The SafeWise Team is pleased to release the eighth annual Safest Cities report.
Wisconsin’s 20 Safest Cities of 2022
Here are the 10 Safest Cities in Wisconsin for 2022
See if your city made the full list.
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.
2022 Wisconsin crime rates
Crime rates in Wisconsin rose this year after declining in previous years. It was one of only nine states to see an increase in both violent and property crime rates. The state's violent crime rate climbed up from 3.0 incidents per 1,000 people last year to 3.2—a 9% increase. Wisconsin's property crime rate increased by only 1% from 14.7 incidents per 1,000 people to 14.9.
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 Ohio (3.1) and the second-lowest property crime rate behind Michigan (13.6).
Wisconsin comes in lower than national crime rates for both violent and property crimes. Among all 50 states, Wisconsin has the fifteenth-lowest violent crime rate and the eleventh-lowest property crime rate.
Level of concern and experience with crime in Wisconsin
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.
Even though Wisconsin is on par with the national level of daily concern (47%), the state saw a year-over-year jump of 15%—from 41% to 47%. And fewer Wisconsin State of Safety survey respondents say they feel safe in their state (48% compared to 55% nationwide). Surprisingly, this climb in concern coincides with lower crime rates and fewer reports of personal experiences with crime.
Violent crime experiences are four percentage points ahead of the national average but four points behind what the state reported last survey year. There was a 10-point dip in property crime experiences this year, putting Wisconsin just under the national reporting average of 18%.
Image: SafeWise. Past 12 months=12 months prior to survey.
Crime concerns in Wisconsin
We asked Wisconsin residents which crimes they worry may happen to them. See if Wisconsinites are concerned about the same crime issues as the rest of the country.
View the complete 2022 State of Safety report.
Violent crime in Wisconsin: Fear vs. reality
Violent crime increased for the first time in two years, returning to 2019 levels. Still, only 35% of Wisconsin survey respondents say they’re worried about falling victim to a violent crime.
- Wisconsin's violent crime rate rose 9% year over year.
- Aggravated assault is the most common violent crime in America (US 70%) and in Wisconsin (71%), but it makes up a smaller share in the safest cities at 63%.
- Statewide, rape accounts for 11% of all violent crimes, which is close to national levels (US 10%). It's more common in the safest cities at 32%.
- 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 0 murders this year.
- 18 of the safest cities—and 59 cities statewide—boast violent crime rates of 1 incident per 1,000 people or less.
- 22% use a personal safety device like a stun gun or pepper spray (US 34%).
- 48% say their personal safety has been affected by the pandemic (US 44%).
Attitudes about gun violence in Wisconsin
- 39% of survey respondents worry most about a gun violence incident happening to them (US 38%).
- 50% named gun violence their top safety concern (US 53%).
- Wisconsin had 11 mass shooting incidents in 2021—up from 10 in 2020.
- 37% of residents worry about police violence daily (US 40%), and 58% have confidence in law enforcement (US 56%).
Property crime in Wisconsin: Fear vs. reality
Property crime in Wisconsin ended a seven-year decline this year—rising 1% over last year. And even though property crime is the most-concerning crime issue, Wisconsinites’ level of concern is one percentage point lower than the national average of 42%.
- Wisconsin’s property crime rate (14.9) is 24% below the national rate of 19.6 incidents per 1,000 people.
- None of the safest cities reported a property crime rate higher than 7.3 incidents per 1,000.
- Fewer property crimes were reported overall by the safest cities, but burglaries showed a surprising increase compared to last year’s safest cities.
- Burglaries are less common in Wisconsin, making up 15% of all property crime compared to 16% nationwide. It's more prevalent in the safest cities at 21%.
- As with every state, larceny-theft is the most prevalent property crime in Wisconsin, making up 74% of all property crime (US 71%).
- 19% reported a package theft in the survey year, just 1 percentage point behind the national average of 20%.
- 50% of survey respondents use some form of property protection (US 60%), with security cameras leading the way at 24%.
- 28% say the security of their property has been affected by the pandemic (US 29%).
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.
- 146 cities met criteria to be considered for ranking.
- Oconomowoc jumped up 2 spots to land at number 1—it reported only 1 violent crime and just 11 property crimes this year.
- Evansville (ranked 2) is new to the list this year.
- Milton (19) and Town of Delavan (12) saw the biggest improvements in rankings this year, moving up 69 and 63 spots, respectively. Both Fox Valley Metro (8) and Waunakee (17) leaped over 45 spots to land in the top 20.
- Fox Valley Metro (population 22,737) is the largest city on our list and the only one with more than 17,000 residents—the average population of Wisconsin's safest cities is 9,133 people.
- The violent crime rate in the safest cities is 0.5 incidents per 1,000 people, less than a sixth of the state rate (3.2).
- Wisconsin is one of few states to report 0 murders in its safest cities.
- Evansville and Grand Rapids have the lowest violent crime rates in the state, with each reporting 0 incidents this year.
- 90% of the safest cities reported 10 or fewer total violent crimes this year—none reported more than 16.
- The property crime rate in the safest cities is 4.0 incidents per 1,000 people, just over a quarter of the state rate (14.9).
- Oconomowoc and Town of Mukwonago had the lowest property crime rates in The Badger State at 1.3 incidents per 1,000 people.
- 19 of the safest cities reported fewer than 100 total property crimes.
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 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 in the top 20?
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, sign up for our email newsletter (we make it easy in a quick form below!) or email firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line: Safest Cities Full Report.
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 2020.
Find the safest cities in each state
Click on the state image or dropdown menu below to check out the safest cities for each state.
Related articles on SafeWise
FBI: Crime Data Explorer, Accessed March 8, 2022.
US Census Bureau, "Data Explorer," Accessed January 24, 2022.
Best Places, “Find a Place Search Tool,” Accessed January 24, 2022.
SafeWise, “2021 State of Safety survey,” Accessed March 8, 2022.
Gun Violence Archive, “Past Summary Ledgers,” Accessed January 24, 2022.
Gun Violence Archive, “General Methodology,” Accessed March 8, 2022.
Melody Hicks, Ben Stickle, Joshua Harms, American Journal of Criminal Justice, “Assessing the Fear of Package Theft,” January 04, 2021. Accessed March 8, 2022.
For definitions and more on data sources, see our methodology page.