10 Most Dangerous Cities In Montana


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. It is our fifth time ranking the most dangerous places to live in Montana and is updated 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.

Here are the 10 most dangerous cities in Montana 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)

So what is the most dangerous city in Montana? After analyzing 31 cities in Montana, Polson takes the top spot as the most dangerous city in Montana based on the most recent FBI data.

For 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

The 10 Most Dangerous Places To Live In Montana For 2019

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.

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

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.

Review Of Missoula by HomeSnacks User

When I visited Missoula, MT at the age of ten, I had gone to visit a close aunt during my summer vacation. The city of Missoula was a bustling, mountainous area that was so scenic and beautiful, that it was breathtaking. I had never seen anything like it, and I am from the big city. I did not experience any crime or racism in the community of Missoula, MT. Everyone was incredibly friendly and there was a multitude of things to do. I love nature, so my aunt took me on many hiking and walking trails, while we walked her dog, Phoenix.

The area is a perfect place for families that prefer their privacy. Most homes were on a hill with a lot of grass to enclose each property. Basically, no loud, disruptive neighbors, which is a plus. If country living is not your thing, I would still suggest visiting Missoula, MT, just to experience the beautiful nature and the crisp fresh air. I have never breathed such clean air in my life.

My favorite places in Missoula, MT, are the hiking and walking trails. I love looking at beautiful nature. I feel in tune when I am around nature, animals and trees. I really love it. The only bad side to Missoula, MT, is the lack of diversity. I believe if more people knew about the scenic mountains, and beautiful landscapes, more groups of diverse cultures would visit, if not to see the views, but the hike the hills and smell the air. The air smells so pure.

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 has been on the rankings the past couple of years and now finds itself as the 6th most dangerous city in Montana. Great Falls’s ranking for violent crime and property were 11th and 3rd, respectively. Overall, like every other city in our top 10, it scored an F when it comes to crime.

Review Of Great Falls by HomeSnacks User

One of my sisters and her family live in Great Falls and I have cousins in Montana as well. I’ve been there in the summer and the winter and have loved both. I grew up in Minnesota, lived in Massachusetts, and now live in Pennsylvania. Montana is my dream. I get there every few years and next year am taking my wife, who has never been there. I may never get to live there but when I die my ashes will be spread in the mountains there!

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.

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.

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.

Review Of Kalispell by HomeSnacks User

I think it’s an understatement to say that visiting Kalispell for about a month was the best experience of my life as it is truly a beautiful place. I loved visiting Glacier National Park that is literally ten minutes away from the city and the local campus of the University Of Montana is nearby as well and it is rated as one of the top colleges in the nation. Also just being surrounded by the beautiful mountains and scenery around me made me feel relaxed and calm.

What stood out out to me the most were the beautiful scenery and nature and wildlife that the city of Kalispell had to offer and therefore I have to say it was a great experience and nothing was bad about it.

How Is Your Town In ?

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.

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:

Where Are 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

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.

11 thoughts on “10 Most Dangerous Cities In Montana

    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.

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