Wisconsin’s 20 Safest Cities of 2020

SafeWise Safest Cities in Wisconsin 2020 badge

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 July 15, there have been a total of six mass shootings in Wisconsin, leaving 11 dead and 19 injured.
  • As of May 6, there were two mass shooting incidents in Wisconsin, where 11 people lost their lives. Both shootings took place in Milwaukee; six died in the February brewery shooting and five were killed in an apparent domestic shooting on April 27 .
  • 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.
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

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.
  • 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

Oconomowoc, Wisconsin
#1
Oconomowoc Town
(
+23
)
  • Circle Population
    Population
    8,692
  • Circle Dollar
    Median Income
    $89,932
  • Circle Gun
    VC Rate 2020, 2019, 2018
    0.1, 0.3, 0.2
  • Circle Property
    PC Rate 2020, 2019, 2018
    1.2, 1.5, 1.6
Mukwonago Town, Wisconsin
#2
Mukwonago Town
(
+33
)
  • Circle Population
    Population
    8,146
  • Circle Dollar
    Median Income
    $97,658
  • Circle Gun
    VC Rate 2020, 2019, 2018
    0.4, 0.6, 0.9
  • Circle Property
    PC Rate 2020, 2019, 2018
    0.9, 1.5, 3.6
Bayside, Wisconsin
#3
Bayside
  • Circle Population
    Population
    4,375
  • Circle Dollar
    Median Income
    $99,125
  • Circle Gun
    VC Rate 2020, 2019, 2018
    0.0, 0.0, 0.0
  • Circle Property
    PC Rate 2020, 2019, 2018
    4.3, 10.5, 5.0
Geneva Town, Wisconsin
#4
Geneva Town
(
+6
)
  • Circle Population
    Population
    5,032
  • Circle Dollar
    Median Income
    $69,409
  • Circle Gun
    VC Rate 2020, 2019, 2018
    0.0, 0.2, 0.2
  • Circle Property
    PC Rate 2020, 2019, 2018
    4.6, 5.5, 12.3
Town of East Troy, Wisconsin
#5
Town of East Troy
(
+10
)
  • Circle Population
    Population
    4,058
  • Circle Dollar
    Median Income
    $71,324
  • Circle Gun
    VC Rate 2020, 2019, 2018
    0.5, 0.2, 1.5
  • Circle Property
    PC Rate 2020, 2019, 2018
    2.7, 2.4, 5.6
Cedarburg, Wisconsin
#6
Cedarburg
(
-2
)
  • Circle Population
    Population
    11,469
  • Circle Dollar
    Median Income
    $82,198
  • Circle Gun
    VC Rate 2020, 2019, 2018
    0.3, 0.1, 0.2
  • Circle Property
    PC Rate 2020, 2019, 2018
    4.7, 6.2, 7.1
#7
Hobart-Lawrence
(
+23
)
  • Circle Population
    Population
    14,667
  • Circle Dollar
    Median Income
    $86,481
  • Circle Gun
    VC Rate 2020, 2019, 2018
    0.5, 0.5, 0.1
  • Circle Property
    PC Rate 2020, 2019, 2018
    4.7, 3.7, 4.4
Muskego, Wisconsin
#8
Muskego
(
+5
)
  • Circle Population
    Population
    25,118
  • Circle Dollar
    Median Income
    $86,588
  • Circle Gun
    VC Rate 2020, 2019, 2018
    0.4, 0.2, 0.2
  • Circle Property
    PC Rate 2020, 2019, 2018
    5.7, 7.7, 7.5
Delavan Town, Wisconsin
#9
Delavan Town
(
+80
)
  • Circle Population
    Population
    5,322
  • Circle Dollar
    Median Income
    $54,293
  • Circle Gun
    VC Rate 2020, 2019, 2018
    0.2, 1.3, 0.7
  • Circle Property
    PC Rate 2020, 2019, 2018
    7.0, 8.8, 8.2
Grand Rapids, Wisconsin
#10
Grand Rapids
(
-9
)
  • Circle Population
    Population
    7,385
  • Circle Dollar
    Median Income
    $39,913
  • Circle Gun
    VC Rate 2020, 2019, 2018
    0.3, 0.0, 0.1
  • Circle Property
    PC Rate 2020, 2019, 2018
    6.6, 5.7, 9.9
Kewaskum, Wisconsin
#11
Kewaskum
(
+3
)
  • Circle Population
    Population
    4,139
  • Circle Dollar
    Median Income
    $63,000
  • Circle Gun
    VC Rate 2020, 2019, 2018
    0.2, 0.2, 0.2
  • Circle Property
    PC Rate 2020, 2019, 2018
    7.0, 12.4, 9.2
#12
Hartland
(
+27
)
  • Circle Population
    Population
    9,302
  • Circle Dollar
    Median Income
    74,707
  • Circle Gun
    VC Rate 2020, 2019, 2018
    0.3, 0.7, 0.1
  • Circle Property
    PC Rate 2020, 2019, 2018
    6.6, 10.4, 6.0
Fox Valley Metro, Wisconsin
#13
Fox Valley Metro
(
+21
)
  • Circle Population
    Population
    22,006
  • Circle Dollar
    Median Income
    Not available
  • Circle Gun
    VC Rate 2020, 2019, 2018
    0.7, 0.6, 0.7
  • Circle Property
    PC Rate 2020, 2019, 2018
    3.7, 5.7, 8.4
Cross Plains, Wisconsin
#14
Cross Plains
(
-2
)
  • Circle Population
    Population
    4,331
  • Circle Dollar
    Median Income
    $82,188
  • Circle Gun
    VC Rate 2020, 2019, 2018
    0.5, 0.2, 1.0
  • Circle Property
    PC Rate 2020, 2019, 2018
    5.8, 12.5, 7.9
Sturtevant, Wisconsin
#15
Sturtevant
(
+4
)
  • Circle Population
    Population
    6,966
  • Circle Dollar
    Median Income
    $65,262
  • Circle Gun
    VC Rate 2020, 2019, 2018
    0.4, 0.3, 0.3
  • Circle Property
    PC Rate 2020, 2019, 2018
    6.0, 5.8, 6.5
#16
Cottage Grove
(
+48
)
  • Circle Population
    Population
    7,024
  • Circle Dollar
    Median Income
    $91,698
  • Circle Gun
    VC Rate 2020, 2019, 2018
    0.9, 1.0, 0.6
  • Circle Property
    PC Rate 2020, 2019, 2018
    3.0, 5.2, 8.8
Evansville, Wisconsin
#17
Evansville
(
-8
)
  • Circle Population
    Population
    5,379
  • Circle Dollar
    Median Income
    $58,870
  • Circle Gun
    VC Rate 2020, 2019, 2018
    0.4, 0.2, 0.6
  • Circle Property
    PC Rate 2020, 2019, 2018
    7.4, 8.1, 10.8
Oconomowoc, Wisconsin
#18
Oconomowoc
(
+3
)
  • Circle Population
    Population
    16,850
  • Circle Dollar
    Median Income
    $74,675
  • Circle Gun
    VC Rate 2020, 2019, 2018
    0.4, 0.3, Not available
  • Circle Property
    PC Rate 2020, 2019, 2018
    7.9, 10.4, Not available
#19
Twin Lakes
(
+44
)
  • Circle Population
    Population
    6,077
  • Circle Dollar
    Median Income
    $63,030
  • Circle Gun
    VC Rate 2020, 2019, 2018
    1.0, 1.0, 1.3
  • Circle Property
    PC Rate 2020, 2019, 2018
    4.1, 10.3, 10.1
#20
West Salem
(
+82
)
  • Circle Population
    Population
    5,055
  • Circle Dollar
    Median Income
    $57,500
  • Circle Gun
    VC Rate 2020, 2019, 2018
    1.0, 1.6, 1.0
  • Circle Property
    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 RankingCity Population Violent Crime (per 1,000)Property Crime (per 1,000)
21

Mequon

24,311

0.2

9.9

22

Sheboygan Falls

7,945

0.3

9.7

23

Edgerton

5,602

0.4

9.1

24

Oregon

10,549

0.4

9.2

25

Holmen

9,993

0.7

6.9

26

Caledonia

25,047

0.8

6

27

Elm Grove

6,205

0.5

9.3

28

Lake Mills

5,925

1.5

2.4

29

Campbell Township

4,366

0.7

8.5

30

New Berlin

39,763

0.4

10.9

31

Sturgeon Bay

8,889

0.7

8.8

32

Kronenwetter

7,813

1.3

4.6

33

Saukville

4,415

0.5

11.3

34

Mayville

4,862

0.6

10.3

35

Menomonee Falls

37,712

0.6

10.8

36

Colby-Abbotsford

4,085

1.5

4.4

37

Deforest

10,557

0.9

9.3

38

Delafield

7,588

0.4

12.7

39

Summit

4,947

1.2

7.1

40

Waupun

11,260

1.1

8.2

41

Grafton

11,662

0.6

11.7

42

East Troy

4,333

0.9

9.9

43

Waunakee

14,000

1.4

6.6

44

Franklin

36,251

0.4

14.5

45

McFarland

8,544

1.1

9.6

46

Fox Crossing

19,323

1

9.8

47

Mount Horeb

7,462

1.1

9.5

48

Jackson

7,156

1

10.3

49

Berlin

5,365

0.6

13.4

50

Port Washington

11,831

1.6

6.2

51

Milton

5,585

1.1

10.4

52

Sauk Prairie

4,611

0.2

16.9

53

Whitefish Bay

13,933

0.7

13.7

54

Fox Point

6,671

1.2

10.2

55

Ripon

7,823

1.2

10.6

56

De Pere

25,199

1.5

8.1

57

Whitewater

14,561

1.6

7.1

58

Minocqua

4,380

1.6

7.5

59

Reedsburg

9,518

0.8

13.1

60

Oconto

4,421

0.5

16.1

61

Everest Metropolitan

17,392

1.1

11.4

62

Waukesha

72,672

1.3

10.3

63

Monroe

10,575

1

12

64

Mukwonago

8,034

0.7

14.2

65

Kaukauna

16,172

1.5

8.3

66

Burlington

11,039

1.4

9.8

67

Pewaukee Village

8,172

1

12.6

68

Plymouth

8,554

1.2

11.2

69

Beloit Town

7,688

0.9

13.4

70

Hales Corners

7,640

1

12.7

71

Rothschild

5,334

1.7

8.2

72

Marshall Village

3,988

2.5

2.3

73

Mosinee

4,003

1.2

11.5

74

Bloomfield

6,323

1.7

7.9

75

Elkhorn

9,934

1.3

11.4

76

Prescott

4,273

2.1

5.6

77

Plover

12,853

1.1

13.6

78

Hartford

15,183

1.1

13.4

79

Cudahy

18,290

1.3

12.1

80

Richland Center

4,968

1.4

11.7

81

Slinger

5,476

1.8

9.5

82

St. Francis

9,459

1.5

12.2

83

Marinette

10,561

0.9

17.2

84

Watertown

23,628

1.9

9.3

85

Greendale

14,181

0.8

17.7

86

Viroqua

4,461

1.3

14.1

87

Germantown

20,014

0.4

21.1

88

River Falls

15,578

1

16.6

89

Onalaska

18,841

0.3

22

90

Altoona

7,827

1.5

13.4

91

Sparta

9,681

2.1

10.3

92

Marshfield

18,309

0.7

20.9

93

Verona

13,490

1.4

15.3

94

Beaver Dam

16,394

1.5

14.6

95

Chippewa Falls

14,084

1.8

12.4

96

North Fond du Lac

5,079

1.8

13

97

Stevens Point

26,233

1.5

14.9

98

Sun Prairie

33,390

0.8

20.2

99

Brookfield

38,065

0.7

21.4

100

New London

7,083

2.5

8.8

101

Mount Pleasant

26,571

0.9

21.4

102

Dodgeville

4,734

1.3

18.6

103

Fort Atkinson

12,495

2

13.5

104

Brookfield Township

6,295

1.6

17.5

105

Oshkosh

66,736

1.7

16.6

106

Oak Creek

36,643

1.3

20.2

107

Jefferson

8,021

1.6

17.6

108

West Bend

31,651

1.8

16.7

109

South Milwaukee

20,972

1.7

17.5

110

Stoughton

13,149

1.7

18.1

111

Merrill

9,091

2.1

15.3

112

Menomonie

16,450

1.7

18.6

113

Pleasant Prairie

20,911

1.7

18.7

114

New Richmond

9,052

2

16.9

115

Appleton

74,931

2.2

15.4

116

Columbus

5,037

3.8

4.2

117

Portage

10,496

2.4

14.9

118

Prairie du Chien

5,618

1.6

20.8

119

Tomah

9,394

1.4

22.7

120

Middleton

19,970

2.6

13.8

121

Wauwatosa

48,562

1.1

25.7

122

Medford

4,294

1.4

24

123

Platteville

12,642

2.5

16.5

124

Lake Geneva

7,907

1.6

22.4

125

Mauston

4,390

3.6

7.7

126

Ashwaubenon

17,316

0.8

30.5

127

Two Rivers

11,077

3.2

12.3

128

Manitowoc

32,557

2.2

20.3

129

Greenfield

36,850

1.7

24.4

130

Hudson

13,848

1.4

27.7

131

Shorewood

13,368

1.3

28

132

Lake Hallie

6,742

0

38.6

133

Wausau

38,682

3.1

16.2

134

Menasha

17,788

2.5

20.6

135

Kenosha

99,948

3.4

15

136

Fitchburg

30,151

2.9

19.3

137

Delavan

9,938

2.1

25.3

138

Fond du Lac

42,777

2.4

23.7

139

Baraboo

12,178

2

29.4

140

Wisconsin Rapids

17,725

1.5

33.8

141

Sheboygan

48,195

3.8

17.1

142

Eau Claire

68,923

2.9

24.5

143

Rhinelander

7,535

2.8

25.5

144

Grand Chute

22,865

2.3

29.9

145

Janesville

64,471

2.6

27.9

146

Clintonville

4,332

1.6

35.5

147

Waupaca

5,859

2.4

32.3

148

Rice Lake

8,332

3

28.7

149

Green Bay

105,281

4.6

17.1

150

West Allis

59,887

3.3

27.9

151

Madison

258,455

4

26

152

La Crosse

51,901

2.8

37.1

153

Beloit

36,746

4.7

26.6

154

Shawano

8,936

3.8

33.6

155

Ashland

7,770

4

32.7

156

Racine

77,373

5.6

21.5

157

Superior

26,054

2.9

42.8

158

Monona

8,183

1.1

60.5

159

Antigo

7,720

3.2

45.5

160

Town of Madison

6,942

7.2

21.3

161

Brown Deer

11,963

4.3

45.8

162

Glendale

12,710

4.2

75.9

163

Milwaukee

595,619

14.1

29.7

164

West Milwaukee

4,152

12.3

104.5

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.”

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 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.
  • http://www.id2344744.sexybny.website don_gordon

    Where’s the FULL list?