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

Kansas, known as the Sunflower State, offers a mix of safety and danger across its rural and urban areas. With a population of approximately 2.4 million, Kansas sits at the heart of the United States. However, its crime statistics might surprise both visitors and residents. Let’s delve into the four most dangerous cities in Kansas based on recent data.

1. Independence

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

However, outside of the festivities, Independence has a high crime rate. Last year, there were 1,094 violent crimes and 4,128 property crimes per 100,000 people, both increases 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 being a victim of rape, assault, or worse.

2. Parsons

Parsons started as a railroad stop on the Missouri, Kansas, and Texas lines and later supported the Union during the Civil War. Located in the southeast corner of Kansas, Parsons has about 9,400 residents. According to FBI crime data, crime rates in Parsons have increased significantly in recent years.

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

3. Iola

Iola is an interesting mix of positives and negatives. Located along Interstate 35, south of Kansas City and near the Neosho River, Iola is known for having one of the largest town squares west of the Mississippi and a strong sense of community.

However, this seemingly peaceful town has a hidden issue: a rising crime rate. Residents have a 1 in 30 chance of property theft and a 1 in 162 chance of experiencing violent crime, both higher than 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 evenly spread 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 the high crime rate. Iola is primarily rural with a notable downtown area. When visiting, stay 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 located in east-central Kansas, just east of Wichita and near the Missouri border. Fort Scott is a small, primarily rural town with a population of about 7,700 people.

Despite its rich history, the town currently faces high overall crime rates for its size. Although violent crime rates are lower than the state average, residents still have a 1 in 327 chance of being victimized. Most of the reported crimes in Fort Scott are property-related, contributing to the high overall crime rate.

With a property crime rate twice the state average, residents have a 1 in 44 chance of losing their belongings, equating to 3,538 reported property crimes per 100,000 people each year. The most common property crimes are theft, followed by car theft and burglary.


In conclusion, the recent study’s findings shed light on the safety landscape of these four cities in Kansas, emphasizing the need for collaborative efforts to address safety challenges effectively. By prioritizing crime prevention strategies, community engagement, and law enforcement initiatives, these cities can work towards creating safer environments for their residents. As Kansas continues to evolve, ensuring the safety and well-being of its communities remains a paramount goal for sustainable growth and prosperity.

Leave a Comment