Are you considering moving to Madison? This midwest gem was rated the 11th best place to live in the US and the 2nd best place to live in Wisconsin. While Madison boasts many great attributes, like a low cost of living, countless safe neighborhoods, and a blossoming economy, we’re providing Madison’s crime rate statistics to help you decide whether moving here is the right choice. And analyzing the Madison, WI crime rate is a great place to start!
Is Madison, Wisconsin safe? Our extensive guide to the city’s crime rate provides stats and the information you need to decide. The overall crime rate in Madison, WI, is higher than the state and the US; however, the violent crime rate is 1.1% lower than the state and 17.5% lower than the country. There is a 1 in 312 chance of becoming a victim of violent crime in Madison. The crime rate statistics used in this article are provided by the FBI, which isn’t always the most reliable for determining a city’s overall safety. For example, according to their crime rate statistics, some cities can have a high overall crime rate even though most incidents are isolated to select areas. While Madison has many safe areas, a few dangerous, higher crime areas affect its overall crime rate. Despite having a higher overall crime rate than the state and the US, Madison is still considered the 10th safest US city, which is likely due to its low violent crime rate.
The FBI collects crime rate statistics from law enforcement agencies. The crimes included in these statistics are violent crimes and include incidents like homicide, murder, assault, manslaughter, sexual assault, rape, robbery, negligence, etc. Property crimes include burglary, theft, arson, and vandalism. Crime rate statistics are typically calculated on a scale of 1 to 100,000 people. The FBI divides the total number of crimes committed in an area by the area's total population; that product is multiplied by 100,000, giving a uniform number for each city and crime category.
While these crime rates are often used to compare cities' overall safeness, the FBI deters people from using FBI crime rate statistics to compare areas for multiple reasons. One is they don’t consider unique factors such as how accurately crimes are reported; data reporting is voluntary, and 40% of police departments didn’t submit 2021 crime data. Also, crime rates don’t include all offenses. Since crime rate statistics are city-wide, often, a city can have more safe areas than dangerous ones, but one or two bad neighborhoods can give it a high overall crime rate. Many crimes (especially violent crimes) are targeted, meaning the victim and assailant have a relationship beforehand, which is not considered in FBI crime rate stats.
While crime rate statistics can be a useful tool, they should not be the only way you determine an area's overall safety. For example, using a crime map is a more concise way to determine a city’s safety, as it will show the most dangerous and safest areas. Even if the Madison, WI crime rate appears higher when analyzing the statistics, that’s not to say it’s not a safe place to live!
The Madison, Wisconsin crime rate is above the state and US average. However, the Madison, WI violent crime rate is lower than the state and nation. Here’s a breakdown of crime in Madison, WI, and what to expect when living here.
There is a 1 in 32 chance you will become a victim of crime in Madison.
Murder rate Madison, WI: 4 | 24.5% lower than the state and 38.9% lower than the country.
Now you know the Madison crime statistics and how safe the city is based on what the FBI provides. However, a better way to determine which part of Madison you should live in is by researching specific areas using a Madison crime map and by taking a look at Madison police reports.
The Madison, WI Police Department provides a crime map to help keep its citizens informed. Not all information shown on the map is 100% accurate. For example, in efforts to protect victims invoiced in the crimes shown on the crime map, the location reflects the nearest 100 blocks. To protect the privacy of victims, not all violent crimes are included, i.e., sexual assaults, homicides, or other serious, violent crimes. Ongoing investigations are not listed on the map.
Using a crime rate map is the ideal way to find which city areas are crime-ridden and which are safe. For example, according to the Madison crime map provided by the city’s police department, the highest crime areas are in the downtown area, west of Lake Monona. Most crimes in this area are property crimes, so incidents like burglary, arson, and theft; however, there are a handful of sexual assault incidents reported. Shorewood Hills, which is a community surrounded by Madison, has a meager crime rate, with zero incident reports in the last 30 days. Marquette is a Madison neighborhood known for being safe, and according to the map, there were only two minor property crime reports in the past 30 days.
Another great option is to view Madison police reports; they can offer detailed insight into what type of crimes are being committed and by whom. The information can be quite telling and may help you avoid buying in a not-so-safe area!
The Madison, WI murder rate is 4 per 100k people, which is 24.5% lower than Wisconsin (5.3 per 100k people) and 38.9% lower than the country (6.5% per 100k people.) There were ten Madison murders and nonnegligent manslaughter committed in 2022.
Madison has a violent crime rate of 312 per 100k people, Wisconsin has a violent crime rate of 323 per 100k people, and the US has a violent crime rate of 388 per 100k people. The Madison, WI, violent crime rate is 1.1% lower than the state and 17.5% lower than the country. Madison saw a total of 842 violent crimes in 2022; there were ten murder and nonnegligent manslaughter cases, 74 cases of rape, 164 cases of robbery, and 593 cases of aggerated assault. There is a 1 in 312 chance of becoming a victim of violent crime in Madison, WI.
In 2022, Madison saw a decrease in its violent crime rate. Aggregate assaults involving firearms decreased 14% from 2021 to 2022, and there were only six murder cases in 2022 compared to 10 in 2021. Madison saw a 39% decrease in “shots fired” cases and the police department safely confiscated 360 illegal guns, and forcible rapes have decreased by 40%. The Madison violent crime has decreased dramatically in multiple areas.
The property crime rate in Madison is 87% higher than the state average and 41.9% higher than the national average.
In Madison, 7,301 property crimes were committed in 2022; 1,307 were burglary, 5,346 were larceny theft, 648 were motor vehicle theft, and 15 were arson. There is a 1 in 36 chance of becoming a victim of property crime in Madison, Wisconsin.
Madison saw a decrease in home break-ins in 2022 but a 43% increase in commercial burglaries. Most property crimes in Madison are larceny-theft, which are mostly isolated to the downtown area near State Langdon and Tenney-Lapham. From June to July of 2022, Madison saw 80 cases of theft, 43 motor-vehicle thefts, 21 residential burglaries, 12 sexual assaults, six commercial burglaries, five individual robberies, and one aggravated assault.
Before relocating to Mad City, you should avoid a few areas. Here is a list of the highest crime neighborhoods in Madison, WI.
With a population of 175 and a violent crime rate of 1,589 per 100k people, Wexford Ridge is one of the most dangerous neighborhoods in Madison. This area has 415% more crime than Madison and has an overall crime rate of 1,589 per 100k people. The property crime rate per 100k people is also very high at 11,663. Wexford Ridge is centrally located, but given its high crime rate and a higher cost of living than the US average, we’re hopeful you can find more suitable options.
North Lake Mendota has a population of 744 and is 397% higher than Madison. The violent crime rate is 1,532 per 100k people, and in the past month, one case of theft and two cases of motor vehicle theft were reported.
Brentwood Village has a population of 889 and a violent crime rate of 1,189 per 100k people and sees 286% more crime than Madison. Four property crime incidents were reported from mid-June to mid-July.
Emerson East's population is 1,535, and this neighborhood has a violent crime rate of 1,087 per 100k people. Although Emerson has a 252% higher crime rate than Madison, its cost of living is still 3% above the US average of 100.
Located on the southwest side of Lake Monona, Brams Addition has 167% more crime than Madison. Its population is 1,081, with a violent crime rate of 823 per 100k people. It has a total crime rate of 8,345 per 100k people and a property crime rate of 7,522 per 100k people.
Eken Park has an overall crime rate of 12,462 per 100k people, a violent crime rate of 1,072 per 100k people, and a property crime rate of 11,390 per 100k people. It has a population of 1,811; although it boasts a nice location, Eken Park isn't a safe neighborhood in Madison.
High Point Estates has a population of 1,198 and a violent crime rate of 789 per 100k people. This area saw 156% more crime than Madison and was rated the 10th highest crime neighborhood in Madison.
Park Ridge has a violent crime rate of 11,550 crimes per 100,000 people and 1,315 violent crimes per 100,000 people. There is a 1 in 76 chance of becoming a victim of violent crime here. The property crime rate is even worse, with a crime rate of 10,235 property crimes per 100,000 people; there is a 1 in 19 chance of becoming a victim of property crime while living in Park Ridge.
There are countless great neighborhoods in Madison, WI. Here is a list of the safest Madison neighborhoods.
Dudgeon-Monroe has a low crime rate of 645 per 100k people; this is 30% below the US average. With a median household of $103,218, it’s considered an affluent place to live and is well above Madison’s median household income ($67,270.) There are over 1,500 homes in this neighborhood, and it has a devoted HOA (DMNA), which helps keep the community safe and clean.
The median household income in Maple-Prairie is $71,506, which is above the city's average. It boasts a low crime rate of 1,713 per 100k people. The violent crime rate is 48% lower than the national average, and the property crime rate is 27% lower than the national average. Maple-Prairie’s overall crime rate is 27% below the national average.
This family-friendly Madison neighborhood boasts a low crime rate 48% lower than the national average! People love Westmorland because its safe streets make it ideal for young families. Westmorland has an overall crime rate of 1,230 per 100k people. Not to mention the violent crime rate is 72% lower than the national average, and the property crime rate is 43% lower than the national average. All in all, Westmorland is one of the safest neighborhoods in Madison!
We have a few tips to help keep you safe; while there are some exceptionally safe areas of Madison, there are a few areas you should steer clear of. Here are a few safety tips and areas to avoid in Madison.
The areas listed above are mostly neighborhoods where we don’t suggest you purchase a home or rent in the area. However, another area that sees lots of crime (especially property crime) is near the University of Wisconsin. Break-ins, thefts, and sexual assault incidents are commonly reported in that area. These crimes can be especially prevalent on game days or heavy drinking holidays. Higher crime rates near college campuses are common in most college towns. In short, we suggest steering clear of the University of Wisconsin campus on game days or heavy drinking holidays (if possible.)
Other ways to avoid crime in Madison, WI, include:
Making small changes and forming these simple habits can make a huge difference. Alarm systems are a proven deterrence of thefts, and having the means to protect yourself is a great way to feel safer.
The Madison Police Department has 505 sworn officers, which is two officers per 1,000 people. Police Chief Shon F. Barnes leads the six districts of Madison. The districts are as follows: Central, East, North, South, West, and Midtown Districts. This department has multiple special operation units like K9 Unit, Crime Scene Unit, Forensic Unit, Narcotics and Gangs Task Force, Parking Enforcement, S.W.A.T Team, etc.
The police department of Madison works tirelessly to protect its citizens and has made massive strides toward improvement in the last year. They’re helpful and are happy to serve you in any way. For example, If you’d like to access a Madison crime report, the police department's website is the place to look.
Address: 211 S Carroll St, Madison, WI 53703
Non-emergency phone: (608) 255-2345
Now that you know Madison is a safe place to live, raise a family, or start a career; you’ll need trusted Madison movers to help you transition. Call Dairyland Movers at 608-856-6683 for a free estimate!
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