The SafeWise Team is pleased to release the ninth annual Safest Cities report.
Missouri’s 20 Safest Cities of 2023
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Here are the 10 Safest Cities in Missouri for 2023
See if your city made the full list.
In our latest State of Safety survey, people in Missouri worried about their safety overall (53%) more than most Americans (50%). This may be because they have higher crime rates than most states. This has increased since last year's survey when 49% of Missourians had daily concerns about personal safety.
Even so, Missouri's violent crime rates and property crime rates have both dropped since the year before. Even better, The Show Me State's safest cities have lower-than-average crime rates compared to the state.
In this report
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2023 Missouri crime rates
Missouri has had the highest crime rates in the West North Central region for both violent crime and property crime for four years now. While violent crime went down in Missouri from 5.4 per 1,000 to 5.3, property crimes also decreased from 25.3 per 1,000 to 23.8. Still, Missouri had the ninth-highest property crime rate nationally. It also ranks as the sixth state for the highest violent crime rates.
Violent crime in Missouri: Fear vs. reality
Survey responses in Missouri reflect the state's above-average violent crime rate with fewer than half of residents feeling safe in the state. High percentages of personal experiences with gun violence could play a role in this mentality.
- 46% of survey respondents in Missouri reported feeling safe in their state compared to 50% of Americans.
- 14% of Missourians reported having a personal experience with violent crime in the past 12 months—2 percentage points above the national average.
- 95% of Missouri’s safest cities reported no murders.
- 52% of The Show Me State residents surveyed reported concern over violent crime.
- 47% of survey participants report using some form of personal protection—making Missourians more likely to do this than the national average of 39%.
- 37% of Missouri residents say their personal safety has been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic compared to 44% of Americans.
Attitudes about gun violence in Missouri
- 54% of Missouri residents cited gun violence as a safety concern—higher than the US average of 47%.
- 12% of survey participants reported an experience with gun violence in the 12 months prior to our survey.
- There were 14 mass shootings in Missouri in the 2023 reporting year, down from the year before (17).
- 51% said they use a concealed firearm as protection (US 41%).
Property crime in Missouri: Fear vs. reality
Missouri has the ninth-highest property crime rate in the country this year. This lines up with surveyed residents reporting an increase in personal experiences with property crime. On the whole, the state saw slightly fewer property crimes per 1,000 people year over year.
- Compared to the last year (26%), a greater number of Missourians reported personal experiences with property crime this reporting year (28%).
- 33% of participants reported experiencing package theft in the 12 months prior to the survey. That's up 74% from the previous year.
- Even though The Show Me State’s property crime rate is higher than average, it’s trending downward.
- 32% of Missouri residents surveyed use no form of property protection (US 24%).
- The top form of property protection in Missouri this year was guard dogs, with 34% of survey respondents using them. This matches the national average.
- 27% of Missourians say the COVID-19 pandemic has affected the security of their property—this is lower than the US average of 28%.
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A closer look at the safest cities in Missouri
For the purposes of this report, the terms “dangerous” and “safest” refer explicitly to crime rates as calculated from FBI crime data—no other characterization of any community is implied or intended.
- The safest cities all reported fewer than 2.1 violent crimes per 1,000 residents.
- The top two cities, Cottleville and Higginsville, reported only two violent crimes.
- 15 out of 20 of the safest cities reported zero murders.
- The number-one safest city, Cottleville, reported zero murders, rapes, and aggravated assaults.
- The safest cities reported only 0.9 violent crimes per 1,000 people on average. That's much lower than the state's overall average of 5.3.
- The safest cities' reports of property crime were much lower than the state's—8.6 per 1,000 residents compared to 23.8 statewide.
- There are four new towns joining Missouri's safest cities list this year: Webster Groves, Raymore, Willard, and Manchester.
- The biggest change in our top 20 was Pleasant Hill. This safest city jumped 32 spots to land at number 8 on our list.
How to make a safe home anywhere
Whether your city made our list or not, we encourage everyone to be proactive about home security. One of the best ways to stop a burglary before it happens is to add a home security system.
Find security and safety resources in your area
Didn't find your city?
We calculated crime rates for every city in the state that met our population threshold, based on the state’s median population as calculated using FBI data. To request a report of the remaining cities in your state email firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line: Safest Cities Full Report.
NOTE: If your city is missing from our full report, it means that it was below the population threshold or didn’t submit a complete crime report to the FBI in 2021.
Related articles on SafeWise
Endnotes and sources
FBI Crime Data Explorer, "Documents & Downloads." Accessed February 6, 2023.
- 2021 and 2020 Crime in the United States Annual Reports
- Offenses Known to Law Enforcement
- 2021 NIBRS Estimation Tables
FBI Uniform Crime Reporting Program, "Offenses Known to Law Enforcement ." Accessed February 6, 2023.
Bureau of Justice Statistics, "National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS)." Accessed February 6, 2023.
US Census Bureau, "2021: ACS 5-Year Estimates Subject Tables." Accessed February 6, 2023.
US Census Bureau, "2021: ACS 5-Year Estimates Detailed Tables." Accessed February 6, 2023.
SafeWise, "2022 State of Safety survey." Accessed February 6, 2023.
Gun Violence Archive, "General Methodology." Accessed February 6, 2023.
Gun Violence Archive, "Past Summary Ledgers." Accessed January 3, 2023.
Gun Violence Archive, "Congress."
- 2022 totals: Accessed January 3, 2023.
- 2021 and 2020 totals: Accessed December 19, 2022.