Is Billings a Safe Place to Live? Let’s Look at the Data
If anyone is interested in moving to the Magic City, you may want to think again. Not that I would hate to see new people move to Billings, I quite enjoy meeting people who aren't from here but moved here because of the views and close proximity to Yellowstone National Park. However, we've seen an increase in violent crime over the last couple of years, and it may not be as safe as you think to live here. Here's the data.
Violent Crime Is On The Rise in Billings
Recently, we've seen a massive increase in violent crime across the city. Shootings and stabbings are very common these days, despite our constant desire to not have those things in our neighborhoods. In fact, MTN News reported that 10 people died across 7 separate shootings across Montana in the month of January. That's nearly two dead for every shooting, and that's just too much.
Billings in particular is second only to Great Falls in violent crime. In Billings in 2020, we had approximately 126 crimes for every 1000 residents. In contrast, Bozeman had the least, with 54 crimes for every 1000 residents. Safety should be a priority for people looking to find a place to live, and I hate to say it, but Billings isn't that safe a place to live.
New Residents Are Still Coming to the Magic City
Billings Mayor Bill Cole was featured in a Time article in August of 2021. Cole highlighted the influx of population in Billings during the pandemic, and said that it was because of our political affiliation or because of the sense of community Montana and Billings brings to people.
The safety of Billings was also brought up in the Mayor's interview, to which he cited meth as the main cause of our crime. So, despite the violent crime, it seems that people are still deciding to move here for one reason or another. We just hope they're safe while here.
The safety of the city may not concern some citizens, however, I'm willing to bet there are safer places to move to than Billings. It pains me to say that, but just do your research on the places you want to move to. Especially if you have kids. Be careful out there, guys.