10 Most Dangerous Cities In Montana For 2020


We used data and science to identify the most dangerous cities in the Treasure State for 2020.

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This article is an opinion based on facts and is meant as infotainment. It is our fifth time ranking the most dangerous places to live in Montana and is updated for 2020.

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There really are more dangerous things in Montana than grizzly bears, the most frigid temperatures in Havre, trucks with loaded gun racks, and rodeo in Kalispell on a Friday night? BIg Sky Country has its fair share of dangerous cities too.

Do you think that you live in one of the most dangerous cities in Montana? Before you lock your doors and grab your taser, we suggest that you take a look at RoadSnacks’ list of the most dangerous places in Montana for 2020, there might be some that surprise you.

How’d we do it? We consulted the numbers. In total, we analyzed 29 cities. We looked at the FBI’s latest crime report for violent crime and property crime statistics for every place with over 2,000 residents. We discovered that Montana’s violent and property crime numbers, while not the worst in the country, could be better.

If you guessed that most of the state’s problems are centralized around some of Montana’s largest cities, Billings and Missoula, you’re partially right. But honestly, the Treasure State has done a fair job of keeping it’s crazy spread evenly across the state.

And while Montana might not be one of the top ten most dangerous states in the country, the state’s most dangerous places do need some work. Maybe more police? Security cameras? Drug programs? We’re not entirely sure. One thing that we are sure about, however, is that you should take a look at our list of Montana’s most dangerous places before you make any life changing decisions.

To see our list of Montana cities with more issues than the Helena’s Independent Record, take a look below.

Here are the 10 most dangerous cities in Montana for 2020:

  1. Cut Bank (Photos)
  2. Helena (Photos)
  3. Polson (Photos)
  4. Billings (Photos)
  5. Ronan City
  6. Missoula (Photos)
  7. Livingston (Photos)
  8. Hamilton (Photos)
  9. Havre (Photos)
  10. East Helena (Photos)

We do recommend that you take a minute to look at Montana’s most dangerous places before you make any life changing decisions. And if you choose to live in one of these dangerous cities, know that you will need to be aware of your surroundings at all times. There are a ton of ‘wolves in sheep’s clothing’ out there….or just wolves…it is wild Montana, after all.

So, where is Montana’s most dangerous place? That would be, Cut Bank.

To see how your city faired, take a look at the list below; and if you don’t find what you’re looking for there, head to the bottom.

Learn more about the safest places in Montana.

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

For more Montana reading, check out:

Graphing The Most Dangerous And Safest Places In Montana

Most Dangerous Cities In Montana Graph

Click To Enlarge

The 10 Most Dangerous Places To Live In Montana For 2020

Cut Bank, MT

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 3,013
Rank Last Year: 9 (Up 8)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 829 (1st most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 3,816 (4th most dangerous)
More on Cut Bank:  Data | Photos

Cut Bank is located in the northwestern part of Montana, and has the distinction of having the 4th worst property crime per capita of any place on this list.

And the good news doesn’t stop there — violent crime fell between 2017-2018.

Cut Bank’s violent crime statistics in 2011 would have made it the 3rd most violent city in the state, so these recent reductions are the only reason Cut Bank isn’t way higher up on this list.

Review Of Cut Bank by HomeSnacks User

I do not believe this report. I live in Cut Bank and we have way more than 0 African American’s living there.

Helena, MT

Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 31,898
Rank Last Year: 4 (Up 2)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 614 (5th most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 5,310 (1st most dangerous)
More on Helena:  Data | Photos

Located in the western part of the state, Montana’s capital, Helena, is unfortunately in the top ten for worst violent and property crime rates in the state.

While violence fell between 2017-2018, property crime rose, meaning that, overall, Helena’s instances of crime have been increasing.

Residents of Helena had a 1 in 162 chance of being the victim of violence and a 1 in 18.8 chance of being the victim of a property crime in 2018.

Polson, MT

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 4,928
Rank Last Year: 1 (Down 2)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 811 (2nd most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 3,571 (5th most dangerous)
More on Polson:  Data | Photos

Located on the southern shore of Flathead Lake in northwestern Montana, Polson has placed 5th for property crime per capita in the state.

Residents of Polson faced a 1 in 5th chance of being the victim of theft or arson in 2018.

As if that wasn’t bad enough, violent crime bumped up between 2017-2018, making Polson the 2nd most violent city in Montana.

Billings, MT

Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 110,397
Rank Last Year: 3 (Down 1)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 541 (8th most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 4,779 (2nd most dangerous)
More on Billings:  Data | Photos

The most populated in city in Montana, Billings is the hub of commercial and industrial life in south-central Montana and the surrounding states.

Billings experienced a rise in both violent and property crime between 2017-2018, with violence going up by 15% and property crime by 19%.

The 1 in 20.9 chance that residents faced of being the victim of theft or arson in 2018 was the 2nd worst odds in the state.

Review Of Billings by HomeSnacks User

I’ve had a brother that lived in Billings MT and we have cousins that live in Malta and Chinook MT. Anytime we’ve ever been there we’ve always enjoyed the different beauty and life style.

Farming is on the range there and farming in other places have different ways to raising their animals but they all come out the same if it’s for the same purpose

5. Ronan City

Ronan City, MT

Population: 2,110
Rank Last Year: 14 (Up 9)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 805 (3rd most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 3,033 (9th most dangerous)
More on Ronan City:

The 26th overall smallest city to make this list, Ronan City also happens to be the 3rd most violent place on this list.

Located in the northwestern part of Montana, 12 miles south of Flathead Lake, Ronan City residents faced a 1 in 124 chance of being the victim of violence in 2018.

While violent crime rose between 2017-2018, property crime fell, producing no net gain or loss for the city’s overall crime statistics during this period.

Missoula, MT

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 74,300
Rank Last Year: 5 (Down 1)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 448 (11th most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 4,738 (3rd most dangerous)
More on Missoula:  Data | Photos

The 2nd most populated city in the state and home of the University of Montana, Missoula’s recent rise in crime lands it on this list.

Between 2017-2018, violent crime rose and property crime increased, which “earned” Missoula the title of 6th most dangerous city in Montana.

Review Of Missoula by HomeSnacks User

Unless you live in Missoula. I love Missoula and the rest of Montana though!

Livingston, MT

Source: Public domain

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 7,608
Rank Last Year: 19 (Up 12)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 604 (6th most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 2,786 (12th most dangerous)
More on Livingston:  Data | Photos

Livingston comes in as the 7th most dangerous city in the state. It has the 6th highest rate of violent crime, and places 12th for its rate of property crime.

Residents of Livingston had a 1 in 35.9 chance of being the victim of theft or arson in 2018. They also had a 1 in 165 chance of being the victim of violence.

Hamilton, MT

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 4,794
Rank Last Year: 8 (No Change)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 438 (12th most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 3,546 (6th most dangerous)
More on Hamilton:  Data | Photos

The county seat of Ravalli County in the west-central part of Montana, Hamilton is the 12th most violent and 8th most dangerous city in the state.

Residents faced a 1 in 228 chance of being the victim of violence in 2018, which reflected a drop from 2011.

Hamilton’s made reductions in property crime as well, with a drop between 2017-2018.

Havre, MT

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 9,821
Rank Last Year: 2 (Down 7)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 397 (14th most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 3,217 (7th most dangerous)
More on Havre:  Data | Photos

Named after the French city, Le Havre, the Montanan version of the city is the 9th most dangerous place in the state.

Located in the northern-central part of the state, Havre experienced an impressive drop in violent crime between 2017-2018, which removed it from the top 5 most violent places in Montana.

Property crime remained high during this time period though, with residents facing about a 5% chance of being the victim of theft or arson each year.

East Helena, MT

Overall SnackAbility

8.5
/10

Population: 2,075
Rank Last Year: 24 (Up 14)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 385 (15th most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 3,180 (8th most dangerous)
More on East Helena:  Data | Photos

East Helena has seen modest improvements in its crime rate of late.

Violent crime went down and property crime went down between 2017-2018.

At this rate, East Helena should be replaced by another city in Montana in a few years time.

How Is Your Town In ?

How we determined the most dangerous cities in Montana for 2020?

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 2018 data, specifically the 2018 Crime In The United States Report. We will update the results when data becomes available in September 2020.

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 cities over 2,000 in population. That left us with 29 cities in Montana.

We then ranked each city from 1 to 29 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 Montana — Cut Bank.

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

Locking It All Up In Montana

The latest FBI crime data shows that Cut Bank ranks as the most dangerous city in Montana for 2020.

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

If you’re curious enough, here are the safest cities in Montana:

  1. Columbia Falls (Pop. 5,456)
  2. Glendive (Pop. 5,132)
  3. Colstrip (Pop. 2,324)

For more Montana reading, check out:

Where Are The Most Dangerous Cities In Montana?

Rank City Population Violent Crimes Per Capita Property Crimes Per Capita
1 Cut Bank 3,013 829 3,816
2 Helena 31,898 614 5,310
3 Polson 4,928 811 3,571
4 Billings 110,397 541 4,779
5 Ronan City 2,110 805 3,033
6 Missoula 74,300 448 4,738
7 Livingston 7,608 604 2,786
8 Hamilton 4,794 438 3,546
9 Havre 9,821 397 3,217
10 East Helena 2,075 385 3,180

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.

12 thoughts on “10 Most Dangerous Cities In Montana For 2020

    1. Things must’ve changed in Butte, when I was growing up in the 70s it was one of the most dangerous places to go. If you’re a teenager cruising the gut with an 18 license plate you become a target but that’s also true in any small town in Montana.

    1. Bill Wilson, only Wolf Point, Polson and Ronan are on Reservations. The other seven are not. Also, I grew up in Wolf Point, number one on the list, and feel completely safe there, then and now. There is poverty and desperation and alcoholism, in many of these rural towns, whether or not they are on a reservation. Also, Wolf Point is now close to the Bakken oil range, where an influx of people, desperate for jobs have permeated the Northwestern North Dakota and Northeastern Montana, bringing crime with them.

    2. Sounds like Bill Wilson is a little Prejudiced. Come visit me in Wolf Point and I will introduce you to some of my friends!!!Unless you would rather not.

    3. Got something against native americans. How about you keep reservations and native americans out of this. Theser are also the highest in poverty and unemployment per cap. Whats that tell you?

    4. Whats all on the reservation? Their is no reservation towns on this list. Because reservation towns are necessarily part of the state because they are basically their own nations. They are not under state jurisdiction. They are under federal jurisdiction. And they police their own.

  1. I do not believe this report. I live in Cut Bank and we have way more than 0 African American’s living there. Maybe check your info BEFORE publishing.

  2. Hmmmm Where to begin : hahaha This is a flawed report , whatever , First of all you are only taking towns over 2, 000 , which already means , you do not have the foggiest idea of how crime is reported and to to whom. Then there is the matter of the reservations Montana is a flawed state Some areas of Mt are mostly county . Does Mt have a uniform crime reporting system . How are suburbs of larger towns handled is that county crime or town crime ?

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