The 10 Most Dangerous Cities In Missouri For 2021

We used data and science to identify the most dangerous cities in the Show Me State for 2021.

RoadSnacks is reader-supported. When you click through real estate links on our site, we earn an affiliate commission. Learn more.
This article is an opinion based on facts and is meant as infotainment. It is our seventh time ranking the most dangerous places to live in Missouri and is updated for 2021.

It seems there’s more to worry about than angry St. Louis Cardinal fans and trucks with loaded gun racks in Missouri, there are also super dangerous places.

To be honest, the good people of Missouri shouldn’t be too shocked. They are, after all, the tenth most dangerous state in the country. Silly fan fights and country folk that want to show off should be the least of the public’s concerns. What everyone should be concerned with is where you can live without fear in the Show Me State.

So, if you’re currently living in Missouri looking to relocate or are wanting to move to Missouri, RoadSnacks suggest you take a look at our most dangerous places in the Cave State for 2021 before you make any major life decisions.

Why’d we make this list? We did this for the people who don’t necessarily want to travel to these places, but want to know the facts. And the facts are as follows: one, the state’s violent and property crime is up above the national average and still climbing; and two, the effects of these numbers are continuing to claim many of Missouri’s biggest cities. Cities like Kansas City and Springfield just can’t catch a break.

How did we do it? We consulted the numbers. In total, we analyzed 84 cities. We looked at the FBI’s latest crime report for violent crime and property crime statistics for every place with over 5,000 residents.

So, want to know the places in Missouri where the ‘lines are ALWAYS grey’ and the locals are hoping for better days? Keep reading.

The 10 Most Dangerous Places To Live In Missouri For 2021

Springfield, MO

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 169,235
Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 1,519 (Second most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 7,792 (Second most dangerous)
More on Springfield:  | Cost Of Living | Crime Report

For the third year running, Missouri’s third-biggest city, Springfield, ranks as the most dangerous place to call home in the state. While Springfield didn’t rank #1 in violent or property crime, second highest place rankings in both categories lands it at the top of this list.

Springfield had the highest rate of rape cases in Missouri for 2019, averaging just about one a day over the year. On top of that, Springfield had the third highest burglary rate in Missouri, so it’s a good idea to lock your doors here.

Overall, residents had a 1 in 12 chance of being the victim of a property crime over 2019, so you’ll want to watch your wallets and purses when you’re strolling around Nathanial Greene/Close Memorial Park.

St. Louis, MO

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 300,521
Rank Last Year: 2 (No Change)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 1,927 (Most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 6,183 (Sixth most dangerous)
More on St. Louis:  | Cost Of Living | Crime Report

Known as the home of the the Gateway Arch, St. Louis is also a gateway to high crime rates. St. Louis is Missouri’s most violent city, recording 5,792 rapes, murders, robberies, and assaults over 2019.

St. Louis stands out by having the highest murder rate in Missouri by a wide margin, recording one murder about every other day over the year.

Your car isn’t even safe in St. Louis, considering 2,998 people had their cars stolen in St. Louis in 2019. And that only represents a fraction of the 18,582 property crimes committed.

Vinita Park, MO

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 10,979
Rank Last Year: 4 (Up 1)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 1,448 (Third most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 5,464 (Tenth most dangerous)
More on Vinita Park:  | Crime Report

Located just outside of St. Louis, Vinita Park ranks as Missouri’s third least safe city. Don’t let Vinita Park’s small size fool you — having 7 murders in 2019 means that the city actually had the second highest murder rate in the state.

Overall, residents had a 1 in 69 chance of being the victim of a violent crime in 2019. We don’t envy the workload of the Vinita Park Police Department.

Not only do they have to contend with such high rates of violence, but also Vinita Park’s crazy high burglary rate, which ranked as the second highest in Missouri.

Branson, MO

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 11,688
Rank Last Year: 3 (Down 1)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 624 (13th most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 10,035 (Most dangerous)
More on Branson:  | Cost Of Living | Crime Report

Known as the Live Entertainment Capital of the World, Branson is a popular tourist destination. Having all those random people come and go doesn’t do Branson any favors in terms of crime.

In fact, Branson has the highest property crime rate in the state by a wide enough margin to actually give the city the highest overall crime rate — more than four times higher than the national average.

So watch your pockets after getting a bit tipsy at a show, or you could join the 1 in 10 Branson residents who had their stuff stolen or damaged in 2019.

Joplin, MO

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 50,635
Rank Last Year:
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 606 (15th most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 7,261 (Fourth most dangerous)
More on Joplin:  | Cost Of Living

Located in southwestern Missouri, Joplin has a substantial property crime problem. JoMo’s property crime rate ranked as the fourth highest in Missouri, with burglary rates ranking as the sixth highest.

In other words, you’re more likely to have your phone stolen than to lose it over Joplin’s Grand Falls.

Overall, Joplin is the least violent place on this list. There is a catch, though, as the city still had the fifth highest rate of rape cases in Missouri in 2019.

Caruthersville, MO

Source: Public domain

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 5,451
Rank Last Year: 6 (No Change)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 1,192 (Fifth most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 4,054 (18th most dangerous)
More on Caruthersville:  | Cost Of Living | Crime Report

We turn to the Bootheel Region of Missouri’s southeastern corner to reach its sixth most dangerous city for 2021, Caruthersville.

Overall, property crime in Caruthersville is lower than most places on this list. However, the city did have the highest burglary rate in Missouri, with 78 cases recorded in 2019 — absurdly high for a city of just 5,451.

Caruthersville also had Missouri’s fifth highest violent crime rate, with about one aggravated assault per week on average in 2019. So don’t try any fancy card-counting tactics at Century Casino, or you might end up one of these assault victims.

Berkeley, MO

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 8,868
Rank Last Year:
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 1,026 (Seventh most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 4,251 (17th most dangerous)
More on Berkeley:  | Cost Of Living

You certainly won’t find Berkeley on our list of the best St. Louis suburbs and crime is a big reason why.

Berkeley hasplenty of parks, but we wouldn’t recommend visiting them alone or after dark, considering the crime.

Berkeley averaged just under two violent crimes per week and more than one property crime per day in 2019, but the really crazy thing here is the prevalence of car theft. Berkeley’s population is just 8,868, but 101 of those people had their cars robbed in 2019.

Sedalia, MO

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 21,742
Rank Last Year: 17 (Up 9)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 864 (Eighth most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 4,387 (16th most dangerous)
More on Sedalia:  | Cost Of Living | Crime Report

Known for hosting the Missouri State Fair and the Scott Joplin Ragtime Festival, Sedalia sees a lot of extra action thanks to these events. Unfortunately, Sedalia also sees a good amount of crime.

Sedalia had 714 larcenies in 2019, or about two a day. That’s a lot of picked pockets and snatched purses for a city of 21,742. The city also had about three aggravated assaults per week over the year, the biggest contributor to Sedalia eighth highest-place ranking in violent crime.

Kansas City, MO

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 495,964
Rank Last Year: 10 (Up 1)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 1,431 (Fourth most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 3,855 (22nd most dangerous)
More on Kansas City:  | Cost Of Living | Crime Report

Kansas City is used to winning by now, between the Chiefs and the Royals. But getting used to high rates of crime is another matter.

Missouri’s biggest city had the fourth highest murder rate in 2019, recording about three per week on average. Overall, residents had a 1 in 69 chance of being the victim of a violent attack over the year.

On the flip-side, the property crime rate in Kansas City is the lowest on this list. And, being a big place, if you stick to Kansas City’s safest neighborhoods, you should be fine.

Raytown, MO

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 28,932
Rank Last Year: 23 (Up 13)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 691 (12th most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 4,472 (15th most dangerous)
More on Raytown:  | Cost Of Living | Crime Report

Kansas City has some great suburbs, but Raytown isn’t one of them.

We also would not recommend a solo trip to one of Raytown parks after dark, because the city had 9 murders in 2019.With a population of 28,932, that gives Raytown the third highest murder rate in Missouri.

There were also 1,294 property crimes committed in Raytown over the year, with a whopping 213 car thefts and 255 burglaries.

Graphing The Most Dangerous And Safest Places In Missouri

Most Dangerous Cities In Missouri Graph

Click To Enlarge

How we determined the most dangerous cities in Missouri for 2021?

Every year the FBI release two crime datasets, a preliminary dataset limited to the biggest cities in the country, followed by a more detailed release at the end of the year.

For our analysis, we focused on the JUST released 2019 data, specifically the 2019 Crime In The United States Report. We will update the results when data becomes available in September 2021.

So what criteria did we use? Have a look:

  • Violent Crimes Per Capita
  • Property Crimes Per Capita

In order to make the analysis as apples to apples as possible, we only considered Missouri cities over 5,000 in population. That left us with 84 cities in Missouri.

We then ranked each city from 1 to 84 for the two criteria with a #1 ranking being the most dangerous for the particular criteria.

Next, we averaged the two rankings into one “Dangerous Index”.

Finally, we ranked every city on the “Dangerous Index” with the lowest index being the most dangerous in Missouri — Springfield. Any ties went to the smaller city. You can download the data here.

Read on for a detailed look at the 10 most dangerous cities in Missouri.

Locking It All Up In Missouri

So what is the most dangerous city in Missouri? After analyzing 84 cities in Missouri, Springfield takes the top spot as the most dangerous city in Missouri based on the most recently reported FBI data — 2019.

The latest FBI crime data shows that Springfield ranks as the most dangerous city in Missouri for 2021.

We want to point out again that there’s still safes places in Springfield and that this isn’t a comment on the people that live there. So please don’t beat us up.

It’s not entirely Missouri’s fault. There are close to 6.2 million people inside this flyover state; and in our experience, there’s bound to be problems with that many people.

What’s the place that has the most problems in Missouri–the state’s most dangerous city? The most dangerous place in Missouri would be Springfield.

Take a look at the list below to see the rest of Missouri’s most dangerous places.

Learn more about the safest places in Missouri.

If you’re looking for something more national, check out the most dangerous cities in America or the most dangerous states in America.

Here are the safest cities in Missouri:

  1. Creve Coeur (Pop. 18,829)
  2. Nixa (Pop. 22,235)
  3. Clayton (Pop. 16,936)
  4. Raymore (Pop. 22,121)
  5. Maryville (Pop. 11,643)
  6. Cottleville (Pop. 5,849)
  7. Battlefield (Pop. 6,348)
  8. Kearney (Pop. 10,736)
  9. Glendale (Pop. 5,873)
  10. Savannah (Pop. 5,212)

For more Missouri reading, check out:

The Most Dangerous Cities In Missouri

Rank City Population Violent Crimes Per Capita Property Crimes Per Capita
1 Springfield 169,235 1,519 7,792
2 St. Louis 300,521 1,927 6,183
3 Vinita Park 10,979 1,448 5,464
4 Branson 11,688 624 10,035
5 Joplin 50,635 606 7,261
6 Caruthersville 5,451 1,192 4,054
7 Berkeley 8,868 1,026 4,251
8 Sedalia 21,742 864 4,387
9 Kansas City 495,964 1,431 3,855
10 Raytown 28,932 691 4,472
11 St. Joseph 75,872 568 5,739
12 Independence 116,931 589 4,654
13 Grandview 25,022 767 3,872
14 Sullivan 7,111 576 4,542
15 Aurora 7,455 482 5,016
16 St. Robert 6,034 348 6,728
17 West Plains 12,284 423 5,771
18 Richmond 5,615 747 3,739
19 Bellefontaine Neighbors 10,416 1,190 3,398
20 Maplewood 8,108 320 7,326
21 Lebanon 14,841 404 4,777
22 Rolla 20,482 532 3,974
23 Cape Girardeau 40,077 581 3,573
24 Nevada 8,237 254 5,596
25 Harrisonville 10,095 277 3,912
26 Hazelwood 25,146 449 2,763
27 Bolivar 11,129 269 3,737
28 Moberly 13,559 612 2,028
29 Perryville 8,466 330 2,728
30 Washington 14,064 263 3,420
31 Charleston 5,490 765 1,803
32 Park Hills 8,484 424 2,251
33 Warrensburg 20,435 293 3,014
34 Carthage 14,808 256 3,410
35 Belton 23,657 283 3,085
36 Gladstone 27,553 323 2,631
37 Columbia 125,017 320 2,594
38 Marshall 12,915 456 2,036
39 Neosho 12,076 240 3,262
40 Jefferson City 42,793 278 2,572
41 Chillicothe 9,700 319 2,237
42 Ozark 20,490 292 2,230
43 Maryland Heights 26,964 207 2,822
44 Waynesville 5,265 436 1,747
45 Farmington 19,178 140 3,342
46 Cameron 9,674 330 1,777
47 Arnold 21,102 151 2,980
48 Dexter 7,861 190 2,455
49 Boonville 8,410 190 2,247
50 Trenton 5,779 242 1,972

How Is Your Town In ?

About Chris Kolmar

Chris Kolmar has been in the real estate business for almost ten years now. He originally worked for Movoto Real Estate as the director of marketing before founding HomeSnacks.

He believes the key to finding the right place to live comes down to looking at the data, reading about things to do, and, most importantly, checking it out yourself before you move.

If you've been looking for a place to live in the past several years, you've probably stumbled upon his writing already.

You can find out more about him on LinkedIn or his website.