These Are The 10 Safest Cities In Montana

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

  1. Livingston
  2. Sidney
  3. Lewistown
  4. Bozeman
  5. Laurel
  6. Miles City
  7. Belgrade
  8. Glendive
  9. Whitefish
  10. Missoula

Read on below to see how we crunched the numbers and how your town ranked.

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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 (2014). 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 three criteria:

  • Violent crimes per capita (murders, assaults, rapes, armed robberies)
  • Property crimes per capita (thefts, burglaries, motor vehicle thefts)
  • Total crimes per capita
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For example, there were a total of 13 crimes committed in Livingston which had a reported population of 7,164. That means the number of crimes per capita is 0.00181 which translates into a 1 in 551 chance of being the victim of a crime.

We only looked at cities that have populations of more than 5,000 people reported to the FBI in 2014. This left us with a total of 15 places in Montana to rank.

We ranked each place for each criteria from 1 to 15 where 1 in any particular category is the safest.

Next, we averaged each places three 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 Livingston. The most dangerous? Billings, where residents had a 1 in 1451 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. Livingston

Livingston - Safest Places In Montana
Source: Wikipedia

Population: 7,164
Property Crime Rank: 9
Violent Crime Rank: 4

2. Sidney

Sidney - Safest Places In Montana
Source: Wikipedia

Population: 6,540
Property Crime Rank: 14
Violent Crime Rank: 17

3. Lewistown

Lewistown - Safest Places In Montana
Source: Wikipedia

Population: 5,900
Property Crime Rank: 13
Violent Crime Rank: 35

4. Bozeman

Bozeman - Safest Places In Montana
Source: Wikipedia

Population: 40,525
Property Crime Rank: 29
Violent Crime Rank: 16

5. Laurel

Laurel - Safest Places In Montana
Source: Wikipedia

Population: 7,113
Property Crime Rank: 21
Violent Crime Rank: 34

6. Miles City

Miles City - Safest Places In Montana
Source: Wikipedia

Population: 8,707
Property Crime Rank: 26
Violent Crime Rank: 26

7. Belgrade

Belgrade - Safest Places In Montana
Source: Wikipedia

Population: 7,677
Property Crime Rank: 30
Violent Crime Rank: 24

8. Glendive

Glendive - Safest Places In Montana
Source: Wikipedia

Population: 5,479
Property Crime Rank: 32
Violent Crime Rank: 20

9. Whitefish

Whitefish - Safest Places In Montana
Source: Wikipedia

Population: 6,725
Property Crime Rank: 34
Violent Crime Rank: 29

10. Missoula

Missoula - Safest Places In Montana
Source: Wikipedia

Population: 69,674
Property Crime Rank: 40
Violent Crime Rank: 30

There You Have It

Looking at the data, you can tell that anything within a 15-minute drive of Livingston is the most desirable, according to science and data. But as most Montana residents would agree, almost every place here is awesome.

Most dangerous cities in Montana:
3rd Most Dangerous: Havre
2nd Most Dangerous: Helena
Most Dangerous: Billings

Detailed List Of The Safest Places To Live In Montana

CityRankPopulationProperty Crime RankViolent Crime Rank
Miles City68,7072626
Great Falls1159,5014228

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