These Are The 10 Most Dangerous Cities In Wisconsin For 2019


We used data and science to identify the most dangerous cities in the Badger State for 2019.

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This article is an opinion based on facts and is meant as infotainment. Don’t freak out that we updated it for 2019.

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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 for 2019:

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

After analyzing 141 cities in Wisconsin, why did Ashland 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.

For more Wisconsin reading, check out:

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 2019?

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 2017 data, specifically the 2017 Crime In The United States Report. We will update the results when data becomes available in September 2019.

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 — Ashland.

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

Ashland, WI

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 7,915
Rank Last Year: 3 (Up 2)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 429 (5th most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 4,535 (5th most dangerous)
More on Ashland:  Data | Photos

Ashland ranks as the 1st most dangerous city in Wisconsin. It ranks 5th for violent crime and 5th 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 20.1 chance of being the victim of crime in 2017.

Milwaukee, WI

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 595,168
Rank Last Year: 1 (Down 1)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 1,597 (1st most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 3,792 (11th most dangerous)
More on Milwaukee:  Data | Photos

Milwaukee ranks as the 2nd 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 62 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.

Brown Deer, WI

Overall SnackAbility

8.5
/10

Population: 12,015
Rank Last Year: 2 (Down 1)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 341 (11th most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 4,277 (7th most dangerous)
More on Brown Deer:  Data | Photos

Brown Deer ranks as the 3rd most dangerous city in Wisconsin.

The Brown Deer ranks as having the 11th highest violent crime rate and 7th highest property crime rate.

Beloit, WI

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 36,724
Rank Last Year: 6 (Up 2)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 424 (6th most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 3,033 (17th most dangerous)
More on Beloit:  Data | Photos

In this case, Beloit finished as the 4th most dangerous place in the Badger State.

Violent crime is the bigger issue as the city ranks 6th overall for violent crime, but 17th for property crime.

West Allis, WI

Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 60,043
Rank Last Year: 5 (No Change)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 341 (10th most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 3,404 (14th most dangerous)
More on West Allis:  Data | Photos

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 14th 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.

Shawano, WI

Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 9,014
Rank Last Year: 31 (Up 25)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 266 (23rd most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 5,069 (4th most dangerous)
More on Shawano:  Data | Photos

Shawano has placed 4th for property crime per capita in the state.

Residents of Shawano faced a 1 in 4th chance of being the victim of theft or arson in 2017.

As if that wasn’t bad enough, violent crime bumped up between 2015-17, making Shawano the 23rd most violent city in Wisconsin.

La Crosse, WI

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 52,234
Rank Last Year: 8 (Up 1)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 268 (22nd most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 4,148 (8th most dangerous)
More on La Crosse:  Data | Photos

La Crosse is slightly less dangerous than some of the others on the list, but it is still a very uncomfortable place to live if you cherish safety. While the number of robberies here has gone down lately, violent crimes have gone up. Statistically, 1 out of 373 people was attacked in 2017.

Madison, WI

Overall SnackAbility

8.5
/10

Population: 255,850
Rank Last Year: 14 (Up 6)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 374 (9th most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 2,662 (24th 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 9th highest violent crime rate in Wisconsin and the 24th highest property crime rate.

Antigo, WI

Source: Public domain

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 7,807
Rank Last Year: 36 (Up 27)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 230 (35th most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 6,353 (2nd most dangerous)
More on Antigo:  Data | Photos

Today, Antigo is the 9th most dangerous city in the state.

Unlike other cities on the list, Antigo has seen a recent boom in crime, with violent crime going up from 2015-17, and property crime also going up.

Watch your wallet in Antigo, because there’s a 1 in 15.7 chance of being the victim of a property crime while you’re there.

Rice Lake, WI

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 8,406
Rank Last Year: 10 (Up 1)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 380 (8th most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 2,545 (29th most dangerous)
More on Rice Lake:  Data | Photos

Located in Barron County, Rice Lake has the 29th worst rate of property crime in Wisconsin.

Instances of property crime went up between 2015-17, with 2017’s rate being 1 in 39.3.

Violent crime went to 8th worst overall during this time.

Locking It All Up In Wisconsin

The latest FBI crime data shows that Ashland ranks as the most dangerous city in Wisconsin for 2019.

We want to point out again that there’s still safes places in Ashland 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. Cedarburg (Pop. 11,529)
  2. Grand Rapids (Pop. 7,392)
  3. Freedom (Pop. 6,132)

For more Wisconsin reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Most Dangerous Cities In Wisconsin

Rank City Population Violent Crimes Per Capita Property Crimes Per Capita
1 Ashland 7,915 429 4,535
2 Milwaukee 595,168 1,597 3,792
3 Brown Deer 12,015 341 4,277
4 Beloit 36,724 424 3,033
5 West Allis 60,043 341 3,404
6 Shawano 9,014 266 5,069
7 La Crosse 52,234 268 4,148
8 Madison 255,850 374 2,662
9 Antigo 7,807 230 6,353
10 Rice Lake 8,406 380 2,545
11 Racine 77,371 672 2,277
12 Town of Madison 6,953 661 2,229
13 Manitowoc 32,813 304 2,782
14 Baraboo 12,191 262 3,059
15 Janesville 64,257 264 3,031
16 Eau Claire 68,687 235 2,911
17 Merrill 9,154 338 2,119
18 Green Bay 105,331 472 2,038
19 Tomah 9,441 243 2,573
20 Superior 26,352 166 4,356
21 Grand Chute 22,667 167 4,023
22 Wisconsin Rapids 17,807 168 3,975
23 Glendale 12,763 156 6,033
24 Menomonie 16,493 272 2,176
25 Fitchburg 29,535 331 2,048
26 Waupaca 5,924 168 3,342
27 Greenfield 36,882 208 2,594
28 Kenosha 99,671 402 1,810
29 Fond du Lac 42,929 256 2,098
30 Menasha 17,899 256 2,095
31 Wausau 38,832 316 1,895
32 Portage 10,372 327 1,860
33 Platteville 12,769 250 2,051
34 Wauwatosa 48,208 132 3,582
35 Oshkosh 66,652 235 2,044
36 Monona 8,285 108 6,445
37 Delavan 9,986 180 2,213
38 Sheboygan 48,595 331 1,689
39 West Bend 31,783 160 2,400
40 Stoughton 13,213 234 1,937
41 Two Rivers 11,190 330 1,608
42 Lake Geneva 7,850 127 2,700
43 Ashwaubenon 17,326 103 3,584
44 Appleton 74,660 271 1,547
45 South Milwaukee 21,039 161 2,096
46 Neenah 25,983 192 1,908
47 Brookfield 38,033 123 2,466
48 Shorewood 13,405 126 2,387
49 Beaver Dam 16,525 187 1,851
50 Hudson 13,788 116 2,552
51 Hales Corners 7,675 130 2,123
52 Chippewa Falls 14,141 219 1,683
53 Oak Creek 36,126 116 2,386
54 River Falls 15,389 194 1,702
55 Mount Pleasant 26,387 151 2,027
56 Pleasant Prairie 20,904 119 2,186
57 Everest Metropolitan 17,321 248 1,379
58 Rhinelander 7,560 105 2,367
59 Onalaska 18,847 79 2,822
60 Stevens Point 26,379 155 1,721
61 Lake Hallie 6,678 74 2,920
62 Prairie du Chien 5,690 123 1,933
63 Whitewater 14,538 206 1,375
64 Greendale 14,242 77 2,647
65 Watertown 23,814 235 1,226
66 New Richmond 8,987 200 1,357
67 Fort Atkinson 12,566 167 1,432
68 North Fond du Lac 5,038 178 1,389
69 Edgerton 5,574 107 2,027
70 Brookfield Township 6,108 98 2,062
71 Waukesha 72,565 163 1,387
72 Jefferson 8,033 112 1,867
73 Marinette 10,655 75 2,355
74 New London 7,150 195 1,188
75 Cudahy 18,191 120 1,693
76 Hartford 14,664 102 1,834
77 Columbus 5,035 297 615
78 Plymouth 8,544 152 1,369
79 Sun Prairie 33,385 119 1,602
80 Plover 12,627 158 1,243
81 Monroe 10,709 149 1,335
82 Marshfield 18,366 65 2,101
83 Port Washington 11,702 196 871
84 St. Francis 9,487 94 1,749
85 Verona 13,390 97 1,710
86 Bloomfield 6,295 127 1,254
87 De Pere 25,066 183 813
88 Franklin 36,248 77 1,707
89 Middleton 19,369 82 1,455
90 Burlington 10,686 84 1,441
91 Mukwonago 7,898 63 1,747
92 Delavan Town 5,333 131 881
93 McFarland 8,407 118 1,094
94 Caledonia 24,945 144 813
95 Elkhorn 9,817 112 1,130
96 Rothschild 5,361 93 1,361
97 Berlin 5,371 37 1,712
98 Beloit Town 7,648 65 1,399
99 Delafield 7,563 52 1,666
100 Milton 5,585 71 1,378

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