10 Most Dangerous Cities in Missouri 2023

Missouri, known for its diverse culture and rich history, is also home to cities grappling with high crime rates. This article delves into the ten most dangerous cities in Missouri, highlighting key crime statistics and factors contributing to their rankings.

1. Springfield

  • Population: 168,856
  • Key Issues: High violent crime rate (2,545 incidents in 2020), with a 1 in 8 chance of becoming a victim of crime. Ranked as the 5th most dangerous city in the U.S. by Safewise in 2021.

2. St. Louis

  • Population: 301,578
  • Key Issues: High murder rate (0.87 per 1,000), with 6,017 violent crimes in 2020. Notably infamous globally, it ranked 7th on the World Atlas list of most dangerous cities.

3. Joplin

  • Population: 50,935
  • Key Issues: Increased violent crimes in 2020, reaching the highest point since 2010. A significant rise in murder rates, with nine murders in 2020, the highest ever for the city.

4. Kennett

  • Population: 10,005
  • Key Issues: Despite its small size, Kennett experiences a high crime rate with 125.14 crimes per 1,000 residents. A surge in violent crimes, notably aggravated assaults.

5. Kansas City

  • Population: 499,335
  • Key Issues: Second-highest murder rate in Missouri with 176 murders in 2020. Includes North Kansas City in its statistics, contributing to a high overall crime rate.

6. Rolla

  • Population: 20,522
  • Key Issues: Rise in property and violent crimes, with 116 violent crimes in 2020, the second-highest in city history. Aggravated assaults significantly contribute to the crime rate.

7. Union

  • Population: 12,195
  • Key Issues: Elevated levels of simple assault, destruction of property, and theft cases. Violent and property crimes have been on the rise, with 50 violent crimes in 2020.

8. St. Joseph

  • Population: 74,680
  • Key Issues: High total crime rate with 8,002 total crimes in 2020. Persistent property crimes and a general upward trend in violent crime since the mid-1990s.

9. Carthage

  • Population: 14,784
  • Key Issues: High rate of drug-related offenses and an above-average level of property and violent crimes.

10. Bellefontaine Neighbors

  • Population: 10,356
  • Key Issues: High crime rate with 1,021 total crimes in 2020. Notable increase in violent offenses, especially aggravated assaults.

Statewide Crime Trends

Missouri has experienced a decline in property crime offenses but an increase in violent crimes, with the homicide rate reaching its highest in 2020 since 1997. The state’s crime rates have been consistently higher than the national average since the late 1990s.


While Missouri faces challenges with crime in certain areas, it remains a state rich in culture and opportunities. It’s important to be aware of safety measures and local resources to protect against crime. Despite the high crime rates in some cities, many areas in Missouri offer a safe and inviting environment for families and individuals

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