10 Most Dangerous Cities In Wisconsin For 2020


We used data and science to identify the most dangerous cities in the Badger State for 2020.

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This article is an opinion based on facts and is meant as infotainment. It is our fifth time ranking the most dangerous places to live in Wisconsin and is updated for 2020.

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It used to be where the only the only thing dangerous in Wisconsin was an angry Cheesehead after a Green Bay Packers loss; sadly, folks, that’s no longer the case.

That’s right, people. Wisconsin has bigger whitefish to fry: the state has some pretty dangerous cities, too. And if you want to know where those places are located, we suggest that you take a look below at RoadSnacks’ list of the most dangerous places in Wisconsin for 2020.

How’d we do it? We consulted the numbers. In total, we analyzed 141 cities. We looked at the FBI’s latest crime report for violent crime and property crime statistics for every place with over 5,000 residents. We discovered that Wisconsin’s overall violent and property crime numbers, while above the national average, the numbers in the state’s most dangerous places could be better. And if you guessed that most of Wisconsin’s crime is centered around the state’s bigger places, you guessed right. Cities like Milwaukee and Madison are being hit pretty hard; surprisingly, however, the most dangerous place in Wisconsin doesn’t even break 10,000 residents.

And while Wisconsin might not be one of the top ten most dangerous states in the country, the state’s most dangerous places do need some work. Maybe more police? Security cameras? Drug programs? We’re not entirely sure. One thing that we are sure about, however, is that you should take a look below at the list of Wisconsin’s most dangerous places before you make any life changing decisions.

The 10 Most Dangerous Cities In Wisconsin For 2020

  1. Glendale
  2. Brown Deer
  3. Milwaukee
  4. Ashland
  5. Shawano
  6. Antigo
  7. Superior
  8. Beloit
  9. La Crosse
  10. Madison

People always ask why we produce lists of the most dangerous places in each state. Well, we do it to show the public how to navigate the places that most people don’t want to visit, but still want to know the gossip. And, unfortunately, there always has to be a number one.

So, what city is the number one most dangerous place to live in Wisconsin for 2020? Well according to the FBI data we crunched, Glendale is the most dangerous place to live in America’s Dairyland.

If you want to know where the rest of the most dangerous places in Wisconsin are located, take a look at the list below. And if you don’t find what you’re looking for there, head to the bottom.

Learn more about the safest places in Wisconsin.

If you’re looking for something more national, check out the most dangerous cities in America or the most dangerous states in America.

For more Wisconsin reading, check out:

The 10 Most Dangerous Places To Live In Wisconsin For 2020

Glendale, WI

Overall SnackAbility

7.5
/10

Population: 12,710
Rank Last Year: 23 (Up 22)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 416 (7th most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 7,592 (1st most dangerous)
More on Glendale:  Data | Photos

Glendale, a relatively small city outside of Milwaukee, took the 1st spot on our ranking of the most dangerous cities in Wisconsin.

While violent crime isn’t so much of an issue (it ranks 7th out of 141), property crime seems to be pretty prevalent as it ranks 1st overall in that category.

Glendale has a relatively high population density, which might contribute to the above average property crime rate.

Brown Deer, WI

Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 11,963
Rank Last Year: 3 (Up 1)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 426 (6th most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 4,580 (3rd most dangerous)
More on Brown Deer:  Data | Photos

Brown Deer is certainly lively when it comes to nighttime activities. This tiny city ranks 21.8 in the state for property crimes.

Residents here in Brown Deer have a 1 in 20.0 chance of being the victim of a crime in 2018, which was the last reporting year. That means if you live in Brown Deer, someone you know was likely the victim of a theft, home break-in or arson.

Milwaukee, WI

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 595,619
Rank Last Year: 2 (Down 1)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 1,412 (1st most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 2,971 (14th most dangerous)
More on Milwaukee:  Data | Photos

Milwaukee ranks as the 3rd 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 70 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.

Ashland, WI

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 7,770
Rank Last Year: 1 (Down 3)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 398 (9th most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 3,268 (10th most dangerous)
More on Ashland:  Data | Photos

Ashland ranks as the 4th most dangerous city in Wisconsin. It ranks 9th for violent crime and 10th 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 27.3 chance of being the victim of crime in 2018.

Shawano, WI

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 8,936
Rank Last Year: 6 (Up 1)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 380 (10th most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 3,357 (9th most dangerous)
More on Shawano:  Data | Photos

Located in the southeastern corner of the state, on the Atlantic coast, Shawano ranks 5th for its danger.

In 2011, Shawano wouldn’t have made this list, but a whopping increase in violent crime between 2017-2018 changed that.

In 2018, residents faced a 1 in 262 chance of being the victim of violence, which would put Shawano at 10th for the year in Wisconsin.

Antigo, WI

Source: Public domain

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 7,720
Rank Last Year: 9 (Up 3)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 323 (16th most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 4,546 (4th most dangerous)
More on Antigo:  Data | Photos

Antigo ranks as the 6th most dangerous city in Wisconsin according to 2018’s data.

While there’s still a 1 in 22.0 chance of being the victim of a property crime in Antigo, their crime statistics in both categories have been falling steadily over recent years.

Superior, WI

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 26,054
Rank Last Year: 20 (Up 13)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 291 (19th most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 4,275 (5th most dangerous)
More on Superior:  Data | Photos

The city of over 26,054 ranks as the 7th most dangerous city in Wisconsin and has the 5th highest rate of property crime in the state.

Being both a port town and an intersection of many major highways predisposes the city to rank highly for crime on a rate basis (A steady denominator with a variable numerator).

Beloit, WI

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 36,746
Rank Last Year: 4 (Down 4)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 465 (4th most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 2,664 (21st most dangerous)
More on Beloit:  Data | Photos

In this case, Beloit finished as the 8th most dangerous place in the Badger State.

Violent crime is the bigger issue as the city ranks 4th overall for violent crime, but 21st for property crime.

La Crosse, WI

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 51,901
Rank Last Year: 7 (Down 2)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 279 (22nd most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 3,707 (7th most dangerous)
More on La Crosse:  Data | Photos

La Crosse takes 9th because of its 22nd place finish for violence.

Located in central Wisconsin, 30 miles north of Madison, La Crosse experienced rise in violent crime between 2017-2018.

This left residents with a 1 in 357 chance of being the victim of violence and a 1 in 27.0 chance of being the victim of theft or arson in 2018.

Madison, WI

Overall SnackAbility

8.5
/10

Population: 258,455
Rank Last Year: 8 (Down 2)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 403 (8th most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 2,600 (22nd most dangerous)
More on Madison:  Data | Photos

While you might think of college sports when you Madison, all those extra students will increase the rate of crime.

Madison has the 8th highest violent crime rate in Wisconsin and the 22nd highest property crime rate.

Graphing The Most Dangerous And Safest Places In Wisconsin

Most Dangerous Cities In Wisconsin Graph

Click To Enlarge

How we determined the most dangerous cities in Wisconsin for 2020?

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 2018 data, specifically the 2018 Crime In The United States Report. We will update the results when data becomes available in September 2020.

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 Wisconsin 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 — Glendale. Any ties went to the smaller city. You can download the data here.

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 Glendale ranks as the most dangerous city in Wisconsin for 2020.

We want to point out again that there’s still safes places in Glendale 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:

  1. Mukwonago Town (Pop. 8,146)
  2. Geneva Town (Pop. 5,032)
  3. Oconomowoc Town (Pop. 8,692)

For more Wisconsin reading, check out:

Where Are The Most Dangerous Cities In Wisconsin?

Rank City Population Violent Crimes Per Capita Property Crimes Per Capita
1 Glendale 12,710 416 7,592
2 Brown Deer 11,963 426 4,580
3 Milwaukee 595,619 1,412 2,971
4 Ashland 7,770 398 3,268
5 Shawano 8,936 380 3,357
6 Antigo 7,720 323 4,546
7 Superior 26,054 291 4,275
8 Beloit 36,746 465 2,664
9 La Crosse 51,901 279 3,707
10 Madison 258,455 403 2,600

How Is Your Town In ?

About Chris Kolmar

Chris Kolmar has been in the real estate business for almost ten years now. He originally worked for Movoto Real Estate as the director of marketing before founding HomeSnacks.

He believes the key to finding the right place to live comes down to looking at the data, reading about things to do, and, most importantly, checking it out yourself before you move.

If you've been looking for a place to live in the past several years, you've probably stumbled upon his writing already.

You can find out more about him on LinkedIn or his website.