These 4 Cities in Kansas Are the Most Unsafe, Says a Study

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Written By Blue & Gold NLR Team



Kansas, often called the Sunflower State, has a blend of safe and dangerous areas, both rural and urban. With a population of around 2.4 million, Kansas is in the heart of the United States. However, its crime rates might surprise both visitors and residents. Here, we explore the four most dangerous cities in Kansas based on recent data.

1. Independence

Independence is a historic town in southeast Kansas, famous for being Laura Ingalls Wilder’s home and for its Halloween celebration, the Neewollah Festival. Every October, the town’s population jumps from 8,500 to 80,000 for the festival.

However, Independence also has a high crime rate. Last year, there were 1,094 violent crimes and 4,128 property crimes per 100,000 people, both of which increased from the previous year. In Independence, you have a 1 in 24 chance of being a victim of burglary or auto theft, and a 1 in 91 chance of facing rape, assault, or worse.

2. Parsons

Parsons began as a railroad stop and supported the Union during the Civil War. Located in the southeast corner of Kansas, Parsons has about 9,400 residents. Recent FBI data shows a significant increase in crime rates here.

Violent crime stands at 917 per 100,000 people, and property crime at 4,064 per 100,000—high numbers for such a small town. Residents of Parsons have a 1 in 139 chance of experiencing crime, much higher than the state average of 1 in 239.

3. Iola

Iola is located along Interstate 35, south of Kansas City and near the Neosho River. It’s known for having one of the largest town squares west of the Mississippi and a strong community spirit.

Despite its charm, Iola faces a rising crime rate. Residents have a 1 in 30 chance of property theft and a 1 in 162 chance of violent crime, both above the national average. Incidents of rape and assault are four times the state average. The northern part of Iola reports slightly more crimes than the southern part, but crime is fairly spread out from the river eastward to State Highway 169.

With a population of 5,400, Iola is also one of the poorest cities in Kansas, which likely contributes to its high crime rate. When visiting, be aware of your surroundings and keep an eye on your belongings.

4. Fort Scott

Initially built as an army post during the Civil War, Fort Scott is in east-central Kansas, just east of Wichita and near the Missouri border. This small town has about 7,700 people.

Despite its rich history, Fort Scott faces high overall crime rates for its size. While violent crime rates are lower than the state average, residents still have a 1 in 327 chance of being victimized. Most reported crimes in Fort Scott are property-related, with a property crime rate twice the state average. Residents have a 1 in 44 chance of losing their belongings, which translates to 3,538 reported property crimes per 100,000 people each year. The most common property crimes are theft, car theft, and burglary.


In conclusion, the recent study highlights the safety challenges in these four Kansas cities. By focusing on crime prevention strategies, community engagement, and law enforcement initiatives, these cities can work towards creating safer environments for their residents. As Kansas continues to grow, ensuring the safety and well-being of its communities remains crucial for sustainable development and prosperity.

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