared to the 5.6% national average.

Additionally common in the community is drug misuse, particularly of methamphetamine and opiates. Of all the drug overdose deaths in Kentucky in 2023, Pike County had the most—64. In Pikeville, the percentage of adults with a bachelor’s degree or above is very low—just 17%, compared to the national average of 33%.

What Fallout From the Bloodshed in Pikeville?

The violence of Pikeville is bad for the town’s and the region’s economy, health, and quality of life. Pikeville locals fear being victims of crime, hence many of them stay inside at night or in particular neighborhoods. The violence has an impact on the residents’ physical and emotional health as well; they may have injuries, stress, anxiety, sadness, or post-traumatic stress disorder. The violence significantly deteriorates the economic condition and the chances for development by discouraging investment, tourism, and business in the region.

Which Remedies Exist for the Violence in Pikeville?

The violence in Pikeville cannot be easily or quickly resolved, but there are some actions that may be done to deal with the underlying reasons and lower the crime rate. Among these procedures are:

Raising the money and resources available to victim services, criminal justice, and law enforcement will help to better identify, stop, and prosecute violent crimes as well as to shield and assist their victims.

Increasing access to and availability of social services, mental health, and drug treatment to assist the underprivileged, mentally sick, and addicts as well as to keep them from turning to crime or becoming targets of it.

Increasing the chances for residents—especially the young—to get an education and find work so they have the information, abilities, and drive to have successful and rewarding careers and to lessen the inequality and poverty that feed crime.

Encouragement of community participation and involvement by locals, companies, schools, churches, and other organizations to promote a feeling of duty, cooperation, and belonging as well as to establish a calm and happy atmosphere.


The highest violent crime rate in Kentucky and one of the highest nationwide is found in the community of Pikeville. Many things combine to produce the violence, including drug addiction, unemployment, poverty, and illiteracy.

The town and the surrounding area suffer from the violence in terms of health, economy, and well-being. A thorough and well-organized strategy that tackles the fundamental problems and offers the locals chances and support is necessary to lower the violence. If there is a desire and a means, Pikeville can get over its violence and become a safer and more affluent place.

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