2015 Safest Places in Missouri

When deciding where to live, safety is a top priority. Our team at ValuePenguin has analyzed the most recent FBI Crime Report to determine the safety of cities and towns in Missouri. These 121 places ranged in a crime score from 248 to 5,769, with an average of 1,372. Narrowing it down to the five safest places to live, we found that smaller is safer; each of the five cities had populations between about 5,000 and 7,000 residents.

Speaking of population, major hubs Kansas City (117th) and St. Louis (121st) ranked at the bottom, according to our crime score metric, which adjusted for population size and was based on the amount of violent and property-related crimes per 100,000 people (more on our methodology below). For more insight, take a look at the report:

5 Safest Places in Missouri

These cities have an average crime score of 269, 80% lower than their typical peer in Missouri. With some of the state’s lowest total violent crime rates, these five are the safest places in the state.

1. Greenwood, Mo.

With a top-five-list low of 35 property crimes, this city tops our list. Known in part for its many elm trees – hence the name Greenwood upon its founding in 1867 – the city describes itself as “a quaint yet vibrant community.” The population grew 163% between 1990 and 2000. It actually recorded a better crime score (193) based on its 2003 filings to the FBI but remains the safest city of any size in the state.

Factor

Value

Population

5,331

Crime Score

248

2. Savannah, Mo.

Considering its improved crime score from a decade ago, Savannah is living up to its motto: “Small town living at its best.” An hour’s drive north of Kansas City and not too far east of the Kansas-Missouri border, it reported five fewer violent crimes (3) that it reported 10 years earlier, showing progress in perhaps the most important category we studied. Its crime score shrank from 532 in 2003. Originally named “Union,” the town takes great pride in its government-controlled golf course and privately-owned Ol’ MacDonald’s Farm. It has another claim to fame: Serving as the childhood home of famous (and infamous) rap artist Eminem.

Factor

Value

Population

5,113

Crime Score

254

3. Glendale, Mo.

With its 20-police department, Glendale comes in third. Residents here earn an estimated household income of $93,572, or 106% more than a given Missouri city. Their estimated home value of $313,092 is also 132% more than their average in-state peer. This includes some country-style houses that date back to the Civil War. For a city of its size, it’s also a host to highly-rated French and Italian restaurants.

Factor

Value

Population

5,920

Crime Score

268

4. Bonne Terre, Mo.

Despite having recorded seven violent crimes, including two rapes, Bonne Terre ranks as the fourth-safest city in Missouri. It shed 314 points from its crime score over a 10-year period thanks to its 56% drop in property crime. Named by the French for its “good land,” it was originally a lead mining town, leading to today’s main tourist attraction in the area. Now a full-fledged city, Bonne Terre celebrated its 200th birthday in 2014. Also on the local government’s official calendar: A day off on the second Friday in May to commemorate the May 8 birthday of former Jackson County judge, state senator – and U.S. president – Harry Truman.

Factor

Value

Population

7,088

Crime Score

280

5. Shrewsbury, Mo.

Rounding out the top list, Shrewsbury reported 70 property crimes, down from 128 in 2003, but still the highest total among our top five. Located next door to Glendale, plus 10 miles west of downtown St. Louis, Shrewsbury’s population has actually dipped over the past decade despite its new MetroLink station and an aquatics center. Another, perhaps more meaningful, milestone: The city swore its first female mayor, Felicity Buckley, into office in 2010. Under her and her predecessor’s watch, their crime score continues to plummet in the positive direction.

Factor

Value

Population

6,239

Crime Score

295

Population Breakdown

Although we adjusted for population in our crime rankings, it is still difficult to compare a small town to a large city. To account for this fact, we separated the safest cities into three categories: towns with populations between 5,000 and 10,000, midsize cities with populations between 10,000 and 20,000, and larger cities with populations greater than 20,000. Here are our findings:

Safest Places in Missouri

Full List of Places in Missouri

Below is the entire list of places that we included in our “Safest Places in Missouri” study. They are listed from the safest to the least safe, according to our analysis. The calculation for the crime scores can be found in the methodology section below. Take a look at the graph and see where your hometown ranks.

Full List of Places in Missouri

Methodology

To rank these places, we collected data from the 2013 FBI crime statistics by city, which provides the most recent crime data available. Not every town participates in this report and we also excluded towns with fewer than 3,000 residents because towns with small populations are more sensitive to crime score fluctuations for fewer crimes committed. The raw data report included property crimes (burglary, larceny-theft, motor vehicle theft, and arson), and violent crimes (murder/manslaughter, forcible rape, robbery, and aggravated assault) from all law enforcement agencies that chose to partake in the FBI Uniform Crime Reporting program.

We standardized the data to reflect violent and property crimes per 100,000, to account for population. Then, we aggregated a “crime score” by weighting violent crime at 90% and property crime at 10%. Though property crime is more prevalent, we figured that violent crime is more concerning to town residents. Then we adjusted the crime score for population size, giving more slack to larger cities. Finally, we ranked the cities based on their crime scores.

Here is an alphabetical table of all cities included with their ranks, making it easier to compare different cities. See where your city lies!

Rank

CityPopulationViolent Crime per 100KProperty Crime per 100KCrime Score

56

Arnold21,0701713,1991,024

111

Aurora7,4748036,8372,724

10

Ballwin30,45272821329

6

Battlefield5,783-1,591299

69

Bellefontaine Neighbors10,8193333,2261,255

73

Belton23,2733572,6901,289

99

Berkeley8,9466484,0021,943

62

Blue Springs53,1312502,7421,179

88

Bolivar10,4084324,1221,609

4

Bonne Terre7,08899564280

70

Boonville8,3013733,1921,283

27

Bowling Green5,534902,150554

118

Branson10,9181,46511,5504,994

50

Brentwood8,0301493,711986

116

Bridgeton11,6578588,6903,337

51

Cameron9,8673651,682992

108

Cape Girardeau38,7166665,1402,554

34

Carl Junction7,390812,395604

60

Carthage13,9882073,3671,084

115

Caruthersville6,1071,4574,1923,276

83

Charleston5,9075932,6921,514

15

Chesterfield47,744521,435445

49

Chillicothe9,4192442,729979

14

Clayton15,901821,321433

89

Clinton9,0544534,5731,711

93

Columbia114,5873633,8041,789

26

Crestwood11,931592,129542

16

Creve Coeur17,862951,288456

80

De Soto6,4603254,8451,480

72

Des Peres8,434596,0231,287

63

Dexter7,8822543,8441,194

7

Ellisville9,146441,126301

22

Eureka10,450571,990503

61

Excelsior Springs11,3462123,8521,168

81

Farmington17,5062914,5011,511

104

Ferguson21,1154785,3332,083

64

Festus11,7824162,2241,215

40

Florissant52,2891631,899794

79

Fulton12,7133463,9021,440

42

Gladstone26,0831841,967800

3

Glendale5,92051963268

21

Grain Valley13,0811221,338501

85

Grandview24,6304303,3051,575

1

Greenwood5,33175657248

103

Hannibal17,7844165,8542,040

57

Harrisonville9,9991603,7501,038

82

Hazelwood25,6703703,5331,513

109

Independence117,3814636,0552,591

33

Jackson14,3071121,866597

91

Jefferson City43,1934633,3481,742

114

Jennings14,7521,0785,3013,127

113

Joplin49,2724877,9662,897

117

Kansas City465,5141,2605,2954,714

25

Kearney8,9771341,482531

102

Kennett10,8973676,6812,015

59

Kirksville17,5292452,8751,078

31

Kirkwood27,557732,018594

18

Ladue8,548941,533468

20

Lake St. Louis14,733681,765495

96

Lebanon14,5504814,7011,880

38

Lee's Summit92,765982,111743

39

Liberty30,0001931,790790

45

Macon5,5071633,014838

17

Manchester18,187491,749466

98

Maplewood8,0092757,4541,938

44

Marshall13,0191842,343823

87

Marshfield6,6964184,6451,608

41

Maryland Heights27,4391712,052797

43

Maryville12,0272741,513812

78

Mexico11,5643893,4591,414

68

Moberly13,9792074,1491,246

67

Monett8,9271235,1751,241

76

Neosho12,2132464,4871,369

112

Nevada8,1105679,3222,819

28

Nixa20,110901,815565

23

Oak Grove7,865761,996522

12

Odessa5,221571,743419

24

O'Fallon82,672761,473530

29

Olivette7,8001671,538592

77

Overland15,9903193,7711,396

66

Ozark18,4872603,4511,235

46

Pacific7,0392422,344870

35

Parkville5,8431881,729644

37

Perryville8,2701811,983708

84

Pevely5,5746642,3321,556

9

Pleasant Hill8,193241,452326

107

Poplar Bluff17,2164477,9232,530

30

Raymore19,643812,036594

92

Raytown29,5013834,4131,757

55

Republic15,5692502,6271,022

65

Richmond5,6481774,9581,229

94

Richmond Heights8,5552696,8501,823

75

Rolla19,8393283,4121,367

2

Savannah5,11359841254

110

Sedalia21,4945686,9882,621

5

Shrewsbury6,239481,122295

120

Sikeston16,3282,0155,9535,074

11

Smithville8,8671011,094395

119

Springfield163,0621,1629,0095,073

97

St. Ann12,9666863,1391,915

52

St. Charles66,6281702,6571,010

71

St. John6,4874162,9911,284

106

St. Joseph77,3474845,6082,435

121

St. Louis318,5631,5946,6195,769

54

St. Peters54,5032152,3541,016

100

Sullivan7,0674955,8161,977

32

Sunset Hills8,5221171,983597

8

Town and Country10,881551,057313

86

Trenton6,0486452,6621,601

58

Troy11,0492532,9961,066

95

Union10,5064575,2261,878

101

University City35,1865403,8911,989

48

Warrensburg19,9581802,881968

105

Warrenton8,0156614,9532,128

53

Washington13,8981153,8421,010

47

Waynesville5,2072882,170885

74

Webb City10,7771485,4281,363

13

Webster Groves23,0781041,040431

36

Wentzville31,8201261,829667

90

West Plains12,3452676,1081,741

19

Willard5,4401291,452488

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