Montana’s 5 Safest Cities of 2022

SW safest cities Montana badge

The SafeWise Team is pleased to release the eighth annual Safest Cities report.

Here are the 5 Safest Cities in Montana for 2022

See if your city made the full list.

Montana is the fourth-least concerned state in the US, with 31% of residents concerned about safety daily (US 47%). This is surprising since Montana sees above-average crime rates for both violent and property crime.

Montana saw the eighth-highest violent-crime increase in the nation, but among its safest cities, violent crimes fell below state, regional, and US rates.

In this report

2022 Montana crime rates

Montana experienced a sharp rise in violent crimes compared to last year with the violent crime rate jumping from 4.2 per 1,000 people to 4.7. In contrast, the property crime rate saw a slight drop from 22.4 per 1,000 to 21.2. This is still higher than the national average of 19.6.

Bar chart of violent and property crime rates per 1,000 people where the national average is 4.0 violent crimes per 1,000 people and 19.6 property crimes per 1,000 people.

Image: SafeWise

Level of concern and experience with crime in Montana

State of Safety survey respondents in Montana worried more frequently about their safety this reporting year (31%) than the last year (28%)—still sitting well below the national average (47%). Experiences with violent crime (9%) and gun violence (8%) have grown since last year, but those surveyed showed the most concern about package theft (31%).

Pictogram showing the percentage of state residents that are concerned about their safety on a daily basis, as well as which type of crime they are concerned about the most, and which crimes they have experienced within the past 12 months. Crimes include violent crime, property crime, package theft and gun violence.

Image: SafeWise. Past 12 months=12 months prior to survey.

Crime concerns in Montana

We asked Montana residents which crimes they worry may happen to them. See if Montana residents are concerned about the same crime issues as the rest of the country.

Bar chart showing percentages of how concerned state residents are about crime compared to the national averages for violent crime, property crime, package theft and gun violence.

Image: SafeWise

View the complete 2022 State of Safety report.

Violent crime in Montana: Fear vs. reality

Despite increasing violent crime, 31% of Montana residents feel safe in their state. Those living in The Big Sky Country also appear to have considerably lower concern for gun violence.

  • 66% of Montanans reported feeling safe in their state compared to 55% of Americans.
  • 9% of people in Montana reported having a personal experience with violent crime in the last 12 months prior to the survey—up from 8% the last year.
  • 34% of survey respondents report using some form of personal protection—matching the US average.
  • 36% of Montana residents say their personal safety has been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, compared to 44% of Americans.

Attitudes about gun violence in Montana

  • 40% of those surveyed named gun violence their top safety concern (US 53%).
  • 21% of Montana residents are most worried about a gun violence incident happening to them (US 38%).
  • Montana has had 0 mass shootings in the past 3 years, which is incredibly rare.
Line graph of violent and property crime rates over the past three years in the state compared to national crime rates per 1,000 residents for violent crime, property crime, package theft and gun violence.

Image: SafeWise

Property crime in Montana: Fear vs. reality

Although Montana's property crime rate is higher than the national average, fewer residents told us they personally experienced property crime this reporting year.

Still, Montanans are more concerned about package theft and property crime happening to them than any type of violent crime. But Montana is less concerned about property crime than the nation as a whole.

  • Fewer Montana residents (16%) reported personal experiences with property crime this reporting year compared the year before (27%)—a decrease of 41%.
  • 15% of participants reported experiencing package theft in the 12 months prior to the survey, putting Montana well below the US average of 20%. This is one of the lowest rates in the country.
  • 49% of survey respondents use some form of property protection. This is below the 60% national average.
  • Even though Montana’s property crime rate (21.2 per 1,000) is higher than US rate (19.6), it’s lower than its regional average of 23.1 and it’s been declining every year.
  • Montana's top form of property protection this year was firearms, with 30% of survey respondents using them (higher than the 26% national average).
  • 24% of Montanans say the COVID-19 pandemic has affected the security of their property (US 29%).

A closer look at the safest cities in Montana

For the purposes of this report, the terms “dangerous” and “safest” refer explicitly to crime rates as calculated from FBI crime data—no other characterization of any community is implied or intended.

  • Every safest city’s violent crime rate is below state, regional, and US rates.
  • Glendive and Dillon maintained their top 2 spots from the year before.
  • Dillon is the only city to report 0 counts of rape.
  • Dillon’s property crime rate of 2.3 is 89% lower than Montana’s general property crime rate of 21.2.
  • There were only 2 reports of murder among the safest cities.
  • All of the safest cities reported 0 robberies.
  • All the safest cities have property crime rates well below the state, regional, and US rates.
Map of state with markers and labels highlighting the cities with the lowest crime rates.

Image: SafeWise

The 5 safest cities in Montana

VC=Violent crime
PC=Property crime

Glendive, Montana, map image
#1
Glendive
(
-0-
)
  • Circle Population
    Population
    4,908
  • Circle Dollar
    Median Income
    $49,141
  • Circle Gun
    VC Rate 2022, 2021, 2020
    1.2, 1.0, 2.1
  • Circle Property
    PC Rate 2022, 2021, 2020
    5.9, 2.8, 7.0
Dillon, Montana, map image
#2
Dillon
(
-0-
)
  • Circle Population
    Population
    4,318
  • Circle Dollar
    Median Income
    $32,833
  • Circle Gun
    VC Rate 2022, 2021, 2020
    3.0, 1.9, 3.7
  • Circle Property
    PC Rate 2022, 2021, 2020
    2.3, 3.0, 6.1
#3
Whitefish
(
New
)
  • Circle Population
    Population
    8,523
  • Circle Dollar
    Median Income
    $52,037
  • Circle Gun
    VC Rate 2022, 2021, 2020
    1.9, N/A, 1.2
  • Circle Property
    PC Rate 2022, 2021, 2020
    10.0, N/A, 16.7
#4
Miles City
(
+3
Up
)
  • Circle Population
    Population
    8,250
  • Circle Dollar
    Median Income
    $50,991
  • Circle Gun
    VC Rate 2022, 2021, 2020
    2.3, 2.6, 2.0
  • Circle Property
    PC Rate 2022, 2021, 2020
    13.0, 29.1, 18.7
#5
Lewistown
(
New
)
  • Circle Population
    Population
    5,772
  • Circle Dollar
    Median Income
    $38,575
  • Circle Gun
    VC Rate 2022, 2021, 2020
    3.6, N/A, 4.6
  • Circle Property
    PC Rate 2022, 2021, 2020
    7.4, N/A, 13.1

How we determined the safest cities

Learn how we identified the safest cities on our methodology page.

How to make a safe home anywhere

Whether your city made our list or not, we encourage everyone to be proactive about home security. One of the best ways to stop a burglary before it happens is to add a home security system.

Light Bulb
Get a home security system

Learn more about your home security options—and find out which companies we recommend for every budget and lifestyle in our roundup of the Best Home Security Systems.

Find security and safety resources in your area

Didn't find your city in the top 5?

We calculated crime rates for every city in the state that met our population threshold, based on the state’s median population. See how the remaining cities ranked in the list below.

NOTE: If you don’t see your city on the list, it means that it was below the population threshold or didn’t submit a complete crime report to the FBI in 2020.

2022 Rank
City
Population
2022 VC per 1,000Icon Tooltip  Dark
2022 PC per 1,000Icon Tooltip  Dark
2021 Rank
6Bozeman51,4603.113.5N/A
7Columbia Falls6,0233.014.13
8Laurel6,7322.722.18
9Belgrade9,7623.122.56
10Kalispell25,1253.123.810
11Glasgow3,3265.411.44
12Livingston7,8924.222.3N/A
13Hamilton4,9703.429.69
14Sidney6,2795.618.65
15Missoula76,4684.935.911
16Cut Bank3,0757.525.415
17Havre9,8207.130.5N/A
18Polson5,1157.032.112
19Helena33,6296.436.513
20Great Falls58,3454.651.414
21Billings110,1578.547.7N/A
Want to know more about crime and safety in your city or state?
Sign up for our weekly newsletter emails to get the latest news and tips to make your life safer.

By signing up, you agree to our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy.

Find the safest cities in each state

Click on the state image or dropdown menu below to check out the safest cities for each state.

Related articles on SafeWise


Sources

FBI: Crime Data Explorer, Accessed March 8, 2022.

US Census Bureau, "Data Explorer," Accessed January 24, 2022.

Best Places, “Find a Place Search Tool,” Accessed January 24, 2022.

SafeWise, “2021 State of Safety survey,” Accessed March 8, 2022.

Gun Violence Archive, “Past Summary Ledgers,” Accessed January 24, 2022.

Gun Violence Archive, “General Methodology,” Accessed March 8, 2022.

Melody Hicks, Ben Stickle, Joshua Harms, American Journal of Criminal Justice, “Assessing the Fear of Package Theft,” January 04, 2021. Accessed March 8, 2022.

For definitions and more on data sources, see our methodology page.

Alina Bradford
Written by
Alina Bradford
Alina has been reviewing the latest tech for more than a decade and has contributed her insights to CNET, CBS, Digital Trends, MTV, Top Ten Reviews, and many others. She specializes in smart home and security technology, working to make gadgets less mystifying one article at a time. In the early 2000s, Alina worked as a volunteer firefighter, earning her first responder certification. Her activities aren’t nearly as dangerous today. Her hobbies include fixing up her 100-year-old house, doing artsy stuff, and going to the lake with her family.

Recent Articles

security system being installed on wall
Best DIY Home Security Systems of 2022
DIY install home security systems are cost-efficient, effective, and easy to install. See which DIY...
safewise's best home security systems
10 Best Home Security Systems of 2022
After hundreds of hours of tests and research, plus a combined 50+ years of experience,...
beautiful mountain river scene at sunrise bc canada
The Best Home Security Systems in Canada
Find the best home alarm system to protect your house. We looked at price, features,...
couple sitting on floor with moving boxes and a dog
2022 Best Home Security Systems for Renters
These renter-friendly home security systems keep your house or apartment safe and require less commitment...