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.
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.
For more Montana reading, check out:
- 10 Best Places To Live In Montana
- These Are The 10 Best Counties To Live In Montana
- 10 Cheapest Places To Live In Montana
Graphing The Most Dangerous And Safest Places In Montana
The 10 Most Dangerous Places To Live In Montana For 2020
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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:
- Columbia Falls (Pop. 5,456)
- Glendive (Pop. 5,132)
- Colstrip (Pop. 2,324)
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