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.

Here are the 10 most dangerous cities in Wisconsin for 2020:

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

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:

Graphing The Most Dangerous And Safest Places In Wisconsin

Most Dangerous Cities In Wisconsin Graph

Click To Enlarge

The 10 Most Dangerous Places To Live In Wisconsin For 2020

Glendale, WI

Overall SnackAbility


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

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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 residents faced a 1 in 234 chance of being the victim of violence in 2018 and a 1 in 21.8 chance of being the victim of a property crime — both statistics that have barely changed in recent years.

It’s the 6th most violent city.

Milwaukee, WI

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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.

Review Of Milwaukee by HomeSnacks User

My family lived in Milwaukee from 1965 to 1968, and then we moved back to Los Angeles, having moved to Milwaukee from California. Then we came back in 1972 and stayed until 1987, if you call that living. The awful smell of the city

Well, the library downtown was nice, and the history museum and art museum, and you could go and see the Brewers play. But from September to may, you get snow! And it’s cold. And it’s horribly humid and moldy, and there is never a nice, cool breeze. You always seem to be sweating and unable to breathe. And in the summer the mosquitoes eat you alive, so you cannot even enjoy sitting outside. There ARE a lot of parks, but there is also a tavern on each street corner. About a million decent people moved away when the factories were closed by the traitors at the top, and now the city is basically “Chicago, junior”, destroyed by so-called “minorities” who commit all the crime, and are actually the majority.

Ashland, WI

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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.

Review Of Ashland by HomeSnacks User

I’ve lived in the greater Chequamegon Bay area for over 13 years. I lived in Ashland 5 of those years as a college student. Northland College is a really sweet little liberal arts school and I loved and value my experience there. My experience as a resident of Ashland is another story. In the 5 years I lived there, my home and vehicle were broken into on separate occasions, my car was egged in the dead of winter during extreme cold, making it impossible to get the egg off in a timely manner. I witnessed or was privy to numerous acts of bigotry and violence, including an attack on a friend on his way home late one night that left him lying half conscious in the street and resulting in multiple surgeries to repair his orbital bone and save his eye. The last thing he remembers hearing was something about how he was just a”dirty hippy”. No one was charged. I worked in the school district and experienced an active shooter lock down due to a domestic dispute between a teacher and her estranged husband. I could go on. This little city on the beautiful shore of Lake Superior is being strangled by drug and poverty issues and racial tensions. This is exacerbated by residents who are resistant to change and who in many case refuse to support their greater community and schools. I chose to move outside the Ashland area, despite the lower cost of living offered there.

The lake shore path is lovely. Great Co-op, coffee house and bakery. Artesian well for fresh water. Northern Great Lakes Visitors Center is definitely worth a stop if you are passing through.

Shawano, WI

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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 eastern Wisconsin, Shawano is one of the smaller cities to appear on this list.

Shawano has achieved some impressive improvements in its crime rate in recent years, with violent crime falling by 34% from 2017-2018, and property crime falling by about half as much.

Still, folks living in Shawano had a 1 in 29.8 chance of being the victim of theft or arson in 2018, which is pretty unacceptable.

Antigo, WI

Source: Public domain

Overall SnackAbility


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 highly for the occurrence of crime. In particular, violent crime rates in Antigo stick out for being the 16th worst in Wisconsin.

There were 25 violent crimes in Antigo, but that’s down from earlier in the decade.

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

Review Of Antigo by HomeSnacks User

I live in Antigo. We should be ranked much higher than 9th worst.

Superior, WI

Overall SnackAbility


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


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


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

The largest city in La Crosse County, La Crosse has experienced a 13% increase in its violent crime rate and a 19% rise in property crime rate between 2017-2018.

Folks in La Crosse had about a 1 in 27.0 chance of being robbed or burnt in 2018, which is just the heavy price you pay for living in La Crosse.

Madison, WI

Overall SnackAbility


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.

Review Of Madison by HomeSnacks User

I’m not sure how the crime is because I’m not in Madison enough to know. The schools seem to be decent which I only know because I have cousins that live there. There is lots to do in Madison so that’s why I like going there from time to time. The also offer free things to do like go to the zoo which is really nice.

My favorite places to go are the disc golf courses that are around and in the Madison area. My husband and I really enjoy going disc golfing and there is multiple places to choose from which is really nice.

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.