The 15 Most Dangerous Neighborhoods in Milwaukee: 2023's Ultimate List
Milwaukee was ranked as one of the best cities to live in by U.S. News in 2019. Thanks to its strong economy and unlimited entertainment. However, just like any other place in the world, it’s not always rainbows and sunshine in The Brew City.
FBI statistics show the most violent cities in North Division, Franklin Heights, Metcalfe Park, Park West, and Garden Homes. These areas routinely have the highest rates of violent and property crimes per capita in Milwaukee, ranging from 129 to 152% more than the rest of the city. Also, you should avoid Brookfield, Elm Grove, and Haymarket.
Unfortunately, Milwaukee is one of the most black-white segregated cities in the United States, much like Chicago. This segregation, along with poverty issues, leads to crimes.
Most Dangerous Neighborhoods In Milwaukee
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 area, compared to the national average’s violent crime. These violent crimes include assault, robbery, murder, and rape.
1. North Division
- Population: 6,023
- Violent Crime: 5,339
- Property Crime: 5,575
- Total Reported Crimes: 10,914
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.
However, the beauty of this neighborhood 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.
In the 2020 calendar year, North Division, which has a population of 6,023 people, had a total of 10,914 reported offenses. These crimes include murder, rape, assault, property theft, and auto theft.
There were fewer violent crimes than property crimes at the time. Property crimes made up 5,575 per capita, while violent crimes were 5,339.
2. Franklin Heights
- Population: 6,836
- Violent Crime: 4,976
- Property Crime: 5,827
- Total Reported Crimes: 10,803
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.
In Franklin Heights, there have been a total of 10,803 crimes reported for the calendar year 2020. Among them are murder, assault, rape, auto theft, burglary, and other property-related offenses.
By a slim margin, property crime outnumbers violent crime. There were 4,976 violent crimes and 5,827 property crimes reported. All of this occurred in a community with a population of 6,836 people.
3. Metcalfe Park
- Population: 2,673
- Violent Crime: 5,547
- Property Crime: 4,945
- Total Reported Crimes: 10,492
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 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.
According to FBI records, there were a total of 10,492 reported crimes in the 2020 calendar year. Murder and theft of property were two of the offenses committed.
Violent crimes outnumbered property crimes. There were 5,547 violent crimes reported per capita, with 4,945 property offenses. For a community of 2,673 residents, those are unusually high numbers.
4. Park West
- Population: 6,270
- Violent Crime: 4,934
- Property Crime: 5,429
- Total Reported Crimes: 10,363
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 community is slowly seeing a decrease in these cases.
According to FBI records, a total of 10,363 crimes were reported in the 2020 calendar year. Among the offenses committed were murder and auto theft.
In total, there were 4,934 violent crimes and 5,429 property crimes. While these data may appear insignificant within Milwaukee, the crime rate is relatively high when compared to the population of 6,270 people.
5. Garden Homes
- Population: 3,016
- Violent Crime: 4,174
- Property Crime: 5,712
- Total Reported Crimes: 9,886
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.
In the year 2020, 9,886 crimes were committed in Garden Homes. Both violent and nonviolent crimes are included in this category.
Property crimes outweighed violent crimes in 2020. Only 4,174 violent events were reported and a total of 5,712 property violations. Nonetheless, in a population of 3,016, this is an exceedingly high crime rate.
6. Borchert Field
- Population: 3,405
- Violent Crime: 4,124
- Property Crime: 4,541
- Total Reported Crimes: 8,665
The neighborhood of Borchert Field is primarily 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.
In the year 2020, there were 8,665 crimes reported in Borchert Field. Murder and rape, as well as burglary and property theft, were among the crimes committed.
At the time, property crimes outnumbered violent crimes. Property offenses were 4,541, with 4,124 violent crimes reported per capita.
7. Sherman Park
- Population: 6,916
- Violent Crime: 4,120
- Property Crime: 4,313
- Total Reported Crimes: 8,433
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 liquor stores swarm the area.
According to FBI records, there were a total of 8,433 reported crimes in the 2020 calendar year. Murder and theft of property were two of the offenses committed.
Property crimes barely outnumbered violent crimes. There were 4,120 violent crimes reported per capita, with 4,313 property offenses. For a community of 6,916 residents, those are unusually high numbers.
8. Washington Park
- Population: 4,448
- Violent Crime: 4,412
- Property Crime: 3,891
- Total Reported Crimes: 8,303
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, the locals still shunned this park for the drug-related criminal activities taking place here.
In 2020, a total of 8,303 crimes were reported. Among the offenses committed were murder, rape, car theft, and burglary. Out of this number, 4,412 violent offenses and 3,891 property crimes were reported per capita.
- Population: 37,991
- Violent Crime: 4,957
- Property Crime: 8,335
- Total Reported Crimes: 13,292
In Brookfield, there have been a total of 13,292 crimes reported for the calendar year 2020. Among them are murder, assault, rape, auto theft, burglary, and other property-related offenses.
By a wide margin, property crime outnumbers violent crime. There were 4,957 violent crimes and 8,335 property crimes reported. All of this occurred in a community with a population of 37,991 people.
Brookfield is in the 43rd percentile for safety, which means that 57 percent of cities are safer, while 43 percent are riskier. During a typical year, the crime rate in Brookfield is 29.62 per 1,000 residents. Brookfield residents often believe the city’s southwest section to be the safest.
In Brookfield, your chances of becoming a victim of crime can range from 1 in 30 in northwest neighborhoods to 1 in 41 in southwest neighborhoods.
10. Saint Joseph
- Population: 6,020
- Violent Crime: 4,023
- Property Crime: 3,851
- Total Reported Crimes: 7,874
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.
In the 2020 calendar year, Saint Joseph, which has a population of 6,020 people, had a total of 7,874 reported offenses. These crimes include murder, rape, assault, property theft, and auto theft.
There were more violent crimes than property crimes at the time. Property crimes made up 3,851 per capita, while violent crimes made up 4,023.
Don’t Want to Read the Whole List? Watch This Video!
11. Elm Grove
- Population: 6,085
- Violent Crime: 337
- Property Crime: 3,248
- Total Reported Crimes: 3,585
Elm Grove is in the 45th percentile for safety, which means that 55 percent of cities are safer while 45 percent are riskier. Only the proper borders of Elm Grove are included in this research.
During a typical year, the crime rate in Elm Grove is 28.83 per 1,000 residents. Elm Grove residents often believe the city’s northern section to be the safest.
In Elm Grove, your chances of becoming a victim of crime are as high as 1 in 24 in the southeast neighborhoods and as low as 1 in 41 in the north.
In the year 2020, 3,585 crimes were committed in Elm Grove. Both violent and nonviolent crimes are included in this category.
Property crimes overshadowed violent crimes in 2020. Only 337 violent events were reported out of a total of 3,248 property violations. Nonetheless, in a population of 6,085, this is an exceedingly high crime rate.
12. Mitchell Park
- Population: 127
- Violent Crime: 208
- Property Crime: 977
- Total Reported Crimes: 1,314
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 very sketchy. Shooting and theft are quite common.
A total of 1,314 offenses were reported in this area. This included a wide range of crimes, including murder and theft. According to FBI statistics, there were 208 violent crimes and 977 property crimes. This is in a population of 127.
- Population: 535
- Violent Crime: 121
- Property Crime: 1,019
- Total Reported Crimes: 1,140
Haymarket is a neighborhood in Milwaukee County. Haymarket residents enjoy an urban lifestyle, and the majority of residents rent their homes. There are numerous bars, restaurants, coffee shops, and parks in Haymarket. Haymarket is a liberal neighborhood with a lot of families; however, it does have its fair share of crime.
In the year 2020, there were 1,140 crimes reported in Haymarket. Murder and rape, as well as burglary and property theft, were among the crimes perpetrated.
At the time, property crimes outnumbered violent crimes. Property offenses were 1,019, with 121 violent crimes reported per capita.
14. Buchel Park
- Population: 13
- Violent Crime: 22
- Property Crime: 149
- Total Reported Crimes: 171
There isn’t much to say about this tiny neighborhood. It’s a very small area, and although you would think there was no crime, it still has its fair share.
In 2020, a total of 171 crimes were reported. Among the offenses committed were murder, rape, car theft, and burglary. Out of this number, 22 violent offenses and 149 property crimes were reported per capita. This was in a population of 13.
15. Lake Park
- Population: 5,695
- Violent Crime: 1,234
- Property Crime: 2,440
- Total Reported Crimes: 3,674
Since 1889, Lake Park has been a Milwaukee treasure. It’s surrounded by open, meadow-like spaces, winding forested walks and bridges that lead to unexpected vistas, the North Point Lighthouse, and breathtaking views of Lake Michigan. However, it does have a higher crime rate.
According to FBI records, a total of 3,674 crimes were reported in the 2020 calendar year. Among the offenses committed were murder and auto theft.
In total, there were 1,234 violent crimes and 2,440 property crimes. While these data may appear insignificant, the crime rate is rather high when compared to the population of 5,695 people.
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.
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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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