These Are The 10 Worst Small Towns In Missouri For 2019


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 . This is our fourth time ranking the worst small places to live in Missouri.

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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 221 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 2019:

  1. Winona
  2. Humansville
  3. Lilbourn
  4. Seligman
  5. Gideon
  6. Senath
  7. Southwest City
  8. El Dorado Springs
  9. Mansfield
  10. Hillsdale

So what is the worst small town to call home in Missouri for 2019? 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.

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 2019

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 2013-2017 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 – 221 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.

Overall SnackAbility

3
/10

Population: 1,317
Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $41,900 (3rd worst)
Unemployment Rate: 10.1% (48th worst)
More on Winona:  Data

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 1,097
Rank Last Year: 3 (Up 1)
Median Home Value: $49,800 (7th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 13.6% (23rd worst)
More on Humansville:  Data

Overall SnackAbility

3
/10

Population: 1,205
Rank Last Year: 4 (Up 1)
Median Home Value: $49,600 (6th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 15.4% (12th worst)
More on Lilbourn:  Data

Overall SnackAbility

3
/10

Population: 1,021
Rank Last Year: 7 (Up 3)
Median Home Value: $68,000 (47th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 8.7% (62nd worst)
More on Seligman:  Data

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 1,158
Rank Last Year: 2 (Down 3)
Median Home Value: $44,200 (5th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 8.7% (62nd worst)
More on Gideon:  Data

Overall SnackAbility

3
/10

Population: 1,868
Rank Last Year: 5 (Down 1)
Median Home Value: $60,900 (24th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 10.1% (48th worst)
More on Senath:  Data

Source: Public Domain
Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 1,139
Rank Last Year:
Median Home Value: $78,400 (82nd worst)
Unemployment Rate: 11.2% (37th worst)
More on Southwest City:  Data

Overall SnackAbility

1
/10

Population: 3,532
Rank Last Year: 16 (Up 8)
Median Home Value: $58,200 (19th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 15.0% (16th worst)
More on El Dorado Springs:  Data

Overall SnackAbility

3
/10

Population: 1,346
Rank Last Year: 6 (Down 3)
Median Home Value: $64,300 (37th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 8.3% (69th worst)
More on Mansfield:  Data

Overall SnackAbility

3
/10

Population: 1,306
Rank Last Year: 13 (Up 3)
Median Home Value: $52,500 (11th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 25.8% (2nd worst)
More on Hillsdale:  Data

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. Warson Woods (Pop. 1,902)
  2. Oakland (Pop. 1,708)
  3. Fremont Hills (Pop. 1,072)

For more Missouri reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Worst Small Towns In Missouri

Rank Town Population Unemployment Rate Home Value
1 Winona 1,317 10.1% $41,900
2 Humansville 1,097 13.6% $49,800
3 Lilbourn 1,205 15.4% $49,600
4 Seligman 1,021 8.7% $68,000
5 Gideon 1,158 8.7% $44,200
6 Senath 1,868 10.1% $60,900
7 Southwest City 1,139 11.2% $78,400
8 El Dorado Springs 3,532 15.0% $58,200
9 Mansfield 1,346 8.3% $64,300
10 Hillsdale 1,306 25.8% $52,500
11 Noel 2,162 10.4% $85,000
12 Wellston 1,818 25.7% $42,800
13 Cabool 2,369 8.9% $87,100
14 Leadwood 1,542 12.4% $53,000
15 East Prairie 3,120 9.5% $64,800
16 Mountain Grove 4,576 7.4% $69,200
17 Clarkton 1,195 3.7% $32,000
18 Steelville 2,030 8.2% $81,300
19 Pine Lawn 3,491 17.2% $50,000
20 Versailles 2,867 15.1% $76,100
21 Merriam Woods 1,855 10.5% $67,000
22 Stover 1,239 5.9% $64,100
23 Cuba 3,336 15.3% $98,800
24 Mountain View 2,670 8.9% $87,900
25 Osceola 1,043 10.1% $65,600
26 Hayti 2,766 6.3% $59,200
27 Campbell 2,250 7.4% $55,400
28 Houston 2,428 13.8% $93,700
29 Ellington 1,204 8.5% $61,600
30 Unionville 1,995 11.5% $60,300
31 Pagedale 3,307 15.6% $55,700
32 Buffalo 3,026 11.4% $86,600
33 Carrollton 3,729 14.6% $69,000
34 Licking 2,889 9.7% $69,500
35 Seymour 2,059 10.7% $76,500
36 New Madrid 2,979 16.4% $99,400
37 Salem 4,939 8.1% $82,400
38 Thayer 2,305 3.9% $74,700
39 Malden 4,253 4.9% $63,600
40 Bourbon 1,759 13.2% $75,100
41 Richland 1,796 9.6% $101,400
42 Hanley Hills 1,849 17.3% $57,400
43 Doniphan 2,166 10.7% $85,800
44 Willow Springs 2,206 6.3% $82,400
45 Brookfield 4,473 5.1% $65,900
46 Portageville 3,114 8.0% $79,300
47 Greenfield 1,385 12.7% $63,200
48 Edina 1,140 5.1% $64,100
49 Riverview 2,812 16.8% $56,200
50 Fredericktown 3,999 7.4% $84,500
51 Glasgow Village 4,975 22.2% $37,100
52 Moscow Mills 2,665 7.5% $62,000
53 Camdenton 3,934 7.8% $111,500
54 Piedmont 2,345 5.6% $74,000
55 Vandalia 4,201 13.8% $64,400
56 Rich Hill 1,450 10.9% $54,900
57 Goodman 1,296 9.5% $58,800
58 Stockton 1,897 10.6% $84,800
59 Cassville 3,284 14.4% $95,200
60 Marble Hill 1,697 7.0% $82,600
61 Sweet Springs 1,498 4.6% $67,600
62 Country Club Hills 1,402 11.9% $51,600
63 Potosi 2,627 12.2% $93,000
64 Bernie 1,950 10.2% $62,200
65 Ironton 1,511 8.1% $83,000
66 Castle Point 3,064 13.4% $64,800
67 Bismarck 1,474 6.5% $71,100
68 Butler 4,190 9.6% $77,400
69 Wellsville 1,101 10.7% $62,400
70 Velda City 1,281 13.1% $61,700
71 Milan 2,661 3.9% $70,300
72 Steele 2,189 12.5% $101,400
73 Eldon 4,580 5.9% $87,000
74 Belle 1,723 5.6% $85,600
75 Ava 2,918 1.2% $74,100
76 Carterville 1,738 4.0% $70,300
77 Garden City 1,562 9.0% $92,900
78 Dixon 1,387 8.1% $94,800
79 Anderson 2,406 4.4% $79,200
80 Hollister 4,475 6.7% $122,900
81 Breckenridge Hills 4,680 6.9% $73,800
82 Moline Acres 2,314 10.9% $70,300
83 Forsyth 2,538 14.1% $113,900
84 Bethany 3,034 4.3% $72,400
85 Riverside 3,178 8.4% $206,600
86 Vinita Park 1,818 8.9% $74,500
87 Shelbina 1,537 5.9% $63,200
88 Pierce City 1,292 6.3% $77,800
89 Duenweg 1,259 4.6% $77,400
90 Lamar 4,358 4.9% $95,700
91 Fairdealing 1,126 5.4% $106,000
92 Scott City 4,496 5.3% $98,800
93 Van Buren 1,095 6.5% $94,100
94 Crane 1,621 6.1% $93,600
95 Appleton City 1,230 9.3% $72,600
96 Marionville 2,360 8.2% $77,200
97 Miner 1,009 3.9% $87,700
98 Slater 2,156 7.3% $50,900
99 Louisiana 3,298 6.6% $81,700
100 Elsberry 2,106 19.4% $87,400

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10 thoughts on “These Are The 10 Worst Small Towns In Missouri For 2019

  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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