These rankings are based solely on the amount of crime and likelihood of being the victim of a crime. Nothing else was considered, so while they may be “dangerous” on paper, they may just be worth the risk. I’m also not saying that if a place ISN’T on this list that it is particularly safe either. If you want to look into the numbers, check out the calculator I used at www.areavibes.com.
10. St. Louis, Pop 318,527
The fact that St. Louis is on this list should be no surprise. Most bigger cities have higher crime rates. The thing to remember with such large cities is that the crime rate can be radically different from neighborhood to neighborhood. The overall crime rate for St. Louis is 165% higher than the national average and 130% higher than the Missouri average. Violent crime is 267% higher than the Missouri average. You have a 1 in 13 chance of being the victim of a crime. In addition, due to recent events, there has been a focus on the issues plaguing the city police and the distrust felt by the citizenship at at large. Police officers are being targeted. This is a topic in and of itself, but it would be irresponsible if I didn't include this information. On another note, St. Louis is filled with history, art, architecture, natural beauty, and so many things to do, see, and eat, that it may be worth the risk. Personally, I love living here.
9. Bridgeton, Pop 11,756
Bridgeton, a suburb of St. Louis, although a hub of transportation for the metropolitan area, or maybe because it is, the crime rate here is 167% higher than Missouri's average and 208% higher than the national average. You hae a 1 in 11 chance of being victimized. However, crime has decreased over recent years by 7%, and Bridgeton has a low cost of living, high graduation rates, and lots of things to do. West End Scuba Diving Adventures is in the town and worth checking out, as well as a family aquatic park, recreation centers, Riverwoods Park & Trail and Payne-Gentry Historical House are notable attractions.
8. Branson, Pop 10,463
A surprise on this list might be that this tourist mecca and "Live Music Capital of the World" has a crime rate 320% higher than the national average! You have a 1 in 8 chance of being the victim of a crime. However, crime rates have decreased 4% recently and there is a stable housing market, high graduation rates, and a low cost of living. With 50 live performance theaters, a dozen or so golf courses, Silver Dollar Theme Park, other attractions and museums, a historic downtown and tons of food and shopping, the crime rate may not be your main concern.
7. Mosby, Pop 269
You may not have heard of the tiny town of Mosby and be surprised to see it on this list. However, recent news is that the police department has been disbanded after years of possible mismanagement, and a transition to county protection is underway. This could explain the high crime rate, which has increased 602% in recent years, mostly thefts. You have a 1 in 5 chance of becoming the victim of a crime. In a town this small that is extremely rare. However, the town does have a high income per capita, a stable housing market, and a low cost of living. Hopefully they will get their issues resolved and things will improve.
6. Miner, Pop 955
Another small town with a high crime rate per capita, and a 1 in 4 chance of being victimized, Miner claims to be a traveler's oasis with 9 hotels, a campground, and a close proximity to attractions. However, those attractions are in nearby Sikeston. The good news is that the crime rate has decreased by 32% in recent years and there is a low cost of living. Sounds like they are working hard for change.
5. Branson West, Pop 616
Branson West was originally named Lakeview, but they changed it in 1992 to capitalize on the explosive success of neighboring Branson. This small town seems to have Branson's crime problem as well, however. Their crime rate is 505% higher than the national average and there is a 1 in 6 chance you will be the victim of a crime. Sadly, the crime rate has also increased 55% in recent years. The good news is that they still have a low cost of living, a stable housing market, their own airport, and as mentioned before, they are close to the attractions in Branson.
4. Springfield, Pop 160,246
As with any larger town, neighborhoods are a big factor, but the overall crime rate in Springfield is 184% higher than Missouri's average with a higher than average amount of both violent and property crimes. You have a 1 in 10 chance of being victimized. However, being the home of Fantastic Caverns, Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World, Dickerson Park Zoo, and Wilson's Creek National Battlefield, as well as lots of great places to stay and things to eat, there is still much to love.
3. Sikeston, Pop 16,414
Sikeston has twice as many crimes per thousand than the Missouri average, and violent crime is 367% higher than Missouri's average. You have a 1 in 13 chance of being the victim of a crime. Livability in Sikeston is increased tremendously by the low cost of living, high graduation rates, and a lot of amenities. They have museums, a historic downtown, antiques, murals, parks, family fun, wineries, and much more. They also are home to Lambert's Cafe, "Home of the Throwed Rolls".
2. Kansas City, Pop 459,772
Another large city, Kansas City is another "non-shocker" on this list. The crime rate is only 86% higher than the Missouri average, which doesn't sound so bad compared to some of the others on the list, but the problem is that they are much higher than average on violent crime. There is a 1 in 16 chance of being a victim. Again, though, this could be worth the risk, as Kansas City has so much to do. Also, Kansas City is quite beautiful. Known as the "City of Fountains", it has more fountains than any other city besides Rome, Italy. Oh, and don't forget Kansas City Barbecue.
1. Aurora, Pop 7,502
In Aurora, crime has increased 42% in recent years and they are 85% higher than the Missouri average in violent crimes. In fact, they are significantly higher than the Missouri average in every category. They do, however, have a low cost of living, and low gas prices. They are also near many attractions such as Table Rock Lake and Stockton Lake, Mark Twain National Forest, and are a short drive from Branson, Springfield and Joplin. However, according to their website, the city is aware of its challenges and is working to change and improve constantly.
It is once again worth mentioning, that different neighborhoods within these communities might be more dangerous than others. It is worth looking into this before a visit to any town, so that you are aware of the more dangerous areas. And also, just because a place has a problem with crime, doesn’t mean it’s not worth visiting or that it isn’t working on improvement. Do you know of any other areas that may be a little dangerous and worth being cautious of? Share in the comments below.