10 Most Dangerous Cities in Wisconsin

May 9th 2024
The most dangerous cities in Wisconsin are Brown Deer, Milwaukee, and La Crosse. Read on to discover the other worst cities in Wisconsin and to gain insights into the factors contributing to their high crime rates.

To determine the most dangerous cities in Wisconsin, we examined local and state crime statistics spanning 2020 to 2023. We also looked at FBI data on violent crime to get a better overview of the Wisconsin areas that are struggling with high violent crime rates. 

hash-mark10 Most Dangerous Cities in Wisconsin

  1. Brown Deer
  2. Milwaukee
  3. La Crosse
  4. West Allis
  5. Grand Chute
  6. Rice Lake
  7. Madison
  8. Beloit
  9. Hudson
  10. Eau Claire 

hash-mark1. Brown Deer

The most dangerous city in Wisconsin is Brown Deer. Located within the Milwaukee metropolitan area, Brown Deer has a population of roughly 12,507 and a crime rate that is 154% above the national average. Property theft accounts for the vast majority of crime in Brown Deer, with car thefts, larceny, and burglaries being common. While violent crime is less prevalent, incidents like robbery, assault, and homicides still occur each year. 

hash-mark2. Milwaukee

Milwaukee is the most populous city in the state of Wisconsin and the state’s main economic center. It’s also one of the worst cities in Wisconsin for crime. With a population of 577,222, Milwaukee has a total crime rate that is 146% above the national average. There was a total of 34,261 criminal incidents recorded in Milwaukee during 2022, including 195 murders, 1,873 robberies, and 12,278 incidents of vehicle theft.

Most of the crime in Milwaukee is concentrated in the northern and downtown parts of the city. If you want to know which areas to avoid check out our report on the most dangerous neighborhoods in Milwaukee

hash-mark3. La Crosse

La Crosse is another one of the most dangerous cities in Wisconsin. La Crosse is a city located along the Mississippi River in western Wisconsin. The city has a population of 52,680, with a crime rate that is 82% above the national average. While the violent crime rate is actually below the national average, most of the crime in La Crosse involves property theft. There were over 2,000 incidents involving theft in La Crosse in 2022, with 186 burglaries. Much of the crime stems from drug activity in the area. 

hash-mark4. West Allis

West Allis is a suburb of Milwaukee that is mostly known for being home to the massive Wisconsin State Fair Park. West Allis has a population of about 60,325 and has a total crime rate that is 36% above the national average. Most of the criminal activity in West Allis involves property crime, with violent crime posing less of a threat. The most common crimes in West Allis include burglary, theft, vehicle theft, and drug trafficking. There were three murders recorded in 2022. 

hash-mark5. Grand Chute

Grand Chute is located north of Lake Winnebago and the city of Oshkosh. With a small-town feel, crime isn’t a major problem overall in Grand Chute. Property crime is very prevalent, with 966 theft-related incidents recorded in 2022. During the same year, there were 19 robberies and zero murders recorded. Out of a population of roughly 23,831, the total crime rate is 31% above the national average. 

hash-mark6. Rice Lake

Rice Lake is a small city located in Barron County in northwest Wisconsin. With a population of around 9,100, Rice Lake’s violent crime rate is 30% above the national average. In 2022, there was a total of 204 criminal incidents in Rice Lake, including 43 violent crimes and 161 property crimes. Much of the crime in Rice Lake involves individuals engaged in drug activity. 

hash-mark7. Madison

Madison is the capital city of Wisconsin and is named after Founding Father and President James Madison. The city has a population of 269,840 and a crime rate that is 24% above the national average. Property crime accounts for the majority of crime in Madison with vehicle theft, burglary, and larceny being common. Violent crime rates are below the national average, with the majority of Madison being safe for travel. 

hash-mark8. Beloit

Beloit is a dangerous Wisconsin city located in Rock County. Beloit is a blue-collar city with an economy mostly based on manufacturing. With a population of around 36,657, Beloit’s total crime rate is 22% above the national average. Common types of crime include assault, theft, and burglary. In terms of violent crime, there were 29 robberies, 160 assaults, and 4 homicides recorded in Beloit during the 2022 year. 

hash-mark9. Hudson

Hudson is a small city located along Lake Saint Croux and is part of the Minneapolis-St. Paul Metropolitan Area. The city has a population of around 14,755 and a crime rate that is 20% above the national average. The most common types of crime include theft, vehicle theft, and assault. There were zero murders and one robbery recorded in Hudson during the year 2022. 

hash-mark10. Eau Claire 

Eau Clair is a city in northwestern Wisconsin located along the Chippewa River. With a population of roughly 69,421, Eau Claire’s total crime rate is 15% above the national average. Violent crime isn’t a major concern in the city, with the majority of crime involving theft and drug use. Overall, most residents report feeling safe in Eau Claire, with most crime occurring in small pockets near downtown.