Wisconsin's Most Dangerous Cities

March 9, 2023

You probably associate Wisconsin with the Green Bay Packers and cheese, but it's also home to some of the most dangerous cities in the state.

Whether you're visiting or relocating to Wisconsin, it's important to understand where you're most likely to encounter violent and property crimes. To help you make an informed decision, we've rounded up the most dangerous cities in Wisconsin and their respective rates of crime.


Milwaukee is the largest city in Wisconsin and anchors the largest metropolitan area in the state. The city has a diversified economy, with manufacturing (including medical equipment, mining machinery, engines, leather goods, electronics, padlocks, and motorcycle parts), shipping, printing, food processing, and conventions contributing to its growth.

The city’s proximity to Lake Michigan has long been a draw for visitors and residents alike. There are many scenic parks to explore along the shore, and a variety of museums to visit, including the Milwaukee Art Museum and the Harley-Davidson Museum.

While Milwaukee is known for its annual sporting events and festivals, it also has a number of dangerous neighborhoods. Overall, violent crime dropped 7% in 2022, but homicides increased by 11%.


If you're looking for a quaint city with plenty of family-friendly activities, Cedarburg is a great option. This charming town is located 20 miles north of Milwaukee and features an enchanting downtown full of boutiques, restaurants and historic inns.

When it comes to crime rates, Cedarburg is relatively safe compared to other cities in Wisconsin and the United States. The city has a lower violent crime rate and property crime rate than the vast majority of comparable Wisconsin cities.

This quaint suburb of Milwaukee is the second least violent city in the state, and it had an impressively low number of property crimes in 2012. In 2012, Cedarburg had 17 violent crimes per 100,000 people, including no murders, rapes or robberies.


If you’re looking for a place to call home with incredible natural views and a welcoming community, Waunakee is one of the best places to live in Wisconsin. It sits north of Lake Mendota in a sun-dappled valley.

The village’s livability score is above average, and it has a lower crime rate than most comparable cities in the state. However, crime is still a concern for residents and should be taken seriously by anyone considering living in the area.

Grafton is one of the least dangerous communities in Wisconsin, with 44 violent crimes per 100,000 people in 2012. It also has a low rate for property crime, with 1,425 incidents reported per 100,000 residents in 2012—11th lowest among all cities in the state.


Wisconsin is known for its Green Bay Packers and cheese, but that doesn’t mean the state is free from crime. In fact, there are a few cities in the state that are the most dangerous to live in.

These cities are hazardous to live in because of poverty and crime. Improving safety in these cities requires increased investment, improved education and resources, and greater community involvement.

If you live in a dangerous city, you should keep your possessions safe and watch your back after dark. The website Road Snacks recently analyzed the crime rates in all Wisconsin cities with more than 5,000 residents and found that Superior ranks as the 5th most dangerous city after dark.

It’s important to note that these numbers are only for the most recent year available. However, they do include crimes that have been reported in 2019. So if you live in one of these cities, you should be aware of the dangers and know how to protect yourself.

Co-founder of Urban Splatter • Digital Marketer • Engineer • Meditator

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