For many people, there’s nothing like living on the water, and if you’re looking for a safe place to live in a picturesque riverfront state away from the East or West Coast, Wisconsin should be your next destination.
We’ve started with all cities with a population of over 5,000 as of 2012 and then found those who met our criteria for the lowest violent and property crimes rates, based on those FBI statistics. This includes everything from violent crimes, such as robberies, murders, forcible rapes, and aggravated assaults, to property crimes, such as burglaries, property thefts, motor vehicle thefts, and arsons. We then calculated the number of occurrences happening out of 1,000 to more accurately account for cities with larger populations.
The FBI Crime Report is the most reliable source for crime statistics, but there are some cities that didn’t report all their statistics to the FBI, so this may be why they didn’t make our list. Use this list to discover the 50 safest cities and also be sure to check out our Wisconsin Safety Directory to discover personal home security and crime prevention resources.
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Freedom is more than just the city’s name—it’s a label well-deserved for an area free from crime, statistically more than any other in the state. Freedom is the perfect balance of rural, farming, and urban areas, with even an Industrial Park thrown into the mix. While the 36-square-mile township was founded back in 1830, its police department wasn’t formed until 1998.
Violent Crimes per 1,000: 0.17
Property Crimes per 1,000: 2.04
2. Town of Oconomowoc
As one of the smaller towns on our list, the Town of Oconomowoc covers about 32 square miles and is a mix of residential and agricultural areas with light industry and retail businesses in town. The town is surrounded by and comprised of several lakes, including the Okauchee Lake System, Lac La Bell, Ashippun, and other smaller lakes, all of which are heavily used for recreation year-round, plus two major rivers, the Oconomowoc and Ashippun Rivers. Clearly, the Town of Oconomowoc is ideal for those who love living on the water.
Violent Crimes per 1,000: 0.12
Property Crimes per 1,000: 4.26
3. Grand Rapids
Grand Rapids promises an excellent quality of life and is certainly beautiful. The typical Grand Rapids resident is age 38 with a spouse and child, as well as single-family homeowners, so if you’re a growing family, you’ll fit right in. Grand Rapids boasts a typically suburban lifestyle with many over half-acre, pine, and oak-forested lots that serve its population. Residents enjoy several beaches as well as boating, hiking, bicycling, fishing, swimming, camping, disc golf, and picnics at South Wood County Park.
Grand Rapids can boast not having reported a single violent crime in 2012. Part of these safety statistics is likely the direct involvement of the town’s proactive police department, including the neighborhood watch and vacant home and business checks it conducts regularly to keep its citizens safe.
Violent Crimes per 1,000: 0
Property Crimes per 1,000: 6.00
4. Mukwonago Town
Also able to report zero violent crimes in 2012, Mukwonago complements the renowned safety of its city with the depth of its rich cultural history and the promising commercial and industrial developments that have shaped this thriving community. Mukwonago strives to maintain a small-town atmosphere that still booms with city amenities to provide a full, satisfying life for its citizens.
This includes a healthy recreation department replete with activities such as sports (basketball, baseball, soccer, wrestling, etc.) and pom and dance as well as several different parks located throughout the area. Along with those recreational activities, the Mukwonago Area School District also recently won a national Physical Education grant from the U.S. Department of Education to develop physical education and nutrition programs to promote the good health of its students.
Violent Crimes per 1,000: 0
Property Crimes per 1,000: 6.25
With no murders, robberies, or arsons reported in 2012, Hobart-Lawrence, which combines the Village of Hobart and the Town of Lawrence, rounds out our top five safest cities in Wisconsin. Hobart offers a scenic, lush, and verdant environment with beautiful homes and a serene atmosphere in the neighborhoods, rolling farmlands, and beyond, along with a bustling business economy perfect for growing families. The Town of Lawrence is another small town built for continued growth both in business and community with a bright, country feel that families love.
Violent Crimes per 1,000: 0.57
Property Crimes per 1,000: 6.50
Deemed the fastest growing community in Washington County, this little gem of a small rural town is just 25 miles northwest of Milwaukee, making it just the right distance to enjoy all that Milwaukee has to offer without living there. Despite increased growth, Jackson’s police department maintains the community’s safety, reporting no murders, robberies, arsons, or motor vehicle thefts in 2012.
As for other town amenities, Jackson Joint Village Town Parks and Recreation at the Jackson Area Community Center is a hub of activities for residents of all ages, from farmers markets and outdoor movies and music concerts in the park to youth and adult sports and community fitness training. Jackson even provides its own Wi-Fi broadband service, Jackson Telecommunications, that introduces Jackson as a contender in areas offering world-class technology to its citizens.
Violent Crimes per 1,000: 0.44
Property Crimes per 1,000: 7.21\
7. Elm Grove
With only one violent crime in 2012, Elm Grove well deserves its spot in the top 10 safest cities in Wisconsin. With its rich community heritage, Elm Grove dedicates time and talent to fostering the potential for business growth and development while ensuring a superior quality of life fueled by a collective volunteer spirit. If you love to contribute to good causes in your community, you’ll have plenty of opportunities in Elm Grove.
In addition to a vibrant community feel, Elm Grove promotes beauty with tree-lined streets and expansive, well-maintained yards and gardens that harbor birds and other wildlife. You’ll also have a strong feel of togetherness, with neighborhood block parties and local businesses who treat their customers like family. Between long walks, parks, and sports and swimming facilities, there’s always something to do and an extended family to do it with.
Violent Crimes per 1,000: 0.17
Property Crimes per 1,000: 7.72
8. Lake Mills
Complete with beaches, fishing piers, and nearly a dozen parks, Lake Mills depicts the beauty of living on the shores of Rock Lake. Home of Crystal Farms dairy products company and an LEED platinum-rated middle school, Lake Mills shows promise and opportunities for people and families of all ages. Plus, the Rock Lake Activity Center offers great athletics for kids, adults, and senior programs keeps everyone busy.
In addition to its thriving economy and school district, Lake Mills also saw no murders, robberies, motor thefts, or arsons in 2012. And, according to the local police department, they’re dedicated to keeping up this record as the years go by and even have ideas on how they’re going to make this happen.
“Through the application of innovative police practices, public education, collaborative community efforts, and exercising a proactive enforcement approach, this agency will continue to ensure the City of Lake Mills maintains its reputation of being a safe and pleasant community in which to work, reside, and play.”
Violent Crimes per 1,000: 0.52
Property Crimes per 1,000: 7.49
With its comprehensive plan that guides the local government to foster community physical, social, and economic development, Kronenwetter is becoming a thriving community for business and social activities that consistently attracts new residents.
Every summer and fall, the Kronenwetter Farmers Market is bustling with people and provides the community with a healthy assortment of fresh, locally grown produce and homemade goods coming from the ample farming communities in the surrounding areas. Clean, well-maintained parks are perfect for families to take their children, and the parks system is even in the process of upgrading all playground equipment. Kronenwetter also works to repurpose and reconstruct other recreational facilities, such as camp sites, buildings, and trails, to take advantage of the beauty and nature that surrounds the area.
Violent Crime per 1,000: 0.83
Property Crime per 1,000: 8.14
As one of the most highly populated cities on our list and the most populated in the top 10, Mequon is one of the state’s most thriving cities and offers many opportunities for residents of all ages. The community and police department join together to establish an excellent quality of life for Mequon residents, including no murders or arsons reported in 2012, which is impressive for a city of this size.
Home of Concordia University, the city has an influx of young people in the area who help stimulate the economy as they enter the workforce in the area after graduation. The University has a mission to combine higher education with a dedication to community efforts and the values and teachings of the Lutheran Church, which also helps to foster community development.
Violent Crimes per 1,000: 0.69
Property Crimes per 1,000: 8.52
Waunakee’s police department keeps the city’s approximate 12,000 residents feeling safe and secure in their community, as it reported no murders, robberies, or arsons in 2012. Besides safety, Waunakee’s proximity to Madison contributes to its surging economy, making Waunakee a great place to do business and to participate in a thriving source of economic development.
In addition to a strong fiscal condition and low tax rate, Waunakee maintains an admirable quality of life for its citizens without raising the cost of living, keeping both food and miscellaneous costs below the national average. If you’re looking to raise a family with children, this city has an excellent public school system catering from kindergarten through college.
Violent Crimes per 1,000:0.24
Property Crimes per 1,000: 9.25
As part of the Madison Metropolitan Statistical Area, Portage’s ideal location just outside Madison also takes advantage of being situated in a beautiful area next to the Wisconsin and Fox Rivers. Portage doesn’t only boast a picturesque backdrop, but it backs that up with a desire to always better the community through community awareness, volunteerism, and the fostering of strong leadership, making this city an all-around promising place to live.
The great work of the local police department helped the city achieve no reported murders or arsons in 2012. But the positive community work doesn’t end there. They also have programs in place that help take care of junk vehicles, tall grass, and unshoveled sidewalks to keep the city as pristine as possible. The community established a Historical Preservation coalition and opened a museum to celebrate Portage’s rich history.
Violent Crimes per 1,000: 2.03
Property Crimes per 1,000: 7.62
Even though it is the fourth most highly populated city on our list, Muskego still boasts one of the lowest violent crimes rates, with only two reported in 2012. In addition to being safe, the city provides an array of opportunities through its vibrant business economy due in part to being centrally located within a regional economy of Milwaukee, Chicago, Rockford-Beloit-Janesville, and Madison. In fact, Muskego is predicted to be one of the fastest and strongest growing communities in the region, based on projected growth trends.
To supplement the surging economy, Muskego provides a wealth of things to do to attract new residents and keep everyone busy. Its recreation department offers a variety of activities, and it send out a seasonal program guide to residents three times a year to keep them updated on all of the happenings around the city.
Violent Crimes per 1,000: 0.16
Property Crimes per 1,000: 10.02
Only 30 minutes from Milwaukee and 60 minutes from Chicago, the Sturtevant provides an excellent location with a small town charm while still being near enough to big cities for commutes and job opportunities. Its slogan, “On the Move,” speaks to the core of its strong economy. The city is a prime destination for families and singles who want to live close the excitement of the big cities while still getting all of the unique amenities and community engagement a smaller town can bring.
In 2012, Sturtevant proved its safe nature and reported only two violent crimes the whole year. This is thanks to a police department who holds community involvement in high esteem and strives to encourage relationships with the communities through communication to achieve prevention, intervention, and enforcement when it comes to crime in the area.
Violent Crimes per 1,000: 0.29
Property Crimes per 1,000: 10.02
Safety and security are important to the Cedarburg community, and they achieve an impressive record of only two violent crimes reported in 2012 due to an engaged community and strong, involved police department. As a medium-sized city on our list, it still keeps a low crime rate, which is a desirable aspect for those who’d like to live in a rural, safer, quieter, and more close-knit smaller community just 20 miles north of Milwaukee.
Cedarburg promotes its rich history, being known for its mineral spring waters and bucolic setting along the banks of Cedar Creek since the early 1800s, and not much of the historic charm has changed since. You’ll notice that many of the municipal buildings, bed and breakfasts, museums, and art galleries are all made from the original limestone brought by German immigrants, many of which still stand today.
Violent Crimes per 1,000: 0.17
Property Crimes per 1,000: 11.08
16. Menomonee Falls
Despite being the second most highly populated city on our list, Menomonee Falls still reported no murders in 2012, an impressive feat for a city of its size. As a larger community, it is also a source of economic development for the state, and they offer several programs designed to promote development in the area, such as an Economic Development Master Fund and Business Development Loan Pool, making this a great destination for entrepreneurs and businesspeople.
With community activities, like farmers market season, fishing derbies, art walks, parades, and special days for celebrating and preserving the city’s history, families always have something to do. Menomonee Falls Community Education and Recreation releases seasonal activity guides to keep residents up-to-date with everything going on for kids, adults, and seniors alike.
Violent Crimes per 1,000: 0.39
Property Crimes per 1,000: 11.40
17. Fox Point
This suburban town is one of the smaller communities on our list at 2.8 square miles and about 6,700 residents, and its small town nature is reflected in quiet, tree-lined lanes and wooded areas, picturesque ravines, and breathtaking vistas overlooking Lake Michigan. The area fosters a tight-knit community with a variety of housing options, a range of job opportunities, and an excellent school district, all of which are perfectly suited and desirable for growing families.
To ensure a pristine community and higher quality of life, the local government provides top-notch municipal services and amenities as well as a commendable police department, which did not report a single violent crime in 2012.
Violent Crimes per 1,000: 0
Property Crimes per 1,000: 12.15
18. De Pere
De Pere boasts one of the areas with the most activities and attractions to keep residents busy and entertained. It offers an historic downtown with unique shopping, casual and fine dining, and live entertainment that includes a variety of music venues and a comedy theatre.
Starting a family or your own business are both ideal situations for choosing to live in De Pere, as it is well-equipped to handle all of your needs while providing an exceptional quality of life and beautiful place to live. In addition to 1,400 acres of modern business parks and being the home of Humana, the area’s largest employer, De Pere provides excellent public school districts, an international school, public needs school, Montessori and parochial schools, and the nationally recognized Saint Norbert College. All of these characteristics factor into a favorable decision to live here.
Violent Crimes per 1,000: 0.83
Property Crimes per 1,000: 11.81
Located 20 miles west of Milwaukee, the Hartland fosters startups and local businesses by promoting business growth and supporting valuable business amenities. It provides a healthy mix of commercial, service, manufacturing, and industrial businesses, such as a quality workforce, transportation access, and affordable rental rates for warehouse and industrial businesses in prime locations. Hartland also offers job opportunities to work with successful companies such as Batteries Plus, Merge Health Care, and AQS, Inc.
This town encourages local business and community involvement through its Have a Hart campaign, which works to preserve a thriving downtown, suitably decorated by park amenities, trees, benches, and banners, all of which can be purchased by local businesses and organizations to promote the city’s landscape.
Violent Crimes per 1,000: 0.87
Property Crimes per 1,000: 12.01
Known as “The Friendly City,” Kaukauna reported only one violent crime in 2012. Its friendliness stems from an involved community that is engaged by innumerable activities and attractions, such as the Historic Grignon Mansion, the 1,000 Islands Environmental Center, many public parks and sports fields, a public swimming pool, and a public library in addition to events like the downtown Farmers Market and Dox Firecracker 5K Run/Walk.
Kaukauna fosters a healthy business environment, particularly in the realm of industrial business, with such amenities as a 350-acre Industrial Park Network, complete with rail and heavy truck access. The city also provides other opportunities for new and existing businesses, such as The Redevelopment Authority of the City of Kaukauna.
Violent Crimes per 1,000: 1.09
Property Crimes per 1,000: 11.92
For a small town vibe with easy access to Madison and Janesville, the Oregon provides a small-town and family friendly feel to an area that is just seven miles south of its nearest major city. Perfect for families, Oregon has it all: nationally recognized schools, beautiful parks, and an impressive range of sports and recreation programs. Also important to families, Oregon is a verifiably safe place to live with only three violent crimes reported in 2012. CNN/Money Magazine even named Oregon one of the top 100 places to live in the U.S. in 2011.
Violent Crimes per 1,000: 0.32
Property Crimes per 1,000: 12.97
With no murders or arsons reported in 2012, Deforest earns a spot in our top 25 safest cities to live in Wisconsin. Deforest not only encourages safety, but it encourages business development with its convenient location at the “Triple Interstate,” which is well-connected to major markets, supply chains, and an excellent workforce.
Looking for things to keep your family busy? You’ll find an endless source of fun in Deforest, particularly if you are a fan of nature, with fishing at Sunfish Pond, canoeing, hiking, bird-watching, biking, and more along the Upper Yahara River Trail, and you can enjoy all of the beautiful parks the city has to offer. The village’s Parks & Recreation Department provides a wealth of things to do for people of all ages, from kids and adults to seniors.
Violent Crimes per 1,000: 0.88
Property Crimes per 1,000: 12.63
23. North Fond du Lac
North Fond du Lac deserves its spot on this list, especially because there were no murders, robberies, or arsons reported in 2012. This is in part due to a full-service police department that is committed to community-based policing and direct partnerships and communication with residents.
For families with children, the School District of North Fond du Lac is very involved in students’ education, offering all kinds of resources and clubs, athletics, and fine arts to keep the kids both active and informed beyond the classroom.
Violent Crimes per 1,000: 1.98
Property Crimes per 1,000: 11.88
Reedsburg fosters a community ideal for families and businesses, with a vibrant business center, industrial park, and an educational system that promotes not only intellectual development but also wellness and nutrition. You’ll find the city ensures residents’ safety, having reported no robberies, motor vehicles thefts, or arsons in 2012.
Though it is a smaller community, Reedsburg is well-connected not only between residents and the community, but also with the best telecommunications service available in the country. Reedsburg is a Gigabit Community with fiber Internet provided to every home and business, which get access to Gigabit speeds, the fastest Internet speeds available in Wisconsin. This is an attractive benefit for residents and businesses who use the Internet regularly for operations, research, and entertainment.
Violent Crimes per 1,000: 1.51
Property Crimes per 1,000: 12.51
25. Port Washington
As an ideal place to raise children, Port Washington boasts top-notch schools that score above state averages in standardized tests and includes both public and private schooling. A lovely lakefront and pristine neighborhood parks provide a variety of activities and programs for children and people of all ages to enjoy. The city provides a Parks Plus guide listing all of these opportunities.
In addition to being fun and focused on education, Port Washington is also conscious of safety in its community, and its hard-working police force reported no murders and no arsons in 2012. Still another focus for the city is being a positive and thriving home for new and existing businesses. Determined to be a one-stop shop for these businesses, Port Washington offers a variety of services and programs, such as sign grants, façade grants, design assistance, business mentoring, and more.
Violent Crimes per 1,000: 0.88
Property Crimes per 1,000: 13.18
26. Whitefish Bay
Reporting no murders or arsons in 2012, Whitefish Bay proves itself to be a strong contender for our list of safest cities in Wisconsin. This is in part due to the police department’s dedication to informing and interacting with the community by providing detailed information about everything from home identity, Internet, and online shopping safety to home security, hotel security, and personal safety.
Besides being a safe city to live in, Whitefish Bay prides itself on being a well-rounded community. It boasts an attractive location near Lake Michigan and downtown Milwaukee, diverse housing options, high-quality public and private schools, well-maintained private and public property, convenient shopping, excellent government services, and an overall sense of community. One unique offering, Whitefish Bay releases a monthly newsletter, The Bay Leaves, and distributes it to residents throughout the area to keep them informed.
Violent Crimes per 1,000: 0.77
Property Crimes per 1,000: 13.43
27. Fox Valley Metro
A metro comprised of the villages of Little Chute, Combined Locks, and Kimberly, Fox Valley Metro maintains a population of 20,000, one of the largest on our list, but still maintains the impressive feat of reporting no murders in 2012.
Little Chute prides itself in providing high-quality municipal services while still offering a combined local municipal tax and utility rates among the lowest as compared with the other communities in the Fox Cities area. It offers loan programs to businesses to promote economic growth and attract entrepreneurs. Combined Locks is a tight-knit small town community that maintains uncongested streets despite being minutes from major highways. For the education-focused family, Kimberly is dedicated to student success with quality teachers and a positive environment that fosters learning and engagement. All three have their own unique attributes that make them, and the Fox Valley Metro area, a great place to live.
Violent Crimes per 1,000: 0.83
Property Crimes per 1,000: 13.51
If you want to live in a community of caring neighbors and invested in the town’s culture, Grafton should be a top choice. In addition to a dedicated school district, Grafton offers everything from several parks and child, adult, and senior activities to walking programs, such as Walkabout Grafton, and public art, including Guitar Art and the Poetry Paths Contest. People with all different interests will find plenty to do here.
The E.D.G.E. initiative (Economic Development for Grafton Enhancement) promotes economic and business development in the community. This initiative implements programs like the Façade & Sign Improvement Program and Revolving Loan Fund (RLF) to spur growth and entrepreneurship in the area.
Violent Crimes per 1,000: 0.43
Property Crimes per 1,000: 14.25
Wouldn’t you love to live in a town where not a single murder, motor vehicle theft, or arson was reported in 2012? Slinger is that place and so much more. Both the median household income and median house or condo value were above the state median in 2011, which exemplifies the economic success and opportunities and strong housing of the area.
Its education system is highly rated, and students tend to score high in testing situations, including those in athletics. Your kids can also find plenty of community activities to participate in, such as Little League and other youth sports, and you can join programs like Friends of the Park or Friends of the Library and give back to your community.
Violent Crimes per 1,000: 0.98
Property Crimes per 1,000: 13.92
After being the recipient of many law enforcement grants over the years, in 2012, this police department reported no murders and no robberies, so they must be putting this grant money to good use in making Waupun a safe place for families and residents in general.
As for the culture of Waupun, sculptor Clarence Shaler called Waupun his hometown, and he donated awe-inspiring works of art, such as his End of the Trail, to the city, giving Waupun one of the highest concentrations of public art per capita in the country. More of his works can be seen on Waupun’s city website. Waupun also throws festivals throughout the year, such as Celebrate Waupun, Waupun Truck-n-Show, and Waupun Volksfest, so the city has plenty for its residents to do and look forward to throughout the year.
Violent Crimes per 1,000: 0.79
Property Crimes per 1,000: 14.32
31. Town of Menasha
Though it is the largest town in Wisconsin with a population 18,500, it can still offer all of the services of a larger community while still being able to keep a relatively low tax rate due to growth management and fiscal responsibility within the local government, which is just one attribute that makes the Town of Menasha an attractive place to live. Another is safety, with no murders reported in 2012.
As one of its major cultural outlets, the town also offers endless opportunities to connect with nature and the community through 23 community and neighborhood parks and open spaces for a total of more than 200 acres as well as 16 miles of recreational trails. The grounds and facilities are all well-maintained, and the Parks and Recreation Department also develop and promote many recreation programs and special events for residents of all ages.
Violent Crimes per 1,000: 1.50
Property Crimes per 1,000: 14.17
32. Richland Center
Though one of the smallest towns of our list, Richland Center is still a proud hub of business ventures, including retail, industrial, agricultural, and medical enterprises. The city’s vibrant downtown, also known as the Historic District, provides businesses with opportunistic locations and clientele and residents with ample shopping options. All businesses and residents are guarded from crimes by their small but dutiful police department, who reported no murders, robberies, motor vehicle thefts, or arsons in 2012.
Away from downtown, a picturesque small-town atmosphere gives way to families raising children in charming neighborhoods and among scenic lakes and park areas. Residents also enjoy varied recreational activities and community events, such as craft fairs, theatre performances, live music, and festivals in the summer, such as Smartfest and Ocoochapalooza.
Violent Crimes per 1,000: 0.96
Property Crimes per 1,000: 15.01
If you can’t decide between an urban or rural lifestyle, you have your pick of both in Caledonia, one of the most highly populated cities on our list. In this village, you’ll enjoy efficient government services, including a hard-working police department who, despite a larger population, reported no murders or arsons during all of 2012. Everything from local businesses, commercial districts, and shopping to recreation and healthcare are easily accessible for all residents, in addition to convenient access to the Milwaukee to Chicago corridor. The Caledonia school system, provided by the Racine Unified School District, also offers a variety of schools that feature rigorous and highly-rated academics.
Despite having so much to offer in terms of urban areas, Caledonia is still known for its rural areas as well, including many acres of idyllic open space, horse farms, and trails set against the picturesque Root River.
Violent Crimes per 1,000: 2.22
Property Crimes per 1,000: 14.05
Bloomfield is a sprawling rural community with over 10,000 combined acres of agricultural land. It includes over 16 acres of parks, four lakes, and a vibrant community with a quaint, small-town feel.
Bloomfield’s police department proudly reported no murders, robberies, or arsons in 2012, due in part to its 24-hour direct supervision of the community and its dedication to informing and involving the community in crime prevention.
Bloomfield promotes special events throughout the year to keep its residents entertained. The annual 4th of July celebration is one of the biggest, with its daytime parade and nighttime fireworks display. The Bloomfield Police Department also sponsors Kids Day Out, which includes identification cards for children as well as games, prizes, a dunk tank featuring police officers on rotation, children’s bounce house, raffle prizes, and more.
Violent Crimes per 1,000: 1.74
Property Crimes per 1,000: 15.04
For a smaller, family-oriented town with all the advantages of living near a metropolitan area and the safe (no murders or arsons in 2012), quiet, and close-knit nature of a smaller city, Ripon is a good city to look into. In fact, Budget Travel.com named Ripon one of the Coolest Small Towns in America in its September 2011 issue.
Ripon’s downtown area is jam-packed with things to do, from cosmopolitan stores and artsy coffee shops to lively pubs and delicious restaurants, all housed in carefully revitalized Italianate buildings. The energy is palpable, and residents and visitors alike enjoy all it has to offer. Outside of downtown, you’ll find plenty of parks, such as Murray Park and Ceresco Park, and trails, including Northwestern Trail, South Woods, Mascoutin Valley Trail, and more, all of which feature magnificent wildlife in their natural habitats.
Violent Crimes per 1,000: 0.90
Property Crimes per 1,000: 16.32
36. Twin Lakes
Twin Lakes works hard to foster a sound business environment for new and existing businesses and offers a variety of resources, such as Revolving Loan Funds, Tax Increment Financing, Twin Lakes Chamber and Business Association membership, relocation assistance, and more, which can be found in the city’s Business Opportunities Packet. If you’re an entrepreneur, Twin Lakes may be just the city in Wisconsin for you.
Twin Lakes saw no murders or arsons in 2012 thanks to a police force dedicated to community involvement and sponsors such programs as The Twin Lakes Police Honor Guard Unit, National Night Out, Shop With a Hero, Crimestoppers, and police department tours, among others.
Violent Crimes per 1,000: 1.16
Property Crimes per 1,000: 16.07
37. Sheboygan Falls
Sheboygan Falls has a timeless charm about it as it preserves its historic districts but aspires to provide unique shopping, incredible restaurants, and successful businesses for its residents. In addition to ample single-family and larger homes, Sheboygan Falls has a number of apartment complexes and condominiums to choose from, suitable for residents of all types to move right in.
Preparing for future growth and development, the city is planning a bike and pedestrian network that connects neighborhoods, schools, parks, and commercial areas, and it is developing more tourism initiatives to bring in more visitors and drum up businesses in the area. Part of this tourism effort is the growing number of special events the city hosts, from Date Night and Fall in Love With Wine to the Ducktona 500 Classic Car Show & Duck Race and Main Street Memories & Holiday Parade.
Violent Crimes per 1,000: 1.16
Property Crimes per 1,000: 16.60
38. Mount Horeb
Mount Horeb is family and business-oriented city that puts safety first. The town offers a wide range of excellent public schools and local preschools, including the nationally accredited Children’s Community School. Mount Horeb also believes in supporting local businesses and offers government assistance programs to foster that growth, such as the Minority Business Development Loan Program, Resources for Women Entrepreneurs, and Special Tax Credit Programs.
As for recreation, over the summer, Mount Horeb opens its Aquatic Center, complete with a 35-meter pool, zero-depth baby pool, water slide, wet sand play area, and grass decks for residents to enjoy with purchase of a pool pass or daily admission. More information about the village’s complete recreational program offerings can be found in their activity guides.
Violent Crimes per 1,000: 0.42
Property Crimes per 1,000: 17.50
39. Chippewa Falls
With no murders and no arsons reported in 2012, Chippewa Falls’ police department has proven itself in protecting its city well enough to be included on our list of safest cities in Wisconsin. But safety is just one part of why this city is a great choice for a new place to live. What began as a humble lumber town has prospered into a bustling city, full of life, learning, and fun.
Chippewa Falls is a mid-sized city with a small town and family and community-oriented feel. It offers everything from an exceptional school system and a vibrant, revitalized downtown area to scenic parks and bustling recreation areas. You may come here to visit, but once you do, there’s a good chance you’ll want to stay.
Violent Crimes per 1,000: 2.03
Property Crimes per 1,000: 15.90
40. Sturgeon Bay
Recently designated a “Coast Guard City,” Sturgeon Bay is a quaint waterfront community with two beaches, Sunset Park and Otumba Park, and a wealth of recreational opportunities for residents. This includes the Ahanapee State Trail and Ice Age National Scenic Trail that lie in the City limits, an ice rink, a summer farmers market, the Miller Art Center, boat launches, athletic fields, a marina, and park facilities, plus a thriving, historic downtown area.
With so much to do, Sturgeon Bay has long been considered a popular tourist destination, but it is an exciting place to live in as well. Local businesses are bustling amid a relaxed atmosphere and the beauty of a natural, scenic background. The city’s waterways give way to a solid foundation of the shipbuilding industry as well as other manufacturing and service industries. It’s a safe area too, with no murders or robberies reported in 2012.
Violent Crimes per 1,000: 0.98
Property Crimes per 1,000: 17.21
If you love living on the water, Oconomowoc is a prime destination. Surrounded by lakes, parks, and other natural amenities, it deserves its nickname, “Heart of Lake Country,” and lives up to the meaning of Oconomowoc, “Where the Waters Meet.” Not only is this city a safe place to live, with no murders or arsons reported in 2012, but it has plenty to do for singles, couples, families, and baby boomers alike. With its lush, picturesque lakes come canoes, paddleboards, sailboats, and other marine activities, such as basking in the sun at City Beach, in addition to plenty of non-aquatic activities for all ages.
Settled in the 1800s, wealthy families of Milwaukee and Chicago took refuge in this quaint area, and it has since grown by maintaining its small town charm while allowing itself to evolve with the times and convert summer getaways into beautiful year-round homes.
In 2012, Mayville reported no murders, robberies, or arsons, which are always numbers to be proud of. With a population of about 5200 residents, Mayville boasts a small town atmosphere with the welcoming atmosphere and safe community one comes to expect from a more tight-knit area. The Rock River winds around the outskirts of town, providing a pleasant backdrop to the area’s homes and businesses. In addition to safety and a close community feel, Mayville offers affordable housing, an excellent school system, fun and varied recreation programs, and exemplary medical facilities to boot.
As for businesses in the area, Mayville offers plenty of job opportunities well-suited for both singles and families, including Mayville’s River Knoll Industrial Park with ample properties for new businesses to establish themselves in. Local businesses are also lent a hand by Main Street Mayville, a nonprofit corporation that finances business projects in the area.
Violent Crimes per 1,000: 0.19
Property Crimes per 1,000: 18.61
Whitewater residents are proud of their University of Wisconsin-Whitewater students and certainly do their part to keep these kids and the community safe.
In addition to many recreational programs for children and adults, the community is also a perfect place for seniors, as it offers special programs like Seniors in the Park. It is an effort designed to challenge and continue the development of the minds of seniors, always teaching them something new with opportunities such as presentation and lecture series, chess and card games, and many others. The program also caters to the health and wellbeing of seniors with fitness programs, health checks, massages, wellness presentations, and more.
Violent Crimes per 1,000: 1.15
Property Crimes per 1,000: 17.90
Located in Dane County, McFarland is part of one of the fastest growing metropolitan areas in Wisconsin with rapid growth in region while still maintaining a small town atmosphere. To accommodate the growth of its population, the city also maintains various initiatives to foster its local businesses, such as the McFarland Business Watch Program.
McFarland offers a small but excellent school system, including McFarland High School, Waubesa Intermediate School and Indian Mound Middle School, all highly rated, which is great for families looking for an area with top-notch K-12 schooling for their children. The city also offers various activities for residents to enjoy, such as the McFarland Family Festival, Village Festival, and Chocolate Fest, held throughout the year. It also boasts a low violent crime rate so families can feel safe at the same time.
Violent Crimes per 1,000: 0.38
Property Crimes per 1,000: 18.98
As the largest city on our list by far, Waukesha still maintains an impressive safety record with only one murder and one arson reported in 2012, which are very good numbers for a city of this size. Waukesha is the birthplace of Les Paul, inventor of the electric guitar, and the only small town dubbed Gibson Guitar Town. In 2012, Waukesha was the only city in Wisconsin to make “Money Magazine’s” list of the Top 100 Best Small Cities to live in.
Waukesha has a lovely downtown area and a wealth of things to do for residents and visitors alike, including historic places, bike trails, and parks, plus many examples of public art to enjoy around town. “Money Magazine” also noted the city recently used tax incremental financing to fund the expansion of two major local corporations, which ended up creating 300 new jobs in the process.
Violent Crimes per 1,000: 1.51
Property Crimes per 1,000: 18.35
46. Hales Corners
If you’re looking for a comfortable, welcoming place with a promising safety record, excellent schools, a large central shopping area, Hales Corners should be at the top of your list. As a resident, you’ll have easy access to the Wehr Nature Center, Whitnall Park, and the world-famous Boerner Botanical Gardens. If you’re a fan of nature and outdoor activities, Hales Corners was recently named Tree City USA by the Arbor Day Foundation in honor of the city’s commitment to effective urban forest management.
Local businesses not only thrive in this community, but they also get involved in the community, such as sponsoring children’s recreation programs to promote health and wellbeing for kids of all ages. Potential residents can choose from many available jobs across 380 businesses, or entrepreneurs can start their own with assistance of the Hales Corners Chamber of Commerce. This city is a must-see for families of all types.
Violent Crimes per 1,000: 0.90
Property Crimes per 1,000: 18.97
Even with a population of nearly 20,000 Germantown’s police department still did not report a single murder or arson in 2012. In addition to its safety record, Germantown maintains a proud history and heritage, where it has expanded from a small farming community of just one square mile into a more vibrant business and family-centric community encompassing now over 35 square miles.
To keep residents up to date with local recreational activity availabilities, Germantown regularly releases a Parks and Recreation Program Guide complete with a new selection of programs suitable for families and individuals of all ages. Plus, Germantown offers an active senior center to accommodate the needs and provide enjoyable activities for seniors as well.
Violent Crimes per 1,000: 0.55
Property Crimes per 1,000: 19.47
48. New London
For a new, safe place to live with a wealth of nature and outdoor activities to choose from, New London is a great destination with its parks, Mukwa Wildlife Area, Mosquito Hill Nature Center, Cactus Rock, and The Little Wolf River, which is famous for its fast clean water and known for being a great fishing and tubing spot. For a taste of culture, the city also offers a historical village complete with a home, school, chapel, and railroad depot.
For business owners looking to start or grow their businesses in New London, the city offers several business assistance programs, such as Fox Valley Technical College and Fox Valley Workforce Development Board, which assists businesses in hiring and training employees from around the city. This makes the area a good choice for those with family businesses looking to find a new home to plant roots in.
Violent Crimes per 1,000: 0.82
Property Crimes per 1,000: 19.58
Safety is key to Neenah’s success, where with a population of over 25,000, the police department reported no murders and no arsons in 2012. In addition to being a safe place to live, families will also love the city’s excellent school system, which earned a “Gold Medal” rating in Expansion Management Magazine’s Education Quotient review. Three of Neenah’s schools have received the national “Excellence in Educationrel=”nofollow”” award, and it reports consistently high standardized test scores from its students.
Affordable housing for families is also a priority to Neenah, and the median sales price and average price per square foot have dropped slightly year over year to make them more accessible to future residents. Once you have moved in, you can enjoy many different recreational activities, including fitness classes, diving and scuba diving lessons, and even a kids’ bike club.
Violent Crimes per 1,000: 1.36
Property Crimes per 1,000: 19.37
Boasting an unemployment rate of only 2.8 percent, Altoona finds itself filled with job opportunities in a variety of industries, particularly educational, health, and social services, retail trade, and manufacturing. It public school system, all conveniently located on one campus, is also promising, and Altoona High was actually ranked one of the Best High Schools by U.S. News.
Altoona contains a large number of parks within its city limits, including Hillcrest Park, Lake Altoona County Park, Devney Park, Altoona City Park, and Lake Front Park, to name a few. In addition to recreational programs for individuals of all ages, Altoona also offers a vibrant senior center where it promotes seniors’ “second youth,” with social, educational, and special events, as well as health and fitness programs to promote health and wellness.
Violent Crimes per 1,000: 5.29
Property Crimes per 1,000: 15.57
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