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10 Safest Cities in Montana: 2024 Update

Downtown Whitefish Montana

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

Every person wants to live in a safe city and freely enjoy life without fear of violence or crime. Even if you’re just traveling within a city, you want to feel safe.

If you are considering getting a taste of mountain living, Montana has plenty of safe places and counties. However, all areas are not equal in terms of safety. Some cities may be safer than others. This article goes over the current safest cities in Montana following the latest statistics. Take a look!

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The 10 Safest Cities in Montana

1. Glendive, MT

Downtown Glendive MT
Downtown Glendive MT (Image Credit: Royalbroil, Wikimedia Commons CC BY-SA 4.0)
Population 4,908
Average Income $49,141
Violent Crimes Rate in 2023 2%
Common Crimes Property theft

Glendive is on the Yellowstone River in the eastern part of Montana. It’s one of Montana’s safest towns and one of the best places to live and even raise a family. Why? One of the reasons Glendive is considered safe is its low crime rate, which is lower than both the state and national average. Many factors contribute to this, including reduced unemployment rates, affordable housing, and above-average income levels.

The city is planned within its limits, with the protective boundaries around each subdivision preventing motorist traffic from getting snarled. What’s more, police patrols cover the entire city often. There’s no shortage of residents to give them after-hours help.

But recently, crimes such as burglary and property theft in Glendive have slightly increased. Nevertheless, the law-enforcement officers are working to restore safety in the city.

2. Miles City, MT

Miles City MT City Hall
Miles City MT City Hall (Image Credit: dave_mcmt, Wikimedia Commons CC BY 2.0)
Population 8,576
Average Income $50,991
Violent Crimes Rate in 2023 3%
Common Crimes Burglary and property theft

Miles City is a quiet town with a rich history, a strong sense of community, and friendly people. It is surrounded by beautiful nature and agriculture. It offers plenty of outdoor activities, including skiing and hunting. It’s an excellent place to settle down if you want to get away from the hustle and bustle of large cities.

This small town of over 8,000 people is located to the east of Billings. The population is pretty small compared to other cities here, but this contributes to the low crime rate.

Another reason for the low crime rate is the police fast response to calls; they have an average response time of only 6 minutes and 39 seconds.

The crime rate in Miles City is three times lower compared to the national average. The number of crimes reported has dropped over the past few years. It appears to be continuing in that direction. That’s good news for anyone considering moving there!

3. Dillon, MT

Dillon Montana
Dillon Montana (Image Credit: Mumbo jiggy, Wikimedia Commons CC BY-SA 3.0)
Population 4,318
Average Income $32,833
Violent Crimes Rate in 2023 0%
Common Crimes Property theft and larceny

Dillon is located between Bozeman and Butte and has fewer than 5,000 people. So, it’s an excellent place for commuters or those who travel for work often. It’s best known for its proximity to national parks, and it’s also one of the best places to live when it comes to safety.

Violent crime rate here is below the average for the entire United States. One reason for the low crime rate is the well-equipped police department able to handle issues that may arise. They have an average response time of fewer than three minutes.

The police department also offers safety education programs in the schools. It puts on events designed to strengthen community spirit.

The overall crime rate has decreased recently. It means that there are fewer reported crimes now than there were a few years ago. Not only that, but nearly every crime from vehicle theft to violent crimes, such as murder and rape have declined. It means that Dillon is making progress toward keeping its citizens safe.

4. Colstrip, MT

Population 2,171
Average Income $41,000
Violent Crimes Rate in 2023 6%
Common Crimes Burglary and property theft

Colstrip is a beautiful city with nearby lakes, rivers, and mountain views. Also, it has a friendly atmosphere and a low crime rate, making it an excellent place to live and even raise a family.

The town has slightly above 2,100 residents in southeastern Montana. It is home to the second-largest coal-fired generating station in the country. But there’s also much more to this city than just power plants and coal mines.

With its picturesque mountain views and wide-open spaces, it’s easy to see why many people are drawn to Colstrip. The town has many amenities that make it an appealing place to live and work.

Although it’s not one of the most populated cities in Montana, it is among the towns with the lowest crime rates in the state. What’s more is that it’s experiencing a decrease in crime, which can be attributed to changes in policing methods due to new technology and data collection practices.

Also, there’s a change in demographics as more people move away from urban areas countrywide.

5. Columbia Falls, MT

Columbia Falls Montana Sign
Columbia Falls Montana Sign (Image Credit: Royalbroil, Wikimedia Commons CC BY-SA 4.0)
Population 5,225
Average Income $61,091
Violent Crimes Rate in 2023 39%
Common Crimes Property and burglary

Columbia Falls also gets a place on our list of safest cities in Montana. The town has a population of over 5,000 people. It has a crime rate that’s less than half the national average. It’s an excellent place to call home.

The low crime rate isn’t just a great selling point. It also contributes to a sense of safety and community. Besides being safe, Columbia Falls is an excellent place for outdoor enthusiasts. It’s located near Glacier National Park, which features over 700 miles of hiking trails and many lakes and campsites.

However, there’s been a significant increase in crime over the past years. There have been reports of small-time thieves breaking into homes. These incidents aren’t unheard of in any other city. But their frequency and severity have caused concern among residents and visitors alike.

6. Whitefish, MT

Population 8,523
Average Income $52,037
Violent Crimes Rate in 2023 9%
Common Crimes Burglary and property theft

The city of Whitefish began as a railroad town in the early 1900s and has historically been an agricultural community. The mountain town of Whitefish is located in the northwest corner of Montana, close to Glacier National Park.

One of the reasons people feel so safe here is because there are few problems with gang violence or drug-related crimes. Many crimes committed include property crimes such as burglary and vandalism.

The city has invested in public safety and law enforcement to ensure that everyone is safe. The police department works closely with local businesses and schools on security issues such as bullying and drug abuse among teens.

The crime rate here is low and has been declining compared to other areas across Montana. It makes it an ideal location for those who want their children to grow up feeling protected not only by their parents but by society as well.

The Whitefish Police Department is all about community policing. It’s committed to building a trusting relationship with the residents. Some of the ways they do this is by meeting with residents and business owners at “Coffee with a Cop” meeting.

This relationship can make it easier for law enforcement officers to know when something is amiss in the neighborhoods. That goes a long way in keeping crime down.

7. Deer Lodge, MT

Deer Lodge County MT
Deer Lodge County MT {Image Credit: Mark A. Holloway, Wikimedia Commons CC BY-SA 4.0)
Population 2,976
Average Income $46,799
Violent Crimes Rate in 2023 3%
Common Crimes Property theft

Deer Lodge is one of the smallest cities on our list. Its crime rate is nearly ten times lower compared to the state average. It’s a trend we’ve seen elsewhere. Smaller cities have lower crime rates than their bigger counterparts.

For one, there are less than 3,000 residents, which translates to less crime. Also, there’s an active community watch program, which helps deter crime. A low unemployment rate means that people can support themselves without resorting to crime.

Deer Lodge’s police department is one of the top three law enforcement departments countrywide. So, you’re sure to get excellent service from them if you ever run into trouble.

The crime rate in Deer Lodge, Montana, has been decreasing in recent years, with the police working hard to keep it to a minimum.

The police force has implemented a community policing program that focuses on building relationships with the people. This program has been successful so far.

8. Bozeman, MT

Bozeman Main Street
Bozeman Main Street (Image Credit: Mike Cline, Wikimedia Commons CC0 1.0)
Population 45,121
Average Income $55,569
Violent Crimes Rate in 2023 4%
Common Crimes Burglary and property theft

Bozeman is a city with a small-town feel, but it offers big-city amenities. It has a population of above 45,000 people. It is the fifth-largest city in Montana, about an hour north of Yellowstone National Park. It provides easy access to some of the most beautiful scenery in the world.

The size of a city can often play a role in its safety. But Bozeman has proven itself to be an exception to this rule. This beautiful city is considered one of the safest cities in Montana. It’s also considered safe in the entire country.

The violent crime rate is almost half that nationwide, and property crimes are lower than the national average. It can be attributed to the rural nature of Montana, which leads to a more relaxed atmosphere in which people know one another.

The city has a low unemployment rate and a high household income. The population is highly educated, given the many opportunities for continued education.

9. Laurel, MT

Laurel Downtown
Laurel Downtown (Image Credit: Jon Roanhaus, Wikimedia Commons CC BY-SA 4.0)
Population 6,849
Average Income $64,678
Violent Crimes Rate in 2023 68%
Common Crimes Larceny and property theft

Laurel is a small town in Yellowstone County with a population over 6,000 residents. It’s the second-largest city in the Billings metropolitan area.

The police department there works to keep crime low. Also, they are open to working with the public and being accessible to everyone in the community. This makes them more proactive when preventing potential crimes from occurring in the first place. The key to safety is prevention, and Laurel residents know this well.

The crime rate in Laurel is below the average for the United States. The violent crime rate is far below the national average. The property crime rate is somewhat higher than average but still lower than many other cities and towns countrywide.

One reason for this may be that Laurel is a small city. So, it has fewer opportunities for property crimes such as burglary or theft.

Like any other place, there are neighborhoods where violent and property crimes occur more often than in others. These are areas away from the downtown core where people have less interaction with each other daily. But crime has declined recently.

10. Libby, MT

Population 2,703
Average Income $60,118
Violent Crimes Rate in 2023 2%
Common Crimes Property theft and burglary

Libby is a small town with over 2,500 inhabitants nestled in the Kootenai National Forest. The city is known for its rich history, particularly concerning the timber industry. The town is named after Libby Creek, which runs through it.

If you’re looking for a peaceful place to live with your family, Libby is the place. There’s a low violent crime rate and also one of the lowest property crime rates in Montana.

A tight-knit community and a low unemployment rate make it easy for you to meet new people and get involved with your neighbors.

It also helps that the town is in an area known for its natural beauty. It has some of the best recreational opportunities, from hiking to hunting.

However, the influx of people from nearby Washington State has led to a rise in crime in Libby. The police department knows how crucial it is to engage the community in combating crime. So, they’ve initiated several programs that do just that.

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How to Stay Safe in Montana

If you live in Montana, you know there’s a lot to love about the state. There are beautiful mountains and lakes, weather, and friendly people. Most cities in the state are safe. But there are a few criminal cases reported in Montana.

If you’re new in Montana, have your friends introduce you around. Show up at community events. Also, make sure people know who you are, where you come from, and why you moved here. It’ll help them feel more comfortable having someone new in their midst. Also, it will help establish a personal connection with you.

Also, if you live in an area with a lot of crime, take steps to avoid being mugged and carjacked. Park your vehicle in well-lit areas and keep your personal belongings out of sight. If possible, try to walk around with someone else who can have your back if things get dangerous.

The other rule of staying safe in Montana is being on the lookout for anything that seems unusual. If you see someone behaving erratically, avoid them at all costs.

Keep an eye out for anything that might be a trap. It can be an abandoned car or a package left behind on the street. If you have any doubts about the safety of an area, it’s better to turn back than to risk running into trouble.

Besides, you never know when someone might attack you. It’s crucial to be ready! Many gyms offer classes that teach defense techniques.

Above all, contact the police department in your locality should anything happen.

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Montana is ranked among the safest states in America. The smaller Montana towns often have low crime rates and are family-oriented.

Whether you are new to Montana or are just visiting, it helps to know where you will be safe. At the end of it all, a safe city is crucial to everyone, not just those who are considering moving. But none of these cities or towns is without their fair share of crime or dangerous neighborhoods. So, it is good to be alert and report any crime.

Featured Image Credit: Downtown Whitefish Montana (Image Credit: Royalbroil, Wikimedia Commons CC BY-SA 3.0)


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