Wisconsin’s 20 Safest Cities of 2021

The SafeWise Team is pleased to release the seventh annual Safest Cities report.

Here are the 10 safest cities in Wisconsin for 2021

1. Waterford Town
2. Muskego
3. Oconomowoc Town
4. Cedarburg
5. Waupun
6. Grand Rapids
7. Cottage Grove
8. Geneva Town
9. Edgerton
10. Whitefish Bay

See if your city made the full list.

Wisconsinites don’t spend a lot of time worrying about crime and safety. The Badger State boasts lower crime rates than the national average, and its safest cities enjoy some of the lowest reported crime numbers in the country.

2021 Wisconsin crime rates

Wisconsin’s violent crime rate is 22% below the national rate of 3.7 incidents per 1,000 people. The Badger State is tied with Ohio for the lowest violent crime rate in the region and also claims the lowest regional property crime rate.

The property crime rate in Wisconsin is 30% lower than the national rate—14.7 incidents per 1,000 people, compared to 21.1 nationwide. Both violent and property crime have been on the decline for the last three years.

Level of concern and experience with crime in Wisconsin

Wisconsin matches the national average when it comes to daily concern about crime and safety, but when it comes to specific crime issues, Wisconsin is less concerned about every issue except gun violence.

Nearly 8 in 10 Wisconsinites think crime is rising, despite violent and property crime experiences dropping 22% and 37% respectively.

Even though Wisconsin is on par with the national level of daily concern (47%), year over year the state saw a jump of 15%—from 41% to 47%. And fewer Wisconsin respondents say they feel safe in their state (48% compared to 55% nationwide). Surprisingly, this climb in concern coincides with lower crime rates and fewer reports of personal experiences with crime.

Violent crime experiences are four percentage points ahead of the national average, but four points behind what the state reported last year. There was a 10-point dip in property crime experiences this year, putting Wisconsin just under the national reporting average of 18%.

Crime concerns in Wisconsin

We asked Wisconsin residents which crimes they worry may happen to them. See if Wisconsinites are concerned about the same crime issues as the rest of the country.

View the complete 2021 State of Safety report.

Violent crime in Wisconsin: Fear vs. reality

Violent crime decreased for the third consecutive year, and only 35% of Wisconsin survey respondents say they’re worried about falling victim to a violent crime.

  • Wisconsin’s violent crime rate has fallen 9% since 2019.
  • Aggravated assault is the most common violent crime in America and in Wisconsin, making up 68% of all reported violent crimes in the US, the state, and its safest cities.
  • Murder is more prevalent in Wisconsin’s safest cities than in the rest of the state. Homicide made up 4% of all violent crime in the safest cities, but just 1% of all violent crime statewide.
  • Robbery is the least-common violent crime among the safest cities, with only 1 reported.
  • 39% of survey respondents worry most about a gun violence incident happening to them (US 38%).
  • Wisconsin had 10 mass shooting incidents in 2020—7 more than the previous year.
  • Officer-involved shootings decreased year over year, from 34 to 32.
  • 37% worry about police violence daily (US 40%) and 58% have confidence in law enforcement (US 56%).
  • 22% use a personal safety device like a stun gun or pepper spray (US 34%).
  • 48% say their personal safety has been affected by the pandemic (US 44%).

Property crime in Wisconsin: Fear vs. reality

Property crime in Wisconsin has been on the decline for the past three years. And even though property crime is the most-concerning crime issue, Wisconsinites’s level of concern is one percentage point lower than the national average of 42%.

  • Since 2019, the property crime rate has dropped 19%.
  • Wisconsin’s property crime rate is 30% below the national average of 21.1.
  • Burglaries are less common in Wisconsin, making up 15% of all property crime compared to 16% nationwide. In the safest cities that percentage drops to 9%.
  • Larceny-theft is the most prevalent property crime in Wisconsin, making up 77% of all property crime compared to 73% nationwide.
  • 19% reported a package theft in the past 12 months, just 1 percentage point behind the national average of 20%.
  • 50% of survey respondents use some form of property protection (US 62%) with security cams leading the way at 24%.
  • 28% say the security of their property has been affected by the pandemic (US 29%).

A closer look at the safest cities in Wisconsin

For the purposes of this report, the terms “dangerous” and “safest” refer explicitly to crime rates as calculated from FBI crime data—no other characterization of any community is implied or intended.

  • 162 cities met criteria to be considered for ranking.
  • Waterford Town is the new safest city in Wisconsin, topping the list with 0 reported violent crimes, and just 24 reported property crimes.
  • No city reported more than 10 total violent crimes. Hobart-Lawrence had the most with only 8.
  • 4 cities reported just 1 violent crime: Edgerton, Campbell Township, Berlin, and Saukville.
  • The violent crime rate among the safest cities is a mere 0.3 incidents per 1,000 people—90% below the statewide rate of 2.9.
  • Mukwonago Town reported the lowest number of property crimes with only 5 incidents.
  • Whitefish Bay reported the most property crimes (145) but had the fourth-highest property crime rate per capita.
  • The average property crime rate among the safest cities is 6.4 incidents per 1,000—56% below the statewide rate of 14.7.

The 20 Safest Cities in Wisconsin

Waterford, Wisconsin
#1
Waterford Town
(
NEW
)
  • Circle Population
    Population
    6,505
  • Circle Dollar
    Median Income
    $79,340
  • Circle Gun
    VC Rate 2021, 2020, 2019
    0.0, N/A, N/A
  • Circle Property
    PC Rate 2021, 2020, 2019
    3.7, N/A, N/A
Muskego, Wisconsin
#2
Muskego
(
+6
Up
)
  • Circle Population
    Population
    25,224
  • Circle Dollar
    Median Income
    $89,512
  • Circle Gun
    VC Rate 2021, 2020, 2019
    0.2, 0.4, 0.2
  • Circle Property
    PC Rate 2021, 2020, 2019
    3.4, 5.7, 7.7
Oconomowoc, Wisconsin
#3
Oconomowoc Town
(
-2
Down
)
  • Circle Population
    Population
    8,741
  • Circle Dollar
    Median Income
    $89,932
  • Circle Gun
    VC Rate 2021, 2020, 2019
    0.3, 0.1, 0.3
  • Circle Property
    PC Rate 2021, 2020, 2019
    1.9, 1.2, 1.5
Cedarburg, Wisconsin
#4
Cedarburg
(
+2
Up
)
  • Circle Population
    Population
    11,548
  • Circle Dollar
    Median Income
    $85,077
  • Circle Gun
    VC Rate 2021, 2020, 2019
    0.2, 0.3, 0.1
  • Circle Property
    PC Rate 2021, 2020, 2019
    7.7, 4.7, 6.2
Waupun, Wisconsin
#5
Waupun
(
+35
Up
)
  • Circle Population
    Population
    11,315
  • Circle Dollar
    Median Income
    $52,649
  • Circle Gun
    VC Rate 2021, 2020, 2019
    0.3, 1.1, 0.8
  • Circle Property
    PC Rate 2021, 2020, 2019
    5.5, 8.2, 7.1
Grand Rapids, Wisconsin
#6
Grand Rapids
(
+4
Up
)
  • Circle Population
    Population
    7,405
  • Circle Dollar
    Median Income
    $73,208
  • Circle Gun
    VC Rate 2021, 2020, 2019
    0.4, 0.3, 0.0
  • Circle Property
    PC Rate 2021, 2020, 2019
    3.0, 6.6, 5.7
#7
Cottage Grove
(
+9
Up
)
  • Circle Population
    Population
    7,203
  • Circle Dollar
    Median Income
    $84,643
  • Circle Gun
    VC Rate 2021, 2020, 2019
    0.4, 0.9, 1.0
  • Circle Property
    PC Rate 2021, 2020, 2019
    3.1, 3.0, 5.2
Geneva Town, Wisconsin
#8
Geneva Town
(
-4
Down
)
  • Circle Population
    Population
    5,045
  • Circle Dollar
    Median Income
    $55,156
  • Circle Gun
    VC Rate 2021, 2020, 2019
    0.4, 0.0, 0.2
  • Circle Property
    PC Rate 2021, 2020, 2019
    3.8, 4.6, 5.5
#9
Edgerton
(
+14
Up
)
  • Circle Population
    Population
    5,646
  • Circle Dollar
    Median Income
    $60,208
  • Circle Gun
    VC Rate 2021, 2020, 2019
    0.2, N/A, 1.1
  • Circle Property
    PC Rate 2021, 2020, 2019
    9.9, N/A, 20.3
#10
Whitefish Bay
(
+43
Up
)
  • Circle Population
    Population
    13,816
  • Circle Dollar
    Median Income
    $102,576
  • Circle Gun
    VC Rate 2021, 2020, 2019
    0.2, 0.7, 0.4
  • Circle Property
    PC Rate 2021, 2020, 2019
    10.5, 13.7, 14.0
#11
Campbell Township
(
+18
Up
)
  • Circle Population
    Population
    4,337
  • Circle Dollar
    Median Income
    $56,786
  • Circle Gun
    VC Rate 2021, 2020, 2019
    0.2, 0.7, 0.9
  • Circle Property
    PC Rate 2021, 2020, 2019
    10.1, 8.5, 12.6
#12
Hobart-Lawrence
(
-5
Down
)
  • Circle Population
    Population
    15,460
  • Circle Dollar
    Median Income
    $86,481
  • Circle Gun
    VC Rate 2021, 2020, 2019
    0.5, N/A, 0.5
  • Circle Property
    PC Rate 2021, 2020, 2019
    2.8, N/A, 3.7
Mukwonago Town, Wisconsin
#13
Mukwonago Town
(
-11
Down
)
  • Circle Population
    Population
    8,167
  • Circle Dollar
    Median Income
    Unavailable
  • Circle Gun
    VC Rate 2021, 2020, 2019
    0.6, 0.4, 0.6
  • Circle Property
    PC Rate 2021, 2020, 2019
    0.6, 0.9, 1.5
Sheboygan Falls, Wisconsin
#14
Sheboygan Falls
(
+8
Up
)
  • Circle Population
    Population
    7,947
  • Circle Dollar
    Median Income
    $52,969
  • Circle Gun
    VC Rate 2021, 2020, 2019
    0.4, 0.3, 0.1
  • Circle Property
    PC Rate 2021, 2020, 2019
    7.4, 9.7, 6.3
#15
Berlin
(
+34
Up
)
  • Circle Population
    Population
    5,401
  • Circle Dollar
    Median Income
    $45,123
  • Circle Gun
    VC Rate 2021, 2020, 2019
    0.2, 0.6, 0.4
  • Circle Property
    PC Rate 2021, 2020, 2019
    12.6, 13.4, 17.1
Colby-Abbotsford, Wisconsin
#16
Colby-Abbotsford
(
+20
Up
)
  • Circle Population
    Population
    4,152
  • Circle Dollar
    Median Income
    $38,750
  • Circle Gun
    VC Rate 2021, 2020, 2019
    0.5, 1.5, 0.0
  • Circle Property
    PC Rate 2021, 2020, 2019
    6.0, 4.4, 7.1
Kewaskum, Wisconsin
#17
Kewaskum
(
-6
Down
)
  • Circle Population
    Population
    4,244
  • Circle Dollar
    Median Income
    $67,222
  • Circle Gun
    VC Rate 2021, 2020, 2019
    0.5, 0.2, 0.2
  • Circle Property
    PC Rate 2021, 2020, 2019
    6.4, 7.0, 12.4
Saukville, Wisconsin
#18
Saukville
(
+15
Up
)
  • Circle Population
    Population
    4,428
  • Circle Dollar
    Median Income
    $74,861
  • Circle Gun
    VC Rate 2021, 2020, 2019
    0.2, 0.5, 0.2
  • Circle Property
    PC Rate 2021, 2020, 2019
    13.1, 11.3, 16.8
#19
McFarland
(
+26
Up
)
  • Circle Population
    Population
    8,961
  • Circle Dollar
    Median Income
    $70,750
  • Circle Gun
    VC Rate 2021, 2020, 2019
    0.6, 1.1, 1.2
  • Circle Property
    PC Rate 2021, 2020, 2019
    5.8, 9.6, 10.9
#20
Muckwonago
(
+44
Up
)
  • Circle Population
    Population
    8,144
  • Circle Dollar
    Median Income
    $97,658
  • Circle Gun
    VC Rate 2021, 2020, 2019
    0.4, 0.7, 0.6
  • Circle Property
    PC Rate 2021, 2020, 2019
    10.9, 14.2, 17.5

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 encourage everyone to be proactive about home security. Learn more about your home security options—and find out which companies we recommend for every budget and lifestyle in our roundup of the 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, based on the state’s median population. 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 2019.

2021 Rank
City
Population
VC per 1,000Icon Tooltip  Dark
PC per 1,000Icon Tooltip  Dark
21Fox Point6.60K0.59.2
22Sturgeon Bay8.94K0.410.4
23Burlington11.06K0.57.9
24Bayside4.34K0.73.9
25Mequon24.55K0.67.2
26New Berlin39.75K0.511.4
27Sturtevant6.65K0.84.8
28Oregon10.68K0.75.0
29Elm Grove6.20K0.67.7
30Caledonia25.12K0.85.1
31Oconomowoc16.98K0.87.4
32Kronenwetter8.10K0.94.9
33Mount Horeb7.48K0.93.1
34Delafield7.61K0.514.2
35Plymouth8.77K0.613.0
36Menomonee Falls37.94K0.78.7
37Town of East Troy4.06K1.02.2
38Middleton20.07K0.613.4
39Monroe10.54K0.711.7
40Kaukauna16.34K0.96.7
41De Pere25.16K0.88.6
42Cross Plains4.35K0.95.3
43Grafton11.80K0.712.0
44Pewaukee Village8.19K0.710.6
45Hartland9.37K1.04.9
46Reedsburg9.55K0.516.6
47Viroqua4.41K0.712.9
48Hartford15.46K0.614.2
49Sauk Prairie4.63K0.99.7
50River Falls16.07K0.811.7
51Holmen10.22K0.99.8
52Prairie du Chien5.64K0.714.5
53Hales Corners7.58K0.812.4
54West Salem5.09K1.07.5
55Deforest10.77K0.99.0
56Fox Valley Metro22.19K1.13.9
57Waukesha72.72K0.99.5
58Franklin35.88K0.716.1
59Mosinee4.07K1.09.6
60Slinger5.53K0.911.8
61Greendale14.06K0.911.4
62Pleasant Prairie21.07K0.619.9
63Waunakee14.16K1.19.5
64Brookfield38.88K0.817.8
65Sun Prairie34.56K1.014.4
66Beloit Town7.71K0.916.3
67Elkhorn9.99K1.29.5
68Brookfield Township6.28K1.016.2
69Onalaska18.83K0.527.7
70North Fond du Lac5.10K1.45.7
71New London7.12K1.017.0
72Fox Crossing18.99K1.38.4
73Germantown19.98K0.822.5
74Altoona7.94K1.113.7
75Delavan Town5.34K1.54.1
76Rothschild5.27K1.39.7
77Marinette10.57K1.017.4
78Jefferson8.04K1.116.0
79Jackson7.22K1.213.2
80Lake Mills5.95K1.72.5
81Bloomfield6.34K1.65.5
82Lake Geneva8.0K1.118.4
83Marshall Village3.97K1.58.3
84Oak Creek36.68K1.119.7
85East Troy4.33K1.65.8
86Verona13.51K1.314.0
87Sparta9.82K1.58.9
88Milton5.62K1.412.3
89St. Francis9.53K1.512.4
90Prescott4.28K1.69.6
91Cudahy18.16K1.611.3
92South Milwaukee20.73K1.416.7
93Mayville4.86K1.610.9
94Plover13.16K1.515.0
95Shorewood13.22K1.515.9
96Waupaca5.87K1.421.1
97Dodgeville4.71K1.324.2
98Neenah26.13K1.712.6
99Wauwatosa48.56K1.227.4
100Portage10.45K1.615.7
101Mount Pleasant27.07K1.519.8
102Marshfield18.22K1.617.1
103Beaver Dam16.38K1.615.9
104Ashwaubenon17.31K1.227.6
105Ripon7.82K1.98.7
106Merrill9.02K1.618.7
107Platteville12.12K1.619.0
108Columbus5.09K2.010.4
109Rhinelander7.62K1.717.5
110Hudson14.07K1.427.1
111Watertown23.60K2.010.2
112Minocqua4.41K2.09.3
113Whitewater15.0K2.110.6
114Stevens Point26.10K2.110.0
115Delavan9.89K1.721.4
116Fort Atkinson12.52K2.114.2
117Richland Center4.92K2.211.2
118Greenfield37.39K1.725.3
119Lake Hallie6.72K1.823.6
120Port Washington11.91K2.47.4
121West Bend31.64K2.116.2
122Wisconsin Rapids17.61K1.631.2
123Menomonie16.57K2.216.9
124Stoughton13.11K2.314.5
125New Richmond9.27K2.412.4
126Summit4.94K2.66.5
127Two Rivers11.03K2.510.6
128Manitowoc32.50K2.219.4
129Twin Lakes6.16K2.86.3
130Town of Madison6.93K2.320.6
131Menasha17.81K2.713.4
132Janesville64.69K2.324.4
133Appleton74.76K2.814.4
134Baraboo12.15K2.328.4
135Oshkosh66.80K2.816.0
136Tomah9.41K2.820.3
137Eau Claire69.20K2.823.6
138Fitchburg30.85K3.017.1
139Kenosha100.26K3.115.8
140Oconto4.52K3.115.9
141La Crosse51.59K2.435.9
142Rice Lake8.37K2.533.9
143Fond du Lac42.95K3.118.6
144Medford4.31K3.218.8
145Chippewa Falls14.24K3.512.6
146Monona8.11K1.177.0
147Grand Chute23.45K2.931.3
148Sheboygan48.04K3.616.3
149Racine77.27K3.812.8
150Mauston4.36K3.228.9
151Superior25.97K2.842.4
152Glendale12.79K2.651.7
153Madison261.27K3.624.7
154Wausau38.51K4.113.5
155Ashland7.86K3.237.0
156West Allis59.30K3.628.4
157Brown Deer11.87K3.438.0
158Everest Metropolitan17.34K4.411.6
159Beloit37.03K4.230.1
160Green Bay104.99K5.016.4
161Milwaukee590.92K13.325.5
162West Milwaukee4.11K7.3357.2

Find the safest cities in each state

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

Related articles on SafeWise


Sources

FBI: Uniform Crime Reporting Program, “2019 Crime in the United States,” Accessed March 15, 2021.

US Census Bureau, "Data Explorer," Accessed November 18, 2020.

Best Places, “Find a Place Search Tool,” Accessed January 6, 2021.

SafeWise, “2021 State of Safety survey,” Accessed March 15, 2021.

Gun Violence Archive, “Past Summary Ledgers,” Accessed January 6, 2021.

Gun Violence Archive, “General Methodology,” Accessed March 15, 2021.

Melody Hicks, Ben Stickle, Joshua Harms, American Journal of Criminal Justice, “Assessing the Fear of Package Theft,” January 04, 2021. Accessed March 15, 2021.

For definitions and more on data sources, see our methodology page.

Rebecca Edwards
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 eight. Rebecca spends dozens of hours every month poring over crime reports and spotting trends. Her safety expertise is sought after by publications, broadcast journalists, non-profit organizations, podcasts, and more. You can find her expert advice and analysis in places like TechCrunch, The Washington Post, The Chicago Tribune, The Miami Herald, NPR, HGTV, MSN, Reader's Digest, Real Simple, and an ever-growing library of radio and TV clips.
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