Wisconsin recently placed 13th overall in a ranking of the safest states in America
here on the Movoto Real Estate
Blog. Of course, this probably was no surprise to residents of the Badger State—and particularly not if those residents are lucky enough to live in any of these 10 places.
That’s because, out of all of the places in this already safe state, the 10 listed below the very safest:
1. City of Muskego
2. Village of Waunakee
3. City of Cedarburg
4. Village of Menomonee Falls
5. City of Mequon
6. Village of Grafton
7. City of Oconomowoc
8. Village of Whitefish Bay
9. City of Franklin
10. City of Port Washington
If you’re not one of the lucky residents of one of these places already, don’t worry. In addition to telling you which places are the safest, we go one step further and can help you find a new home in your city of choice. It’s kind of what we do here at Movoto Real Estate.
Before you start packing your bags to move to one of these places, you might want to take a look at how we came up with this list in the first place, and see just what makes each of these places so safe.
How We Created This Ranking
We first gathered all of the places in Wisconsin with populations of 10,000 people or more. Then, we used the 2012 FBI Uniform Crime Report
to collect crime data on each place for the following criteria:
- Vehicle theft
We divided these crimes into four categories:
- Violent crimes
- Property crimes
- Total crimes
Once we eliminated the places in the state that didn’t report data to the bureau, we ended up with a total of 71 places.
We then calculated the crime rates for each place per 100,000 people in order to equally compare those places with larger populations to those with smaller populations.
Then, we ranked each place in each category from one to 71, where the lower scores were our safer places.
The last step was to weight each category so that murders, violent crimes, and property crimes accounted for 30 percent of the overall score, while total crimes made up 10 percent.
We averaged these adjusted rankings into one overall Big Deal Score
, where the lowest score was our safest place.
If you’d like to see more than just these 10 safest places, you can head to the end of this post for a table showing the 50 safest in the state. Otherwise, we’ll take a closer look at what makes each of our top 10 safer than the rest, starting with our winner, Muskego.
Source: Flickr user Peter Murphy
It is no wonder so many people opt to commute to Milwaukee
and live in Muskego, just looking at these crime rates.
In 2012, Muskego had the lowest number of violent crimes in the state: just 16 per 100,000 people. To put that into perspective, just take a look at its larger neighbor, Milwaukee where there were 1,294 violent crimes per 100,000 people, the most in the state.
Muskego also had one of the lowest rates of property crime for the year, with just 1,001, making for a low total of 1,017 crimes per 100,000 people, a number that looks even better when compared to Milwaukee’s 6,337.
Source: Village of Waunakee
Waunakee, known as “The Only Waunakee in the World,” is certainly the safest Waunakee in the world.
That’s because in 2012 Waunakee had some of the lowest crime rates in the state, with just 24 violent crimes and 925 property crimes, for a total of 949 crimes per 100,000 people.
To break that down further, the violent crimes included just 24 assaults. That’s no murders, no rapes, and no robberies. The 925 property crimes consisted of 16 vehicle thefts, 763 thefts, and 146 burglaries per 100,000 people.
Source: Flickr user Elvis Kennedy
This quaint suburb of Milwaukee is certainly the safer option of the two, especially when it comes to a lack of violence.
In 2012, Cedarburg had just 17 violent crimes per 100,000 people, including no murders, no rapes, no robberies, and 17 assaults. This makes it the second least violent place in the state.
It also had a low number of property crimes: just 1,107 per 100,000 people. This isn’t the very lowest in this category (it is the fifth lowest), but when compared to, say, Milwaukee where there were 5,043 property crimes per 100,000 people in 2012, it’s no wonder Cedarburg ranked so well.
4. Menomonee Falls
Source: Village of Menomonee Falls
This community is certainly “More than a Village” when it comes to being safer than the average place in Wisconsin.
In fact, with a total of just 1,180 crimes per 100,000 people in 2012, residents had some of the lowest odds of being the victim of a crime in the state: a 1 in 85 chance.
To be more specific, those 1,180 crimes were made up of 40 violent crimes (none of which were murders) and 1,140 property crimes per 100,000 people.
Source: Flickr user FOX6 Milwaukee
If the chances of being involved in a crime seemed low in our previous place, just wait until you read this: In Mequon, residents had a 1 in 109 chance of being the victim of a crime, making it the least likely place to be the victim of a crime in the state.
That’s because Mequon had the lowest number of total crimes in 2012: just 921 per 100,000 people. These consisted of 852 property crimes (13 vehicle thefts, 555 thefts, and 284 burglaries) and 69 violent crimes (56 assaults, 13 robberies, no rapes, and no murders) per 100,000 people.
Source: Wikimedia user Freekee
With just 44 violent crimes per 100,000 people, this Ozaukee County village is easily one of the least violent places in the state.
Just for comparison’s sake, take a look at Racine
, a city on the shores of Lake Michigan. Here, there were 473 violent crimes per 100,000 people, five of which were murders.
In addition to the 44 violent crimes, Grafton also saw 1,425 property crimes, for a total of 1,469 crimes per 100,000 people in 2012. This is the 11th lowest total number of crimes in the state.
Source: Wikimedia user lulus Ascanius
This Waukesha County city had one of the lowest violent crime rates in the entire state, with just 32 violent crimes per 100,000 people.
To put that into perspective, most places had at least 100 violent crimes per 100,000 people, and some like Green Bay
and Racine had nearly 500.
Of the 32 violent crimes, 13 were assaults and 19 were robberies; there were no rapes or murders per 100,000. Additionally, Oconomowoc saw 1,839 property crimes, making a total of 1,871 crimes per 100,000 people for the year.
8. Whitefish Bay
Source: Village of Whitefish Bay
In 2012, Whitefish Bay had a particularly low rate of property crime compared to the rest of the places in Wisconsin: just 1,343 per 100,000 people.
Of those property crimes, 49 were vehicle thefts, 1,196 were thefts, and 98 were burglaries.
In addition, Whitefish Bay had 77 violent crimes per 100,000 people, which may not be as low as, say, Muskego’s 16, but compared to Superior
, for example, where there were 305, Whitefish Bay is looking pretty good.
Source: City of Franklin
The City of Franklin has been ranked one of the best places to live in various publications, and with such a low crime rate, it’s no wonder why.
In 2012, this Milwaukee suburb saw just 44 violent crimes per 100,000 people. These included 25 assaults, eight robberies, 11 rapes, and no murders per 100,000.
Additionally, Franklin had a reported 2,145 property crimes (20 vehicle thefts, 1,873 thefts, and 252 burglaries) for an low total of 2,189 crimes per 100,000 people for the year.
10. Port Washington
Source: City of Port Washington
This city, perhaps best known for its fishing industry, and, of course, seafood, might want to add safety to its list of bragging rights, especially when it comes to its lack of property crime.
In 2012, Port Washington had just 1,318 property crimes per 100,000 people, the ninth lowest amount in the state.
These included nine vehicle thefts, 1,159 thefts, and 150 burglaries per 100,000.
Interestingly, along with Grafton, Port Washington had the lowest number of vehicle thefts in the state. Perhaps boats are a hotter commodity here?
Moving Forward In Wisconsin
In a state where the motto is simply “Forward,” you’d better hope that things are progressing in a positive direction. After looking at the low crime rates in these 10 places, it certainly seems as though they are.
If you’re interested in moving forward, and perhaps moving cities as well, be sure to check out the table below of the 50 safest places in Wisconsin, and feel free to get in touch for any of your housing needs. You certainly won’t be badgering us.