The Most Dangerous Neighborhoods in Missouri: A List of High-Crime Areas

It seems that Missouri has more concerns than just upset supporters of the St. Louis Cardinals and trucks with loaded gun racks. The state is also home to some highly dangerous areas.

In truth, residents of Missouri shouldn’t be too surprised. After all, they reside in the tenth most dangerous state in the country. Petty disagreements among fans and rural individuals showing off their belongings should be the least of the public’s worries. The real focus should be on identifying the places in the Show Me State where one can live without constant fear.

So, if you’re currently living in Missouri and thinking about moving, or if you’re planning to relocate there, I suggest taking a look at our list of the most hazardous places in the state for 2023 before making any major life decisions.

Why did I create this list? I did it for those who might not necessarily want to visit these places but are interested in knowing the facts. And the facts are as follows: firstly, the state’s rates of violent and property crimes are higher than the national average and are still increasing; secondly, these rising numbers continue to affect many of Missouri’s biggest cities. Cities like Kansas City and Springfield just can’t seem to catch a break.

How did I do this? I turned to the data. In total, I analyzed 110 cities. I used the most recent crime report from the FBI to gather statistics on violent crime and property crime in every location with a population exceeding 5,000.

1. St. Louis

St. Louis, known for the iconic Gateway Arch, is unfortunately famous for its elevated crime rates. It holds the distinction of being the most violent city in Missouri, with 6,017 reported incidents of rape, murder, robbery, and assault in the year 2020.

Within Missouri, St. Louis ranks second highest in terms of murder rates, with a murder occurring approximately every other day throughout the year.

Even the safety of your vehicle is not assured in St. Louis, as evident from the 3,221 auto thefts reported in the year 2020. This number forms just a portion of the larger 17,399 property crimes committed.

A notable crime in the history of St. Louis is the case of the “St. Louis Exorcism,” which served as the inspiration for the novel and film “The Exorcist.” This event took place in 1949 and involved a series of exorcism rituals performed on a young boy known as “Roland Doe,” who was believed to be under demonic possession.

  • Population: 298,422
  • Rank Last Year: 2 (Up 1)
  • Violent Crimes Per 100k: 2,016 (Most dangerous)
  • Property Crimes Per 100k: 5,830 (Sixth most dangerous)

2. Springfield

For the third year in a row, Springfield, which holds the position of being the third-largest city in Missouri, maintains its status as the second most unsafe locality to reside in within the state. While it doesn’t claim the top spot for either violent or property-related crimes, its placement at fifth in both categories propels it to the summit of this undesirable list.

During 2020, Springfield recorded the ninth highest frequency of rape incidents in Missouri, with an average of about one occurrence per day throughout the entire year. Furthermore, the city secured the fifth highest ranking for burglary rates in the state, underscoring the importance of keeping your doors securely locked while here.

On the whole, the residents faced a 1 in 14 likelihood of falling victim to a property-related crime in the year 2020. Hence, it’s crucial to exercise vigilance over your wallets and purses while strolling around Nathanial Greene/Close Memorial Park.

An infamous unsolved enigma revolves around the murder of three women, known as “The Springfield Three.” In the year 1992, Sherrill Levitt, her daughter Suzie Streeter, and Suzie’s friend Stacy McCall vanished from Levitt’s residence. Despite exhaustive investigations and substantial media coverage, not a trace of these women has been unearthed.

  • Population: 168,856
  • Rank Last Year: 1 (Down 1)
  • Violent Crimes Per 100k: 1,507 (Fifth most dangerous)
  • Property Crimes Per 100k: 6,951 (Third most dangerous)

3. Nevada

Guess what? We’re off to Nevada! Prepare to pile up those chips and indulge in buffets, as we embark on a vacation reminiscent of “What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas.”

Hold on a second… What’s this? We’ve ended up in Nevada, Missouri instead. Well, it might not be the trip we initially planned, but there’s potential for enjoyment. After all, there’s the Bushwhacker Museum and even a golf course to explore.

However, there’s a downside: the area is grappling with a significant crime issue, particularly when it comes to violent crime. Despite having a population of only 8,246 residents, this Nevada has witnessed 149 cases of aggravated assault and 9 incidents of sexual assault.

  • Population: 8,246
  • Rank Last Year: 24 (Up 21)
  • Violent Crimes Per 100k: 1,976 (Third most dangerous)
  • Property Crimes Per 100k: 5,748 (Seventh most dangerous)

4. Kennett

Kennett, a municipality with a population of 10,005 people, is positioned in the far southeastern region of Missouri, in close proximity to the Arkansas border. Situated in a predominantly rural area of the state, its notable distinction lies in being the birthplace of vocalist Sheryl Crow. Yet, when she revisits her hometown, her primary apprehension revolves around averting theft.

Regrettably, the community contends with the state’s highest incidence of burglaries. Additionally, it grapples with an exceedingly concerning frequency of violent offenses. This encompasses 12 instances of sexual assaults, contributing to one of the most disconcerting rates in the state of Missouri.

  • Population: 10,005
  • Rank Last Year: –
  • Violent Crimes Per 100k: 899 (Ninth most dangerous)
  • Property Crimes Per 100k: 5,717 (Eighth most dangerous)

5. Branson

Branson, recognized as the Global Hub for Live Entertainment, stands as a favored spot for tourists. The continual stream of visitors doesn’t bode well for Branson’s crime scenario.

In reality, Branson boasts the state’s most elevated rate of property crimes, a margin wide enough to bestow upon the city the highest comprehensive crime rate — surpassing the national average by over four times.

Hence, exercise caution post relishing a performance, or you might find yourself in the company of the 1 in 12 Branson residents who experienced theft or damage to their belongings in the year 2020.

  • Population: 11,745
  • Rank Last Year: 4 (Down 1)
  • Violent Crimes Per 100k: 681 (18th most dangerous)
  • Property Crimes Per 100k: 7,952 (Most dangerous)

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