Do you live in one of the most dangerous cities in Wisconsin?
We all watch the news and see reports on Facebook of the latest crimes that happen in our hometowns. But it can be hard to tell at a big picture level how dangerous our town actually is.
No one wants to feel unsafe, and statistically speaking, odds are that where you live is most likely relatively safe. In order to help the good people of Wisconsin — and anyone looking to move to Wisconsin — know just how close they are to danger, we took data from the annual FBI report and did some serious analysis.
So what is the most dangerous city in Wisconsin? After analyzing 141 cities in Wisconsin, Ashland takes the top spot as the most dangerous city in Wisconsin based on the most recent FBI data.
For a detailed explanation of the data and analysis we used in creating this ranking, read on.
Or learn more about the safest places in Wisconsin.
For more Wisconsin reading, check out:
- 10 Best Places To Live In Wisconsin
- These Are The 10 Best Counties To Live In Wisconsin
- 10 Cheapest Places To Live In Wisconsin
Graphing The Most Dangerous And Safest Places In Wisconsin
The 10 Most Dangerous Places To Live In Wisconsin For 2019
Ashland ranks as the 1st most dangerous city in Wisconsin. It ranks 5th for violent crime and 5th for property crime (both per capita).
Being a port city on Lake Superior, Ashland will get a fair amount of crime as a result of people passing through.
Overall, you had about a 1 in 20.1 chance of being the victim of crime in 2017.
Milwaukee ranks as the 2nd most dangerous city in Wisconsin. And while that’s probably not a major surprise to that many people (big cities are naturally more crime prone for a variety of reasons), it’s how the data plays out.
So that makes this just as good a time as any to say that even though Milwaukee ranks as having the highest violent crime rate in the state, it’s really not all that “dangerous”. You see, your chance of being a victim of a violent crime is only about 1 in 62 and those odds go down further the more common sense you use.
So while there might be some more violent parts of town, overall, the quality of life can be quite high in one of the most dangerous cities in Wisconsin.
Brown Deer experienced a rise in violent crime between 2015-17.
Still, the 1 in 293 chance Brown Deer residents faced of being the victim of violence in 2017 is still lower than other places in the state.
Meanwhile, you have a 1 in 23.4 chance of being the victim of a property crime, making Brown Deer the 7th worst city in Wisconsin with regards to theft and arson.
In this case, Beloit finished as the 4th most dangerous place in the Badger State.
Violent crime is the bigger issue as the city ranks 6th overall for violent crime, but 17th for property crime.
West Allis, a big suburb of Milwaukee, ranks as the 5th most dangerous city in Wisconsin according to the FBI data.
The city ranks as having the 14th highest property crime rank and 10th highest violent crime rank in the Badger State.
It’s quite possible that being the host of the Wisconsin State Fair Park can impact the rate of crime in the city — it’ll increase the amount of crime while keeping the population that actually lives there constant.
Shawano comes in 6th on our list for the most dangerous places in Wisconsin.
Residents of Shawano have a 1 in 18.7 chance of being the victim of a crime. For reference, the most dangerous place in the country has about a 1 in 5 chance of being the victim of a crime.
Shawano ranks as the 4th highest city for property crime per capita which contributes to its high chance of crime.
Today, La Crosse is the 7th most dangerous city in the state.
Unlike other cities on the list, La Crosse has seen a recent boom in crime, with violent crime going up from 2015-17, and property crime also going up.
Watch your wallet in La Crosse, because there’s a 1 in 24.1 chance of being the victim of a property crime while you’re there.
While you might think of college sports when you Madison, all those extra students will increase the rate of crime.
Madison has the 9th highest violent crime rate in Wisconsin and the 24th highest property crime rate.
Antigo, a city in Langlade County, has seen its crime increase overall for the last few years. According to the FBI, violent crimes have nearly doubled here, and residents have a 1 in 433 chance of being robbed.
Additionally, there were 18 attacks in a city of only 7,807 residents.
Rice Lake ranks as the 10th most dangerous city in Wisconsin because it has a marginally higher rate of violent crime.
Residents of Rice Lake had a 1 in 262 chance of being the victim of a rape, murder, or assault in 2017, and a 1 in 39.3 chance of being the victim of theft or arson.
How Is Your Town In ?
How we determined the most dangerous cities in Wisconsin for 2019?
Every year the FBI release two crime datasets, a preliminary dataset limited to the biggest cities in the country, followed by a more detailed release at the end of the year.
For our analysis, we focused on the JUST released 2017 data, specifically the 2017 Crime In The United States Report. We will update the results when data becomes available in September 2019.
So what criteria did we use? Have a look:
- Violent Crimes Per Capita
- Property Crimes Per Capita
In order to make the analysis as apples to apples as possible, we only considered cities over 5,000 in population. That left us with 141 cities in Wisconsin.
We then ranked each city from 1 to 141 for the two criteria with a #1 ranking being the most dangerous for the particular criteria.
Next, we averaged the two rankings into one “Dangerous Index”.
Finally, we ranked every city on the “Dangerous Index” with the lowest index being the most dangerous in Wisconsin — Ashland.
Read on for a detailed look at the 10 most dangerous cities in Wisconsin.
Locking It All Up In Wisconsin
The latest FBI crime data shows that Ashland ranks as the most dangerous city in Wisconsin for 2019.
We want to point out again that there’s still safes places in Ashland and that this isn’t a comment on the people that live there. So please don’t beat us up.
If you’re curious enough, here are the safest cities in Wisconsin:
- Cedarburg (Pop. 11,529)
- Grand Rapids (Pop. 7,392)
- Freedom (Pop. 6,132)
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