Is Kansas City Safe To Visit? Everything You Need To Know (Stats, Maps And Tips)


is kansas city safe

If you are thinking about visiting Kansas City and have some qualms about the safety of the city, we got you covered.

We are going to deep dive into the statistics, look at some maps, graphs and talk to the residents of the city to give you a better understanding of how safe Kansas City really is.

Is Kansas City Safe To Visit?

Kansas City is not a safe place to visit. It consistently ranks on the list of most dangerous cities in the United States. In 2020 it had the 10th highest violent crime rate and it had the 9th highest murder rate in the country.

Kansas City’s Population

The population for the Kansas City in 2020 was 508,090

Kansas City Crime Stats

Here’s a breakdown of all the crimes in Kansas City for 2019 and 2020.

2019

2020

2019 vs 2020

Murder

151

176

+16.56%

Rape

372

382

+2.69%

Robbery

1,462

1,285

-12.11%

Aggravated Assault

5,264

6,076

+15.43%

Burglary

3,117

3,072

-1.44%

Larceny/Theft

12,507

12,958

+3.61%

Motor Vehicle Theft

3,893

4,540

+16.62%

Arson

162

180

+11.11%

TOTAL

26,928

28,669

+6.47%

*All data is from the FBI UCR

Kansas City Violent Crime Rate

In 2020 Kansas City reported 7,919 violent crimes and had a violent crime rate of 1,558.58 per 100,000 people.

The national average for violent crime is 398.5 per 100,000 residents. Kansas City’s violent crime rate is 3.9x greater than the national average.

Missouri’s violent crime rate is 542.7 per 100,000. Kansas City’s violent crime rate is 2.9x greater than the state national average.

Here’s a graph showing you the amount of violent crimes reported from 1990-2020. It peaked in 1992, when there were 12,594 violent crimes reported and had a violent crime rate of 2,894.2 per 100,000 people.

kansas city violent crime graph

 

*Violent crimes include; homicides, rape, robbery and aggravated assaults and the violent crime rate is calculated by dividing the number of reported crimes by the total population; the result is multiplied by 100,000.

Kansas City Property Crime Rate

In 2020 Kansas City reported 20,750 property crimes and had a property crime rate of 4,083.92 per 100,000 people.

The national average for property crime is 1958.2 per 100,000 residents. Kansas City’s property crime rate is 2.1x greater the national average.

Out of the 100 most populous cities in the United States, Kansas City’s property crime rate ranked 32th place.

Here’s a graph showing you the amount of violent crimes reported from 1990-2020. It peaked in 1991, when there were 45,421 violent crimes reported and had a violent crime rate of 10,438 per 100,000 people.

kansas city property crime graph

**Property crimes include; arson, burglary, larceny-theft, and motor vehicle theft are classified as property crimes. The property crime rate is calculated by dividing the number of reported crimes by the total population; the result is multiplied by 100,000.

Kansas City Murder Stats

In 2020 Kansas City reported 176 homicides, which was a 15.8% increase over 2019, where 152 homicides were reported.

176 homicides is the most murders ever records in a single year in Kansas City.

In 2020 Kansas City had a murder rate of 34.64 per 100,000 residents.

The national murder rate is 6.5 per 100,000 people. Kansas City’s murder rate is 5.3x greater the national average.

Kansas City has the 9th highest murder rate in the nation.

As of September 28, 2021, there have been 112 homicides reported and is a 25% decrease year over year from 2020.

Here’s a graph showing you the amount of murders reported from 1990-2020:

kansas city homicides history

Kansas City vs The Most Dangerous Cities In The United States

Here’s a list of the top 11 most dangerous cities in the United States ranked by violent crime rates. Kansas City ranks 9th on most dangerous cities in the United States.

violent crime rate most dangerous cities

City Population Number of violent crimes in 2020 Rate per 100,000 people
Memphis 633,104 15,310 2,418.24
Detroit 639,111 14,370 2,248.44
Baltimore 2,707,064 9,273 2,027.01
St. Louis 301,578 6,017 1,995.17
Little Rock 202,591 3,657 1,805.11
South Bend 103,453 1,765 1,706.09
Cleveland 372,624 6,281 1,685.61
Milwaukee 577,222 9,407 1,629.70
Birmingham 200,733 3,166 1,577.21
Kansas City 508,090 7,919 1,558.58
Lansing 112,644 1,699 1,508.29
Springfield 169,176 2,545 1,504.35

*All data is from the 2019 FBI Crime Stats Report**

Kansas City’s Worst Neighborhoods

Here’s a map showing you the ‘hoods’ of Kansas City where gangs are most active and crime is prevalent.

Neighborhoods In Kansas City To Avoid:

  • Prospect Ave
  • Central Ave
  • Blue Summit
  • 40th, 50th, 60th Streets
  • Quindaro, north of downtown
  • Uptown / Fairfax
  • West Side of the city from State Avenue to Highway 5.
  • East of The Paseo
  • 12th Street area
  • East of Troost
  • Dog Patch
  • Hardesty and Blue Parkway
  • FOG town

What do residents of Kansas City say about its safety

  1. "Although KC ranks high when it comes to violent crimes, I haven’t experienced anything here and I feel completely safe."
  2. "Anything east of the Art Museum and north is not a good neighborhood."
  3. "The 64130 zip code is home to 101 convicted murders that are incarcerated in prison."
  4. "The east side of the city is probably the most dangerous area."
  5. "Anything east of Troost, I would avoid"
  6. "64130 and 64134 zip codes have the highest violent crime rates."
  7. "Are you a gang banger? No? You’ll be fine."
  8. "KCMO is really strange because one block will be nice and beautiful and well maintained and then the block over may be a shit-hole and then the next street is nice again."
  9. “I don’t like to generalize but East Kansas City is not safe.
  10. "Most of the crime is confined to small areas within the city, and as a visitor there isn’t many reasons to visit those areas."

Tips to stay safe while visiting Kansas City

  • Learn the layout of the city. Know which areas you should avoid.
  • Keep your head on a swivel and don’t walk around with your nose in your cell phone.
  • Don’t keep valuables in your car or in plain sight in your car.
  • Keep to well lighted and well populated streets at night.
  • Don’t look like a a tourist. Make sure you know exactly how to get to your destination.
  • Always have a full gas tank. You don’t want to end up in the wrong neighborhood at night, searching for a gas station.
  • Don’t walk around the city at night and especially by yourself.
  • Trust your gut and your intuition, if something or someone is making you feel uncomfortable, leave.
  • Don’t wear expensive watches, jewelry or purses.
  • Don’t use the public transportation at night.

Is Kansas City safe at night? / Is it safe to visit alone?

Kansas City can be a safer place to visit if you study the layout of the city and avoid the problem areas and also follow the safety tips posted above. Safety is never guaranteed in a high crime city.

Is Downtown Kansas City Safe?

Downtown is generally safe to visit during the daytime. The city has invested a lot of time and resources into making it feel safe for workers and residents. You should however stay within the loop (I35 and I70) of the downtown area and not stray east. East of downtown is crime ridden and it is populated with unsavory people.

Final Thoughts

Kansas City is not a safe city to visit. Its violent crime rate and murder rate is one of the highest in the nation.

Is all of it unsafe? No, but you would be best to avoid large sections of the city, namely east and north-west Kansas City.

If you do plan to visit, you should at minimum, study the layout of the city and learn which parts of the city you should avoid. Kansas City is not a city that you want to get lost in.

Quick Facts About Kansas City

Fact

Kansas City, Missouri

United States

Population, Census, April 1, 2020

508,090

331,449,281

Population, Census, April 1, 2010

459,787

308,745,538

Black or African American alone, percent

28.2%

13.4%

American Indian and Alaska Native alone, percent

0.4%

1.3%

Asian alone, percent

2.7%

5.9%

Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander alone, percent

0.2%

0.2%

Two or More Races, percent

3.6%

2.8%

Hispanic or Latino, percent

10.6%

18.5%

White alone, not Hispanic or Latino, percent

55.2%

60.1%

Foreign born persons, percent, 2015-2019

8.2%

13.6%

Median value of owner-occupied housing units, 2015-2019

$154,600.00

$217,500.00

Median selected monthly owner costs -with a mortgage, 2015-2019

$1,382.00

$1,595.00

Median gross rent, 2015-2019

$941.00

$1,062.00

Language other than English spoken at home, percent of persons age 5 years+, 2015-2019

12.4%

21.6%

High school graduate or higher, percent of persons age 25 years+, 2015-2019

90.0%

88.0%

Bachelor’s degree or higher, percent of persons age 25 years+, 2015-2019

35.2%

32.1%

In civilian labor force, total, percent of population age 16 years+, 2015-2019

69.0%

63.0%

Median household income (in 2019 dollars), 2015-2019

$54,194.00

$62,843.00

Per capita income in past 12 months (in 2019 dollars), 2015-2019

$32,348.00

$34,103.00

Persons in poverty, percent

16.1%

11.4%

*All data is from the U.S. Census

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Mariska Lee

Mariska is a recovering attorney who gave up her professional job to discover new perspectives of life while traveling in a 2009 Ford Transit. She has been living the van life for 3 years and has not looked back since.

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