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
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.
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 is slightly less dangerous than some of the others on the list, but it is still a very uncomfortable place to live if you cherish safety. While the number of robberies here has gone down lately, violent crimes have gone up. Statistically, 1 out of 293 people was attacked in 2017.
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 makes it into the top 10 most dangerous in Wisconsin. After a huge growth spurt in the 60’s and 70’s, people are actually leaving Shawano in droves, which could be in part to its high criminal population.
As of the last FBI report, crime in Shawano has been ticking upwards, and statistically, 1 in 19.7 residents here was recently the victim of a robbery or car theft.
This trend holds true today as La Crosse ranked 22nd for violent crime in Wisconsin and 7th in the most dangerous overall ranking.
But it’s really parts of La Crosse that you need to look out for. Certain neighborhoods have much more violent crime than others.
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.
Today, Antigo is the 9th most dangerous city in the state.
Unlike other cities on the list, Antigo 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 Antigo, because there’s a 1 in 15.7 chance of being the victim of a property crime while you’re there.
Rice Lake’s recent explosion of crime makes it the 10th most dangerous place to live in the Badger State.
Between 2015-17, both violent and property crime rates nearly tripled, leaving residents with a 1 in 262 chance of being the victim of a violent crime and a 1 in 39.3 chance of being the victim of a property crime in 2017.
If the trend continues, we can expect to see the town of Rice Lake top this list in a few years’ time.
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)
For more Wisconsin reading, check out:
- 10 Best Places To Raise A Family In Wisconsin
- These Are The 10 Best Places To Retire In Wisconsin
- These Are The 10 Richest Cities In Wisconsin
- 10 Safest Places In Wisconsin
- 10 Worst Places To Live In Wisconsin
Detailed List Of The Most Dangerous Cities In Wisconsin
|12||Town of Madison||6,953|
|29||Fond du Lac||42,929|
|62||Prairie du Chien||5,690|
|68||North Fond du Lac||5,038|