These Are The 10 Most Dangerous Cities In Wisconsin For 2018


We used data and science to identify the most dangerous cities in the Badger State for 2018.

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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.

The data shows that these ten cities are currently the most dangerous in the Badger State:

  1. Milwaukee (Photos)
  2. Brown Deer (Photos)
  3. Ashland (Photos)
  4. Waupaca (Photos)
  5. West Allis (Photos)
  6. Beloit (Photos)
  7. Racine (Photos)
  8. La Crosse (Photos)
  9. Superior (Photos)
  10. Rice Lake

Why did Milwaukee take the top spot? For the answer to this question and 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.

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

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How we determined the most dangerous cities in Wisconsin for 2018?

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 2016 data, specifically the 2016 Crime In The United States Report. We will update the results when data becomes available for 2017 in October 2018.

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 — Milwaukee. Read on for a detailed look at the 10 most dangerous cities in Wisconsin.

Here’s a visualization of the criteria:
Most Dangerous Cities In Wisconsin Graph

Click To Enlarge

Read on for a detailed look at the 10 most dangerous cities in Wisconsin.

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1. Milwaukee

Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 600,193
Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 1,533
Property Crimes Per 100k: 4,064
Milwaukee ranks as the 1st 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 65 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.

2. Brown Deer

Brown Deer, Wisconsin

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 12,101
Rank Last Year: 12 (Up 10)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 396
Property Crimes Per 100k: 4,586
Brown Deer is the 2nd most violent city in the state, mostly due to the violent crime rate in 2016.

From 2014-16, violent crime in Brown Deer went up, leaving residents with a 1 in 252 shot of being a victim of violence in 2016.

On the other hand, property crime was reduced between 2014-16, so there is some silver lining for Brown Deer residents.

3. Ashland

Ashland, Wisconsin

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 8,005
Rank Last Year: 2 (Down 1)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 274
Property Crimes Per 100k: 4,996
Ashland ranks as the 3rd most dangerous city in Wisconsin. It ranks 17th for violent crime and 4th 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 19.0 chance of being the victim of crime in 2016.

4. Waupaca

Waupaca, Wisconsin

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 6,001
Rank Last Year: 35 (Up 31)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 349
Property Crimes Per 100k: 3,599
Basically the exact opposite of Milwaukee in terms of demographics, Waupaca ranks as the 4th most dangerous city in Wisconsin.

The Waupaca ranks as having the 8th highest violent crime rate and 14th highest property crime rate.

5. West Allis

West Allis, Wisconsin

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 60,558
Rank Last Year: 3 (Down 2)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 330
Property Crimes Per 100k: 3,735
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 13th 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.

6. Beloit

Beloit, Wisconsin

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 36,878
Rank Last Year: 5 (Down 1)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 474
Property Crimes Per 100k: 3,047
In this case, Beloit finished as the 6th most dangerous place in the Badger State.

Violent crime is the bigger issue as the city ranks 3rd overall for violent crime, but 23rd for property crime.

7. Racine

Racine, Wisconsin

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 77,536
Rank Last Year: 4 (Down 3)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 473
Property Crimes Per 100k: 2,949
Racine places 7th in our list of the most dangerous cities in Wisconsin.

Violent crime is more of an issue here as it ranks 4th in the state for that criteria, but only 25th for property crime.

High levels of unemployment and poverty probably contribute to above average rates of crime in the city.

8. La Crosse

La Crosse, Wisconsin

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 52,498
Rank Last Year: 15 (Up 7)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 249
Property Crimes Per 100k: 4,362
La Crosse ranks highly for the occurrence of crime. In particular, violent crime rates in La Crosse stick out for being the 24th worst in Wisconsin.

There were 131 violent crimes in La Crosse, but that’s down from earlier in the decade.

A City Data user says, “I dO NOT recommend La Crosse for a single person looking to get out there and have fun and meet people.” Probably because going out there leads to crime.

9. Superior

Superior, Wisconsin

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 26,451
Rank Last Year: 7 (Down 2)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 226
Property Crimes Per 100k: 4,744
The city of over 26,451 ranks as the 9th 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).

10. Rice Lake


Population: 8,391
Rank Last Year: N/A
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 262
Property Crimes Per 100k: 3,551
Rice Lake, a city in Barron 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 381 chance of being robbed.

Additionally, there were 22 attacks in a city of only 8,391 residents.

Locking It All Up In Wisconsin

The latest FBI crime data shows that Milwaukee ranks as the most dangerous city in Wisconsin for 2018.

However, there will be new data coming out later this year. At that point we can revisit Milwaukee’s status — that is if they haven’t beaten us all up already.

If you’re curious enough, here are the safest cities in Wisconsin:

  1. Freedom
  2. Hobart-Lawrence
  3. Oconomowoc Town

For more Wisconsin reading , check out:

Detailed List Of The Most Dangeroues Cities In Wisconsin

City Rank Previous Rank Population Violent Crimes Per Capita Property Crimes Per Capita
Milwaukee 1 1 600,193 1,533 4,064
Brown Deer 2 12 12,101 396 4,586
Ashland 3 2 8,005 274 4,996
Waupaca 4 35 6,001 349 3,599
West Allis 5 3 60,558 330 3,735
Beloit 6 5 36,878 474 3,047
Racine 7 4 77,536 473 2,949
La Crosse 8 15 52,498 249 4,362
Superior 9 7 26,451 226 4,744
Rice Lake 10 8,391 262 3,551
Merrill 11 10 9,150 273 3,191
Manitowoc 12 22 32,877 322 2,819
Town Of Madison 13 6 6,878 465 2,631
Madison 14 11 252,136 329 2,749
Glendale 15 8 12,846 202 7,231
Jefferson 16 20 7,935 252 3,100
Grand Chute 17 23 22,463 209 3,957
Green Bay 18 21 105,452 478 2,186
Wausau 19 33 39,091 291 2,453
Greenfield 20 24 37,405 229 2,791
Kenosha 21 27 99,954 357 2,190
Delavan 22 51 9,992 220 3,002
Fond Du Lac 23 17 42,907 316 2,230
Janesville 24 18 64,234 225 2,744
Rhinelander 25 13 7,477 227 2,460
Baraboo 26 14 12,174 197 3,211
Sheboygan 27 16 48,710 268 2,182
Eau Claire 28 30 68,084 207 2,670
Wauwatosa 29 47,771 161 3,885
Tomah 30 25 9,398 223 2,372
Shawano 31 26 9,095 175 3,496
River Falls 32 40 15,314 346 1,861
South Milwaukee 33 42 21,212 202 2,376
Portage 34 19 10,394 211 2,203
Antigo 35 29 7,801 102 5,973
Oshkosh 36 28 66,654 211 2,206
Sparta 37 44 9,708 309 1,812
Menasha 38 34 17,609 215 2,055
Appleton 39 41 74,439 279 1,738
Menomonie 40 32 16,308 196 2,330
Ashwaubenon 41 17,219 116 3,240
Platteville 42 12,859 202 2,029
Monona 43 9 8,288 84 7,890
Watertown 44 48 23,816 268 1,574
Two Rivers 45 36 11,259 230 1,643
West Bend 46 39 31,791 182 2,148
Neenah 47 43 25,850 201 1,899
Fitchburg 48 64 28,588 251 1,490
Cudahy 49 45 18,338 201 1,854
Beaver Dam 50 77 16,640 114 2,337
New Richmond 51 37 8,913 157 1,952
Fort Atkinson 52 80 12,433 201 1,705
Monroe 53 50 10,794 176 1,862
Wisconsin Rapids 54 38 17,802 50 4,095
Greendale 55 46 14,367 55 3,925
Hudson 56 56 13,740 80 2,896
St. Francis 57 47 9,580 135 1,941
Oak Creek 58 35,337 87 2,538
Rothschild 59 61 5,342 131 1,928
Stevens Point 60 52 26,587 188 1,602
Mukwonago 61 7,795 128 1,924
Plymouth 62 79 8,518 187 1,549
Onalaska 63 91 18,600 69 2,731
Marinette 64 57 10,771 46 3,286
Grafton 65 116 11,532 104 1,951
Chippewa Falls 66 55 14,109 226 1,162
Mount Pleasant 67 49 26,286 60 2,682
Whitewater 68 62 14,752 189 1,362
New London 69 85 7,148 167 1,510
Shorewood 70 76 13,319 97 1,944
Lake Geneva 71 31 7,803 38 3,088
Sun Prairie 72 58 32,943 106 1,778
Stoughton 73 65 13,148 197 1,194
Everest Metropolitan 74 17,318 150 1,507
Brookfield 75 69 38,043 65 2,286
Milton 76 75 5,601 124 1,624
Lake Hallie 77 53 6,546 76 2,123
Edgerton 78 88 5,554 108 1,656
Pleasant Prairie 79 59 20,928 90 1,863
Waukesha 80 63 72,223 127 1,546
North Fond Du Lac 81 101 5,003 139 1,419
Reedsburg 82 66 9,605 145 1,363
Plover 83 104 12,360 153 1,334
Ripon 84 78 7,694 116 1,403
Marshfield 85 95 18,530 43 2,282
Prairie Du Chien 86 67 5,731 87 1,675
Bloomfield 87 74 6,253 127 1,231
Deforest 88 90 9,674 196 785
Waupun 89 54 11,342 176 943
Hales Corners 90 68 7,758 90 1,521
Franklin 91 84 36,313 57 1,883
Hartford 92 72 14,377 48 1,975
Delafield 93 94 7,194 27 2,321
Brookfield Township 94 81 6,093 65 1,772
Twin Lakes 95 89 6,119 130 1,013
Port Washington 96 121 11,633 180 739
West Salem 97 100 5,055 98 1,226
Verona 98 97 12,942 77 1,375
Burlington 99 70 10,669 37 1,883
Town Of Menasha 100 93 19,083 99 1,095

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