The SafeWise team is pleased to release the ninth annual Safest Cities report.
Wisconsin’s 20 Safest Cities of 2023
Here are the 10 Safest Cities in Wisconsin for 2023
See if your city made the full list.
According to our 2023 State of Safety report, 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.
In this report
2023 Wisconsin crime rates
Wisconsin's violent crime rate dropped 1% since last year but remained at 3.2 incidents per 1,000 people overall. The state's property crime rate increased by 3% from 14.9 incidents per 1,000 people to 15.3.
Within the East North Central region, Wisconsin has some of the lowest crime rates. The Badger State has the second-lowest violent crime rate behind Indiana (3.1) and the second-lowest property crime rate behind Michigan (13.8). One of the five states in this region didn't meet state reporting requirements this year: Illinois.
Wisconsin comes in lower than national crime rates for both violent and property crimes. Among the 41 states that met reporting requirements this year, Wisconsin has the eighteenth-lowest violent crime rate and the twelfth-lowest property crime rate.
Violent crime in Wisconsin: Fear vs. reality
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. Only 47% of Wisconsin survey respondents say they’re worried about falling victim to a violent crime (US 49%).
- Wisconsin's violent crime rate fell 1% year over year.
- Aggravated assault is the most common violent crime in America (US 72%) and in Wisconsin (71%), but it makes up a smaller share in the safest cities at 62%.
- Statewide, rape accounts for 13% of all violent crimes, which is close to national levels (US 11%). It's more common in the safest cities at 26%.
- Wisconsin's overall murder rate is on par with national levels, both at 2% of all violent crimes. The state’s 20 safest cities reported 4 murders this year.
- 16 of the safest cities—and 34 cities statewide—boast violent crime rates of 1 incident per 1,000 people or less.
Attitudes about personal safety in Wisconsin
- 31% of survey participants use some kind of personal protection like a stun gun or pepper spray, compared to 39% nationally.
- The most popular type of personal protection used by Wisconsin respondents this survey year was pepper spray (55%)—higher than the national average (US 42%).
- 42% say their personal safety has been affected by the pandemic (US 44%).
Attitudes about gun violence in Wisconsin
- 47% said gun violence is the safety concern they worry about most on a daily basis (US 47%).
- The number of respondents with a personal gun violence experience (12%) went up by 50% since the previous survey year (US 12%).
- Wisconsin saw 16 mass shooting incidents in 2022, a 45% increase from 11 in 2021.
- For every police officer killed or injured by a gun in Wisconsin in 2022, 4.3 suspects experienced the same.
- There were 16 self-defense shooting incidents in Wisconsin in 2022—3 more than the previous year.
Property crime in Wisconsin: Fear vs. reality
Property crime in Wisconsin went up for the second year straight—rising 3% over last year. And even though property crime is the most-concerning crime issue, Wisconsinites’ level of concern is 10 percentage points lower than the national average of 50%.
- Wisconsin’s property crime rate (15.3) is 21% below the national rate of 19.3 incidents per 1,000 people.
- 43% of Wisconsinites reported feeling safe in their home state (US 50%).
- None of the safest cities reported a property crime rate higher than 8.6 incidents per 1,000.
- Burglaries are less common in Wisconsin, making up 11% of all property crime compared to 14% nationwide. It's more prevalent in the safest cities at 15%.
- As with every state, larceny-theft is the most prevalent property crime in Wisconsin, making up 70% of all property crime (US 72%).
Attitudes about property security in Wisconsin
- 66% of survey respondents use some form of property protection (US 76%) with security cameras on top, accounting for 33% of all security measures used.
- 31% of Wisconsinites said they added or increased security measures in the 12 months prior to the survey (US 35%).
- 28% say the security of their property has been affected by the pandemic (US 28%).
Attitudes about package theft in Wisconsin
- 26% of survey respondents in Wisconsin reported experiencing package theft in the 12 months prior to the survey (US 34%).
- 43% of participants expressed a high level of concern about package theft (US 53%).
- The preferred methods of package protection in Wisconsin are video doorbells (25%), leaving it in a safe spot (24%), and verified delivery (23%)—all of these methods fall below their respective national averages.
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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.
- 98 cities met criteria to be considered for ranking.
- The Town of Mukwonago jumped up 4 spots to land at number 1—it reported only 2 violent crimes and just 6 property crimes this year.
- 17 of the safest cities improved in rank since last year.
- 11 cities joined our top 20 this year with Hartford (up 48 spots) and New Berlin (up 35 spots) showing the biggest improvements to land at ranks 13 and 17, respectively.
- New Berlin (population 39,833) is the largest city on our list and the only one with more than 26,000 residents—the average population of Wisconsin's safest cities is 15,753 people.
Violent crime in Wisconsin's safest cities
- The violent crime rate in the safest cities is 0.6 incidents per 1,000 people—80% lower than the state rate (3.2).
- 16 cities (80%) reported 0 murders this year.
- Hobart-Lawrence has the lowest violent crime rate in the state (0.1)—it reported just 2 incidents this year.
- 90% of the safest cities reported 15 or fewer total violent crimes this year—none reported more than 33.
Property crime in Wisconsin's safest cities
- The property crime rate in the safest cities is 6.0 incidents per 1,000 people—61% lower than the state rate (15.3).
- The Town of Mukwonago had the lowest property crime rate in The Badger State at 0.7 incidents per 1,000 people.
- 14 of the safest cities reported fewer than 100 total property crimes.
- 3 of the safest cities reported 0 motor vehicle thefts this year: Town of Mukwonago, Kronenwetter, and Hartland.
How to make a safe home anywhere
Whether your city made our list or not, we encourage everyone to be proactive about home security. One of the best ways to stop a burglary before it happens is to add a home security system.
Find security and safety resources in your area
Didn't find your city?
We calculated crime rates for every city in the state that met our population threshold, based on the state’s median population as calculated using FBI data. To request a report of the remaining cities in your state email firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line: Safest Cities Full Report.
NOTE: If your city is missing from our full report, it means that it was below the population threshold or didn’t submit a complete crime report to the FBI in 2021.
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Endnotes and sources
FBI Crime Data Explorer, "Documents & Downloads." Accessed February 6, 2023.
- 2021 and 2020 Crime in the United States Annual Reports
- Offenses Known to Law Enforcement
- 2021 NIBRS Estimation Tables
FBI Uniform Crime Reporting Program, "Offenses Known to Law Enforcement ." Accessed February 6, 2023.
Bureau of Justice Statistics, "National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS)." Accessed February 6, 2023.
US Census Bureau, "2021: ACS 5-Year Estimates Subject Tables." Accessed February 6, 2023.
US Census Bureau, "2021: ACS 5-Year Estimates Detailed Tables." Accessed February 6, 2023.
SafeWise, "2022 State of Safety survey." Accessed February 6, 2023.
Gun Violence Archive, "General Methodology." Accessed February 6, 2023.
Gun Violence Archive, "Past Summary Ledgers." Accessed January 3, 2023.
Gun Violence Archive, "Congress."
- 2022 totals: Accessed January 3, 2023.
- 2021 and 2020 totals: Accessed December 19, 2022.