How Does Crime Compare to Other Cities the Size of Billings?
How bad is the crime in Billings, MT?
In the last couple of weeks, our content team has covered at least half a dozen accounts of shootings, armed robberies, a jailbreak, and other mayhem in Billings. It can certainly be concerning, but let's be honest... like any city, Billings has had crime for years. Locals have jokingly referred to Billings as "the Tragic City" for decades.
Is Billings safe?
I've never felt unsafe anywhere in Billings (note: I am a 6'1", not completely out-of-shape male), but I do try to be aware of my surroundings and typically don't go to shady places at night. Data indicates that about 75% of violent crimes in the US are committed by people who know each other. So, don't hang out with the wrong crowd and your odds of encountering violence in Billings are greatly reduced.
Your chances of experiencing a violent crime in Billings.
Lately, I've been wondering how crime in Billings compares to cities that have similar populations in various other states. Let's take a look. According to 2020 crime data compiled by NeighborhoodScout.com, your chances of becoming a victim of a violent crime in Billings is 1 in 125. Statewide, it's 1 in 214. Violent crimes are defined as rape, robbery, assault, and murder.
Wilmington, NC - Population 117,000
Chances of becoming a victim of a violent crime: 1 in 145. Slightly safer than Billings.
North Charleston, SC - Population 117,000
Chances of becoming a victim of a violent crime: 1 in 85. More dangerous than Billings.
West Palm Beach, FL - Population 117,000
Chances of becoming a victim of violent crime:1 in 135. Marginally safer than Billings with a much larger metro area.
Berkeley, CA - Population 117,000
Chances of becoming a victim of a violent crime: 1 in 199. Safer than Billings.
Cambridge, MA - Population 117,00
Chances of becoming a victim of a violent crime: 1 in 342. Over twice as safe as Billings. Also with a huge metro area.
Let's put it all into perspective.
If you come to Billings from somewhere like Livingston or Miles City, the crime here seems rampant. With around 117,000 people in city limits, more people will statistically produce more crime. That's just the way it is. On the flip side, an overnight stabbing in Des Moines, Denver, or Dallas wouldn't even get two seconds of coverage on the 5 o'clock news. In Montana, a stabbing is a headline.