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:
- Milwaukee (Photos)
- Brown Deer (Photos)
- Ashland (Photos)
- Waupaca (Photos)
- West Allis (Photos)
- Beloit (Photos)
- Racine (Photos)
- La Crosse (Photos)
- Superior (Photos)
- 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.
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.
Read on for a detailed look at the 10 most dangerous cities in Wisconsin.
Population: 600,193Rank 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
Population: 12,101Rank 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.
Population: 8,005Rank 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.
Population: 6,001Rank 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
Population: 60,558Rank 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.
Population: 36,878Rank 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.
Population: 77,536Rank 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
Population: 52,498Rank 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.
Population: 26,451Rank 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:
- Oconomowoc Town
For more Wisconsin reading , check out:
- These 10 Wisconsin Cities Have The Most A-Holes
- 10 Small Towns In Wisconsin Where You’d Never Want To Live
- Americans Try To Pronounce Wisconsin City Names For The First Time.
Detailed List Of The Most Dangeroues Cities In Wisconsin
|Town Of Madison||13||6||6,878|
|Fond Du Lac||23||17||42,907|
|North Fond Du Lac||81||101||5,003|
|Prairie Du Chien||86||67||5,731|
|Town Of Menasha||100||93||19,083|