Discover Montana’s 13 Safest Cities and Towns

Beneath Big Country Sky’s rugged terrain and vast open spaces, lies a cluster of cities and towns that offer more than just scenic beauty.

These places boast a sense of security and tranquility, making them some of the safest havens in the state.

Today, we’ll delve into the impressive safety records of Montana’s safest cities and towns, where crime rates are low and peace of mind is the ultimate currency.

Whether you seek to immerse yourself in breathtaking nature or a charming small-town atmosphere, these locales in The Treasure State will leave you feeling secure and content.

Are you ready to explore hidden gems where safety reigns supreme? It’s time to make your move, with peace of mind leading the way.

Montana’s Safest Cities and Towns (In No Particular Order)

A woman is jumping on top of a mountain

From scenic and enchanting Whitefish to quaint and charming Columbia Falls, Montana has a wide variety of communities that offer both tranquility and security. 

Let’s find out why these areas are designated as safe locations.

1. Whitefish

A building in Whitefish, Montana

Whitefish, Montana is a charming city nestled next to Glacier National Park in the picturesque northern Rocky Mountains.

It is considered by many a safe haven for those seeking natural beauty and tranquility.

With a population of around 8,972 residents as of 2023, Whitefish enjoys a tight-knit community where safety is a top priority.

Crime statistics showcase the town’s commitment to security, with impressively low rates of both violent and property crimes.

In 2023, Whitefish recorded a violent crime rate of only 1.7, which is significantly lower than the national average of 4.7.

Likewise, the property crime rate stands at 11.1, well below the national average of 19.3.

When it comes to the cost of living, the real estate market in the area reflects its desirability as a safe place to call home.

A home in a secure ZIP code can come at a price of nearly $400,000, highlighting the value placed on safety and quality of life.

2. Deer Lodge

A brick building in Deer Lodge, Montana

If you’re one of the fortunate residents of Deer Lodge, you already know that this charming town has so much to offer.

The unemployment rate here is practically non-existent, making it an ideal place to build a fulfilling life.

And when it comes to safety, it takes the spotlight as one of the safest cities in Montana.

Proudly boasting one of the lowest property crime rates in the state, Deer Lodge ensures that its residents can rest easy, knowing that their homes and belongings are well-protected.

With a population of 2,772 in 2023, this enchanting place truly fosters a positive community atmosphere.

One of the many perks of living in Deer Lodge is the affordability of housing. With a median home price of just $113,400, you can find a cozy and secure abode without breaking the bank.

In terms of crime rates, the place continues to shine.

As of 2023, the violent crime rate stands at 4.0, which is considerably lower than the national average.

Similarly, the property crime rate in Deer Lodge is an impressive 5.8, way below the national average.

This means that locals can fully embrace the tranquility of their surroundings without worrying about property-related issues.

To top it all off, the locale’s median income is $40,515, allowing residents to meet their financial needs and enjoy the wide variety of recreational activities this delightful town has on offer. 

3. Bozeman

An aerial view of a city with buildings

Bozeman, a vibrant city situated close to Yellowstone National Park, has become a haven for entrepreneurs seeking a different pace of life.

Tech companies migrating from the hustle and bustle of Silicon Valley are drawn to Bozeman’s alluring charm and lower living costs.

As of 2023, the population stands at 52,586, and the city is abuzz with youthful energy.

This is partly attributed to the presence of Montana State University and its student population of 15,000.

For outdoor enthusiasts, Bozeman offers an array of natural wonders, including the nearby Gallatin River.

It’s no wonder that this picturesque location served as the backdrop for the iconic film A River Runs Through It

When it comes to crime rates, this progressive city maintains its commitment to safety.

As of 2023, the violent crime rate in Bozeman is a reassuringly low 3.3, ensuring a sense of security for residents and visitors alike.

Additionally, its property crime rate stands at 12.7, demonstrating a strong commitment to safeguarding homes and personal belongings.

With a median income of $67,354, the locale offers a prosperous environment for its residents.

Coupled with its thriving entrepreneurial spirit and abundant opportunities for outdoor exploration, this city has rightfully earned its place among Montana’s biggest cities.

4. Columbia Falls

A grassy area with benches and a water slide

If fluffy snow is your thing, this is the perfect place for you.

Montana’s charming city of Columbia Falls is blessed with an average of 57 inches of snow each year, creating a winter wonderland that will leave you in awe.

With a population of 6,385 as of 2023, it maintains its small-town charm while offering a wide range of outdoor activities for adventure enthusiasts.

The pleasant climate of the location adds to its allure.

With temperatures rarely exceeding 80°F, it provides an ideal setting for activities like hiking, snowmobiling, skiing, biking, and fishing. 

What makes Columbia Falls even more enticing is its relative affordability.

Its median home price falls just below $200,000, offering you an opportunity to own a piece of real estate without necessarily breaking the bank.

Additionally, the city shines bright when it comes to safety.

With a violent crime rate of 3.0 as of 2023, Columbia Falls makes its residents feel at ease knowing that their well-being is prioritized.

Additionally, the property crime rate stands at 13.9, further solidifying the commitment to maintaining a secure environment for everyone.

These qualities, combined with a median income of $56,860, mean the city not only offers safety but also good economic opportunities.

5. Lewistown

A grassy field with clouds in the sky

Lewistown, a quaint city nestled in the heart of Montana, is a hidden gem.

With approximately 5,882 residents, this relatively remote place offers a respite from the hustle and bustle of larger cities.

One of the key draws of Lewistown is its low crime rate, making it one of the safest cities in Montana. It boasts a crime rate that is notably 57% lower than the state average.

In 2023, there were only 4.9 violent crimes for every 1,000 people in the city, a reassuring statistic for its residents. 

Lewiston’s property crime rate also saw a notable decrease, dropping to 4.9 per 1,000 people from 7.4 in 2022. 

The city also stands out for its affordable cost of living.

With the cost of living sitting 13% below the state average, residents can enjoy a comfortable lifestyle without depleting their finances.

6. Glendive

Makoshika State Park in Glendive, Montana

Glendive, a serene city of around 5,000 residents, nestled by the Yellowstone River near the North Dakota border, offers a peaceful escape from urban life’s hustle and bustle.

One of its remarkable features is its minimal crime rate.

With only 6 property crimes per 1,000 people, Glendive offers a sense of security that is hard to find elsewhere.

Although this number dropped to 2.8 in 2021, an average of around 6 is typical for the locale.

Glendive’s overall crime rate is a staggering 70% lower than the national average, truly making it one of Montana’s safest cities. 

7. Dillon

An old building with cars parked in front of it

Located in the southwestern part of the state and surrounded by the magnificent Rocky Mountains, this city invites travelers with its tranquil beauty and friendly community of about 4,400 residents.

Dillon’s violent crime rate has shown some fluctuations recently, but it remains impressively low, hovering about 40% below the national average.

Additionally, it is a place where you can truly find peace of mind, as its property crime rate stands at only 2.3 incidents per 1,000 people in 2022 – a significant drop from 6.1 in 2020.

Dillion’s overall crime rate is an astonishing 69% lower than the national average, a stat that its residents take a lot of comfort in.

And that’s not all. One of the city’s many appeals is its affordable cost of living, which is lower than both the national and state averages.

As you settle into this idyllic locale, you’ll be pleased to discover the exceptional school system, where education is held in high regard.

For those seeking quality education, Dillon boasts opportunities for academic growth and exploration.

8. Baker

A small town with street sign

This is another quaint Montana city known for its safety record.

Baker is known for its low total crime rate of 5 per 1,000 people, much to the delight and peace of mind of its 1,807 residents as of 2021.

This is broken down into a violent crime rate of 1 per 1,000 people and a property crime rate of 4 per 1,000 people.

Crime rates falling below state and national averages combined with the city’s family-oriented attractions make it an ideal place to establish a residence. 

While no city can be entirely free of crime, this tight-knit locale sets itself apart as a secure local to work and raise a family. 

Plus, violent crimes such as manslaughter, murder, aggravated assault, and rape are not as prevalent in Baker as they are in other cities across the United States.

9. Laurel

A white water tower next to a river

Laurel is a charming city nestled approximately 40 miles southwest of Billings.

It’s another hidden gem that boasts a reputation for safety.

The city offers a sense of security to its approximately 7,000 residents that is difficult to find elsewhere.

Laurel’s overall crime rate aligns closely with the national average, but its violent crime rate is a noteworthy 32% lower than the norm.

Residents can rest easy, knowing that the city prioritizes the safety and well-being of its residents.

Now, let’s dive into its property crime rate.

Although slightly higher than the national average, it still manages to maintain a level of security that provides peace of mind. 

Aside from safety, Laurel offers a range of enticing benefits.

The cost of living is reasonable, making it an attractive option for those looking to settle down. 

Additionally, the city provides ample amenities and utilities, ensuring that residents’ day-to-day needs are met.

However, it’s worth mentioning that Laurel does face some challenges in terms of employment and housing.

While the town may not excel in these areas, the overall package of safety, cost of living, and amenities still make it an enticing place to call home.

10. Belgrade

A brick building on the side of a street in Belgrade, Montana

Belgrade, near the southern part of Montana close to Bozeman, boasts a population of around 11,000.

When it comes to crime, its overall rate hovers slightly above the national average.

However, there is a silver lining – Belgrade’s violent crime rate is remarkably 21% below both the state and national averages, ensuring a greater sense of safety for its residents.

On the other hand, Belgrade does face a challenge with property crimes, as its rate is 15% higher than the national average.

Despite this, the city manages to strike a balance, offering a wide variety of amenities and great schools for its residents to enjoy.

However, it is important to note that Belgrade falls behind in terms of employment and housing opportunities, which might present a challenge for some.

Despite these challenges, the city remains an appealing destination for those seeking small-town getaways that rank high on the safety scale.

11. Libby

A suspension bridge over a river

Libby is a secure community nestled beneath the majestic Cabinet and Purcell mountains.

It basically provides a picturesque backdrop for your daily life.

Imagine enjoying picnics by the clear waters of the Kootenai River, surrounded by nature’s splendor.

The place stands out for its affordability.

With a median home price of just over $100,000, you can have a piece of this idyllic city without draining your bank account.

Additionally, its population of 2,663 ensures a close-knit community where neighbors quickly become friends.

While every place gets its fair share of crime, the violent crime rate in Libby stands at 111.2 incidents per capita, which is lower than the national average.

Nonviolent crimes per capita, such as property and larceny, are at 2,742.8, making this city a relatively secure place to call home.

12. Colstrip

A large power plant emitting smoke

Colstrip, a small town nestled in Rosebud County, caught the attention of Sports Illustrated.

In its 50th-anniversary edition, the magazine named this charming town as Montana’s top sports town.

And it’s easy to see why. Colstrip offers a diverse range of sports activities, catering to every sports enthusiast’s passion.

With a population of around 2,446, the town may be small, but it’s big on community spirit.

The town’s primary industries revolve around electricity production and coal mining, which provide a strong economic foundation for its residents.

When it comes to safety, the town holds its own.

Colstrip’s violent crime rate stands at 172.1 incidents per capita, which is lower than the national average.

Nonviolent crimes per capita, such as property and larceny, are at 387.3, another low figure that reinforces this town’s secure and tight-knit status.

In addition, the town’s cost of living is 25% lower than the typical nationwide level.

This makes Colstrip a great place to call home for those seeking an affordable lifestyle.

13. Miles City

Mountain view in Miles City, Montana

Miles City is nestled at the meeting point of the majestic Yellowstone and Tongue rivers.

Locals call it a cowboy town, known for its extensive badlands and picturesque prairies.

But there’s more to this town than its cowboy reputation.

Miles City offers a delightful array of attractions, from museums that tell the tales of its rich history to wineries that entice the senses. 

It’s not a slacker when it comes to safety, confidently taking the stage as one of the safest Montana towns to reside in.

Miles City has a violent crime rate of 200.1 incidents per capita, which its 8,576 residents are happy about.

Furthermore, its nonviolent crimes, such as property and larceny, stand at 1,553.7 incidents per capita. 

Whether you’re captivated by rugged landscapes, intrigued by captivating museums, or simply in search of a safe and welcoming community, look no further than Miles City. 

Montana Travel Safety Tips

A striped dress and a medical mask on a table

Traveling to Montana can be an exhilarating and memorable experience.

That said, it’s important to prioritize safety to ensure a smooth and enjoyable adventure.

Here are some essential safety tips to keep in mind when visiting the Treasure State:

  1. Blend In – Avoid looking like a tourist by not carrying big maps, displaying electronics, or showing cash. Try to appear like a local and act confidently, even if you’re unsure of your location.
  2. Be Mindful of Remote Areas – Montana’s beauty comes with remote spots. Phone signals might be weak or absent, and gas stations could be far away. Stay aware of your surroundings, especially when driving.
  3. Lock Up Your Belongings – While Montana is generally safe, property theft is the most common crime. Lock up your belongings, as thieves often target unprotected items. A simple lock can deter them.
  4. Inform Family – Always share your plans with someone before heading out. In remote areas, you might not encounter others for days. Let someone know your itinerary and expected return time.
  5. Stay Hydrated – The dry air can lead to dehydration without you realizing it. Carry water with you, both in your car and while exploring. Drink plenty of water and avoid dehydrating substances like caffeine and alcohol.

It also pays to be aware of dangerous places in Montana. It would be best to avoid these locations especially when travelling alone.

By following these safety tips, you can fully enjoy the wonders of Montana while keeping yourself protected.

Montana’s Safest Cities and Towns Final Thoughts

Aerial campus view with buildings and trees

When it comes to prioritizing safety on your journey to or within Montana, it’s essential to consider the cities and towns with strong safety records.

Among these locales, you’ll find Whitefish, Bozeman, Deer Lodge, and Columbia Falls. These places not only prioritize safety but also offer stunning landscapes and abundant outdoor activities.

That said, it’s important to remember that risks can exist anywhere, even in the safest places.

Montana, like any other state, has its share of property crime rates and violent crime rates.

Before you set off on your Montana adventure, familiarize yourself with the state’s crime statistics and implications for safety.

Take precautions, such as locking up your belongings and blending in with the locals to avoid drawing unnecessary attention.

Ultimately, being aware of your surroundings, following safety practices, and choosing Montana’s safe cities and towns can contribute to a secure and fulfilling experience in Big Country Sky. 

Montana’s Safest Cities and Towns FAQs

1. Is It Safe to Live in Montana?

Living in Montana can be safe, but it ultimately depends on where you choose to live.

Montana ranks 40th out of 50 states in terms of safety, so it’s important to consider various factors for personal safety, residential safety, and workplace safety before making a decision.

Some places like Bozeman, Whitefish, and Deer Lodge are known for their safety, so it’s crucial to research thoroughly and choose the right Montana location if safety is a concern for you.

2. What City in Montana is the Safest?

When it comes to safety, Whitefish stands out as the safest city in Montana.

In 2023, it reported a remarkably low violent crime rate of 1.7, which is significantly lower than the national average of 4.7.

Additionally, Whitefish boasts a property crime rate of 11.1, compared to the national average of 19.3. 

3. What Is the Most Common Crime in Montana?

The most common crime in Montana is property theft, which accounts for 84% of all crimes reported in the state.

4. What Is the Gun Violence Rate in Montana?

When it comes to gun violence, Montana has some concerning statistics.

With the 6th highest rate of gun homicides and gun assaults in the U.S., it’s clear that safety concerns exist.

However, it’s important to note that while 55% of all homicides in Montana involve a gun, this is lower than the national average of 75%. 

5. Is Montana a Red State?

Yes, Montana is predominantly a red state.

With a history of voting for Republican candidates in recent presidential elections, Montana has only supported 2 Democratic candidates since 1952. 

Discover more of Montana’s captivating world by exploring these compelling reads:

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Written by:

Elizabeth Hawley
Hey, fellow travelers! I'm Elizabeth Hawley, stepping into the world in the hues of fall. For me, Montana is more than just a state; it's a muse. The golden aspen trees and russet landscapes in the fall have always fueled my creativity. Co-founding was a no-brainer, blending my love for art, photography, and Montana's ever-changing palette.

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