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Among the 50 states, Wisconsin does pretty well in terms of safety, recording the 13th lowest property crime rate and 22nd lowest violent crime rate. However, Wisconsin’s safety record is much more impressive when you look at its individual cities: 45 of the state’s cities scored a 0.2 or higher on our Safety Index, which indicates low violent and property crime rates below national averages. Furthermore, 6 Wisconsin cities scored a 0.6 or above on the Safety Index, placing them among the safest in the country. 

Cedarburg is Wisconsin’s safest city. A modestly-sized suburb of Milwaukee located in Ozaukee County, Cedarburg logged remarkably low crime rates, including a near non-existent 0.09 per 1,000 violent crime rate, and a property crime rate about one-third of the Wisconsin state average.

At second place, Monroe is not far behind. The famed “Swiss Cheese Capital of the USA” recorded just 16 violent crimes in 2017 which calculates into a 1.49 per 1,000 violent crime rate, which is under half of the state average. 

Sharing the #3 spot are Grafton, of Ozaukee County and New Berlin, of Waukesha County. Both cities earned a high 0.68 score on the Safety Index based on remarkably low violent crime rates below 0.35 per 1,000, along with very respectable property crime rates.

Two more Wisconsin cities distinguished themselves through Safety Index scores above a 0.6: Mequon and Muskego. Both cities have populations around 25,000 and recorded violent crime rates a mere fraction of the U.S. national average. 

Safest Cities in Wisconsin, 2019

RankCitySafety Index
1Cedarburg0.78
2Monroe0.76
3Grafton0.68
4New Berlin0.68
5Mequon0.61
6Muskego0.6
7Middleton0.59
8Burlington0.58
9Oconomowoc0.55
10Menomonee Falls0.53
11Oregon0.52
12Marshfield0.51
13Marinette0.5
14Whitefish Bay0.48
15Greendale0.46
16Waupun0.46
17Ashwaubenon0.45
18Waunakee0.45
19Kaukauna0.44
20Franklin0.44
21Town of Menasha0.43
22Fox Valley Metro0.42
23Cudahy0.41
24Sun Prairie0.41
25Port Washington0.41
26Hartford0.35
27Waukesha0.35
28Verona0.35
29Whitewater0.33
30Fort Atkinson0.32
31Brookfield0.31
32Pleasant Prairie0.31
33Hobart-Lawrence0.3
34Watertown0.3
35Caledonia0.3
36Oak Creek0.3
37De Pere0.28
38Plover0.27
39Shorewood0.26
40Beaver Dam0.26
41Mount Pleasant0.25
42Stevens Point0.25
43West Bend0.24
44Hudson0.23
45Neenah0.2
46South Milwaukee0.18
47Two Rivers0.18
48Chippewa Falls0.17
49Stoughton0.17
50Portage0.15
51River Falls0.15
52Baraboo0.14
53Onalaska0.13
54Glendale0.13
55Everest Metropolitan0.13
56Wauwatosa0.13
57Platteville0.1
58Greenfield0.08
59Menasha0.08
60Appleton0.08
61Wausau0.06
62Fond du Lac0.04
63Sheboygan0.04
64Menomonie0.04
65Oshkosh0.02
66Fitchburg-0.01
67Eau Claire-0.03
68Wisconsin Rapids-0.03
69Manitowoc-0.04
70Superior-0.07
71Kenosha-0.08
72West Allis-0.11
73Madison-0.11
74Janesville-0.16
75Brown Deer-0.17
76Grand Chute-0.21
77Green Bay-0.22
78La Crosse-0.22
79Beloit-0.28
80Racine-0.35
81Milwaukee-1.78

Methodology

We used the most recent FBI crime statistics to create state rankings. There were initially 7,430 cities in the data set. After filtering out the cities with populations of less than 10,000, 2,929 cities remained. We then calculated violent crime rates and property crime rates by dividing the crime numbers by the population to get rates per 1,000. We also calculated the ratio of law enforcement workers to per 1,000. These were weighted with -50% for the violent crime rate, -25% for the property crime rate, and +25% for the law enforcement rate. The resulting metric gave us a the safety index score. The higher this number more safe the city is.

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