These Are The 10 Most Dangerous Cities In Montana For 2019


We used data and science to identify the most dangerous cities in the Treasure State for 2019.

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This article is an opinion based on facts and is meant as infotainment. Don’t freak out that we updated it for 2019.

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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 for 2019:

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

After analyzing 31 cities in Montana, why did Polson 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.

For more Montana reading, check out:

Graphing The Most Dangerous And Safest Places In Montana

Most Dangerous Cities In Montana Graph

Click To Enlarge

How we determined the most dangerous cities in Montana for 2019?

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 2017 data, specifically the 2017 Crime In The United States Report. We will update the results when data becomes available in September 2019.

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 31 cities in Montana.

We then ranked each city from 1 to 31 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 — Polson.

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

Polson, MT

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 4,821
Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 601 (4th most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 6,367 (1st most dangerous)
More on Polson:  Data | Photos

Located on the southern shore of Flathead Lake in northwestern Montana, Polson has placed 1st for property crime per capita in the state.

Residents of Polson faced a 1 in 1st chance of being the victim of theft or arson in 2017.

As if that wasn’t bad enough, violent crime bumped up between 2015-17, making Polson the 4th most violent city in Montana.

Havre, MT

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 9,900
Rank Last Year: 4 (Up 2)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 959 (1st most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 4,050 (6th most dangerous)
More on Havre:  Data | Photos

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 2015-17, 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.

Billings, MT

Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 111,317
Rank Last Year: 6 (Up 3)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 493 (6th most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 5,458 (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 2015-17, with violence going up by 15% and property crime by 19%.

The 1 in 18.3 chance that residents faced of being the victim of theft or arson in 2017 was the 2nd worst odds in the state.

Helena, MT

Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 31,668
Rank Last Year: 7 (Up 4)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 685 (3rd most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 4,250 (5th 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 2015-17, property crime rose, meaning that, overall, Helena’s instances of crime have been increasing.

Residents of Helena had a 1 in 145 chance of being the victim of violence and a 1 in 23.5 chance of being the victim of a property crime in 2017.

Missoula, MT

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 73,304
Rank Last Year: 2 (Down 3)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 480 (9th most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 4,559 (4th 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 2015-17, violent crime rose and property crime increased, which “earned” Missoula the title of 5th most dangerous city in Montana.

Great Falls, MT

Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 59,167
Rank Last Year: 11 (Up 5)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 415 (11th most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 5,109 (3rd most dangerous)
More on Great Falls:  Data | Photos

Great Falls isn’t in the top for either category of crime, but a cumulatively bad score lands it in 6th place.

On the bright side, violent crime was reformed in a serious way between 2016, with the instances dropping to 246.

That amounts to a 1 in 240 chance of being the victim of a violent crime in 2017.

Wolf Point, MT

Source: Public domain

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 2,840
Rank Last Year: 9 (Up 2)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 492 (7th most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 2,992 (10th most dangerous)
More on Wolf Point:  Data | Photos

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 7th most dangerous city in the state.

The good news is that instances of property crime dropped between 2015-17, but the bad news is that violent crime rose in the same time period.

That left Wolf Point residents with a 1 in 202 chance of being the victim of a violent crime in 2017, making the city the 7th most violent place in Montana.

Hamilton, MT

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 4,739
Rank Last Year: 10 (Up 2)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 464 (10th most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 3,334 (9th most dangerous)
More on Hamilton:  Data | Photos

The county seat of Ravalli County in the west-central part of Montana, Hamilton is the 10th most violent and 8th most dangerous city in the state.

Residents faced a 1 in 215 chance of being the victim of violence in 2017, which reflected a drop from 2011.

Hamilton’s made reductions in property crime as well, with a drop between 2015-17.

Cut Bank, MT

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 3,031
Rank Last Year: 8 (Down 1)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 560 (5th most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 2,375 (17th 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 17th worst property crime per capita of any place on this list.

And the good news doesn’t stop there — violent crime fell between 2015-17.

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.

Kalispell, MT

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 23,243
Rank Last Year: 3 (Down 7)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 309 (15th most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 3,428 (8th most dangerous)
More on Kalispell:  Data | Photos

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 2015-17, but unfortunately, property crime also went up during this period.

Locking It All Up In Montana

The latest FBI crime data shows that Polson ranks as the most dangerous city in Montana for 2019.

We want to point out again that there’s still safes places in Polson 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. Columbus (Pop. 2,050)
  2. Colstrip (Pop. 2,326)
  3. Baker (Pop. 2,029)

For more Montana reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Most Dangerous Cities In Montana

Rank City Population Violent Crimes Per Capita Property Crimes Per Capita
1 Polson 4,821 601 6,367
2 Havre 9,900 959 4,050
3 Billings 111,317 493 5,458
4 Helena 31,668 685 4,250
5 Missoula 73,304 480 4,559
6 Great Falls 59,167 415 5,109
7 Wolf Point 2,840 492 2,992
8 Hamilton 4,739 464 3,334
9 Cut Bank 3,031 560 2,375
10 Kalispell 23,243 309 3,428
11 Sidney 6,814 836 1,907
12 Deer Lodge 2,968 303 2,594
13 Ronan City 2,036 196 3,781
14 Libby 2,684 298 2,570
15 Conrad 2,544 393 2,122
16 Laurel 6,887 217 2,628
17 Bozeman 46,728 278 2,446
18 Livingston 7,470 254 2,476
19 Belgrade 8,393 285 2,156
20 Glasgow 3,379 414 1,538
21 Dillon 4,277 490 444
22 Columbia Falls 5,337 149 2,585
23 Lewistown 5,860 392 1,416
24 East Helena 2,084 239 2,015
25 Red Lodge 2,256 265 1,817
26 Whitefish 7,446 161 2,027
27 Miles City 8,690 103 1,829
28 Glendive 5,402 148 1,777
29 Columbus 2,050 48 1,073
30 Colstrip 2,326 42 515
31 Baker 2,029 98 98

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10 thoughts on “These Are The 10 Most Dangerous Cities In Montana For 2019

    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.

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