The 10 Worst Small Towns In Missouri For 2022


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

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Editor’s Note: This article is an opinion based on facts and is meant as infotainment. Don’t freak out we updated this article for 2022. This is our ninth time ranking the worst small places to live in Missouri.

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 231 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:

These are the worst small towns in Missouri for 2022:

  1. Winona
  2. Ellington
  3. Senath
  4. Granby
  5. Clarkton
  6. Steelville
  7. Houston
  8. Willow Springs
  9. Noel
  10. Campbell

So what is the worst small town to call home in Missouri for 2022? According to the most recent census data, Winona is the worst small town to live in Missouri.

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.

If you're looking for something more national, check out the worst cities in America or the worst states in America.

The 10 Worst Small Towns In Missouri For 2022

1. Winona

Overall SnackAbility

3
/10

Population: 1,094
Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $58,600 (14th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 8.2% (5worst)
More on Winona:  Data

2. Ellington

Overall SnackAbility

3
/10

Population: 1,380
Rank Last Year: 6 (Up 4)
Median Home Value: $48,300 (4th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 17.5% (5th worst)
More on Ellington:  Data

3. Senath

Overall SnackAbility

2
/10

Population: 1,721
Rank Last Year: 9 (Up 6)
Median Home Value: $69,100 (46th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 12.6% (15th worst)
More on Senath:  Data

4. Granby

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 2,224
Rank Last Year: 65 (Up 61)
Median Home Value: $66,800 (36th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 13.2% (12th worst)
More on Granby:  Data

5. Clarkton

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 1,105
Rank Last Year: 15 (Up 10)
Median Home Value: $42,700 (2nd worst)
Unemployment Rate: 6.5% (73rd worst)
More on Clarkton:  Data

6. Steelville

Overall SnackAbility

1
/10

Population: 1,485
Rank Last Year: 12 (Up 6)
Median Home Value: $79,700 (70th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 11.0% (23rd worst)
More on Steelville:  Data

7. Houston

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 2,927
Rank Last Year: 13 (Up 6)
Median Home Value: $82,200 (77th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 9.1% (43rd worst)
More on Houston:  Data

8. Willow Springs

Overall SnackAbility

3
/10

Population: 1,902
Rank Last Year: 55 (Up 47)
Median Home Value: $72,500 (50th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 10.4% (32nd worst)
More on Willow Springs:  Data

9. Noel

Overall SnackAbility

3
/10

Population: 2,051
Rank Last Year: 2 (Down 7)
Median Home Value: $64,400 (28th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 3.6% (150th worst)
More on Noel:  Data

10. Campbell

Overall SnackAbility

3
/10

Population: 1,768
Rank Last Year: 16 (Up 6)
Median Home Value: $50,600 (6th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 13.2% (13th worst)
More on Campbell:  Data

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 determined the worst small towns to live in Missouri for 2022

We threw a lot of criteria at this one in order to get the best, most complete results possible. Using FBI crime data and the Census's 2016-2020 American Community Survey, 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 1,000 and 5,000 people, of which, there were a lot - 231 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.

This list is a scientific analysis based on real data and is completely unbiased.

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. Frontenac (Pop. 3,538)
  2. Weatherby Lake (Pop. 2,510)
  3. Warson Woods (Pop. 2,387)

For more Missouri reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Worst Small Towns In Missouri

Rank Town Population Unemployment Rate Home Value
1 Winona 1,094 8.2% $58,600
2 Ellington 1,380 17.5% $48,300
3 Senath 1,721 12.6% $69,100
4 Granby 2,224 13.2% $66,800
5 Clarkton 1,105 6.5% $42,700
6 Steelville 1,485 11.0% $79,700
7 Houston 2,927 9.1% $82,200
8 Willow Springs 1,902 10.4% $72,500
9 Noel 2,051 3.6% $64,400
10 Campbell 1,768 13.2% $50,600
11 Hayti 2,380 16.1% $65,100
12 Lilbourn 1,044 6.1% $64,400
13 Marble Hill 2,001 11.1% $81,000
14 Lamar 4,284 12.7% $86,600
15 Clarence 1,050 8.7% $62,100
16 Carterville 2,157 6.5% $80,600
17 Southwest City 1,064 2.7% $65,200
18 Kissee Mills 1,128 5.6% $83,000
19 Hillsdale 1,029 13.2% $61,800
20 Malden 4,136 6.3% $68,300
21 Pine Lawn 3,604 18.2% $54,200
22 Licking 2,612 11.1% $87,700
23 Humansville 1,391 8.5% $54,000
24 Doniphan 2,467 11.6% $90,600
25 Flordell Hills 1,188 31.4% $52,100
26 Edina 1,253 5.9% $66,200
27 Greenfield 1,401 14.7% $67,600
28 Mansfield 1,257 4.2% $70,800
29 Seymour 1,913 10.1% $85,900
30 Bloomfield 2,404 8.1% $68,500
31 Cabool 2,611 3.5% $85,500
32 Pagedale 3,301 9.3% $57,200
33 Rich Hill 1,402 2.6% $64,100
34 Leadwood 1,579 9.3% $53,800
35 Salem 4,904 7.9% $73,800
36 La Monte 1,046 5.2% $79,200
37 Mountain Grove 4,703 5.5% $77,000
38 Castle Point 2,390 8.3% $51,100
39 Steele 1,975 23.5% $93,300
40 Stover 1,004 5.0% $74,000
41 East Prairie 2,980 10.7% $65,000
42 Bel-Ridge 2,686 18.1% $68,100
43 Versailles 2,983 6.3% $83,800
44 Stockton 1,810 6.8% $88,700
45 Sugar Creek 3,281 7.2% $77,200
46 Buffalo 3,101 4.2% $116,800
47 Bernie 1,906 5.6% $76,300
48 Canton 2,455 11.9% $90,200
49 Richland 2,388 5.4% $87,300
50 Purdy 1,312 10.6% $63,600
51 New Madrid 2,863 6.2% $84,700
52 Anderson 2,362 2.3% $91,400
53 Piedmont 3,550 3.7% $85,200
54 Scott City 4,538 6.5% $89,100
55 Wellston 1,891 6.0% $34,000
56 Cuba 3,305 2.2% $110,600
57 Van Buren 1,241 2.5% $129,000
58 Oran 1,285 8.5% $96,000
59 Lockwood 1,078 7.5% $72,600
60 Duenweg 1,255 4.5% $88,000
61 El Dorado Springs 3,562 7.5% $73,500
62 Cassville 3,206 7.3% $96,700
63 Mountain View 2,663 2.5% $102,300
64 Potosi 2,572 5.9% $97,100
65 Carrollton 3,427 6.8% $74,800
66 Elsberry 2,024 10.7% $88,200
67 Unionville 1,827 7.2% $72,700
68 Osceola 1,235 9.0% $88,300
69 Pierce City 1,462 4.6% $94,300
70 New Franklin 1,016 4.4% $82,300
71 Ironton 1,602 4.4% $87,300
72 Wellsville 1,149 3.8% $64,200
73 Windsor 2,976 3.1% $79,500
74 Princeton 1,211 2.6% $54,900
75 Slater 2,103 5.1% $65,800
76 Adrian 2,058 7.3% $110,300
77 Grant City 1,010 2.3% $62,300
78 Hanley Hills 1,853 9.9% $63,100
79 Seneca 2,229 4.4% $87,900
80 Milan 2,429 2.2% $66,900
81 Osage Beach 4,923 7.6% $277,000
82 Country Club Hills 1,232 7.4% $43,600
83 Butler 4,125 10.7% $87,400
84 Thayer 2,578 0.8% $86,000
85 Velda City 1,421 10.3% $49,900
86 Portageville 2,959 4.8% $104,400
87 Shelbina 1,759 0.9% $64,300
88 Mount Vernon 4,490 11.0% $110,200
89 Edmundson 1,203 1.9% $64,700
90 Ava 2,903 8.0% $93,200
91 Appleton City 1,101 5.3% $63,400
92 Gallatin 1,674 3.6% $95,000
93 Marceline 2,012 3.0% $67,800
94 Moline Acres 2,810 14.9% $65,100
95 Warsaw 2,380 3.8% $103,800
96 Reeds Spring 1,158 9.5% $126,800
97 Sarcoxie 1,596 5.5% $59,900
98 Claycomo 1,786 8.4% $108,500
99 Exeter 1,023 0.0% $86,300
100 Bismarck 1,731 3.8% $81,600

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