- St. Louis
- Kansas City
- Vinita Park
The most dangerous city in Missouri is St. Louis. It is also one of the worst cities in the US regarding crime, with a crime rate that is 234% above the national average. While St. Louis offers a rich history and cultural attractions, such as the Gateway Arch and the St. Louis Art Museum, it also faces significant challenges in terms of crime. The city experiences high rates of violent crime, including homicides and robberies. Areas in central St. Louis and the downtown area are particularly known for high crime rates. The Gravois Park neighborhood has a crime rate 323% higher than the national average.
Springfield, the third-largest city in Missouri, offers beautiful parks and an exciting cultural scene yet ranks second on the list of the most dangerous cities in Missouri. Property crime rates, such as burglary and theft, are relatively high in certain neighborhoods. A crime occurs every 45 minutes (on average) in Springfield. Residents in Springfield also face risks of violent crimes like assault and murder.
Another one of the most dangerous cities in Missouri is Nevada. If you're planning a visit to Missouri, Nevada may not be on your itinerary. While this small southeastern Missouri city does have interesting historical attractions like its Bushwhacker Museum, Nevada stands out as being among the state's most dangerous places to live, with an alarming crime rate made up of both violent and property crimes. Nevada's crime rate is 204% higher than the national average.
Kennett is also one of the worst cities in Missouri. Kennett is located in southwestern Missouri and ranks as the fourth most dangerous city in the state. Despite its small size and rural surroundings, it faces significant challenges with crime. Drug-related offenses and property crimes are among the primary concerns in this city. Larceny and burglary also remain high threats here, with robbery accounting for approximately 75% of all crimes committed in Kennett.
Branson is another one of the most dangerous Missouri cities, but even though crime is high, it remains a popular tourist destination known for its live entertainment and attracting millions of visitors (nearly 10 million in 2021) each year. Unfortunately, its popularity likely contributes to its staggering high crime rate. Only 15% of US cities are thought to be more dangerous than Branson. The majority of crimes reported there are theft, burglaries, and assaults.
Kansas City, Missouri's largest city by population, ranks sixth among the most dangerous cities in the state. While it has many thriving neighborhoods, certain areas face higher crime rates. Violent crimes, such as assaults, are a concern in many parts of the city. However, Kansas City also offers a vibrant arts and culture scene, making it a worthwhile destination if you stay in safer areas. Only 16% of US cities are considered more dangerous than Kansas City.
Joplin, a city in southwestern Missouri, is the seventh most dangerous city in the state. Property crimes, including burglary and theft, are the primary contributors to its high crime rate. Visitors are advised to take precautions and avoid leaving valuables unattended. In the US, 19% of cities are considered more dangerous than Joplin.
Vinita Park is also one of the worst cities in Missouri due to the high crime rate. This small city in St. Louis County may not be as well-known as other cities, but it is one of the most violent in the state. With murder coming in at over 7.5x higher than the national average annually and assault, rape, and robbery all topping our nation's average, violent crimes rank high in Vinita Park.
Bridgeton, a suburb of St. Louis, is another one of the most dangerous cities in Missouri. Property crimes, including theft and vehicle theft, are the main concerns in this area. Your chance of being a victim of crime in Bridgeton is very high in certain northeast neighborhoods. As of July 2023, Bridgeton's crime rate is trending upward, 10% higher than the same Feb-July six-month period in 2022.
Ferguson rounds out our list of Missouri's ten most dangerous cities. In recent years, it's been most well-known for civil unrest. While the city has made efforts to improve safety and rebuild community trust, it still faces challenges. Visitors should exercise caution and practice safety measures. When it comes to violent crimes, only 4% of US cities are more dangerous.
While the crime rates mentioned may seem disconcerting, it's important to remember that most residents and visitors in these cities experience little to no instances of crime. By being cautious, you can reduce the likelihood of becoming a victim of crime. Be mindful of your surroundings and trust your instincts. If something feels off or unsafe, it's best to err on the side of caution. Whenever possible, travel with others, and when alone, always let someone know where you are and how long you plan to be there.