This City Has Been Named the Murder Capital of Wisconsin

Milwaukee, Wisconsin’s largest and most populous city, earned the undesirable distinction of being named the state’s murder capital for the year 2023. This designation stems from its concerning rates of violent crimes, including murder, on a per capita basis.

Homicide Figures

In 2021, Milwaukee recorded a shocking 189 homicides, resulting in a rate of 19 murders per 100,000 residents. This figure surpasses the national average of 3 per 100,000 by over six times and exceeds the state average of 2 per 100,000 by more than nine times.

By 2023, the city’s reported murders had risen to 195, translating to a murder rate of 32.9 per 100,000 people. This marks both the highest murder rate and the greatest number of murders in Wisconsin.

Other Urban Centers

While Milwaukee leads in this unfortunate statistic, other cities in Wisconsin also report significant numbers of homicides. In 2023, Kenosha, for instance, documented 13 murders, securing its place as the city with the second-highest murder count.

Other cities noteworthy for their murder rates include Brown Deer, Beloit, Plover, Oconomowoc, Racine, Grand Chute, West Allis, and Madison.

Contributing Factors

Several factors contribute to Milwaukee’s elevated crime rates. The city grapples with a poverty rate of 25.4%, more than double the national average of 10.5% and more than triple the state average of 8.1%.

Milwaukee also ranks among the most racially segregated cities in the United States, fostering conditions of social isolation, discrimination, and resentment, all of which can contribute to violence and crime.

Moreover, Milwaukee faces a significant gang problem, with an estimated 10,000 gang members belonging to over 130 different gangs.


While the title of “Murder Capital” is certainly not one any city would aspire to, it underscores the pressing need for interventions addressing the root causes of crime and violence.

It is crucial for local authorities, community leaders, and residents to collaborate in creating a safer environment for everyone in Milwaukee and other cities across Wisconsin.


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