Montana’s 5 Safest Cities of 2023

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The SafeWise Team is pleased to release the ninth annual Safest Cities report.

Here are the 5 Safest Cities in Montana for 2023

See if your city made the full list.

Montana has above-average crime rates for both violent and property crime. The state is ranked 10th highest for violent crime and 15th highest for property crime.

Montana saw a leveling out in its violent-crime increase and a slight uptick in property crime this reporting year. Still, its safest cities' crime rates fall well below the state average.

In this report

2023 Montana crime rates

Montana experienced the same rate of violent crimes compared to last year, with the violent crime rate staying at 4.7 per 1,000 people. In contrast, the property crime rate rose slightly from 21.2 per 1,000 to 21.5. This is still higher than the national average of 19.3.

Montana's crime rates are above the national average.

Image: SafeWise

Image: SafeWise

Violent crime in Montana: Fear vs. reality

Despite the high violent crime, 65% of Montana residents feel safe in their state (US 50%). Those living in The Big Sky Country also appear to have considerably lower concern for violent crime.

  • 37% of Montanans reported being concerned about violent crime compared to 49% of Americans.
  • 46% of Montanans reported being concerned about safety, compared to 50% of Americans.
  • 10% of people in Montana reported having a personal experience with violent crime in the last 12 months prior to the survey—up from 8% the previous year.
  • 39% of survey respondents report using some form of personal protection—matching the US average.
  • 38% of Montana residents say their personal safety has been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, compared to 44% of Americans.

Attitudes about gun violence in Montana

  • 37% of those surveyed named gun violence as a safety concern (US 47%).
  • 9% of Montana residents reported having experience with gun violence (US 12%).
  • Montana has had 0 mass shootings in the past four years, which is incredibly rare. It leads the nation in the fewest mass shootings.
  • 51% said they use a concealed weapon for personal protection (US 41%). 
36% are worried about package theft.

Image: SafeWise

Property crime in Montana: Fear vs. reality

Montana's property crime rate is higher than the national average, and more residents told us they personally experienced property crime this reporting year. Maybe not surprisingly, Montanans are more concerned about property crime happening to them than violent crime. But Montana is less concerned about property crime than the nation as a whole.

  • More Montana residents (24%) reported personal experiences with property crime this reporting year compared the year before (17%)—an increase of 41%.
  • 25% of participants reported experiencing package theft in the 12 months prior to the survey, putting Montana well below the US average of 34%. This is one of the lowest rates in the country.
  • 26% of survey respondents use no form of property protection. This is above the 24% national average.
  • Montana’s property crime rate (21.5 per 1,000) is higher than the US rate (19.3) and  higher than its regional average of 20.9.
  • Montana's top form of property protection this year was guard dogs, with 43% of survey respondents using them (higher than the 34% national average).
  • 18% of Montanans say the COVID-19 pandemic has affected the security of their property (US 28%).

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A closer look at the safest cities in Montana

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.

  • Every safest city’s violent crime rate is below state and US rates.
  • Deer Lodge is new to the top five list this year and reported zero murders, rapes, and robberies. 
  • There was one report of murder among the safest cities.
  • All of the top four safest cities reported zero robberies.
  • All the safest cities have property crime rates well below the state and US rates.
  • Larceny-theft was the most common crime among the safest cities, with over 700 incidents.
Whitefish is Montana's safest city.

Image: SafeWise

The 5 safest cities in Montana

#1
Whitefish
(
+2
bullet
)
  • bullet
    Population
    8,972
  • bullet
    Median Income
    $64,595
  • bullet
    VC Rate 2023, 2022, 2021
    1.7, 1.9, N/A
  • bullet
    PC Rate 2023, 2022, 2021
    11.1, 10.0, N/A
  • bullet
    VC=Violent crime, PC=Property crime
#2
Deer Lodge
(
New
)
  • bullet
    Population
    2,772
  • bullet
    Median Income
    $40,515
  • bullet
    VC Rate 2023, 2022, 2021
    4.0, 1.1, 2.4
  • bullet
    PC Rate 2023, 2022, 2021
    5.8, 5.0, 5.9
  • bullet
    VC=Violent crime, PC=Property crime
#3
Lewistown
(
+2
bullet
)
  • bullet
    Population
    5,882
  • bullet
    Median Income
    $37,588
  • bullet
    VC Rate 2023, 2022, 2021
    4.9, 3.6, N/A
  • bullet
    PC Rate 2023, 2022, 2021
    1.7, 7.4, N/A
  • bullet
    VC=Violent crime, PC=Property crime
Columbia Falls, Montana map image
#4
Columbia Falls
(
+3
bullet
)
  • bullet
    Population
    6,385
  • bullet
    Median Income
    $56,860
  • bullet
    VC Rate 2023, 2022, 2021
    3.0, 3.0, 1.9
  • bullet
    PC Rate 2023, 2022, 2021
    13.9, 14.1, 12.1
  • bullet
    VC=Violent crime, PC=Property crime
#5
Bozeman
(
+1
bullet
)
  • bullet
    Population
    52,586
  • bullet
    Median Income
    $67,354
  • bullet
    VC Rate 2023, 2022, 2021
    3.3, 3.1, N/A
  • bullet
    PC Rate 2023, 2022, 2021
    12.7, 13.5, N/A
  • bullet
    VC=Violent crime, PC=Property crime

How we determined the safest cities

Learn how we identified the safest cities on our methodology page.

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.

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Get a home security system

Find out which companies we recommend for every budget and lifestyle in our roundup of the Best Home Security Systems—and learn the basics with our guide on Everything You Need to Know About Home Security

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 info@safewise.com 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.

Find the safest cities in each state

Click on the state image or dropdown menu below to check out the safest cities for each state.

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 [2019]." 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.
Alina Bradford
Written by
Alina Bradford
Alina is a safety and security expert that has contributed her insights to CNET, CBS, Digital Trends, MTV, Top Ten Reviews, and many others. Her goal is to make safety and security gadgets less mystifying one article at a time. In the early 2000s, Alina worked as a volunteer firefighter, earning her first responder certification and paving the way to her current career. Her activities aren’t nearly as dangerous today. Her hobbies include fixing up her 100-year-old house, doing artsy stuff, and going to the lake with her family.

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