We just released the 100 safest small towns in America for 2020 and four Wisconsin towns are recognized. Check out the full list to see if your town made the cut.
The SafeWise Team is pleased to release the sixth annual Safest Cities report. Here are the 20 Safest Cities in Wisconsin for 2020. See if your city made the list.
Folks in Wisconsin tend to worry less about their safety than the rest of the country. Wisconsin is home to some of the nation’s lowest crime rates, which are in abundant supply in the state’s 20 safest cities.
According to our 2020 State of Safety study, 41% of Wisconsin respondents feel high concern about their safety every day. That’s five percentage points higher than was reported last year in the Badger State, but five percentage points lower than the national average of 46%.
38% of Wisconsin residents are most concerned about mass shootings.
Concern about and experience of crime have both increased significantly year over year, but statewide crime rates went down.
The violent crime rate in Wisconsin is 3.0 incidents per 1,000, which is less than the national rate of 3.7. Surprisingly, reports of violent crime rose by 10 percentage points this year, putting Wisconsin higher than the national average of 12%.
Experience with property crime increased 15 percentage points year over year, exceeding the national average of 26%. The state’s property crime rate went down from 18.1 last year to 15.6. Both are below the national property crime rate of 22.0 incidents per 1,000.
Violent Crime in Wisconsin: Fear vs. Reality
Mass shootings are the violent crime that cause the highest levels of concern in the Badger State. But people feel it’s more likely that they’d fall victim to physical assault by a stranger.
39% of survey participants named mass shooting as the violent crime they worry about the most, compared to 38% nationwide.
10% reported that they, or someone close to them, has been personally affected by a mass shooting at some point in their lifetime. The national average is 7%.
As of July 15, there have been a total of six mass shootings in Wisconsin, leaving 11 dead and 19 injured.
Between 2014 and 2019 there were 16 mass shootings in Wisconsin, killing 20 and injuring 53. Across the country, there were 2,087 mass shooting incidents during the same timeframe. So far in 2020, the country has had 299 mass shootings.
22% said they think physical assault by a stranger is the violent crime that’s most likely to happen, versus 26% nationally.
Aggravated assault was the most common violent crime in Wisconsin, accounting for 75% of incidents among the safest cities and 66% statewide.
34% of respondents expressed highest concern about physical assault.
Property Crime in Wisconsin: Fear vs. Reality
Break-ins are the most worrisome property crime in Wisconsin, whether it’s an intrusion into a home or a car.
62% of survey respondents expressed highest concern about a break-in when no one’s at home. That matches the national average.
Burglary accounted for just 14% of all property crime reported by the safest cities and 16% of all property crime in Wisconsin.
42% think the most likely property crime is a vehicle break-in. That’s six percentage points higher than the national average of 36%.
Larceny-theft is the most pervasive property crime in West Virginia, totalling 75% of the state’s property crimes and 82% of the property crimes reported by the safest cities.
17% of Wisconsin respondents said they use a security system, compared to 24% across the country.
29% use a dog or other guard animal, which makes it the most popular security method in the state. Nationwide, 33% use a guard animal to protect their property.
35% use no form of protection or security, versus 29% nationwide.
A Closer Look at Wisconsin’s Safest Cities of 2020
For the purposes of this report, the terms “safest” and “dangerous” refer explicitly to crime rates as calculated from FBI crime data—no other characterization of any community is implied or intended.
The top two cities catapulted to the top this year. Oconomowoc Town climbed 23 spots and number two Mukwonago Town climbed 33. Bayside held on as the third safest city in the state.
Mass Shooting Definition: SafeWise uses the GVA definition of a mass shooting: “If four or more people are shot or killed in a single incident, not involving the shooter, that incident is categorized as a mass shooting based purely on that numerical threshold.”
Written by Rebecca Edwards
Rebecca is the lead safety reporter and in-house expert for SafeWise.com. She has been a journalist and blogger for over 25 years, with a focus on home and community safety for the past six. Rebecca spends dozens of hours every month testing and evaluating security products and strategies. Her safety expertise is sought after by publications, broadcast journalists, non-profit organizations, podcasts, and more. You can find her work and contributions in places like TechCrunch, The Washington Post, The Chicago Tribune, HGTV, MSN, and an ever-growing library of radio and TV clips. Learn more