Worst Small Towns In Missouri For 2020


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 2020. This is our sixth 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 222 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 2020:

  1. Winona
  2. Humansville
  3. Gideon
  4. Noel
  5. Senath
  6. Lilbourn
  7. Pine Lawn
  8. Clarkton
  9. Hillsdale
  10. Cabool (Photos)

So what is the worst small town to call home in missouri for 2020? 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 2020

Overall SnackAbility

3
/10

Population: 1,395
Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $38,800 (3rd worst)
Unemployment Rate: 11.5% (26th worst)
More on Winona:  Data

Overall SnackAbility

3
/10

Population: 1,026
Rank Last Year: 2 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $49,900 (8th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 13.2% (14th worst)
More on Humansville:  Data

Overall SnackAbility

3
/10

Population: 1,202
Rank Last Year: 5 (Up 2)
Median Home Value: $40,000 (4th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 11.3% (27th worst)
More on Gideon:  Data

Overall SnackAbility

3
/10

Population: 2,424
Rank Last Year: 11 (Up 7)
Median Home Value: $69,400 (46th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 9.6% (43rd worst)
More on Noel:  Data

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 1,847
Rank Last Year: 6 (Up 1)
Median Home Value: $63,000 (24th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 9.8% (42nd worst)
More on Senath:  Data

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 1,165
Rank Last Year: 3 (Down 3)
Median Home Value: $62,200 (23rd worst)
Unemployment Rate: 15.6% (9th worst)
More on Lilbourn:  Data

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 3,513
Rank Last Year: 19 (Up 12)
Median Home Value: $48,400 (5th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 19.6% (3rd worst)
More on Pine Lawn:  Data

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 1,213
Rank Last Year: 17 (Up 9)
Median Home Value: $34,100 (1st worst)
Unemployment Rate: 5.5% (121st worst)
More on Clarkton:  Data

Overall SnackAbility

3
/10

Population: 1,335
Rank Last Year: 10 (Up 1)
Median Home Value: $60,000 (20th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 24.6% (1st worst)
More on Hillsdale:  Data

Cabool, MO

Overall SnackAbility

3
/10

Population: 2,337
Rank Last Year: 13 (Up 3)
Median Home Value: $94,600 (126th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 11.8% (23rd worst)
More on Cabool:  Data | Photos

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 2020

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 2014-2018 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 - 222 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. Rock Hill (Pop. 4,637)
  2. Frontenac (Pop. 3,525)
  3. Warson Woods (Pop. 1,915)

For more Missouri reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Worst Small Towns In Missouri

Rank Town Population Unemployment Rate Home Value
1 Winona 1,395 11.5% $38,800
2 Humansville 1,026 13.2% $49,900
3 Gideon 1,202 11.3% $40,000
4 Noel 2,424 9.6% $69,400
5 Senath 1,847 9.8% $63,000
6 Lilbourn 1,165 15.6% $62,200
7 Pine Lawn 3,513 19.6% $48,400
8 Clarkton 1,213 5.5% $34,100
9 Hillsdale 1,335 24.6% $60,000
10 Cabool 2,337 11.8% $94,600
11 Leadwood 1,382 10.3% $48,500
12 Southwest City 1,238 8.3% $83,900
13 Ellington 1,230 7.7% $59,800
14 Merriam Woods 2,001 12.1% $70,200
15 Steelville 1,888 5.8% $88,800
16 Wellston 1,775 21.3% $62,000
17 Houston 2,559 11.6% $99,300
18 Mansfield 1,450 5.8% $72,100
19 Pagedale 3,291 17.0% $53,700
20 Hayti 2,714 9.0% $65,700
21 Richland 1,895 10.2% $88,900
22 Cuba 3,340 10.5% $97,900
23 Doniphan 2,236 12.2% $87,900
24 Malden 4,244 6.6% $66,100
25 Mountain View 2,658 8.1% $95,800
26 Unionville 1,998 9.4% $63,600
27 Carrollton 3,637 16.4% $66,900
28 Stover 1,359 3.8% $66,600
29 East Prairie 3,096 7.0% $66,500
30 Mountain Grove 4,608 6.2% $71,900
31 Campbell 2,165 6.7% $55,500
32 Piedmont 2,621 5.2% $73,500
33 Licking 2,844 13.1% $87,200
34 Salem 4,939 7.4% $80,400
35 Stockton 1,818 10.7% $85,900
36 El Dorado Springs 3,545 15.3% $70,000
37 Carterville 2,134 5.7% $70,500
38 Greenfield 1,503 12.3% $64,700
39 Seymour 2,128 7.0% $78,500
40 Osceola 1,025 7.2% $71,500
41 Anderson 2,254 4.6% $79,000
42 Bel-Ridge 2,718 15.0% $65,500
43 Edina 1,139 6.3% $64,400
44 Glasgow Village 4,981 16.5% $34,200
45 Bourbon 1,946 10.2% $74,700
46 Advance 1,246 10.8% $87,400
47 Lamar 4,329 10.4% $90,200
48 Velda City 1,367 12.5% $59,900
49 La Monte 1,380 4.6% $82,600
50 Country Club Hills 1,393 9.4% $49,700
51 Thayer 2,292 2.3% $85,000
52 Lockwood 1,154 4.5% $59,100
53 Hanley Hills 1,832 13.0% $56,700
54 Versailles 2,760 5.2% $77,100
55 Bethany 3,065 6.8% $74,000
56 Portageville 3,074 7.4% $86,100
57 Marble Hill 1,727 6.6% $82,800
58 Vandalia 4,178 14.2% $64,900
59 Hollister 4,504 11.6% $113,700
60 Cassville 3,289 7.7% $94,500
61 Moline Acres 2,355 7.0% $67,400
62 Breckenridge Hills 4,654 9.5% $73,500
63 Brookfield 4,481 3.6% $75,900
64 Riverview 2,872 7.1% $54,500
65 Milan 2,670 2.9% $73,400
66 Steele 2,188 11.1% $89,800
67 Bismarck 1,395 4.7% $72,300
68 New Madrid 2,945 9.9% $110,800
69 Buffalo 3,032 0.0% $93,100
70 Pierce City 1,313 6.8% $82,500
71 Moscow Mills 2,829 6.4% $88,800
72 Van Buren 1,080 6.9% $105,000
73 Willow Springs 2,179 7.4% $96,600
74 Sweet Springs 1,572 6.6% $71,100
75 Albany 2,106 4.3% $70,000
76 Castle Point 2,593 8.6% $51,800
77 Potosi 2,617 7.7% $94,700
78 Elsberry 1,958 15.7% $88,600
79 Dixon 1,256 9.1% $96,000
80 Rich Hill 1,425 5.9% $50,600
81 Scott City 4,503 6.5% $96,200
82 Wellsville 1,157 6.7% $68,200
83 Bernie 1,957 5.2% $60,000
84 Bloomfield 2,086 7.5% $75,300
85 Windsor 2,990 5.0% $70,900
86 Forsyth 2,536 11.1% $114,300
87 Butler 4,164 9.3% $82,100
88 Ava 2,916 3.7% $84,400
89 Fredericktown 3,990 4.4% $84,900
90 Ironton 1,674 3.8% $88,300
91 Garden City 1,494 8.0% $98,600
92 Duenweg 1,370 5.9% $82,400
93 Princeton 1,083 3.2% $56,100
94 Crane 1,453 4.3% $93,300
95 Cool Valley 1,164 12.8% $69,300
96 Camdenton 3,977 3.3% $113,500
97 Memphis 1,803 7.3% $64,200
98 Edmundson 1,067 5.8% $64,700
99 Slater 2,061 5.9% $64,100
100 Huntsville 1,527 6.6% $70,600

How Is The Area In ?

10 thoughts on “Worst Small Towns In Missouri, 2020

  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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