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Missouri’s 10 Most Dangerous Cities in 2024: Crime Rates Soar Despite National Average

Violent and property crime on the rise, urging residents to stay vigilant and take precautions.


In a recent study analyzing crime rates across the state, Missouri has emerged as a hotspot for safety concerns, with several cities ranking among the most dangerous in the nation. The compilation, based on the FBI’s crime report for 2020, sheds light on the alarming increase in both violent and property crimes, impacting the lives of many Missourians.

Missouri's 10 Most Dangerous Cities in 2024: Crime Rates Soar Despite National Average
Missouri’s 10 Most Dangerous Cities in 2024: Crime Rates Soar Despite National Average
  1. St. Louis: The Gateway Arch City Grapples with Crime


St. Louis takes the lead as the most dangerous city in Missouri, reporting 6,017 incidents of violent crimes, including rape, murder, robbery, and assault in 2020. With the second-highest murder rate in the state, St. Louis residents face a challenging environment, as exemplified by the 3,221 reported auto thefts and 17,399 property crimes. The city’s infamous history, including the “St. Louis Exorcism” case, adds to its troubled reputation.


  1. Springfield: A Persistent Challenge for Safety


For the third consecutive year, Springfield ranks as the second most dangerous city in Missouri. Despite not holding the top spot in either violent or property crime, its consistent fifth-place ranking in both categories places it high on the list. Springfield’s residents had a 1 in 14 chance of falling victim to property crimes in 2020, underlining the need for increased vigilance.


  1. Nevada: Unexpected Crime Challenges in a Small Town


Surprising to some, Nevada, Missouri, emerges as a significant concern, with a population of 8,246 experiencing notable violent crime rates. Despite its smaller size, the town saw 149 aggravated assaults and 9 sexual assaults in 2020, prompting residents and visitors alike to be cautious.


  1. Kennett: A Town Struggling with Burglaries


Kennett, nestled near the Arkansas border, grapples with the highest rate of burglaries in the state. With a population of 10,005, the town witnesses an alarming number of violent crimes, including 12 sexual assaults, raising concerns about safety.


  1. Branson: Tourist Hub Faces Property Crime Challenges


Known as the Live Entertainment Capital of the World, Branson’s popularity as a tourist destination contributes to its high property crime rate. With the highest overall crime rate in the state, residents and visitors alike are urged to exercise caution, especially after enjoying the city’s renowned shows.


  1. Vinita Park: A Small City with Significant Safety Concerns


Despite its small size, Vinita Park, located just outside St. Louis, records the highest murder rate in the state. With 14 murders in 2020, the city also faces challenges with burglary rates, ranking as the 14th highest in Missouri.


  1. Bridgeton: A Suburb Struggling with Larceny


Bridgeton, on the outskirts of St. Louis, holds the seventh spot on the list, with a high rate of larceny contributing to its overall crime rate. The town, once a bustling suburb, now grapples with property crimes, with 811 reported incidents over the year.


  1. Joplin: Property Crime Concerns in the Southwest


Joplin, situated in southwestern Missouri, faces substantial property crime issues, ranking as the fifth highest in the state. While it is the least violent city on the list, residents are advised to remain vigilant, especially regarding the 11th highest rate of rape cases in Missouri.


  1. Kansas City: Balancing Sporting Success and Crime Challenges


Missouri’s largest city, Kansas City, battles the fourth-highest murder rate, emphasizing the need for residents to stay alert. Despite having the lowest property crime rate on the list, the overall crime statistics present a concerning picture for the residents.


  1. Ferguson: Lingering Challenges in the Spotlight


Ferguson, known nationally for the 2014 unrest following the killing of Michael Brown, remains the 10th most dangerous city in Missouri. With property crime issues, including a high rate of car thefts, robberies, and burglaries, the community grapples with challenges that have yet to be fully addressed.


Safety Guidelines for Residents and Visitors:


  1. Avoid Emotionally Charged Environments: Stay away from large gatherings that may turn hostile, especially in larger cities like St. Louis and Kansas City.


  1. Avoid Secluded Areas at Night: Stick to well-lit and populated areas when out at night, avoiding dark alleys and secluded spots.


  1. Never Leave Your Drink Unattended: Especially for solo female travelers, always watch your drink and be cautious about accepting drinks from strangers.


  1. Keep Friends and Family Updated: Inform your loved ones about your whereabouts and daily itinerary when traveling to unfamiliar places, providing them peace of mind.


  1. Be Aware of Public Wi-Fi: Use caution when using public Wi-Fi, considering the potential security risks. Set up a virtual private network (VPN) for added protection when accessing confidential information.


As Missouri residents and visitors navigate these safety concerns, these guidelines aim to promote awareness and vigilance in the face of rising crime rates. Stay informed, stay safe.


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