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10 Safest Cities in Missouri (2024 Update)

St. Louis, Missouri skyline

Note: This article’s statistics come from third-party sources and do not represent the opinions of this website.

Located in the Midwest and bordered by eight other states, Missouri is relatively small (21st on the list of the largest states) but very beautiful and welcoming. Named after the famous Missouri River, it is home to 6.1 million people. But what about safety? How high is the violent crime rate? And should you be worried about property crime?

Here are the facts; the “Mother of the West” has a higher crime rate than the national average. With the eighth-highest violent and twelfth-highest property crime rates, it might not look like an excellent place for you to move in with a family. However, a recent survey showed that only 46% of Missourians worry about their safety, despite the slightly alarming crime rate.

Besides, Missouri is home to dozens of small towns with a crime rate lower than the state, region, and national average. So, join us, and let’s take a closer look. These cities were rated based on the latest updates on crime rates, murder rates, average income, population, and more.

divider 5 The 10 Safest Cities in Missouri: A Quick Look

1. Clever, MO

  • Population: 2,787
  • Average Median Income: $49,485
  • Murder rate: 0.0/1K people
  • Violent crime rate: 0.7/1,000 people
  • Property crime rate: 4.3/1,000 people

We begin the list with the safest city in Missouri, Clever. With no reported murder, rape, or robbery incidents in an entire year, it is quite safe.  Clever has a rather modest population (less than 3,000 people), and in 2021, only two violent crime cases were reported. The number of property crimes was slightly higher but still 78% lower than the national average.

It’s also important to mention the positive dynamic. Back in 2019, the VC rate was 1.5; it changed to 0.7 in 2020 and stayed consistent throughout 2021. The situation with the PC rate is a bit different. In 2020, when the pandemic was raging, it went from 5.2 to 6.2; on the bright side, the rate dropped in 2021. Now, with a 79/100 livability score and affordable real estate prices (31% cheaper than the state average), Clever could be a perfect town for you to live in with your kids and parents and enjoy a trouble-free life.

2. Vandalia, MO

  • Population: 4,072
  • Average Median Income: $36,406
  • Murder rate: 0.0/1K people
  • Violent crime rate: 0.2/1,000 people
  • Property crime rate: 7.4/1,000 people

Despite the somewhat scary name, Vandalia is one of the safest cities in Missouri.  Last year, it jumped 19 positions up, which landed it the #2 spot. In 2019, the VC rate was at 1.6, but in 2021, it’s as low as 0.2. In contrast, the PC rate went from 6.4 in 2019 to 8.1 in 2020 and then back down to 7.4 in 2021.

While the property crime rate is still 62% lower than the national average, the dynamic is slightly negative. On top of that, the median income is low for the “Cave State,” but that’s compensated by affordable housing (real estate prices are 50% lower than the state average). The town has three schools: elementary, middle, and high school, plus a lending library.

3. Savannah, MO

  • Population: 5,212
  • Average Median Income: $45,461
  • Murder rate: 0.0/1,000 people
  • Violent crime rate: 0.2/1,000 people
  • Property crime rate: 8.3/1,000 people

The average income in Savannah isn’t particularly high, but it is decent enough for a small American town. The violent crime rate is 0.2, which means you won’t have to worry about your family’s safety while living there. In 2020, the VC rate saw a minor spike (from 0.8 to 1.2) but went down in 2021. As for the PC rate, it’s been in a steady decline since 2019, reaching an all-time low of 8.3 in 2021.

The murder rate is zero; the same is true for the robbery rate. With only five violent crimes reported in 2021 and 38 property crimes, the total crime rate is 65% below the average in the United States. Housing isn’t much cheaper than the state average, but the livability score is pretty high, thanks to local healthcare programs, culture and environment, infrastructure, and education.

4. Oronogo, MO

  • Population: 2,694
  • Average Median Income: $73,261
  • Murder rate: 0.0/1,000 people
  • Violent crime rate: 0.4/1,000 people
  • Property crime rate: 8.2/1,000 people

If you haven’t heard of Oronogo before, that’s probably because it’s pretty small and has a very modest population. In fact, this is the least-populated city on today’s list, but that’s a good thing for safety. When everyone knows each other, it’s harder for potential criminals to escape the law. In 2021, the city jumped 59 positions on the safety list.

The violent crime rate is low, while the property rate is 8.2. Like in most towns across the States, the crime and property rates spiked a bit in 2020 but went back down in 2021. The very first settlers arrived in the 1840s, and the mining industry helped Oronogo “catch up” to neighboring cities. As for its name, it derives from the Spanish word “Oro,” which stands for ore. Right now, Oronogo is one of the fastest-growing communities in Missouri.

5. Cottleville, MO

  • Population: 5,849
  • Average Median Income: $106,321
  • Murder rate: 0.0/1,000 people
  • Violent crime rate: 0.9/1,000 people
  • Property crime rate: 6.2/1,000 people

What can you expect from a tiny city with a population of fewer than 6,000 people? First, it’s a safe city with low violent and property crime rates. In 2019, the property rate was 4.8 and dropped significantly in 2020 (2.6), but it went up last year, reaching 6.2. That is still a very low rate, of course. Besides, there were no murder, rape, robbery, or assault cases reported in 2021, which is excellent news.

Named by a Black Hawk veteran, Lorenzo Cottle, the town is famous for its beautiful parks, greenways, and lakes full of fish. So, if you’re looking for a calm, picturesque city with a rural atmosphere, this could be it. The local pavilions, in turn, are perfect for family gatherings. Reservations are affordable and include BBQ grilles, large playgrounds, and dog parks.

6. Glendale, MO

Glendale, MO
Image Credit: Pixabay
  • Population: 5,873
  • Average Median Income: $141,217
  • Murder rate: 0.0/1,000 people
  • Violent crime rate: 0.2/1,000 people
  • Property crime rate: 9.7/1,000 people

One of the biggest “selling points” of Glendale is the median income since it’s above the state average. In addition, the local public schools are highly rated by parents and monitoring agencies. Plus, there’s no shortage of restaurants or coffee shops. As for the violent crime rate, it’s very low, with only two reported incidents.

More importantly, it has significantly improved over the last several years, but property crime has increased. Right now, the rate is 9.7. In 2019, it was at 8.3; in 2020, Glendale’s PC rate dropped to 5.4. Still, the “Getaway City” is a safe town you’ll instantly feel at home in. The lovely festivals, churches, and helpful government incentives will ensure that.

7. Battlefield, MO

  • Population: 6,348
  • Average Median Income: $58,819
  • Murder rate: 0.0/1,000 people
  • Violent crime rate: 0.0/1,000 people
  • Property crime rate: 11.3/1,000 people

No, the local roads and houses don’t look like a battlefield. Instead, Battlefield, Missouri, is a nice, quiet town with a non-existent violent crime rate. It is the only town on the list with a 0.0 VC rate. It gradually decreased from 0.3 in 2019 to 0.2 in 2020 and to zero in 2021.

The property rate, unfortunately, is pretty high, but it’s significantly lower than in 2019. On the downside, in 2020, the PC rate was twice as low. Interestingly, the 1861 Battle of Wilson’s Creek gave Battlefield its name. The cost of living is equal to the state average; the same applies to real estate and rental prices. Another perk of living in Battlefield is that the public schools are excellent.

8. Higginsville, MO

  • Population: 4,588
  • Average Median Income: $47,851
  • Murder rate: 0.0/1,000 people
  • Violent crime rate: 0.7/1,000 people
  • Property crime rate: 9.6/1,000 people

There are several conservation areas in Higginsville, along with a vinery, a chapel, and several lush parks, which are perfect for taking a stroll with your family. Along with public schools, there’s also one private institution. The violent crime rate has been in decline since 2019, and the same can be said about the PC rate, but it increased in 2020.

Like Cottleville, no murder, rape, assault, or robbery cases were reported in the city within 12 months. With only two burglary and five vehicle theft reports, it’s safe to say that the Higginsville citizens enjoy a quiet, trouble-free life.

9. Pleasant Valley, MO

  • Population: 3,073
  • Average Median Income: $57,019
  • Murder rate: 0.0/1,000 people
  • Violent crime rate: 0.3/1,000 people
  • Property crime rate: 11.4/1,000 people

Pleasant Valley is a small town with a below-average population of over 3,000 people. The violent crime rate is low, but the property crime rate is high and reached 11.4 in 2021, even though it was at the 10.1 mark in 2020.

The PC rate is only 14% lower than the US average, and that’s the worst statistic on today’s list. If safety is your #1 concern, the locals recommend renting or buying a house in the northern part of the city. The cost of living is 2% higher than elsewhere in Missouri, while the rental prices are as much as 15% higher.

10. Kearney, MO

Kearney, MO
Image Credit: Pixabay
  • Population: 10,736
  • Average Median Income: $78,152
  • Murder rate: 0.0/1K people
  • Violent crime rate: 0.7/1K people
  • Property crime rate: 10.2/1K people

The last stop for us today is Kearney—the most-populated city on the list. Compared to the average population of US towns (6.,200 people), it’s rather large. Kearney is the birthplace of the notorious outlaw Jesse James, and an annual festival recognizes the famous historical figure. I

Is this city safe? Yes, it is relatively safe, even though it is located at the #10 spot. The violent and property crime rate dynamic is positive, and Kearney managed to “gain” 12 positions over the other cities last year. The VC rate went from 1.1 in 2019 to 0.7 in 2021, while the PC rate plummeted from 15.3 to 10.2. The overall crime rate is 55% lower than the state average. Sadly, the cost of living, real estate, and rent are higher, just like in Pleasant Valley.

divider 4 How to Stay Safe in Missouri

As we learned earlier, Missouri’s violent and property crime rates are slightly higher than the national average. So, while the cities on the list are reasonably safe, you still need to worry about protecting yourself and your loved ones. In 2021, 64% of the state’s population named gun violence their top concern. We recommend installing motion sensor lights and indoor security cameras to secure your house from burglars.

Security devices may not be very cheap, but the investment will be well worth it in the long run. On top of that, consider going with smaller doorbells and locks. Statistics show that these simple measures make it harder for criminals to break into a house. Being friendly with the neighbors is also very important. Most towns we reviewed today have a population of 2,500 to 5,000.

That means your neighbors may notice suspicious activity near your home while you’re away. Last but not least, let’s talk about natural disasters. Storms, floods, cold winters, and power outages occur in Missouri. During a flood, you first have to turn off any connected appliances.

Next, make sure you shut off the gas and water. With that out of the way, move to higher ground and tune in to government radio channels for updates. And don’t forget to grab emergency supplies! There’s very little one can do during a power outage apart from waiting for the authorities to handle it. The winters aren’t extreme in Missouri, but it can get pretty cold.

When a strong storm with hail hits your town, experts recommend seeking shelter in a basement. If you’re outside, do your best to avoid fences, trees, and wires. Again, try to find a low-lying area. Consider contacting the authorities through the state’s website to prepare or recover from a natural disaster. They have incredible resources that can provide much-needed help.

divider 5 Conclusion

Missouri may not be the safest place in America, but there are many quiet, slow-paced, and, most importantly, safe towns in this fine state. As mentioned, less than 50% of Missourians worry about safety daily, so you’ll have nothing to worry about as long as you pick one of the cities from today’s list. Also, the crime rate in 2021 went down compared to the year before.

While the decrease in state-wide crime wasn’t as impressive as in previous years, the dynamic was still positive. The violent crime rate went from 5.0 to 4.9, while the property crime rate (the biggest concern for the locals) dropped from 26.5 to 26.4. In most regions of the United States, small towns are much safer than big cities. Stay vigilant and check back with us for the latest updates on the safest cities in the United States!

Featured Image Credit: Goodfreephotos_com, Pixabay


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