The SafeWise Team is pleased to release the sixth annual Safest Cities report. Here are the 20 Safest Cities in Missouri for 2020. See if your city made the list.
People in Missouri worry less about their safety on a daily basis, despite higher crime rates than most of the country. But the state’s safest cities buck that trend, reporting much lower crime rates than both the state and the rest of the US.
Missouri participants in our 2020 State of Safety study reported levels of concern that are about 20% lower than the national average of 46%. The state’s level of concern also dropped six percentage points year over year.
Daily concern about safety in Missouri decreased 14% from 2019.
Missouri’s decreasing concern about safety reflects trends that show crime rates dropping across the state. Violent crime decreased from 5.3 incidents per 1,000 in last year’s report to 5.0. Likewise, property crime dropped from 28.4 incidents per 1,000 to 26.5. National rates for violent and property crime are 3.7 and 22.0, respectively.
Interestingly, more people reported a personal experience with crime this year—even though crime rates decreased.
Violent Crime in Missouri: Fear vs. Reality
Being a victim of a mass shooting is the biggest violent crime concern in the Show-Me State, and more people in Missouri have been personally affected by mass shootings than the national average.
8% reported that they or someone they know has been personally affected by a mass shooting at some point in their lifetime. The national average is 7%.
40% expressed high or very high concern about mass shootings, compared to 38% nationwide.
Between 2014 and 2019 Missouri has had 73 mass shooting incidents, resulting in 81 deaths and 256 injured.
As of May 6, there have been six mass shooting incidents in Missouri this year, leaving 32 injured and 11 dead.
28% believe the violent crime they’re most likely to experience is being robbed on the street, compared to 27% across the country.
There were only 15 robberies reported among the safest cities, accounting for 14% of all violent crime in the safest cities and 17% of all violent crime statewide.
Property Crime in Missouri: Fear vs. Reality
People in Missouri are more worried about digital property theft than any other property crime. It’s also the property crime they think is most likely to actually occur.
58% expressed highest concern about having digital property (like files or photos) stolen—that’s six percentage points higher than the national average.
37% said they felt that having digital property stolen is the property crime that’s most likely to happen to them. Nationwide, 36% agree.
Larceny-theft was the most common property crime in Missouri, accounting for 78% of all incidents in the safest cities and 71% across the state.
21% of Missouri respondents use a home security system. The national average is 24%.
A dog or other guard animal is the most widely-used security measure in Missouri, with 38% using one to protect their property versus 33% nationally.
28% use no security measure to protect their property—that’s one point below the national average of 29%.
22% reported a personal experience with property crime in the past 12 months, compared to 26% nationwide.
A Closer Look at Missouri’s Safest Cities of 2020
For the purposes of this report, the terms “safest” and “dangerous” refer explicitly to crime rates as calculated from FBI crime data—no other characterization of any community is implied or intended.
Fourteen cities (70%) increased in rank this year. Louisiana was the biggest climber, jumping 66 spots.
Battlefield, the safest city in Missouri, reported only one violent crime and 41 property crimes in 2018.
30% of the cities dropped in rank year over year.
Every city on the list beat both state (5.0) and national (3.7) violent crime rates—no city reported more than 1.6 incidents per 1,000.
Twelve cities (60%) reported fewer than five total violent crimes. Battlefield had the fewest with one, and Webster Groves had the most with 25.
There were zero murders reported among the safest cities.
All cities beat both state (26.5) and national (22.0) property crime rates. The highest rate among the safest cities was 13.1 in Louisiana, which is still half of the state average.
Cottleville had the fewest total property crimes reported at 15—all of which were for larceny-theft.
SafeWise uses the GVA definition of a mass shooting: “If four or more people are shot or killed in a single incident, not involving the shooter, that incident is categorized as a mass shooting based purely on that numerical threshold.”
Written by Rebecca Edwards
Rebecca is the lead safety reporter and in-house expert for SafeWise.com. She has been a journalist and blogger for over 25 years, with a focus on home and community safety for the past six. Rebecca spends dozens of hours every month testing and evaluating security products and strategies. Her safety expertise is sought after by publications, broadcast journalists, non-profit organizations, podcasts, and more. You can find her work and contributions in places like TechCrunch, The Washington Post, The Chicago Tribune, HGTV, MSN, and an ever-growing library of radio and TV clips. Learn more