College Town Crime Rates

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COLUMBIA - Columbia, Missouri, Lawrence, Kansas, and Iowa City, Iowa are all college towns alot a like in size and style.  Columbia has a population of 108,500 (2010 census).  Lawrence has a population of 87,643 and Iowa City has a population of 67, 862. 

When it comes to violent crimes citywide Lawrence and Columbia are similar.  In 2011 Columbia had 582 violent crimes (0.054 crimes per person).  While Lawrence had 400 violent crimes (0.046 crimes per person).  But Iowa City had significantly less crime.  Iowa City had just 181 violent crimes (0.027 crimes per person).    

Property crimes stats are much the same.  Columbia had 4,263 property crimes (0.04 crimes per person) citywide.  Lawrence had 4,466 property crimes (0.05 crimes per person).  Iowa City had 1,700 property crimes (0.025 crimes per person).

"The idea of a college town not having crime, you know is, kind of a misnomer. They have crime, just as well as we have crime whether we have a college here or not," Columbia Public Information Officer Latisha Stroer said. 

A Columbia Police official speculates that Kansas City and St. Louis put troublemakers into the local mix.

The Uniform Crime Reporting stats do not include crimes committed on the college campuses in the citywide totals.

The three colleges have roughly the same enrollment.  According to 2011 enrollment Missouri has 33,805 students, Kansas has 28,718, and Iowa has 30,893 students,

While Iowa City was the least violent city of the three in 2011, the University of Kansas campus had far fewer violent crimes on its campus than Mizzou or Iowa.

The Jayhawk campus had just two violent crimes compared to 13 at Mizzou and 12 at the University of Iowa.

The Kansas Campus Police Department could not venture a guess why campus crime stats differ so much.