Living in Milwaukee has been quite the experience for me. In 2019, U.S. News even ranked it as one of the top cities to reside in, and I could see why. With its thriving economy and never-ending entertainment options, there’s always something happening in The Brew City. But, as with any place, it’s not all about the good times.
I remember checking out stats and being taken aback by the crime rates in areas like North Division, Franklin Heights, Metcalfe Park, Park West, and Garden Homes.
The numbers were staggering, with crime rates soaring to 129 to 152% more than other parts of Milwaukee. And while I’ve heard tales about places to steer clear of, like Brookfield, Elm Grove, and Haymarket, it’s still disheartening.
One thing that’s hard to ignore is the stark segregation between black and white communities here, reminiscent of what I’ve heard about Chicago.
This divide, coupled with underlying poverty, often becomes a breeding ground for crime. It’s a complex issue, and one that Milwaukee, like many cities, grapples with.
Riskiest Places To Reside
|Rank||Neighborhood||Population||Violent Incidents||Property Disruptions||Total Safety Concerns|
|4||Park West (Amani)||6,270||4,934||5,429||10,363|
15. Lake Park
- Population: A close-knit community of 5,695
- Violent Encounters: 1,234 incidents
- Property Trespasses: 2,440 cases
- Overall Safety Concerns: 3,674 reported crimes
Lake Park has been Milwaukee’s pride since 1889. Imagine walking through vast, open meadows, navigating forested trails, crossing quaint bridges, and being greeted by the iconic North Point Lighthouse. All of this with the serene backdrop of Lake Michigan. But, every rose has its thorn.
Data from 2020 paints a different picture. A staggering 3,674 crimes were reported in just that year, including severe offenses like murder and auto theft.
Breaking it down, we see 1,234 violent incidents and 2,440 property-related crimes. For a community of just 5,695 souls, these numbers are a stark reminder that even the most picturesque places have their challenges.
14. Buchel Park
- Population: A tiny community of 13
- Violent Incidents: 22 unsettling events
- Property Disruptions: 149 cases
- Total Safety Concerns: 171 reported incidents
Buchel Park might be one of the smallest neighborhoods you’ll come across. With its limited size, one might assume it’s a haven of peace. However, appearances can be deceiving.
In the span of 2020 alone, the area witnessed a surprising 171 reported crimes. The list of offenses is chilling, with instances of murder, rape, car theft, and burglary.
With 22 of these being violent in nature and 149 related to property, it’s a stark contrast to the mere 13 residents of the area. It’s a reminder that size doesn’t always equate to tranquility.
- Population: A bustling 535
- Violent Incidents: 121 unsettling events
- Property Disruptions: 1,019 cases
- Total Safety Concerns: 1,140 reported incidents
Haymarket, located in Milwaukee County, is a hub of urban life. With its streets lined with bars, restaurants, coffee shops, and parks, it’s a haven for those who love city life.
Most residents here opt for renting, and the neighborhood is known for its liberal mindset and family-friendly environment. But, like many urban areas, Haymarket isn’t without its challenges.
The year 2020 saw a concerning 1,140 crimes. From the dark shadows of murder and rape to the more frequent burglaries and property thefts, Haymarket had it all. With a staggering 1,019 property-related offenses and 121 violent incidents, it’s a stark reminder to always be vigilant.
12. Mitchell Park
- Population: A cozy community of 127
- Violent Incidents: 208 alarming events
- Property Disruptions: 977 cases
- Total Safety Concerns: 1,314 reported incidents
Mitchell Park, named after its iconic park, offers a dense suburban ambiance. Most of its residents prefer renting their homes.
The park is a must-visit, especially for those who want to explore the Mitchell Park Horticultural Conservatory. But, not all that glitters is gold.
In 2020, the neighborhood witnessed a concerning 1,314 crimes. From the terrifying instances of shootings to the more common thefts, Mitchell Park had its plate full.
The data reveals 208 violent crimes and a whopping 977 property offenses, all within a community of just 127. It’s a testament to the fact that beauty often hides challenges beneath.
11. Elm Grove
- Population: A bustling 6,085
- Violent Incidents: 337 unsettling events
- Property Disruptions: 3,248 cases
- Total Safety Concerns: 3,585 reported incidents
Elm Grove, with 55% of cities being safer, sits in the middle when it comes to safety rankings. This research focuses solely on Elm Grove’s official borders.
With a crime rate of 28.83 per 1,000 residents, Elm Grove’s safety perception varies. The northern part is often deemed the safest, with the southeast posing a 1 in 24 risk of being a crime victim. In contrast, the north offers a slightly better 1 in 41 chance.
2020 was a challenging year for Elm Grove. Out of the 3,585 reported crimes, a vast majority were property-related, with 3,248 incidents.
Violent crimes, though fewer at 337, still posed a significant concern, especially given the area’s population of just over 6,000. It’s a reminder that even seemingly peaceful areas can have underlying issues.
10. Saint Joseph
- Population: A vibrant 6,020
- Violent Incidents: A staggering 4,023
- Property Disruptions: 3,851 cases
- Total Safety Concerns: 7,874 reported incidents
Saint Joseph, a fragment of the larger Sherman Park neighborhood, has been a residential choice since the early 20th century. Its allure? A suburban charm right at the city’s edge. However, the year 2020 painted a different picture for this historic neighborhood.
With a population of just over 6,000, Saint Joseph witnessed a concerning 7,874 crimes. From the darkest of offenses like murder and rape to property and auto thefts, the area saw it all. Notably, violent crimes, at 4,023, outnumbered property crimes, which stood at 3,851.
- Population: A bustling 37,991
- Violent Incidents: 4,957 unsettling events
- Property Disruptions: 8,335 cases
- Total Safety Concerns: 13,292 reported incidents
Brookfield, in 2020, saw a staggering 13,292 crimes. The list ranged from murder and assault to burglary and auto theft. Property crimes, at 8,335, significantly outnumbered the 4,957 violent incidents.
When it comes to safety, Brookfield sits in the 43rd percentile, meaning 57% of cities fare better in safety metrics. With a crime rate of 29.62 per 1,000 residents, perceptions vary within the city. The southwest section is often considered the safest.
Depending on where you are in Brookfield, your risk of being a crime victim can be as high as 1 in 30 or as low as 1 in 41. It’s a city of contrasts, where safety perceptions can change from one block to the next.
8. Washington Park
- Population: A lively 4,448
- Violent Incidents: An alarming 4,412
- Property Disruptions: 3,891 cases
- Total Safety Concerns: 8,303 reported incidents
Washington Park is a blend of residential charm and local businesses, offering unique dining experiences. The park’s amphitheater is a summer hotspot, hosting a series of concerts.
While the neighborhood boasts racial diversity and is far from being labeled a ghetto, it’s unfortunately known for drug-related activities.
The year 2020 was particularly challenging, with 8,303 reported crimes. This included severe offenses like murder, rape, car theft, and burglary.
The data reveals a concerning 4,412 violent incidents and 3,891 property-related crimes, all within a community of just over 4,000.
7. Sherman Park
- Population: A vibrant 6,916
- Violent Incidents: A concerning 4,120
- Property Disruptions: 4,313 cases
- Total Safety Concerns: 8,433 reported incidents
Sherman Park, a densely populated neighborhood, is centered around its namesake, a 20.7-acre park. The area offers an urban-suburban blend, with most residents opting to rent. However, a visit here requires caution, with speeding cars and stray bullets being common concerns.
The crime rate is a staggering 90% higher than Milwaukee’s average. The lack of job opportunities and the prevalence of liquor stores further complicate the neighborhood’s dynamics.
2020 saw a total of 8,433 crimes, including severe offenses like murder and property theft. Violent crimes, at 4,120, were closely followed by property crimes, which stood at 4,313. For a community of nearly 7,000, these figures are alarmingly high.
6. Borchert Field
- Population: A cozy 3,405
- Violent Incidents: 4,124 unsettling events
- Property Disruptions: 4,541 cases
- Total Safety Concerns: 8,665 reported incidents
Borchert Field is primarily residential, with Burleigh Street offering a modest business corridor. The neighborhood’s topography, with its rolling hills and a steep descent, adds to its charm. However, the charm is overshadowed by a crime rate that’s a staggering 361% higher than Wisconsin’s average.
In 2020, Borchert Field witnessed 8,665 reported crimes. The list of offenses included murder, rape, burglary, and property theft. Property crimes, at 4,541, slightly outnumbered the 4,124 violent incidents. For a community of just over 3,000, these numbers are a stark reminder of the challenges the neighborhood faces.
5. Garden Homes
- Population: A close-knit 3,016
- Violent Incidents: A staggering 4,174
- Property Disruptions: 5,712 cases
- Total Safety Concerns: 9,886 reported incidents
Garden Homes, originally defined by the intersection of North Teutonia and West Atkinson Avenues, has expanded its boundaries over time. Its rich history is a testament to its resilience. Yet, like many Milwaukee neighborhoods, it grapples with neglect, poverty, and a cry for change.
The year 2020 saw a concerning 9,886 crimes, with property crimes slightly outnumbering violent incidents. For a community of just over 3,000, these figures are alarmingly high.
4. Park West (Amani)
- Population: A bustling 6,270
- Violent Incidents: 4,934 unsettling events
- Property Disruptions: 5,429 cases
- Total Safety Concerns: 10,363 reported incidents
Park West, also known as Amani, is a high-density residential neighborhood in northwest Milwaukee. While it faces challenges like assault and robbery, there’s hope as crime rates slowly decrease. In 2020, the area reported 10,363 crimes, with property crimes slightly outnumbering violent incidents.
3. Metcalfe Park
- Population: A cozy 2,673
- Violent Incidents: An alarming 5,547
- Property Disruptions: 4,945 cases
- Total Safety Concerns: 10,492 reported incidents
Metcalfe Park, a compact square in Milwaukee, has long been associated with challenges. With a poverty rate exceeding 60%, it’s often labeled as one of Milwaukee’s most dangerous neighborhoods. The 2020 crime statistics, with violent crimes outnumbering property ones, further highlight the area’s struggles.
2. Franklin Heights
- Population: A vibrant 6,836
- Violent Incidents: 4,976 unsettling events
- Property Disruptions: 5,827 cases
- Total Safety Concerns: 10,803 reported incidents
Franklin Heights, with about a third of its population living below the poverty line, faces significant challenges. Yet, initiatives like the Century City Business Park offer hope. In 2020, the area reported 10,803 crimes, with property crimes slightly outnumbering violent incidents.
1. North Division
- Population: A lively 6,023
- Violent Incidents: A concerning 5,339
- Property Disruptions: 5,575 cases
- Total Safety Concerns: 10,914 reported incidents
North Division, with its older homes and green spaces, has much to offer. Yet, prevalent assault and theft cases have marred its reputation. In 2020, the neighborhood reported 10,914 crimes, with property crimes slightly outnumbering violent incidents.
The Horrors of Dahmer’s Apartment: Milwaukee’s Darkest Chapter
Milwaukee, a city known for its rich history and vibrant culture, was shaken to its core in the early 1990s when the gruesome crimes of Jeffrey Dahmer came to light.
Dahmer, infamously known as the “Milwaukee Cannibal,” was responsible for the murders of 17 young men and boys between 1978 and 1991.
His modus operandi was not just killing; he committed acts of necrophilia and cannibalism, preserving body parts of his victims as trophies.
The true extent of his heinous acts was discovered in July 1991 when a potential victim managed to escape and alert the police. Inside Dahmer’s apartment, authorities found photographs of his dismembered victims, along with remains in his refrigerator and other parts of his home.
The city was horrified, and the nation watched in shock as details of one of America’s most notorious serial killers emerged. Dahmer’s crimes remain a dark stain on Milwaukee’s history, a chilling reminder of the evil that can lurk in the most unexpected places.
Is Milwaukee a Good Place to Live?
As you can easily tell, the city has its issue. This is especially true for African Americans and minorities. Money that could be used for city management, education, and other programs that can help improve the city is being put into building a basketball arena and trivial things.
However, this is not to say that Milwaukee overall is a bad city. Friendly people, nice schools, nice local businesses, and other things make why Milwaukee can be a good place to live.
Some of the reasons why many people choose to live here are the low cost of living, family-friendly activities, great employment opportunities, and the dining scene.
1. Where do rich people live in Milwaukee?
Wealthy individuals in Milwaukee often reside in upscale neighborhoods such as Whitefish Bay, Shorewood, Fox Point, and the Historic Third Ward. These areas boast luxurious homes, top-notch amenities, and are known for their exclusivity.
2. Is Milwaukee or Chicago safer?
Both cities have their safe and risky areas. Historically, Chicago has had higher crime rates in certain neighborhoods compared to Milwaukee.
However, it’s essential to consider the specific areas within each city when comparing safety. Always check the latest crime statistics for the most accurate comparison.
3. What’s the nicest part of Milwaukee?
The nicest parts of Milwaukee often include areas like the Historic Third Ward, Whitefish Bay, and the East Side. These neighborhoods offer a mix of cultural attractions, green spaces, dining options, and are popular for their vibrant community feel.
4. Is it safe to walk around Milwaukee at night?
Safety can vary depending on the specific area of Milwaukee. While many neighborhoods are safe and bustling with nightlife, others can be more risky after dark.
It’s always a good idea to stay aware of your surroundings, stick to well-lit areas, and avoid unfamiliar neighborhoods at night.
5. Is Milwaukee a good place to live?
Milwaukee offers a unique blend of urban and suburban living, rich cultural experiences, and a strong sense of community. With its diverse neighborhoods, thriving arts scene, and numerous amenities, many find Milwaukee to be a great place to live.
However, like any city, it has its challenges, and prospective residents should research specific areas to ensure they align with their preferences.
6. Is Milwaukee red or blue?
Politically speaking, Milwaukee typically leans Democratic, making it “blue.” In recent elections, the city has predominantly supported Democratic candidates.
Milwaukee, a city steeped in history and culture, offers a diverse living experience. From its upscale neighborhoods to its vibrant arts scene, it’s a place that many are proud to call home.
However, like any urban area, it comes with its set of challenges, including safety concerns in specific neighborhoods. Being informed and staying updated on local news can help residents and visitors make the most of what Milwaukee has to offer.