The Most Dangerous Top 10 Cities to Live in Missouri

Missouri, a state known for its diverse landscapes, cultural heritage, and historic landmarks, faces the challenge of crime in various cities. This article examines the top 10 most dangerous cities in Missouri as of 2024, providing insights into the nature of their crime issues and offering a perspective on the risks associated with living in or visiting these areas.

1. Springfield: The Queen City with High Crime Rates

Population: N/A

Springfield, known for its cultural scene and job growth, unfortunately tops the list for having the highest crime rate in Missouri and ranks as the 5th most dangerous city in the U.S. The overall crime rate is 144.56 incidences per 1,000 individuals, with residents having a 1 in 8 chance of becoming a victim​​​​.

2. St. Louis: The Gateway to the West with Enduring Crime

Population: Over 300,000

St. Louis, famous for the Gateway Arch, struggles with a high crime rate. Visitors and residents have a 1-in-50 chance of being a crime victim. The murder rate is the highest in Missouri, with 0.87 per 1,000 residents, and 6,017 violent crimes were reported. The Gravois Park neighborhood has a crime rate 323% higher than the national average​​​​.

3. Kansas City: Cultural Epicenter with Crime Concerns

Population: Nearly 500,000

Kansas City, known for its barbecue and art scene, is the fifth most dangerous city in Missouri. The crime rate was 94.54 per 1,000 people, with 176 murders reported, the most since 1985. North Kansas City, a part of the Kansas City area, has a notably high crime rate of 246.37 incidences per 1,000 people​​​​​​.

4. Joplin: Property Crime Issues in a Growing City

Population: 51,000

Located in southwest Missouri, Joplin has a crime rate of 137.33 crimes per 1,000 residents. It experienced decreased property crimes but saw an increase in violent crimes, including nine murders in one year​​​​.

5. Kennett: Small Town with Significant Crime Rates

Population: 10,000

Kennett, in Missouri’s bootheel, has a family-friendly feel but struggles with crime. The crime rate was 125.14 incidences per 1,000 individuals, with 90 reported violent crimes. Aggravated assaults have notably increased in this area​​​​.

6. Rolla: Rich Heritage but Rising Crime Rates

Population: 20,500

Rolla, near Route 66, boasts outdoor adventures but faces rising crime rates. The town reported a total crime rate of 110.17 per 1,000 residents, with 116 violent crimes, mainly due to aggravated assault​​​​.

7. Bridgeton: Suburban Crime Challenges

Population: 11,521

Bridgeton, a suburb of St. Louis, has seen a high rate of larceny contributing to its position as one of Missouri’s most dangerous cities. The town experienced 811 property crimes over a year​​​​.

8. Vinita Park: High Violence in a Small City

Population: N/A

Vinita Park, in St. Louis County, may be small, but it’s one of the most violent cities in Missouri. The town has seen murder rates over 7.5 times higher than the national average annually​​.

9. Nevada: Historical Attraction with Alarming Crime Rate

Population: N/A

Nevada, a small city in southeastern Missouri, despite its historical attractions, has an alarming crime rate made up of both violent and property crimes. The crime rate is 204% higher than the national average​​.

10. Ferguson: Property Crime and Civil Unrest

Population: 20,454

Ferguson, a suburb of St. Louis, is known for civil unrest and faces significant property crime issues, including a high rate of car thefts, robberies, and burglaries​​​​.

Understanding the Challenges

The high crime rates in these cities are often linked to socio-economic challenges, including poverty, unemployment, and drug-related offenses. For instance, in St. Louis and Kansas City, certain neighborhoods face significantly higher crime rates than others, influenced by various socio-economic factors.

Staying Safe

Visitors and residents can enhance their safety by avoiding emotionally charged environments, staying away from secluded areas at night, never leaving drinks unattended, and keeping friends and family updated on their whereabouts.


Missouri’s most dangerous cities highlight the state’s struggle with crime, alongside its rich cultural and historical heritage. Understanding these dynamics is essential for navigating these areas safely and responsibly.