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Wisconsin’s 20 Safest Cities of 2020

Written by | Updated March 9, 2020

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.

Wisconsin crime experience infographic

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. 

See if your hometown made Wisconsin’s 20 safest cities of 2020. 

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%. 

Wisconsin crime concern infographic
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 March 9, 2020, there have been two mass shooting incidents in Wisconsin, where seven lost their lives and three were 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.
  • 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.
Wisconsin crime concern infographic
Wisconsin crime concern infographic

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.
Wisconsin crime concern infographic
Wisconsin crime concern infographic

A Closer Look at Wisconsin’s Safest Cities of 2020 

  • 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.
  • Fifteen cities (75%) rose in ranking this year.
  • Only four cities went down in rank, but were able to stay in the top 20: Cedarburg, Grand Rapids, Cross Plains, and Evansville.
  • All cities came in under both state (3.0) and national (3.7) violent crime rates, with the highest rate being 1.0 per 1,000 in both Twin Lakes and West Salem.
  • There were only 79 total violent crimes reported by the 20 safest cities.
  • 95% of the cities reported fewer than 10 violent crimes.
  • All the cities came in well below state (15.6) and national (22.0) property crime rates, and the highest was Oconomowoc with 7.9 incidents per 1,000.
  • Mukwonago Town had the lowest property crime rate at 0.9, with only seven total incidents reported.
  • 18 cities (90%) reported fewer than 100 total property crimes.
Wisconsin safest cities heat map showing population and crime score

The 20 Safest Cities in Wisconsin

VC = Violent Crime
PC = Property Crime

#1

Oconomowoc Town

+23

Oconomowoc, Wisconsin
Population 8,692
Median Income $89,932
VC Rate 2020, 2019, 2018 0.1, 0.3, 0.2
PC Rate 2020, 2019, 2018 1.2, 1.5, 1.6

#2

Mukwonago Town

+33

Mukwonago Town, Wisconsin
Population 8,146
Median Income $97,658
VC Rate 2020, 2019, 2018 0.4, 0.6, 0.9
PC Rate 2020, 2019, 2018 0.9, 1.5, 3.6

#3

Bayside

0

Bayside, Wisconsin
Population 4,375
Median Income $99,125
VC Rate 2020, 2019, 2018 0.0, 0.0, 0.0
PC Rate 2020, 2019, 2018 4.3, 10.5, 5.0

#4

Geneva Town

+6

Geneva Town, Wisconsin
Population 5,032
Median Income $69,409
VC Rate 2020, 2019, 2018 0.0, 0.2, 0.2
PC Rate 2020, 2019, 2018 4.6, 5.5, 12.3

#5

Town of East Troy

+10

Town of East Troy, Wisconsin
Population 4,058
Median Income $71,324
VC Rate 2020, 2019, 2018 0.5, 0.2, 1.5
PC Rate 2020, 2019, 2018 2.7, 2.4, 5.6

#6

Cedarburg

-2

Cedarburg, Wisconsin
Population 11,469
Median Income $82,198
VC Rate 2020, 2019, 2018 0.3, 0.1, 0.2
PC Rate 2020, 2019, 2018 4.7, 6.2, 7.1

#7

Hobart-Lawrence

+23

Population 14,667
Median Income $86,481
VC Rate 2020, 2019, 2018 0.5, 0.5, 0.1
PC Rate 2020, 2019, 2018 4.7, 3.7, 4.4

#8

Muskego

+5

Muskego, Wisconsin
Population 25,118
Median Income $86,588
VC Rate 2020, 2019, 2018 0.4, 0.2, 0.2
PC Rate 2020, 2019, 2018 5.7, 7.7, 7.5

#9

Delavan Town

+80

Delavan Town, Wisconsin
Population 5,322
Median Income $54,293
VC Rate 2020, 2019, 2018 0.2, 1.3, 0.7
PC Rate 2020, 2019, 2018 7.0, 8.8, 8.2

#10

Grand Rapids

-9

Grand Rapids, Wisconsin
Population 7,385
Median Income $39,913
VC Rate 2020, 2019, 2018 0.3, 0.0, 0.1
PC Rate 2020, 2019, 2018 6.6, 5.7, 9.9

#11

Kewaskum

+3

Kewaskum, Wisconsin
Population 4,139
Median Income $63,000
VC Rate 2020, 2019, 2018 0.2, 0.2, 0.2
PC Rate 2020, 2019, 2018 7.0, 12.4, 9.2

#12

Hartland

+27

Population 9,302
Median Income 74,707
VC Rate 2020, 2019, 2018 0.3, 0.7, 0.1
PC Rate 2020, 2019, 2018 6.6, 10.4, 6.0

#13

Fox Valley Metro

+21

Fox Valley Metro, Wisconsin
Population 22,006
Median Income Not available
VC Rate 2020, 2019, 2018 0.7, 0.6, 0.7
PC Rate 2020, 2019, 2018 3.7, 5.7, 8.4

#14

Cross Plains

-2

Cross Plains, Wisconsin
Population 4,331
Median Income $82,188
VC Rate 2020, 2019, 2018 0.5, 0.2, 1.0
PC Rate 2020, 2019, 2018 5.8, 12.5, 7.9

#15

Sturtevant

+4

Sturtevant, Wisconsin
Population 6,966
Median Income $65,262
VC Rate 2020, 2019, 2018 0.4, 0.3, 0.3
PC Rate 2020, 2019, 2018 6.0, 5.8, 6.5

#16

Cottage Grove

+48

Population 7,024
Median Income $91,698
VC Rate 2020, 2019, 2018 0.9, 1.0, 0.6
PC Rate 2020, 2019, 2018 3.0, 5.2, 8.8

#17

Evansville

-8

Evansville, Wisconsin
Population 5,379
Median Income $58,870
VC Rate 2020, 2019, 2018 0.4, 0.2, 0.6
PC Rate 2020, 2019, 2018 7.4, 8.1, 10.8

#18

Oconomowoc

+3

Oconomowoc, Wisconsin
Population 16,850
Median Income $74,675
VC Rate 2020, 2019, 2018 0.4, 0.3, Not available
PC Rate 2020, 2019, 2018 7.9, 10.4, Not available

#19

Twin Lakes

+44

Population 6,077
Median Income $63,030
VC Rate 2020, 2019, 2018 1.0, 1.0, 1.3
PC Rate 2020, 2019, 2018 4.1, 10.3, 10.1

#20

West Salem

+82

Population 5,055
Median Income $57,500
VC Rate 2020, 2019, 2018 1.0, 1.6, 1.0
PC Rate 2020, 2019, 2018 4.2, 5.8, 12.3

How We Determined the Safest Cities

Learn how we identified the safest cities on our methodology page.

How to Make a Safe Home Anywhere

Whether your city made our list or not, we recommend adding extra security to your home with monitored security services provided by the nation’s leading home security providers.

To learn more about your home security options, check out SafeWise’s picks for Best Home Security Systems.

Didn’t Find Your City in the Top 20?

We calculated crime rates for every city in the state that met our population threshold, which is based on the median population of the state. See how the remaining cities ranked in the list below.

NOTE: If you don’t see your city on the list, it means that it was below the population threshold or didn’t submit a complete crime report to the FBI in 2018.

2020 RankingCityPopulationViolent Crime (per 1,000)Property Crime (per 1,000)
21Mequon24,3110.29.9
22Sheboygan Falls7,9450.39.7
23Edgerton5,6020.49.1
24Oregon10,5490.49.2
25Holmen9,9930.76.9
26Caledonia25,0470.86
27Elm Grove6,2050.59.3
28Lake Mills5,9251.52.4
29Campbell Township4,3660.78.5
30New Berlin39,7630.410.9
31Sturgeon Bay8,8890.78.8
32Kronenwetter7,8131.34.6
33Saukville4,4150.511.3
34Mayville4,8620.610.3
35Menomonee Falls37,7120.610.8
36Colby-Abbotsford4,0851.54.4
37Deforest10,5570.99.3
38Delafield7,5880.412.7
39Summit4,9471.27.1
40Waupun11,2601.18.2
41Grafton11,6620.611.7
42East Troy4,3330.99.9
43Waunakee14,0001.46.6
44Franklin36,2510.414.5
45McFarland8,5441.19.6
46Fox Crossing19,32319.8
47Mount Horeb7,4621.19.5
48Jackson7,156110.3
49Berlin5,3650.613.4
50Port Washington11,8311.66.2
51Milton5,5851.110.4
52Sauk Prairie4,6110.216.9
53Whitefish Bay13,9330.713.7
54Fox Point6,6711.210.2
55Ripon7,8231.210.6
56De Pere25,1991.58.1
57Whitewater14,5611.67.1
58Minocqua4,3801.67.5
59Reedsburg9,5180.813.1
60Oconto4,4210.516.1
61Everest Metropolitan17,3921.111.4
62Waukesha72,6721.310.3
63Monroe10,575112
64Mukwonago8,0340.714.2
65Kaukauna16,1721.58.3
66Burlington11,0391.49.8
67Pewaukee Village8,172112.6
68Plymouth8,5541.211.2
69Beloit Town7,6880.913.4
70Hales Corners7,640112.7
71Rothschild5,3341.78.2
72Marshall Village3,9882.52.3
73Mosinee4,0031.211.5
74Bloomfield6,3231.77.9
75Elkhorn9,9341.311.4
76Prescott4,2732.15.6
77Plover12,8531.113.6
78Hartford15,1831.113.4
79Cudahy18,2901.312.1
80Richland Center4,9681.411.7
81Slinger5,4761.89.5
82St. Francis9,4591.512.2
83Marinette10,5610.917.2
84Watertown23,6281.99.3
85Greendale14,1810.817.7
86Viroqua4,4611.314.1
87Germantown20,0140.421.1
88River Falls15,578116.6
89Onalaska18,8410.322
90Altoona7,8271.513.4
91Sparta9,6812.110.3
92Marshfield18,3090.720.9
93Verona13,4901.415.3
94Beaver Dam16,3941.514.6
95Chippewa Falls14,0841.812.4
96North Fond du Lac5,0791.813
97Stevens Point26,2331.514.9
98Sun Prairie33,3900.820.2
99Brookfield38,0650.721.4
100New London7,0832.58.8
101Mount Pleasant26,5710.921.4
102Dodgeville4,7341.318.6
103Fort Atkinson12,495213.5
104Brookfield Township6,2951.617.5
105Oshkosh66,7361.716.6
106Oak Creek36,6431.320.2
107Jefferson8,0211.617.6
108West Bend31,6511.816.7
109South Milwaukee20,9721.717.5
110Stoughton13,1491.718.1
111Merrill9,0912.115.3
112Menomonie16,4501.718.6
113Pleasant Prairie20,9111.718.7
114New Richmond9,052216.9
115Appleton74,9312.215.4
116Columbus5,0373.84.2
117Portage10,4962.414.9
118Prairie du Chien5,6181.620.8
119Tomah9,3941.422.7
120Middleton19,9702.613.8
121Wauwatosa48,5621.125.7
122Medford4,2941.424
123Platteville12,6422.516.5
124Lake Geneva7,9071.622.4
125Mauston4,3903.67.7
126Ashwaubenon17,3160.830.5
127Two Rivers11,0773.212.3
128Manitowoc32,5572.220.3
129Greenfield36,8501.724.4
130Hudson13,8481.427.7
131Shorewood13,3681.328
132Lake Hallie6,742038.6
133Wausau38,6823.116.2
134Menasha17,7882.520.6
135Kenosha99,9483.415
136Fitchburg30,1512.919.3
137Delavan9,9382.125.3
138Fond du Lac42,7772.423.7
139Baraboo12,178229.4
140Wisconsin Rapids17,7251.533.8
141Sheboygan48,1953.817.1
142Eau Claire68,9232.924.5
143Rhinelander7,5352.825.5
144Grand Chute22,8652.329.9
145Janesville64,4712.627.9
146Clintonville4,3321.635.5
147Waupaca5,8592.432.3
148Rice Lake8,332328.7
149Green Bay105,2814.617.1
150West Allis59,8873.327.9
151Madison258,455426
152La Crosse51,9012.837.1
153Beloit36,7464.726.6
154Shawano8,9363.833.6
155Ashland7,770432.7
156Racine77,3735.621.5
157Superior26,0542.942.8
158Monona8,1831.160.5
159Antigo7,7203.245.5
160Town of Madison6,9427.221.3
161Brown Deer11,9634.345.8
162Glendale12,7104.275.9
163Milwaukee595,61914.129.7
164West Milwaukee4,15212.3104.5

Find the Safest Cities in Each State

Click on the state image below to check out the safest cities for each state.

Sources

FBI Uniform Crime Reporting, “2018 Crime in the United States
SafeWise, “2020 State of Safety
US Census Bureau, “American Fact Finder
BestPlaces, “Find a Place Search Tool
Gun Violence Archive (GVA), “Mass Shootings Reports

 

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

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