These Are The 10 Safest Cities In Montana For 2018

We used data and science to determine the places in Montana where everyone sleeps safe and sound.

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We all want the finer things in life. Love, comfort and safety are at the top of everyone's list. For a lot of people who live in the fine state of Montana, safety isn't a problem, but we don't live in the safest state, either. Montana is somewhere in the middle.

The purpose of this post is to determine where the safest places to live are in the Treasure State. Those places where crime is usually something you hear about on Facebook, but not in your local paper.

After analyzing 30 places in Montana with a population of more than 5,000, we came up with this list as the safest places here:

  1. Colstrip
  2. East Helena
  3. Dillon
  4. Baker
  5. Glasgow
  6. Laurel (Photos)
  7. Columbia Falls
  8. Conrad
  9. Glendive (Photos)
  10. Miles City (Photos)

Read on below to see how we crunched the numbers and how your town ranked. Or for more reading on safe places to read, check out:

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How we calculated the safest cities in Montana

While there are surveys and public polls on what cities in a state are the safest, we didn't want to rely on speculation and opinion. Instead, we looked at the hard numbers from the FBI's most recent report of crime (Sept 2017). Specifically, we analyzed the FBI's Uniform Crime Report which summarizes the number of property crimes and violent crimes in each city per year. We used two criteria:

  • Violent crimes per capita (murders, assaults, rapes, armed robberies)
  • Property crimes per capita (thefts, burglaries, motor vehicle thefts)
These Are The 10 Safest Places In Montana

For example, there were a total of 15 crimes committed in Colstrip which had a reported population of 2,359. That means the number of crimes per capita is 0.00636 which translates into a 1 in 157 chance of being the victim of a crime.

We only looked at cities that have populations of more than 2,000 people reported to the FBI in 2016. This left us with a total of 30 places in Montana to rank.

We ranked each place for each criteria from 1 to 30 where 1 in any particular category is the safest.

Next, we averaged each places two criteria to create a Safety Index. We crowned the place with the lowest overall Safety Score "The Safest Place In Montana".

The safest city, based on population, is Colstrip. The most dangerous? Polson, where residents had a 1 in 13 chance of being the victim of a crime.

Note: This report is not an analysis of the effectiveness of local police departments, nor does it reflect the fact that people from out of town may come into a community and cause a crime. It simply looks at where crimes occurred most frequently, based on a city's population.

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1. Colstrip

Colstrip, Montana
Source: Wikipedia

Population: 2,359
Rank Last Year: 2 (Up 1)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 84 (2nd safest)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 551 (1st safest)

Taking the crown as the safest city in Montana for 2018 is Colstrip -- a classic example of everything that makes Montana great.

We are talking about only having a 1 in 181.5 chance of being the victim of a property crime and a 1 in 1,179 chance of being the victim of violent crime.

That's crazy safe. Compare it to Little Rock, AR -- the most dangerous city in the country -- with roughly a 1 in 30 chance of beign the victim of a property crime.

These Are The 10 Snobbiest Places In Montana

2. East Helena

East Helena, Montana
Source: Wikipedia

Population: 2,065
Rank Last Year: 1 (Down 1)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 96 (3rd safest)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 871 (4th safest)

If you're thinking of moving to Montana and safety is a top priority, then you can't do much better than East Helena -- the 2nd safest in the Treasure State.

East Helena is the kind of place that old timers talk about longingly -- where kids can run around during the day without adult supervision and you can leave your front door unlocked.

You only had a 1 in 114.7 chance of being the victim of a property crime in East Helena.

3. Dillon

Dillon, Montana
Source: Wikipedia

Population: 4,224
Rank Last Year: 3 (No Change)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 71 (1st safest)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 923 (6th safest)

You might not post on Facebook that much, but now's a time to change that. Be proud that Dillon ranks as the 3rd safest city in Montana.

Go on. With all the negativity on Facebook all the time now, this is great news for Dillon.

We'll wait here safe and sound.

4. Baker

Population: 2,063
Rank Last Year: -
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 145 (6th safest)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 581 (2nd safest)

You might be surprised to find Baker this high on the list, but, trust us, no one in Baker is surpised.

This gem of a place in the Treasure State boasts the 2nd best property crime rate and 6th best violent crime rate for 2018.

5. Glasgow

Glasgow, Montana
Source: Wikipedia

Population: 3,442
Rank Last Year: 4 (Down 1)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 174 (7th safest)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 668 (3rd safest)

Finishing just inside the top five is Glasgow, MT.

You get what you pay for in Glasgow -- super low crime rates. A 1 in 573 chance of being the victim of violent crime gives Glasgow residents a well earned feeling of safety.

We'd move to Glasgow in heartbeat.

6. Laurel

Laurel, Montana
Source: Wikipedia

Population: 6,986
Rank Last Year: 8 (Up 2)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 143 (5th safest)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 2,104 (12th safest)

Everyone is trying to get in on the quality of life in Laurel, the 6th safest city in Montana.

The town of some 6,986 people will have to try and continue to try and keep Laurel a secret, lest crime starts going up simply because of people breaking down the doors to get into town.

See what we did there Laurel?

7. Columbia Falls

Columbia Falls, Montana
Source: Wikipedia

Population: 5,175
Rank Last Year: 10 (Up 3)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 115 (4th safest)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 2,280 (14th safest)

Columbia Falls is a feel good story of safety and comfort in Montana.

It has 1 in 43.9 chance of being the victim of a property crime and a 1 in 862 chance of being the victim of violent crime.

That's some of the tops you'll find across the country -- nevermind just in Montana.

8. Conrad

Conrad, Montana
Source: Wikipedia

Population: 2,594
Rank Last Year: 7 (Down 1)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 231 (12th safest)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 1,233 (7th safest)

The eighth safest city in Montana for 2018 goes to Conrad. Let's see why.

There were only 6 violent crimes here last year -- which is basically 0 for the average citizen. And there were only 32 property crimes to boot.

9. Glendive

Glendive, Montana
Source: Wikipedia

Population: 5,608
Rank Last Year: 15 (Up 6)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 178 (8th safest)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 1,925 (11th safest)

If you're looking for a safe place to live in Montana, may we present Glendive as an option.

While it doesn't sit at the very top of the chart for Montana, it still has an impressively low crime rate.

108 property crimes occurred here, which nets out to being the 11th best in Montana on a rate basis.

10. Miles City

Miles City, Montana
Source: Wikipedia

Population: 8,878
Rank Last Year: 6 (Down 4)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 202 (10th safest)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 1,881 (10th safest)

And just making it into the top ten for 2018 is Miles City.

But we know they don't take this spot for granted -- Miles City residents can attest that their home town deserves to be the on list.

In total, there were 18 violent crimes and 167 property crimes in Miles City; that's really good for a place of 8,878 people and definitely something to be happy about looking forward into 2018.

There You Have It - The Safest In Montana

Looking at the data, you can tell that Colstrip is as safe as they come, according to science and data.

But as most Montana residents would agree, almost every place here has its safe and not safe parts. So just make sure you're informed ahead of time.

Most dangerous cities in Montana:
3rd Most Dangerous: Kalispell
2nd Most Dangerous: Missoula
Most Dangerous: Polson

Detailed List Of The Safest Cities To Live In Montana For 2018

City Rank Previous Rank Population Violent Crimes Per Capita Property Crimes Per Capita
Colstrip122,35984551
East Helena212,06596871
Dillon334,22471923
Baker4 -
Glasgow543,442174668
Laurel686,9861432,104
Columbia Falls7105,1751152,280
Conrad872,5942311,233
Glendive9155,6081781,925
Miles City1068,8782021,881
Columbus1152,072386916
Whitefish12117,2261932,615
Red Lodge1392,2424011,739
Belgrade14128,1462942,406
Livingston15187,3642303,449
Sidney16147,1904032,127
Lewistown17195,8636991,296
Bozeman181344,7393302,805
Libby19172,6463023,741
Great Falls202059,7172714,929
Hamilton21244,6593643,927
Wolf Point22222,9017232,447
Helena232931,0526533,874
Cut Bank24163,0237932,646
Billings2525111,4474614,680
Havre26289,8966773,910
Deer Lodge27212,9386124,118
Kalispell282322,4704045,732
Missoula292671,8605245,233
Polson30274,7448226,913

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