These Are The 10 Most Dangerous Cities In Montana For 2017


We used data and science to identify the most dangerous cities in the Treasure State for 2017.

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Do you live in one of the most dangerous cities in Montana?

We all watch the news and see reports on Facebook of the latest crimes that happen in our hometowns. But it can be hard to tell at a big picture level how dangerous our town actually is.

No one wants to feel unsafe, and statistically speaking, odds are that where you live is most likely relatively safe. In order to help the good people of Montana — and anyone looking to move to Montana — know just how close they are to danger, we took data from the annual FBI report and did some serious analysis.

The data shows that these ten cities are currently the most dangerous in the Treasure State:

  1. Helena (Photos)
  2. Havre (Photos)
  3. Polson
  4. Missoula (Photos)
  5. Billings (Photos)
  6. Hamilton
  7. Kalispell (Photos)
  8. Deer Lodge
  9. Wolf Point
  10. Great Falls (Photos)

Why did Helena take the top spot? For the answer to this question and a detailed explanation of the data and analysis we used in creating this ranking, read on. Or 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.

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How we determined the most dangerous cities in Montana for 2017?

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 second release of 2015 data, specifically the 2015 Crime In The United States Report. We will update the results when data becomes available for 2016 in September 2017.

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”.

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Finally, we ranked every city on the “Dangerous Index” with the lowest index being the most dangerous in Montana — Helena. Read on for a detailed look at the 10 most dangerous cities in Montana.

Here’s a visualization of the criteria:
Most Dangerous Cities In Montana Graph

Click To Enlarge

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

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1. Helena

Helena, Montana

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 30,363
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 638
Property Crimes Per 100k: 4,126
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 2013-15, property crime rose, meaning that, overall, Helena’s instances of crime have been increasing.

Residents of Helena had a 1 in 156 chance of being the victim of violence and a 1 in 24.2 chance of being the victim of a property crime in 2015.

2. Havre

Havre, Montana

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 9,873
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 617
Property Crimes Per 100k: 4,122
Named after the French city, Le Havre, the Montanan version of the city is the 2nd most dangerous place in the state.

Located in the northern-central part of the state, Havre experienced an impressive drop in violent crime between 2013-15, 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.

3. Polson

Polson, Montana

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 4,634
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 496
Property Crimes Per 100k: 6,646
Located on the southern shore of Flathead Lake in northwestern Montana, Polson has placed 2nd for property crime per capita in the state.

Residents of Polson faced a 1 in 2nd chance of being the victim of theft or arson in 2015.

As if that wasn’t bad enough, violent crime bumped up between 2013-15, making Polson the 8th most violent city in Montana.

4. Missoula

Missoula, Montana

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 70,553
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 527
Property Crimes Per 100k: 4,488
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 2013-15, violent crime rose and property crime increased, which “earned” Missoula the title of 4th most dangerous city in Montana.

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5. Billings

Billings, Montana

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 109,997
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 440
Property Crimes Per 100k: 4,705
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 2013-15, with violence going up by 15% and property crime by 19%.

The 1 in 21.3 chance that residents faced of being the victim of theft or arson in 2015 was the 3rd worst odds in the state.

6. Hamilton

Hamilton, Montana

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 4,652
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 558
Property Crimes Per 100k: 3,439
The county seat of Ravalli County in the west-central part of Montana, Hamilton is the 4th most violent and 6th most dangerous city in the state.

Residents faced a 1 in 178 chance of being the victim of violence in 2015, which reflected a drop from 2011.

Hamilton’s made reductions in property crime as well, with a drop between 2013-15.

7. Kalispell

Kalispell, Montana

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 21,932
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 259
Property Crimes Per 100k: 6,675
Located in northwestern Montana, Kalispell is, by a wide margin, one of the least violent places on this list, and around the middle of the pack when compared to all Montanan cities violent crime statistics.

The good news for the commercial center of northwestern Montana is that violent crime dropped between 2013-15, but unfortunately, property crime also went up during this period.

8. Deer Lodge

Deer Lodge, Montana

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 2,996
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 433
Property Crimes Per 100k: 3,137
Located in eastern Montana, Deer Lodge is one of the smaller cities to appear on this list.

Deer Lodge has achieved some impressive improvements in its crime rate in recent years, with violent crime falling by 34% from 2013-15, and property crime falling by about half as much.

Still, folks living in Deer Lodge had a 1 in 31.9 chance of being the victim of theft or arson in 2015, which is pretty unacceptable.

9. Wolf Point

Wolf Point, Montana

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 2,891
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 518
Property Crimes Per 100k: 2,905
Located in the northeastern part of Montana, Wolf Point isn’t the worst in state in terms of either violent or property crime statistics, but bad rankings in each earn it the title of the 9th most dangerous city in the state.

The good news is that instances of property crime dropped between 2013-15, but the bad news is that violent crime rose in the same time period.

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That left Wolf Point residents with a 1 in 192 chance of being the victim of a violent crime in 2015, making the city the 7th most violent place in Montana.

10. Great Falls

Great Falls, Montana

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 59,252
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 258
Property Crimes Per 100k: 4,499
Great Falls may not even be on this list in another year if the current trends continue — violent crime was more than cut in half between 2013-15, with the number of instances falling from to 153.

Property crime also fell during this time, so Great Falls is improving its crime altogether.

Locking It All Up In Montana

The latest FBI crime data shows that Helena ranks as the most dangerous city in Montana for 2017.

However, there will be new data coming out later this year. At that point we can revisit Helena’s status — that is if they haven’t beaten us all up already.

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

  1. East Helena
  2. Colstrip
  3. Dillon

For more Montana reading , check out:

Detailed List Of The Most Dangeroues Cities In Montana

Rank City Population Violent Crimes Per Capita Property Crimes Per Capita
1 Helena 30,363 638 4,126
2 Havre 9,873 617 4,122
3 Polson 4,634 496 6,646
4 Missoula 70,553 527 4,488
5 Billings 109,997 440 4,705
6 Hamilton 4,652 558 3,439
7 Kalispell 21,932 259 6,675
8 Deer Lodge 2,996 433 3,137
9 Wolf Point 2,891 518 2,905
10 Great Falls 59,252 258 4,499
11 Lewistown 5,856 580 2,083
12 Livingston 7,303 287 2,930
13 Libby 2,659 225 3,911
14 Cut Bank 3,025 396 2,545
15 Glendive 5,524 380 2,570
16 Sidney 6,817 542 1,540
17 Bozeman 42,826 266 2,603
18 Belgrade 7,882 393 2,423
19 Whitefish 6,997 157 3,001
20 Columbia Falls 4,983 180 2,689
21 Red Lodge 2,237 178 2,458
22 Laurel 6,988 186 2,418
23 Conrad 2,609 229 1,149
24 Miles City 8,851 135 2,316
25 Glasgow 3,413 117 1,611
26 Columbus 2,021 98 1,632
27 Dillon 4,244 141 541
28 Colstrip 2,339 42 555
29 East Helena 2,071 96 531

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9 thoughts on “These Are The 10 Most Dangerous Cities In Montana For 2017

    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?

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