10 Safest Cities in Missouri

Updated On October 10, 2023

More than half of Missouri‘s 6.1 million residents live in Kansas City or St. Louis, which are big cities on the eastern and western edges of the state.

In between, there are a lot of smaller rural towns.

That makes for a lot of contrast.

Most people feel smaller towns are safer, but there are small towns on the edge of big cities that have a great safety record.  

Statewide, there are five violent crimes per 1,000 people, and the national rate is about four.

There were 25 property crimes per 1,000 and the national average is about 20.

That is pretty high, but the safest cities in the state are a lot lower.

10 Safest Cities in Missouri

Higginsville, Missouri
Higginsville, Missouri


Higginsville is a small city of about 5,000 people, about 30 miles east of Kansas City.

It is just far enough from the big city to avoid some big-city issues and has a very low crime rate. 

Higginsville has had no violent crime in 2022, and less than one per 1,000 in the previous two years.

Property crime is small and decreasing.

There were 7.6 property crimes per 1,000 people so far in 2022, 9.6 in 2021, and 12.6 the year before.

There are several “safest cities” lists out there, and Higginsville is in the top two or three of all of them.

Cottleville, Missouri
Cottleville, Missouri


Cottleville is another small city of 6,000 with a low crime rate.

It is essentially a suburb of St. Louis on the upper west side, surrounded by other small towns that have a suburban feel. 

Cottleville has a median income of $108,000, and that could contribute to a lower crime rate.

Over the past three years, there have been less than one per 1,000 violent crimes, and none so far in 2022.

Property crime is also low.

It has been 4.8 so far in 2022, down from 6.2 last year, but an increase over 2020, when it was 2.6.

Glendale, Missouri
Glendale, Missouri


Glendale might be a bit of a surprise as one of the safest cities because it is in the heart of the greater St. Louis area.

It has a population of 6,000 and a median income of $140,000.

Its violent crime rate has been less than one-half of one in one thousand for each of the last three years.

Its property crime rate is higher at 7.2 for 2022, and 9.7 for 2021.

In 2020, the property crime rate was 5.4 per 1,000.

Overall, Glendale is in the 81st percentile, meaning 81 percent of cities in the entire nation are not as safe.

Webster Groves, Missouri
Webster Groves, Missouri

Webster Groves

Webster Groves is less than 10 miles down the Interstate, even closer to the inner city of St. Louis, but still has a very safe record, well below the state and national average. 

It has a median income of $52,000 and a population of about 30,000. 

It has an overall crime rate of 8.2 per 1,000.

Violent crime is not as bad as in some areas, at 1.09 per 1,000 and its property crime rate is 7.1 per 1,000. 

The crime rate has decreased some in recent years. 

It is safer than 67 percent of all cities nationwide.

It is one of the older cities in the St. Louis area.

Ballwin, Missouri
Ballwin, Missouri


Ballwin is often on the list of best places to live, and it is on St. Louis metropolitan area’s west side.

Ballwin residents have a median income of $98,000.

Even though it is a city of 30,000, the violent crime rate is less than one per 1,000 people and has been that for three years.

The property crime rate is at eight per 1,000, and that is still pretty low.

Its overall crime rate is 66 percent below the national average. 

It has a lot of charm itself, and a lot of amenities, and is close enough to all the cool things in St. Louis.

Battlefield, Missouri
Battlefield, Missouri


Battlefield is near the southwest corner and the only town on our list not in Kansas City or St. Louis.

It is a rural town of almost 7,000 and has a median income of $61,000.

Its violent crime rate has risen to 1.2 per 1,000 in 2022, which is a big increase even at a low number.

There were no violent crimes in 2021, much less than one per 1,000 in 2020.

Property crime was also low, at about six per 1,000, which is also below the national average. 

It is a short distance from Springfield, one of the state’s larger cities.

Savannah, Missouri
Savannah, Missouri


Savannah is a small town of 5,000, north of St. Joseph, and 60 miles from Kansas City.

It is a rural farming town, but close enough to the city to enjoy the amenities without crime issues.

Savannah has had a one in 1,000 violent crime rate for the last three years.

Its property crime rate has been going down.

So far, in 2022 it is at 7.3 per 1,000 and was at 11 per 1,000 in 2020.

The city is safer than 75 percent of cities in the nation.

Savannah is also unique in that it has one police officer per 1,000 residents, well below the state average of 3.7.

Maryville, Missouri
Maryville, Missouri


Maryville is one of the most rural towns on our list, about an hour north of Kansas City, and just 10 miles from the Nebraska state line.

Maryville has 12.000 residents, with a relatively low median income of $34,000.

The cost of living is slightly below the national average.

The violent crime rate is less than one per 1,000 residents and has remained steady for the last four years.

Property crime has also been fairly consistent at about 11 per 1,000 people.

Maryville has an overall crime rate of 15 per 1,000 people.

Platte City, Missouri
Platte City, Missouri

Platte City

Platte City is an older town, just north enough of Kansas City to be called a suburb.

It is a bit unusual that it is so safe and near a major international airport.

It has a violent crime rate of just less than once per 1,000 people, and it has held steady for the last three years.

The property crime rate has been going down some.

So far, in 2022, it is at 9.6 per 1,000, and in 2021 it was at 11.6 per 1,000.

It has a population of 5,000 and is surrounded by larger cities, including Kansas City.

Its median income is above the state average at $53,000.

Nixa, Missouri
Nixa, Missouri


Nixa is just to the south of Springfield in the southwest corner, near the Arkansas state line.

It has a population of 23,000 and a median income of $53,000.

Nixa has a violent crime rate that is just under one per 1,000 people, and that has been steady for three years.

Its property crime rate has been going down.

It was at 9.6 per 1,000 in 2022, and just above 10 per 1,000 the previous two years. 

Its overall crime rate has been 12 to 1,000 in the past few years.

5 Safety Tips for Traveling in Missouri

Do not get too relaxed.

Most small towns are safe, but you should still be vigilant about locking your car and avoiding bad-looking areas.

While there is not as much crime in small towns, there is still some, and there are people looking for an opportunity. 

Do not look like a tourist.

Criminals prey on people who may not know the area, so it’s important to look like a local person.

Avoid carrying around maps, use your phone.

Act like you know where you are going whether you do or not.

Avoid showing your cash. 

Check out your car every morning before heading out.

Check the tire pressure, look for leaks or anything that seems unusual.

It takes just a few minutes, but a little preventative care can help you avoid major problems out on the road.

Keep in touch.

Make sure there is someone who knows where you are at all times, and when you plan to return. 

This added safety measure can alert someone that you may be in trouble if you cannot be contacted. 

Watch your wallet.

It is a good idea to wear a money belt.

Do not let anyone see your cash or where you keep it.

Avoid cash if you can and use a credit or debit card instead. Keep your cards safe as well.

Missouri Safety Overview

READ THE FULL REPORT: Missouri Safety Review

Safety Index:

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the most dangerous cities in Missouri?

Surprisingly enough, the biggest cities are not the most dangerous.

Springfield, not small at 170,000 people, is considered the most dangerous.

Springfield has the third-highest population and is third in overall crime and in murders.

St. Louis leads the nation in murders per capita.

What are some things that contribute to a lower crime rate?

Higher median incomes and lowering the level of poverty reduce crime.

A sense of community can also help.

There is debate as to whether a strong police presence helps.

There are also normally higher levels of security in more well-off areas.

How has technology changed crime?

People are carrying less cash and doing more business electronically.

There is less street crime because criminals know people are likely not to carry cash.

Credit cards have become harder for criminals to use, and that has all but eliminated pickpockets.

3 Comments on 10 Safest Cities in Missouri

  1. E
    Emmanuel Parker says:

    Safety is a top priority, and I’m glad to see a list of the safest cities in Missouri. It’s essential information for anyone considering a move or a visit.

  2. J
    Jeremias Newman says:

    These cities prove that safety and a high quality of life can coexist, making them attractive places to live.

  3. J
    Johanna Norman says:

    I’ve lived in one of these cities, and it’s not just about low crime rates. It’s about the sense of community and security that residents enjoy.

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