The 10 Most Dangerous Cities In Wisconsin For 2021


We used data and science to identify the most dangerous cities in the Badger State for 2021.

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This article is an opinion based on facts and is meant as infotainment. It is our seventh time ranking the most dangerous places to live in Wisconsin and is updated for 2021.

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 2021.

How’d we do it? We consulted the numbers. In total, we analyzed 140 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 Places To Live In Wisconsin For 2021

Beloit, WI

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 37,025
Rank Last Year: 8 (Up 7)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 415 (Fourth most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 3,008 (Tenth most dangerous)
More on Beloit:  | Cost Of Living | Crime Report

If you’re looking to stay safe in Wisconsin, you might want to avoid its most dangerous city, Beloit. Located about an hour south of Madison, Beloit is one of the only places on this list to rank in the top ten statewide for both violent and property crime.

You’ll want to watch your wallet when you’re out at Beloit’s farmer’s market, because there were 921 larceny cases recorded in 2019. It’s also a good idea to double-check all your locks if you’re in Beloit, what with the 71 stolen cars and 122 burglaries.

And it’s not just property crime that makes Beloit so dangerous — the city also had the sixth highest murder rate in Wisconsin, and residents had a 1 in 240 shot of being violently attacked over the year.

Brown Deer, WI

Overall SnackAbility

8.5
/10

Population: 11,869
Rank Last Year: 2 (No Change)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 337 (11th most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 3,799 (Fourth most dangerous)
More on Brown Deer:  | Cost Of Living | Crime Report

The second most dangerous place in America’s Dairyland turns out to be Brown Deer, a village just 20 minutes north of Milwaukee. As you can guess by Brown Deer’s high crime rate, the village was far from making the cut for Milwaukee’s best suburbs.

Padlocking your picnic basket before a trip to one of Brown Deer’s parks might be a good idea, considering the village had the fourth highest property crime rate in Wisconsin.

Oh, and a car got stolen here every other week, on average — quite common for a place with only 11,869 people.

Ashland, WI

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 7,859
Rank Last Year: 4 (Up 1)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 318 (12th most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 3,702 (Fifth most dangerous)
More on Ashland:  | Cost Of Living | Crime Report

We’re taking a long drive north to reach Wisconsin’s third most dangerous city, Ashland. Located on Lake Superior, Ashland is pretty inferior when it comes to managing crime.

Folks in Ashland had a 1 in 27 chance of being the victim of a property crime in 2019, with 29 burglaries reported.

On the bright side, there were no robberies or murders in Ashland over the year. Still, 21 aggravated assaults seems quite high for such a small place.

Milwaukee, WI

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 590,923
Rank Last Year: 3 (Down 1)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 1,332 (Most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 2,554 (17th most dangerous)
More on Milwaukee:  | Cost Of Living | Crime Report

Known for great beer and being a Mecca for motorcyclists, Milwaukee likes to have fun.

Unfortunately, Wisconsin’s biggest city is also the most violent as well. In Milwaukee, folks had a 1 in 75 shot of being the victim of a murder, rape, robbery, or assault over 2019. That includes the third highest murder rate statewide.

And while property crime isn’t as bad in Milwaukee, the city still had the highest burglary rate in Wisconsin, averaging about ten a day.

Overall, Milwaukeeans can still enjoy a high quality of life if they stick to Brew City’s best neighborhoods.

West Allis, WI

Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 59,302
Rank Last Year: 11 (Up 6)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 355 (Ninth most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 2,843 (11th most dangerous)
More on West Allis:  | Cost Of Living | Crime Report

West Allis didn’t wind up on our list of Milwaukee’s worst suburbs for no reason — its high rates of both violent crime and property crime helped land it there.

The city experienced 262 burglaries over 2019, and 142 car thefts. Overall, though, violent crime is the more significant issue.

About two people were assaulted, and one person was robbed each week in West Allis, on average. All the more reason not to stay out late by yourself at Greenfield Park.

Superior, WI

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 25,967
Rank Last Year: 7 (Up 1)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 277 (18th most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 4,239 (Third most dangerous)
More on Superior:  | Cost Of Living | Crime Report

Located just south of Duluth, Minnesota, Superior comes in as Wisconsin’s sixth most dangerous place. It’s not all lighthouses and Midwestern charm in Superior.

The city’s third highest place ranking in property crime rate actually gives Superior the third highest total crime rate in Wisconsin — about 2.5 times higher than the statewide average.

Folks in Superior had to contend with the second highest burglary rate in Wisconsin and a 1 in 23 chance of being the victim of a property crime over 2019.

7. Grand Chute

Grand Chute, WI

Population: 23,450
Rank Last Year: 17 (Up 10)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 294 (16th most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 3,130 (Eighth most dangerous)
More on Grand Chute:

Situated just north of the hip, safe city of Appleton, Grand Chute ranks as the seventh most dangerous place to call home in Wisconsin.

Grand Chute averaged just over one violent crime per week in 2019, which isn’t too bad for a city of 23,450. There were also about two property crimes committed each day, which is enough to give the town the eighth highest property crime rate statewide.

At least there’s a butterfly garden and a nature preserve within a ten-minute drive from Grand Chute, if you need to calm your nerves about the high crime rate.

Glendale, WI

Source: Public domain

Overall SnackAbility

7.5
/10

Population: 12,792
Rank Last Year: 1 (Down 7)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 257 (24th most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 5,167 (Second most dangerous)
More on Glendale:  | Cost Of Living | Crime Report

Chock full of beer fests and beer gardens, Glendale is like a mini version of Milwaukee to its south.

Fortunately, Glendale went down 7 spots on this list from last year, so things are improving. On the bad side, property crime still ranks as the second highest worst in the state, with residents facing a 1 in 19 of having their stuff stolen or damaged over 2019.

Glendale’s overall crime rate also ranks as the second highest in Wisconsin — about three times higher than the national average.

Madison, WI

Overall SnackAbility

8.5
/10

Population: 261,270
Rank Last Year: 10 (Up 1)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 359 (Seventh most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 2,474 (19th most dangerous)
More on Madison:  | Cost Of Living | Crime Report

Up next on our list of Wisconsin’s least safe places is its capital and second-largest city, Madison.

While you might think of college sports when you think of Madison, high crime rates should also come to mind.

While Madison had the lowest property crime rate on this list, it did have the fifth highest burglary rate in Wisconsin, and 545 cars were stolen here over 2019.

Overall, violent crime is the more significant issue in Madison, ranking as the seventh highest statewide. That means residents had a 1 in 277 chance of being violently attacked over the year.

Rice Lake, WI

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 8,369
Rank Last Year: 12 (Up 2)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 250 (26th most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 3,393 (Seventh most dangerous)
More on Rice Lake:  | Cost Of Living | Crime Report

Rice Lake is a small city of 8,369 and our first representative from Barron County. We recommend buddying up for any adventures along the Cedar Side Walking Trail, for safety’s sake.

While Rice Lake may be tiny, it has a big problem — the city averaged one rape case per month over 2019, giving it the highest rate of rape cases in Wisconsin.

Additionally, folks had a 1 in 29 chance of being the victim of a property crime over the year.

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 2021?

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 2019 data, specifically the 2019 Crime In The United States Report. We will update the results when data becomes available in September 2021.

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 140 cities in Wisconsin.

We then ranked each city from 1 to 140 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 — Beloit. 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

So what is the most dangerous city in Wisconsin? After analyzing 140 cities in Wisconsin, Beloit takes the top spot as the most dangerous city in Wisconsin based on the most recently reported FBI data — 2019.

The latest FBI crime data shows that Beloit ranks as the most dangerous city in Wisconsin for 2021.

We want to point out again that there’s still safes places in Beloit and that this isn’t a comment on the people that live there. So please don’t beat us up.

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 2021? Well according to the FBI data we crunched, Beloit 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.

Here are the safest cities in Wisconsin:

  1. Cedarburg (Pop. 11,548)
  2. Mukwonago Town (Pop. 8,167)
  3. Waupun (Pop. 11,315)
  4. Geneva Town (Pop. 5,045)
  5. Hobart-Lawrence (Pop. 15,460)
  6. Cottage Grove (Pop. 7,203)
  7. Grand Rapids (Pop. 7,405)
  8. Muskego (Pop. 25,224)
  9. Waterford Town (Pop. 6,505)
  10. Oconomowoc Town (Pop. 8,741)

For more Wisconsin reading, check out:

The Most Dangerous Cities In Wisconsin

Rank City Population Violent Crimes Per Capita Property Crimes Per Capita
1 Beloit 37,025 415 3,008
2 Brown Deer 11,869 337 3,799
3 Ashland 7,859 318 3,702
4 Milwaukee 590,923 1,332 2,554
5 West Allis 59,302 355 2,843
6 Superior 25,967 277 4,239
7 Grand Chute 23,450 294 3,130
8 Glendale 12,792 257 5,167
9 Madison 261,270 359 2,474
10 Rice Lake 8,369 250 3,393
11 La Crosse 51,591 236 3,585
12 Baraboo 12,151 230 2,839
13 Eau Claire 69,195 276 2,361
14 Tomah 9,406 276 2,030
15 Fond du Lac 42,954 311 1,855
16 Green Bay 104,992 503 1,642
17 Janesville 64,687 228 2,437
18 Fitchburg 30,854 301 1,714
19 Sheboygan 48,035 358 1,630
20 Town of Madison 6,934 230 2,062
21 Wisconsin Rapids 17,613 158 3,117
22 Lake Hallie 6,724 178 2,364
23 Greenfield 37,387 171 2,530
24 Manitowoc 32,497 224 1,941
25 Delavan 9,889 171 2,143
26 Oshkosh 66,797 284 1,597
27 Kenosha 100,255 310 1,577
28 Wausau 38,507 405 1,353
29 Menomonie 16,573 217 1,689
30 Racine 77,269 376 1,281
31 Monona 8,106 111 7,698
32 Hudson 14,074 135 2,707
33 Chippewa Falls 14,237 351 1,264
34 Appleton 74,757 275 1,435
35 Rhinelander 7,615 170 1,746
36 West Bend 31,638 211 1,618
37 Ashwaubenon 17,311 121 2,755
38 Platteville 12,115 156 1,898
39 Everest Metropolitan 17,340 438 1,159
40 Merrill 9,017 155 1,874
41 Wauwatosa 48,562 117 2,740
42 Mount Pleasant 27,070 147 1,980
43 Waupaca 5,874 136 2,110
44 Stoughton 13,110 228 1,449
45 Menasha 17,809 269 1,336
46 Marshfield 18,216 159 1,712
47 Fort Atkinson 12,519 207 1,421
48 Beaver Dam 16,375 164 1,587
49 New Richmond 9,268 237 1,240
50 Portage 10,452 162 1,569

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.