The Most Dangerous Neighborhoods in Milwaukee: 2020’s Ultimate List


Dangerous Neighborhoods in Milwaukee

Milwaukee was ranked as one of the best cities to live in by U.S. News in 2019. Thanks to its strong economy and boundless entertainment. However, just like any other place in the world, it’s not always rainbows and sunshine in The Brew City.

Unfortunately, Milwaukee is one of the most black-white segregated cities in the United States along with Chicago and New Jersey. This segregation, along with poverty issues, leads to crimes.

Some of the worst-hit neighborhoods in Milwaukee include neighborhoods with 53206 zip code and near southside and northside areas. Walking around here, you’ll see graffiti everywhere which marks gangs’ territory. There are always gang shootings, robberies, car break-ins, and other crimes going on around here.

Now, let’s rank the worst neighborhoods in the city.  This ranking is calculated based on the number of violent crimes per 100,000 people for every neighborhood, compared to the national average’s violent crime. These violent crimes include assault, robbery, murder, and rape.

Top 10 Most Dangerous Neighborhoods in Milwaukee, WI

Rank

Neighborhood Population Total Crimes

(Estimate)

The difference from Nat. Avg.

10

Saint Joseph 6,020 7,723 151%
9 Sherman Park 6,916 8,311

157%

8

Borchert Field 3,405 8,560 157%
7 Garden Homes 3,016 9,875

160%

6

Washington Park 4,448 8,109 175%
5 Park West 6,270 10,238

208%

4

Franklin Heights 6,836 10,707

210%

3

Mitchell Park 134 13,594

214%

2

North Division 6,023 10,754

233%

1 Metcalfe Park 2,673 10,254

297%

10. Saint Joseph

Saint Joseph

  • Crime rates compared to the national average: 199%
  • Violent crimes compared to the national average: 831%
  • Your chance of becoming a crime victim in the neighborhood: 1 in 13

The neighborhood of St. Joseph is one of six that comprise the bigger area traditionally understood as the Sherman Park neighborhood. People start living to settle in this neighborhood in the earlier part of the 20th century. A lot of people were drawn to live here due to its suburban feel and its location being at the edge of the city.

Today, St. Joseph is notorious for crimes. Gun violence, assault, vandalism, and theft have been common around the area.

9. Sherman Park

Sherman Park

  • Crime rates compared to the national average: 222% higher
  • Violent crimes compared to the national average: 854% higher
  • Your chance of becoming a crime victim in the neighborhood: 1 in 13

A densely populated neighborhood, Sherman Park has a 20.7-acre park of the same name. Sherman Park gives off an urban-suburban mix feel, and most residents are renting their homes.

Going to this neighborhood, you must watch out for speeding out-of-control-cars and stray bullets. Compared to Milwaukee’s average, the crime rate here is 90% higher. There are not a lot of job opportunities offered in the neighborhood and the area is swarmed by liquor stores.

8. Borchert Field

Borchert Field

  • Crime rates compared to the national average: 232% higher
  • Violent crimes compared to the national average: 855% higher
  • Your chance of becoming a crime victim in the neighborhood: 1 in 12

The neighborhood of Borchert Field is mostly a residential neighborhood with a modest business corridor on Burleigh Street. This neighborhood has gently rolling hills and a steep hill that falls from the north part of Borchert Field.

This neighborhood would have been a great place to live if it weren’t for the fact that the total crime here is 361% compared to the whole of Wisconsin.

7. Garden Homes

Garden Homes

  • Crime rates compared to the national average: 283% higher
  • Violent crimes compared to the national average: 866% higher
  • Your chance of becoming a crime victim in the neighborhood: 1 in 11

Garden Homes neighborhood originally was the wedge formed by the intersection of North Teutonia and West Atkinson Avenues. Today, the neighborhood expands west to 30th Street. Its unique history is what makes this neighborhood interesting.

However, like a lot of neighborhoods in Milwaukee, Garden Homes has suffered from neglect, deprivation, and poverty. Many residents demand change in political leadership as they think that nothing has been done much in advancing the community by building livable wage-paying jobs.

6. Washington Park

Washington Park

  • Crime rates compared to the national average: 214% higher
  • Violent crimes compared to the national average: 922% higher
  • Your chance of becoming a crime victim in the neighborhood: 1 in 13

The neighborhood is filled with housing opportunities as well as some unique local businesses and restaurants. The park offers a nice amphitheater where a series of summer concerts take place.

This neighborhood is mixed racially but is by no means a ghetto. However, this park is still shunned by the locals for the drug-related criminal activities taking place here.

5. Park West

Park West

  • Crime rates compared to the national average: 297% higher
  • Violent crimes compared to the national average: 1042% higher
  • Your chance of becoming a crime victim in the neighborhood: 1 in 10

Located on the northwest part of Milwaukee, Park West is bordered by Burleigh Street, North Avenue, 27th Street, and railroad tracks. Also known as Amani, Park West is another high-density neighborhood in Milwaukee that’s mainly residential.

The neighborhood has high cases of assault and robbery. However, this poverty-ridden and the crime-stricken neighborhood is slowly seeing a decrease in these cases.

4. Franklin Heights

Franklin Heights

  • Crime rates compared to the national average: 315% higher
  • Violent crimes compared to the national average: 1052% higher
  • Your chance of becoming a crime victim in the neighborhood: 1 in 10

Franklin Heights is bordered by Capitol Drive, 20th Street, Burleigh Street, and 35th Street to Townsend Street to the railroad tracks. About a third of the population of this neighborhood lives below the poverty line, which gives birth to endless crimes throughout the area.

However, the city of Milwaukee has been trying to turn the neighborhood around through the Century City Business Park. The $35 million initiative started in 2009 intending to convert sixty acres of the former A.O. Smith complex into a combination of light industry and offices with easy access to city streets and rail transportation.

3. Mitchell Park

Mitchell Park

  • Crime rates compared to the national average: 427% higher
  • Violent crimes compared to the national average: 1066% higher
  • Your chance of becoming a crime victim in the neighborhood: 1 in 8

Another neighborhood named after its park is Mitchell Park. Franklin Heights offers residents a dense suburban feel and most residents are renting their homes.

The park is a great place to visit as this is where the Mitchell Park Horticultural Conservatory is located. However, some areas are just very sketchy. Shooting and theft are quite common.

2. North Division

North Division

  • Crime rates compared to the national average: 317% higher
  • Violent crimes compared to the national average: 1136% higher
  • Your chance of becoming a crime victim in the neighborhood: 1 in 10

North Division takes the second part of our list. This is a moderately-dense neighborhood with older houses that are mainly two-story wood frames. The neighborhood has a lot of beautiful spots and green spaces.

The beauty of this neighborhood, however, goes to waste due to the safety concerns of people living here. Assault and theft are prevalent here. The unchecked element of crime in the area makes this place one of the worst neighborhoods in Milwaukee.

1. Metcalfe Park

Metcalfe Park

  • Crime rates compared to the national average: 297% higher
  • Violent crimes compared to the national average: 1185% higher
  • Your chance of becoming a crime victim in the neighborhood: 1 in 10

Metcalfe Park is a relatively small square, bounded on the south by North Avenue, the East by 35th Street, the west by 38th Street, and the north by Center Street. Metcalfe Park is tough and has been for a long while, which is why it takes the first spot on our list.

This neighborhood is often considered as one of the most dangerous neighborhoods in Milwaukee. It’s also one of the poorest. According to the U.S. Census, the poverty rate here exceeds 60% of the whole city.

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.

This is not to say, however, 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.

Is Milwaukee Dangerous?

With a crime rate of 45 per one thousand residents, Milwaukee has one of the highest crime rates in the country. However, this is not to say that the whole city is dangerous. The city is generally safe – if you are in the right place.

Milwaukee Annual Crimes

Violent Property Total
Number of Crimes 8,505 18,130 26,635
Crime Rate/1,000 residents 14.37 30.62 44.99

Why is the Crime Rate So High in Milwaukee?

There are several reasons for this, but let’s look at the two main reasons why Milwaukee’s crime rate is currently soaring.

High Race Segregation

Milwaukee is constantly listed as one of the most segregated cities in the US. While the segregation index of Milwaukee has decreased in the years since 2000, it has not done so at the pace of other cities. The city at the turn of the 21st century came in at the second spot next to Detroit. However, The Motor City now places at the fourth spot.

That segregation index, also known as the dissimilarity index, shows the percentage of blacks that would have to relocate to be completely integrated with whites.

On top of constantly being ranked among the most segregated cities, Milwaukee has also been named as the worst city in America for African Americans. The city has one of the widest gaps in affluence between white and black and Latino inhabitants.

Poverty

They say that money is the root of all evil, and the crime rate of Milwaukee proves just that. Poverty in the city remains one of the most pressing issues, which leads to never-ending crimes.

The main differences between the safest and most dangerous cities were found to be median household income and poverty rates. Census data puts Milwaukee’s poverty rate at 29%, which is almost double that of the national rate. Furthermore, over 40% of the city’s children fall below the poverty line.

Because of crime, poverty, unemployment, and other statistical factors, this Wisconsin city is to the most dangerous in the state according to a 24/7 Wall Street study.

Safest Neighborhoods in Milwaukee

While Milwaukee has neighborhoods that are notorious for crimes, it doesn’t mean there is no good place to live in the city. Just like most cities in the world, it has good and bad sides, and here are the good ones…

Neighborhood Crime Rate compared to Milwaukee Number of Crimes
1.       North Granville 98% less crime 82 crimes / 100k people
2.       Mill Valley 92% less crime 340 / 100k people
3.       Marquette 92% less crime 356 / 100k people
4.       Red Oak Heights 90% less crime 431 / 100k people
5.       Heritage Heights 89% less crime 639 / 100k people
6.       Alcott Park 87% less crime 571 / 100k people
7.       Clayton Crest 85% less crime 639 / 100k people
8.       Mount Olivet 83% less crime 727 / 100k people
9.       Ridgeview 83% less crime 763 / 100k people
10.   Dretzka Park 82% less crime 776 / 100k people

 

Cyril Balahadia

Coming from a family of woodcarvers, Cyril has always been fascinated with wooden interiors and home decorating. While she followed the path of writing as her career, her interests in home improvements still remain.

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