What Are The 7 Safest Neighborhoods In Madison, WI?

Safest Neighborhoods In Madison, WI

Home to the University of Wisconsin and the state’s capitol, Madison is the second-largest city in Wisconsin. With over 7 million acres of water, Wisconsin is home to the famous Great Lakes, offering residents over 1,000 miles of beautiful shoreline. The city of Madison is known as “The Four Lakes City” because of its enviable proximity to Lakes Mendota, Waubesa, Monona, and Kegonsa.

Outdoorsmen flock to the Badger state for the Great Lakes, but also for its beautiful scenery. 46% of the state is covered in forest, 6 million acres of which are available for public use. With the most parks per capita, Madison is a great place to enjoy the great outdoors.

Madison, WI isn’t just known for its gorgeous national parks and proximity to famous freshwater. Known as “America’s Dairyland,” Wisconsin is one of the country’s leading producers of cheese. The state specialized in farm-to-table fare, offering just about any type of dish for any type of foodie. In Madison, you’ll find a stunning tableau of restaurants, wineries, cheese shops, and more.

Whether you’re moving for work, play, or education, there are plenty of neighborhoods in Madison, Wisconsin to choose from. When looking for a new place to live, an area’s crime rating is a big factor. Of the 124 neighborhoods in the city, there are a handful that beat out the rest when it comes to safety. 

The top safest neighborhoods in Madison, WI are Hillfarms University, Country Grove, Walnut Grove, Sauk Creek, Glacier Ridge, Parkwood Hills, and Nakoma League. These communities each boast crime rates below 1% which is significantly lower than the state and city average. With virtually zero violent crimes, these neighborhoods have proven safety records, that offer their residents peace of mind. 

If you’re looking to make the move to Madison, you’re sure to find an area that more than fits your lifestyle. With one of the top-rated health systems in the U.S. and a slew of good schools to choose from, Madison is great for families. If you’re looking to jumpstart your career or begin pursuing higher education, the University of Wisconsin employs nearly 15k of Madison residents.

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8 Safest Neighborhoods in Madison, WI

Safety is always a top concern when moving to a new place. We know that half the stress of a move is all about trying to find a neighborhood that supports your needs and desires. We’ve narrowed down the neighborhoods in Madison to the top 8 safest. With crime rates consistently above the national average, Madison won’t disappoint when it comes to communities with low crime.

1. Hillfarms University

  • Population: 3,267
  • Median Income: $73,024
  • Crime Rate per 100k: 539
  • Unemployment Rate: 3.1%

Conveniently located on Madison’s near west side just minutes from the University and downtown, Hillfarms University is known for its beautiful mid-century modern architecture and its two immaculately kept public parks. One of the best places to raise a family in Madison, Hillfarms was originally an experimental farm owned and operated by the University of Wisconsin.

The area encompasses 620 acres that was turned into a self-contained planned community as the urbanization of Madison began to expand. By the mid-1960s, the Hillfarms Community was in full swing.

The Hillfarms community boasts two elementary schools, one middle school, a slew of churches serving different denominations, a Sundance movie theatre, and a small shopping center. Residents take great pride in their neighborhood and often come together for community-wide celebrations, garage sales, and fundraisers. If you’re looking for a tight-knit, family-oriented community, Hillfarms is the place for you.

2. Country Grove

  • Population: 864
  • Median Income: $101,711
  • Crime Rate per 100k: 584
  • Unemployment Rate: 1.3%

Country Grove Estates is another neighborhood great for raising a family. One of Madison’s relatively new neighborhoods, Country Grove is only twenty minutes away from the downtown area. With an active homeowners association, crime is relatively non-existent here, though residents are encouraged to make sure their garage doors remain shut overnight.

Country Grove offers plenty of green spaces and waterways for residents to enjoy and explore. Getting to know your neighbor is highly encouraged in this smaller community. A few yearly events include:

  • Red, Bike, and Blue Parade
  • Hibernation Celebration
  • October Halloween Party
  • December Home Decorating Contest

Country Grove is perfect for raising young families with its proximity to Chavez Elementary School. This is the type of community where borrowing a cup of sugar from your neighbor is no big deal, even encouraged! Safe and homey, Country Grove is one of Madison’s best areas for raising kids.

3. Walnut Grove

  • Population: 1,154
  • Median Income: $71,680
  • Crime Rate per 100k: 498
  • Unemployment Rate: 3.1%

Though not named after THE Walnut Grove of Little House fame, Madison’s Walnut Grove has a similar feel to it. With a livability score of 81/100, Walnut Grove’s crime rates are 78% lower than the Madison average. Residents aren’t afraid to leave their cars unlocked and regularly walk their pets in the evening without fear or hesitation.

You’ll have access to beautifully maintained bicycle trails and walkways. Peppered with cul-du-sacs, Walnut Grove is only 1-2 miles away from the West Beltline Highway, making getting in and out of Madison a piece of cake. You’re also only a few minutes away from Alica Ashman Branch Library and the West Towne Mall where you can do some easy shopping.

4. Sauk Creek

  • Population: 1,428
  • Median Income: $78,240
  • Crime Rate per 100k: 673
  • Unemployment Rate: 4.4%

Even though this neighborhood has a higher unemployment rate, don’t let that deter you from looking into moving to Sauk Creek. Located on the western edge of a wooded greenway, Sauk Creek is perfect for nature lovers. A suburb dotted with mature trees, this neighborhood is crisscrossed with peaceful trails and a plethora of wildlife.

With homes built around the 1980s and 90s, Sauk Creek is about eight miles away from downtown Madison and the University of Wisconsin. Extremely family-friendly, this community is the definition of charming Americana. With one of the more active HOAs in Madison, residents have strong connections to one another and will often come together for summer picnics and holiday celebrations.

5. Glacier Ridge

  • Population: 1,293
  • Median Income: $101,711
  • Crime Rate per 100k: 707
  • Unemployment Rate: 1.3%

One of the best features of Glacier Ridge— besides its overall low crime and excellent livability score— is that it is home to the Ice Age National Trail, a thousand-mile footpath, and is one of only 11 scenic National Park trails.

Because Glacier Ridge is sandwiched between parkland and prairieland, it offers residents a truly beautiful natural backdrop. The view from your kitchen window in Glacier Ridge is truly enviable. A great place for nature lovers and outdoorsmen, Glacier Ridge homes were built around the year 2000, making it one of the newer, more up-and-coming neighborhoods in Madison.

Safer than 86% of the neighborhoods in Madison, Glacier Ridge comes with quite a few perks:

  • Badger Prairie County Park
  • University Ridge Golf Course
  • Reddan Soccer Park
  • Hometown USA Community Park

6.  Parkwood Hills

  • Population: 1,558
  • Median Income: $96,877
  • Crime Rate per 100k: 517
  • Unemployment Rate: 3.2%

Located on the west side of Madison, Parkwood Hills is one of the only communities within walking distance of all three public schools:

  • John Muir Elementary
  • Jefferson Middle
  • James Madison Memorial High

One of the only neighborhoods on our list without an HOA, Parkwood Hills borders the Owen Conservation Park, 93 acres of biking and walking trails, cross country skiing, and three wildlife ponds. Even though the neighborhood doesn’t have an HOA, residents oftentimes come together to create community events like the Fall Fling at the Vintage Brewing Company, a Halloween Bonfire, and Sledding Sunday on Memorial Hill in January.

Here in Parkwood Hills, there’s plenty for all ages. Being close to schools, community centers, shopping, and fine dining, Parkwood Hills is one of the most popular neighborhoods for newcomers to Wisconsin.

7. Nakoma League

  • Population: 1,526
  • Median Income: $95,864
  • Crime Rate per 100k: 737
  • Unemployment Rate: 1.4%

Nakoma League is one of the most historic residential areas of Madison. Originally founded as a social and charitable neighborhood league in the 1920s, this community is built around charitable hallmarks of neighborliness and friendliness. This women’s group has morphed over the years and become one of Madison’s most prominent neighborhoods. Made up of around 700 households, the Nakoma community is great for young singles and budding families.

Community events abound in Nakoma from the 12th Night Dinner Theater to the Tulip Time Progressive Dinner, an event where residents build fire pits in their backyards open to the whole neighborhood! Good food, good times, and good people define this community.

If you’re someone who’s always wanted to live in a home on the historic registry, Nakoma is the place for you. The community has a host of Tudor Revivals, Craftsman, Colonial, and Greek Revival homes that have been kept in pristine condition.

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Our Conclusion

Madison, Wisconsin is a vibrant city with many close-knit neighborhoods to choose from. If you’re looking for anonymity, Madison isn’t the city for you. Defined by its hospitality and friendliness, its neighborhoods fall into the same come-as-you-are lifestyle. With low crime rates and even lower unemployment rates, Madison offers something for just about every type of resident.

With its renowned chefs, beers, cheeses, lakes, and festivals, America’s Dairyland is one of the safest cities in the whole Midwest region. Here community is not only important, but vital—college students, working professionals, growing families, and retirees will find a neighborhood to call their own.

Paige Hanawalt

Paige is an elementary school librarian with a passion for writing. Her hobbies include reading an exorbitant amount of fantasy, slowly teaching herself to draw, and home decor. While she isn't the most talented artist or interior designer, what she lacks in skill she more than makes up for in enthusiasm. When she's not curled up with a book, you can certainly find her curled over the keyboard.

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