Safest Cities in Missouri

  • Population
    6,121,623
  • Avg Annual Rent
    $9,721
  • Avg Household Income
    $54,014
  • Cost of Living
    18.90%
  • Violent Crime Rate
    16.2
  • Property Crime Rate
    335.3
  • Primary Care Ranking
    15
  • Mental Health Provider
    36

Home to nearly 6 million residents, Missouri is the 18th-largest state in the U.S. in terms of population. Mark Twain remains the state's most famous resident, closely followed by the 33rd President of the United States, Harry S. Truman. Missouri's largest cities are Kansas City (which is indeed located in Missouri despite its misleading name) on the western state line and St. Louis on the eastern state line. Both cities have their own Major League Baseball teams: the Kansas City Royals and the St. Louis Cardinals. But which, if any, made it on our list of the safest cities in Missouri? 

How We Determined the Safest Cities in Missouri

We narrowed down the safest cities in each state based on two primary categories. First, we evaluated public safety factors including violent, property and hate crimes in each area to help determine the safest areas to live. We then evaluated financial and socioeconomic factors including household income, average rent and health insurance. In addition, we evaluated each state for natural disaster safety and public health safety. You can find a detailed breakdown of our methodology and links to sources here.

Here are the public safety factors we counted for each city:

*Public safety data is based on a population of 10,000 (for example, a “2” means two incidents for every 10,000 people).

  • Property crime – Number of property crimes reported in the city (FBI Crime Report)
  • Violent crime – Number of violent crimes reported in the city (FBI Crime Report)
  • Aggravated assaults – Number of aggravated assaults reported in the city (FBI Crime Report)
  • Hate crime – Number of hate crimes reported in the city (FBI Hate Crime Report)
  • Officer-related incidents – Number of officer-involved shootings reported in the city (Gun Violence Archive)
  • Mass shootings – Incidents in which four or more people are shot/killed in the city (Gun Violence Archive)

Here are the financial safety factors we counted for each city:

  • Annual rent – Annualized median rent
  • Unemployment rate – The average rate of unemployed residents in each city
  • Cost of living – The average annual rent and household income per city
  • Poverty rate – Percentage of families that reported experiencing poverty in the last 12 months
  • Uninsured employed – Percentage of employed residents that reported not having health insurance
  • Uninsured unemployed – Percentage of unemployed residents that reported not having health insurance

12 Safest Cities in Missouri

  • No. 1 Wentzville

    Topping the list of safest cities in Missouri is Wentzville, a suburb of St. Louis. Home to the nation’s first Vietnam Veterans Memorial, Wentzville is close to attractions such as the St. Louis’ Forest Park and Big Joel’s Safari Petting Zoo. Popular activities in Wentzville include visiting the Lindenwood Ice Arena or watching a movie at the family-owned B&B Theatre.

    83out of 100

    Public Safety

    80out of 100

    Financial Safety

    Public Safety

    Total Violent CrimeSociety CrimesProperty CrimeHate CrimeOfficer IncidentMass Shootings
    5.11484 (3rd)20.70293 (8th)104.0018 (1st)0.243564 (5th)0.243564 (5th)0 (1st)

    Financial Safety

    Annual RentHousehold IncomeUnemployment RatePovertyUninsured EmployedUninsured Unemployed
    12120 (1st)86551 (1st)0.034 (9th)0.044 (11th)0.013 (8th)0.322 (8th)
  • No. 2 Grain Valley

    Neighboring the town of Blue Springs, Grain Valley is a slightly smaller suburb of Kansas City. Attractions in Grain Valley include the family-friendly Monkey Mountain Nature Preserve, which is popular with hiking and horse-riding enthusiasts. Grain Valley is also ideally placed for those wishing to visit popular lakes such as Lake Remembrance and Blue Springs Lake. 

    85out of 100

    Public Safety

    74out of 100

    Financial Safety

    Public Safety

    Total Violent CrimeSociety CrimesProperty CrimeHate CrimeOfficer IncidentMass Shootings
    7.765619 (6th)9.883516 (2nd)141.899 (2nd)0.705965 (6th)0.705965 (6th)0 (1st)

    Financial Safety

    Annual RentHousehold IncomeUnemployment RatePovertyUninsured EmployedUninsured Unemployed
    12072 (2nd)70193 (4th)0.03 (11th)0.054 (10th)0.029 (5th)0.549 (1st)
  • No. 3 Smithville

    Located north of Kansas City, Smithville is a lakeside town with a population of just over 10,000 people. Visitors and residents can enjoy the 7,190-acre Smithville Lake, which is popular with boating, fishing and sailing fans. Overall, crime is low, but the city does have a higher officer incident crime rate than some others on this list.

    82out of 100

    Public Safety

    75out of 100

    Financial Safety

    Public Safety

    Total Violent CrimeSociety CrimesProperty CrimeHate CrimeOfficer IncidentMass Shootings
    4.994007 (2nd)4.994007 (1st)152.8166 (3rd)0.998801 (9th)0.998801 (9th)0 (1st)

    Financial Safety

    Annual RentHousehold IncomeUnemployment RatePovertyUninsured EmployedUninsured Unemployed
    9516 (9th)79038 (2nd)0.07 (2nd)0.033 (12th)0.03 (4th)0.11 (12th)
  • No. 4 Blue Springs

    Blue Springs is a popular suburb of Kansas City, with a population of over 55,000 people. The town has plenty of natural points of interest including the sixth-largest natural spring in Missouri, Burr Oak Woods Conservation Area and Lake Remembrance. Despite the plethora of natural attractions, Blue Springs is still within commuting distance to the bustling city life of Kansas City. 

    73out of 100

    Public Safety

    77out of 100

    Financial Safety

    Public Safety

    Total Violent CrimeSociety CrimesProperty CrimeHate CrimeOfficer IncidentMass Shootings
    9.045353 (7th)15.19619 (5th)289.2704 (6th)0.723628 (7th)0.723628 (7th)0 (1st)

    Financial Safety

    Annual RentHousehold IncomeUnemployment RatePovertyUninsured EmployedUninsured Unemployed
    11424 (3rd)71481 (3rd)0.032 (10th)0.068 (9th)0.013 (8th)0.203 (10th)
  • No. 5 Macon

    Sitting beside Macon Lake and the Long Branch Lake State Park, Macon is popular with watersports and boating fans. With just 5,000 residents, Macon has one of the smallest populations on this list and a low cost of living. Despite these facts, Macon has experienced issues with crimes such as hate crime and shootings, at a higher level than other cities on this list.

    75out of 100

    Public Safety

    59out of 100

    Financial Safety

    Public Safety

    Total Violent CrimeSociety CrimesProperty CrimeHate CrimeOfficer IncidentMass Shootings
    5.588674 (4th)14.90313 (4th)234.7243 (4th)1.862891 (11th)1.862891 (11th)18.62891 (11th)

    Financial Safety

    Annual RentHousehold IncomeUnemployment RatePovertyUninsured EmployedUninsured Unemployed
    5736 (12th)38613 (11th)0.065 (3rd)0.16 (3rd)0.041 (3rd)0.153 (11th)
  • No. 6 Jefferson

    The state capital of Missouri,Jefferson City has a population of almost 43,000, low crime rates and a reasonable cost of living. Jefferson City is home to several historical landmarks and has plenty of activities to offer residents. There’s the Missouri State Capitol, Missouri State Museum and the Lewis and Clark Monument at the Trailhead Plaza.

    65out of 100

    Public Safety

    68out of 100

    Financial Safety

    Public Safety

    Total Violent CrimeSociety CrimesProperty CrimeHate CrimeOfficer IncidentMass Shootings
    16.10043 (10th)19.13384 (6th)297.9746 (7th)0.233459 (4th)0.233459 (4th)0 (1st)

    Financial Safety

    Annual RentHousehold IncomeUnemployment RatePovertyUninsured EmployedUninsured Unemployed
    7452 (11th)50832 (6th)0.04 (8th)0.107 (6th)0.022 (6th)0.499 (3rd)
  • No. 7 Duquesne

    Duquesne is a small city, less than 10 miles from the Kansas border in Jasper County. With a population of just 1,736, this city is one of the smallest on the list in terms of population. While crime rates are low overall, Duquesne has the highest mass shooting rate on the list and a high rate of hate crime. 

    74out of 100

    Public Safety

    55out of 100

    Financial Safety

    Public Safety

    Total Violent CrimeSociety CrimesProperty CrimeHate CrimeOfficer IncidentMass Shootings
    0 (1st)11.52074 (3rd)501.1521 (10th)5.760369 (12th)5.760369 (12th)23.04147 (12th)

    Financial Safety

    Annual RentHousehold IncomeUnemployment RatePovertyUninsured EmployedUninsured Unemployed
    10308 (5th)43250 (9th)0.051 (6th)0.078 (8th)0.072 (1st)0.382 (7th)
  • No. 8 Columbia

    Columbia is a large city in Central Missouri, midway between Kansas City and St. Louis. The city hosts the state’s flagship university, the University of Missouri-Columbia, making this a popular college town with a population of 123,586. There are plenty of entertainment venues, public parks and attractions such as the Rock Bridge Memorial State Park, which is ideal for hiking trips. Columbia is also home to the True/False Film Festival, an internationally renowned documentary film festival that takes place every year.

    63out of 100

    Public Safety

    62out of 100

    Financial Safety

    Public Safety

    Total Violent CrimeSociety CrimesProperty CrimeHate CrimeOfficer IncidentMass Shootings
    16.02123 (9th)20.067 (7th)281.828 (5th)0.080915 (3rd)0.080915 (3rd)1.132814 (9th)

    Financial Safety

    Annual RentHousehold IncomeUnemployment RatePovertyUninsured EmployedUninsured Unemployed
    N/A49277 (7th)0.041 (7th)0.103 (7th)0.011 (10th)0.235 (9th)
  • No. 9 West Plains

    West Plains is one of the larger cities in the south of Missouri and is located in the Ozark Mountains. Due to its location, West Plains has plenty of Ozark Heritage attractions such as the Ozark Heritage Welcome Center and the James P. Harlin Memorial Museum. West Plains boasts a low average rent and the lowest unemployment rate on the list.

    64out of 100

    Public Safety

    53out of 100

    Financial Safety

    Public Safety

    Total Violent CrimeSociety CrimesProperty CrimeHate CrimeOfficer IncidentMass Shootings
    6.51625 (5th)29.32312 (10th)476.5008 (9th)0.814531 (8th)0.814531 (8th)0 (1st)

    Financial Safety

    Annual RentHousehold IncomeUnemployment RatePovertyUninsured EmployedUninsured Unemployed
    7596 (10th)34715 (12th)0.017 (12th)0.245 (1st)0.059 (2nd)0.506 (2nd)
  • No. 10 Independence

    Independence is the fifth-largest city in Missouri, with a population of 117,368 spanning over 78 square miles. This city has plenty of attractions such as the Vaile Mansion and Bingham-Waggoner Estate. Visitors can take a historic wagon ride tour across Independence Square or relax in one of the popular parks. 

    59out of 100

    Public Safety

    56out of 100

    Financial Safety

    Public Safety

    Total Violent CrimeSociety CrimesProperty CrimeHate CrimeOfficer IncidentMass Shootings
    15.76239 (8th)28.62791 (9th)521.0108 (11th)0 (1st)0 (1st)0 (1st)

    Financial Safety

    Annual RentHousehold IncomeUnemployment RatePovertyUninsured EmployedUninsured Unemployed
    10068 (7th)48331 (8th)0.054 (4th)0.123 (5th)0.017 (7th)0.48 (4th)
  • No. 11 Kansas City

    On the border of Kansas, Kansas City sits on the winding Missouri River. The city boasts a range of historical and cultural attractions such as the National World War I Museum and Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, so there’s plenty to see and do. With a total population of 317,135, Kansas City has the largest population on this list. Despite this, overall crime levels and cost of living are fairly low for a city of its size.

    35out of 100

    Public Safety

    56out of 100

    Financial Safety

    Public Safety

    Total Violent CrimeSociety CrimesProperty CrimeHate CrimeOfficer IncidentMass Shootings
    44.14792 (11th)114.8819 (11th)430.6501 (8th)1.040566 (10th)1.040566 (10th)1.261293 (10th)

    Financial Safety

    Annual RentHousehold IncomeUnemployment RatePovertyUninsured EmployedUninsured Unemployed
    10788 (4th)52405 (5th)0.054 (4th)0.138 (4th)0.008 (11th)0.446 (5th)
  • No. 12 St. Louis

    St. Louis is one of Missouri’s most populous cities with over 300,000 residents. The Mississippi River runs along the city’s eastern border, separating it from the state of Illinois. St. Louis has plenty of attractions from museums to theatres, art galleries and entertainment venues. The Gateway City is home to such well-known attractions as Forest Park, the Gateway Arch, and the Anheuser-Busch brewery, as well major league sports teams the St. Louis Cardinals and St. Louis Blues. However, St. Louis has the highest crime rates on this list for incidents such as violent crime and property crime. 

    45out of 100

    Public Safety

    41out of 100

    Financial Safety

    Public Safety

    Total Violent CrimeSociety CrimesProperty CrimeHate CrimeOfficer IncidentMass Shootings
    63.47862 (12th)116.5621 (12th)591.1853 (12th)0.065173 (2nd)0.065173 (2nd)0 (1st)

    Financial Safety

    Annual RentHousehold IncomeUnemployment RatePovertyUninsured EmployedUninsured Unemployed
    9720 (8th)41107 (10th)0.083 (1st)0.216 (2nd)0.008 (11th)0.418 (6th)

Missouri State Safety

Natural Disaster Safety

Missouri ranks 16th in the U.S. for likelihood of experiencing natural disaster damage, according to Insurance Journal. Missouri’s State Emergency Management Agency lists severe storms as the most common natural disasters to affect the Show Me State. Tornadoes, flooding and straight-line winds are commonly associated with those storms, as well. Winter storms have also led to three emergency declarations since 2007. The Joplin tornado of 2011 represents one of the worst natural disasters to occur in Missouri.

16out of 50

Natural Disaster

Health Safety

Out of all 50 states, Missouri takes the 39th position in terms of health according to America’s Health Rankings’ 2019 report. Factors working in Missouri’s favor include decent air quality and a relatively high number of primary care physicians per 100,000 people. On the other hand, Missouri has a low number of dentists per 100,000 people. Smoking, obesity and violent crime represent the top three health concerns in the state. In addition, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention notes that Missouri experiences infant mortality, homicide, drug overdose and firearm deaths at higher rates than the national averages.

38out of 50

Health Safety

Top 14 Safest Cities in Missouri

Wentzville41,057211
Grain Valley14,165142
Smithville10,012333
Blue Springs55,277624
Macon5,368475
Jefferson42,834756
Duquesne1,7365107
Columbia123,586968
West Plains12,2778119
Independence117,36810910
Kansas City317,13512811
St. Louis306,875111212