Is Wisconsin Safe? Crime Rates & Safety Report

Updated On March 6, 2022
Wisconsin, United States
Safety Index:
* Based on Research & Crime Data

If you are planning to take advantage of the beautiful scenery or do some fishing on the Great Lakes, you might be planning a trip to Wisconsin soon.

Milwaukee and Madison are also high-traffic cities for business trips.

No matter what your reason is for visiting this beautiful state, you need to be aware of the warnings and dangers that you could be presented with.

Those who are not familiar with Wisconsin should know what to expect and what the different risks are for crimes, natural disasters, and other areas where you could be taken advantage of as a traveler.

Warnings & Dangers in Wisconsin

Overall Risk


When you are traveling to Wisconsin, your overall safety risk is medium, especially because you have to come through in one of the major cities that has the highest crime rates. Once you get through these areas and head out to the rural parts by the Great Lakes, your risk will decline to a low risk because of the minimal crime out in this area.

Transport & Taxis Risk


If you are using public transport or taxis in Wisconsin, you have a medium risk of being a victim of a crime. Many petty thefts and pickpockets seek out victims on public transportation by offering their assistance and then taking advantage of the situation.

Pickpockets Risk


As a traveler to Wisconsin, your risk for pickpockets when you are walking through the airports or traveling downtown in large cities is medium. These individuals will rob you within seconds by accidentally bumping you and taking something off of your person.

Natural Disasters Risk


Because of its location, the risk for natural disasters in Wisconsin is medium. Floods and tornadoes cause a lot of damage in this state and do so at different times in the year. If you are coming up in the winter, make sure a blizzard or winter storm is not blowing through.

Mugging Risk


You have a medium chance of being mugged if you are spending a lot of time in the Madison or Milwaukee areas. These two cities have a lot of crime that targets travelers, especially when they are coming in for vacation or a business trip.

Terrorism Risk


Because of the high population density in Green Bay, Milwaukee, and Madison, the threat for a terrorism attack is medium despite the state being far away from the capital. The potential damage that can be done would be detrimental, especially with the number of people in these cities.

Scams Risk


If you are in one of the larger cities, your risk for a scam is medium, but out by the lakes, you will find a low risk of scams. Only in populated areas will desperate folks attempt to take advantage of an unknowing traveler.

Women Travelers Risk


Women traveling to Wisconsin have a medium-risk grade. This is because you must come into one of the larger cities from an airport, so you could be a walking target immediately. You will want to make sure you are traveling in a group or traveling on day flights for your protection.

Tap Water Risk


The tap water risk in Wisconsin is low, with the majority of the state getting their water from groundwater. Because of steady water tests, the tap water is safe in Wisconsin, but should there be an outbreak, all visitors and residents will be alerted.

Safest Places to Visit in Wisconsin

When you are looking for the best places to visit, you will find yourself in rural Wisconsin, enjoying the lake and mountain life where things are a little slower.

The safest places to visit are:

  • Whitefish Bay
  • Oconomowoc
  • Cedarburg
  • Grafton
  • Port Washington

In these towns, the communities are small but close, so they all share a similar interest; eliminating crime.

Even with visitors coming year-round to enjoy the winter activities or Summer fishing, the communities work together to prevent any outbursts of crime.

Even Cedarburg, which is a suburb of Milwaukee is a completely different area, although it is only miles away.

Places to Avoid in Wisconsin

Unfortunately, when you visit Wisconsin, there are several places that you need to avoid to remain safe.

  • Milwaukee
  • West Allis
  • Madison
  • Grand Chute
  • Beloit

With the two largest cities in Wisconsin on this list, it is obvious that the areas with more people will have more crimes associated.

These can range from pickpocketing and mugging to car theft and assaults.

Even in areas like Beloit, there were numerous thefts at local areas such as the farmer’s market that attracts residents and visitors regularly.

If you are in these towns, stay in well-lit areas and avoid traveling alone, especially at night.

Safety Tips for Traveling to Wisconsin

There are some things to keep in mind before you travel to Wisconsin to keep you safe.

Below are tips focused on different ways to keep you and others in your party safe when traveling.

  1. Avoid distractions from those standing by. If you are walking through one of the larger cities in Wisconsin and you are approached by someone, make sure to keep walking and stay aware of your situation. In these instances, the goal is to attempt to distract you so that you are taken away from others so that you can be scammed or a victim of a crime.
  2. Notify your family of your itinerary. While every second you have on your trip may not be planned, you want to let someone know where you are staying, how to get in touch with you, and any scheduled events you have while on your trip. Should they lose contact with you, they will be able to easily locate you by retracing your steps and knowing where you were and are supposed to be.
  3. Travel in a group. Because there is a high crime in the larger cities of Wisconsin, you do not need to travel alone when you visit the state. Try taking at least one other person or even two with you so that you are less of a target for a crime.
  4. Check on the weather forecast. To prepare against any potential natural disasters, you need to check the forecast for the area where you will be traveling so you know what to expect. If a winter storm is expected to come in on the same day you are, you may need to alter your trip plans or make new arrangements.
  5. Avoid areas that are roped off. If you come across an area that has a caution tape or do not enter, then do not be that person and keep it moving. By crossing over that area, you could find yourself in some danger with the terrain. In the winter, many lakes and ponds freeze over in Wisconsin, so you need to be careful when going over these areas and making sure they are solid before walking over them, for example.
  6. Notify your bank and credit cards before you leave. One of the most dangerous things you can do is get to Wisconsin and have your accounts frozen due to potential fraud. It can take time for these accounts to unlock, putting you out of the funds you need. Before you leave, give them a call and let them know you plan to be traveling and where you will be.
  7. Avoid outside ATMs on populated streets. If you need some quick cash on your trip, you want to avoid the outside ATMs because they lack security and protection. If the bank is open, head inside to get a cash withdrawal or visit a local supermarket where you can withdraw cash with your purchase. Even if it costs you a couple of dollars, you are inside a public place and safely withdrawing money.
  8. Keep a small first aid kit with you. Whether you are out hiking, fishing, or traveling through the city, you could fall and get hurt. With a first aid kit, you can easily treat yourself until you can get to a hospital or urgent care that can do a more in-depth inspection and treatment.
  9. Avoid overdrinking. While Wisconsin is home to lots of brews, and it can be found at every restaurant and bar, it is not safe to get overly drunk while you are out on the town and then try to get back to your room. There are too many safety risks and vulnerabilities that can happen when you are not thinking clearly and unaware of your surroundings.
  10. Avoid taking valuables or keeping them secure. Unless it is truly necessary to take your valuables with you on the trip, you should leave them at home. However, expensive camera equipment or items purchased while on the trip can be valuable. This means that you need to store these items safely when you are traveling, and do not take them out with you unless you can keep them secure on your person.

So... How Safe Is Wisconsin Really?

In general, Wisconsin is a pretty safe destination for travel, especially if you are headed to the rural areas in the mountains and right off of the lakes.

The big cities are not absolved from crime, as any place with that much of a population is expected to have some crime rate.

While some residents in the area find themselves concerned with crime in the larger cities, it does seem to be declining overall in the last few years.

As long as you travel with situational awareness in large crowds and stay in well-lit areas, you can experience a low safety risk trip.

How Does Wisconsin Compare?

StateSafety Index

Useful Information



If you are a domestic traveler, you do not need a visa to be able to travel. However, all visitors from international borders will first need a passport to get into the country and Wisconsin. If your trip is to exceed a couple of weeks, you will need to apply for a tourist visa.



When you visit Wisconsin, make sure you are using US Dollars in cash, credit cards, or check form. That is the only currency accepted in the state.



The Spring and Summer weather in Wisconsin is warm but not overbearingly hot. In fact, with its highest temperatures getting only in the 80s, Wisconsin is one of the coolest states in the United States. This means that the winter months see record temperatures, with it being right off of the Great Lakes, snow and ice are common along with below-freezing temperatures all day long.



There are several airports found throughout the state of Wisconsin, however, there are two airports that are used for the majority of travel and airlines that are flying in. They are the Austin Straubel International Airport in Green Bay and the General Mitchell International Airport in Milwaukee.

Travel Insurance

Travel Insurance

Before you finalize your trip to Wisconsin, you want to make sure that you get travel insurance to cover the investment you have made in the event of an emergency. If you are not able to attend your trip that is no fault of your own, you can be reimbursed for what you have already spent so that you are not out of your money.

Click here to get an offer for travel insurance

Wisconsin Weather Averages (Temperatures)

Jan -8° C
Feb -6° C
Mar 1° C
Apr 8° C
May 14° C
Jun 19° C
Jul 22° C
Aug 21° C
Sep 16° C
Oct 10° C
Nov 3° C
Dec -5° C
Choose Temperature Unit

Average High/Low Temperature

Temperature / MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec

Wisconsin - Safety by City

CitySafety Index
Green Bay81

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