These Are The 10 Worst Small Towns In Missouri For 2018


Using science and data, we can tell you which teeny specks in MO are the pits.

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Most Americans have never been to Missouri. However, as the people who live there know, Missouri is an awesome state.

But is it all roses? Definitely not. Just like any other state, Missouri has its trouble spots. This article aims to determine, using science, the absolute worst small towns to live in the Show Me State. Don’t shoot the messenger, this is all using data.

After analyzing more than 462 of Missouri’s smallest cities, we came up with this list as the 10 worst small towns in Missouri where you’d never want to live:

  1. Mill Spring
  2. Macks Creek
  3. Birch Tree
  4. Iron Mountain Lake
  5. Neelyville
  6. Arbyrd
  7. Haywood City
  8. Hayti Heights
  9. Des Arc
  10. Bunker

Of course, many of these cities would rank highly if they were in other states, since Missouri has its stuff figured out.

Read on below to see how we crunched the numbers, or scroll to the bottom to see how your town ranked.

And if you already know about the small towns, check out the best places to live in Missouri or the worst places to live in Missouri.

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How do you decide if a place is lousy or not?

In order to rank the worst small towns to live in Missouri, we had to determine what criteria people like or dislike about a place. It isn’t a stretch to assume that people like low crime, solid education, things to do and a stable economy.

So we scraped the internet for those criteria, and it spit out the answer. Like magic.

How we crunched the numbers

We threw a lot of criteria at this one in order to get the best, most complete results possible. Using FBI crime data, the Census’s 2010-2014 American Community Survey, and the Bureau of Labor Statistics, this is the criteria we used:

  • Population Density (The lower the worse)
  • Highest Unemployment Rates
  • Low housing costs (meaning there’s no demand)
  • Adjusted Median Income (Median income adjusted for the cost of living)
  • Education (Number of high school dropouts)
  • High Crime

We looked at cities with populations between 100 and 1,000 people, of which, there were a lot – 462 to be exact.

Additional note: We get the crime numbers from the FBI, which gets its crime numbers from the cities themselves. Dropout numbers are based on the adult population, not just the current graduation rates of teenagers.

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1. Mill Spring


Population: 132
Median Income: $16,458
Median Home Value: $23,100

2. Macks Creek


Population: 360
Median Income: $20,357
Median Home Value: $51,900

3. Birch Tree


Population: 534
Median Income: $15,347
Median Home Value: $55,400

4. Iron Mountain Lake


Population: 800
Median Income: $25,670
Median Home Value: $35,500

5. Neelyville


Population: 439
Median Income: $21,354
Median Home Value: $28,500

6. Arbyrd


Population: 454
Median Income: $26,071
Median Home Value: $36,800

7. Haywood City

Source: Public Domain

Population: 167
Median Income: $19,375
Median Home Value: $28,600

8. Hayti Heights


Population: 578
Median Income: $13,750
Median Home Value: $28,000

9. Des Arc


Population: 158
Median Income: $27,500
Median Home Value: $38,300

10. Bunker


Population: 449
Median Income: $20,288
Median Home Value: $61,500

There You Have It – The Worst Small Towns In Missouri

If you’re analyzing teeny places in the Show Me State with the worst economic situations, where there’s high crime and there’s not a lot to do, this is an accurate list.

If you’re curious enough, here are the best small towns to live in Missouri, according to science.

  1. Best: Country Life Acres
  2. 2nd Best: Crystal Lake Park
  3. 3rd Best: Pasadena Park

For more reading, check out:

  • These Are The 10 Snobbiest Cities In Missouri
  • These Are The 10 Safest Places In Missouri
  • These Are The 10 Worst Places To Live In Missouri
  • Ranking Of The 100 Worst Small Towns In Missouri

    City Rank Population Home Price
    Mill Spring 1 132 $23,100
    Macks Creek 2 360 $51,900
    Birch Tree 3 534 $55,400
    Iron Mountain Lake 4 800 $35,500
    Neelyville 5 439 $28,500
    Arbyrd 6 454 $36,800
    Haywood City 7 167 $28,600
    Hayti Heights 8 578 $28,000
    Des Arc 9 158 $38,300
    Bunker 10 449 $61,500
    Bragg City 11 155 $36,500
    Coffey 12 105 $30,500
    Stark City 13 129 $53,000
    Hartville 14 571 $48,100
    Foley 15 101 $23,600
    Rosendale 16 122 $24,000
    Alton 17 770 $64,900
    Mount Moriah 18 104 $40,000
    Wheatland 19 246 $70,600
    Craig 20 232 $30,400
    Vanduser 21 166 $60,000
    Mccord Bend 22 342 $36,100
    Bull Creek 23 614 $21,400
    Howardville 24 262 $49,000
    Newburg 25 515 $42,200
    Collins 26 173 $48,600
    Calhoun 27 383 $50,000
    Williamsville 28 386 $34,800
    Curryville 29 221 $41,700
    Callao 30 356 $40,600
    Roscoe 31 119 $53,300
    Alexandria 32 122 $37,500
    Weaubleau 33 449 $70,500
    Cross Timbers 34 297 $77,800
    Spickard 35 284 $30,600
    Wyatt 36 389 $45,000
    Lanagan 37 467 $38,800
    Bland 38 505 $69,000
    Morehouse 39 914 $48,200
    Barnett 40 181 $56,100
    Hurley 41 225 $78,900
    Cardwell 42 708 $41,300
    Altamont 43 173 $43,800
    Lamar Heights 44 185 $98,300
    Preston 45 298 $77,500
    Amoret 46 141 $28,600
    Verona 47 586 $60,300
    Matthews 48 773 $73,800
    Middl 49 233 $43,300
    Grandin 50 168 $57,500
    Halfway 51 153 $78,800
    Gravois Mills 52 123 $63,000
    Armstrong 53 309 $37,000
    Conway 54 936 $64,200
    Chilhowee 55 265 $55,000
    Southwest City 56 972 $81,600
    Louisburg 57 115 $48,500
    Marston 58 364 $60,300
    Fair Play 59 449 $56,700
    Mindenmines 60 268 $33,800
    Annapolis 61 456 $72,000
    Diehlstadt 62 181 $60,000
    Flemington 63 100 $60,000
    Deepwater 64 450 $43,300
    Parma 65 612 $45,700
    Ionia 66 105 $41,700
    Fairview 67 359 $57,500
    Lake Lafayette 68 323 $46,700
    Pascola 69 100 $45,000
    Schell City 70 268 $40,700
    South Greenfield 71 115 $75,000
    Amsterdam 72 240 $68,300
    Holland 73 215 $31,300
    Pilot Knob 74 738 $76,400
    Ridgeway 75 442 $53,000
    Worthington 76 200 $27,400
    Naylor 77 693 $49,300
    De Witt 78 103 $47,500
    Wortham 79 210 $25,200
    Centerville 80 215 $65,500
    Cowgill 81 164 $34,000
    Mokane 82 146 $56,400
    Kissee Mills 83 982 $82,400
    Lowry City 84 550 $41,700
    South Gorin 85 127 $33,900
    Koshkonong 86 226 $41,800
    Cainsville 87 244 $40,900
    Qulin 88 504 $34,300
    Queen City 89 671 $46,600
    Mineral Point 90 457 $32,600
    Kingston 91 319 $51,700
    Milo 92 124 $30,400
    Hurdland 93 104 $25,400
    Galt 94 171 $38,500
    Phillipsburg 95 173 $58,800
    Dover 96 112 $66,700
    Oak Grove Village 97 461 $83,700
    Purdin 98 172 $37,000
    Rockville 99 130 $31,500
    Flordell Hills 100 765 $58,200

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    10 thoughts on “These Are The 10 Worst Small Towns In Missouri For 2018

    1. Boo!! I live in Roscoe! Sure , most of us are unemployed. Most of us are retired . We didn’t move here to work. My husband and I have a great life here.

    2. I love in Browning and love it! Best school district around. Wouldn’t love anywhere else.

    3. Not sure how you come up with crap but it is highly inaccurate! Mt. Moriah is not a bad place. Most are RETIRED or still working. The percentage of those just not working is few. Also, a famous ball player was raised there. Get your facts straight before you bash their town.

      1. Not to mention the fact that they are geographically challenged. Take the Route 136 exit off of I-35 and head towards Iowa? Seriously?

    4. Bud Tapman, you should know by now that people in the poorest, least desirable towns in in Missouri and anywhere else have internet access. Stick to writing stories about places you’ve actually travelled through and visited, this is lazy writing and storytelling at best.

    5. I am from Hendrickson.mo Butler county,Blackriver township..I really enjoyed your roadsnacks…site..lol..at least one thing was not mentioned that we laugh at,,is Poplar Bluff.mo Butler county..hasn’t been called “”little Chicago”””lately…

    6. Judy Engle Oh..Mr Bud Tapman,you really do not know the joy of living in the small town of Climax Springs…we played basketball,had church 2-3 times a week,we learned how to help our neighbors,we worked hard, nothing was handed to us..Climax Springs brought out the best to prepare was for the big city…we have lawyers,Drs,union presidents,preachers,loan officers,Realtors …sec of state,financial advisors ,teachers…I was taught to invest in land my Senior yr…Thsnk You Mr Don Edwards…I am so proud to be from Climax Springs…

    7. I spent 17 years in blairstown, moved to roscoe for 4 years, and have lived in 4 other of the worst MO towns on your list. What’s that say about me?

    8. How about German town its very creepy I never wanna break done there again they refuse to help u and u try to get someone to help and they will shoot at u

    9. You may want to spend a little more time gathering your data. Neither Coffey, Mt. Moriah or Mc Fall have had a school for many years so school data not accurate! One has to appreciate a much slower pace of life in order to appreciate these small towns!

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