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Wisconsin Watch partners with Gigafact to produce fact briefs — bite-sized fact checks of trending claims. Read our methodology to learn how we check claims.


According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s “Stats of the States” reports, the homicide and suicide rates in Wisconsin are lower than the national averages. 

In 2020, Wisconsin had an age-adjusted rate of 6.1 homicides and 14.5 suicides per 100,000 people in the state’s population. The national averages are 7.4 homicides and 16.1 suicides per 100,000. 

The rates are adjusted for age and population sizes but don’t account for other variations that may influence levels of morality. States with small numbers of deaths have less reliable rankings due to instability in death rates.

The Wisconsin Department of Health Services reported that the suicide rate among Wisconsin residents increased by 32% from 2000 to 2020. The FBI’s Uniform Crime Report shows Wisconsin’s homicide rate increased by 123.2% between 2011 and 2021—the third largest increase in the U.S. among the 44 states that also experienced upticks. 

Despite the increases, Wisconsin still ranks slightly below the national average in suicide and homicide rates.

This Fact Brief is responsive to conversations such as this one.


Centers for Disease Control: Homicide Mortality by State

Centers for Disease Control: Suicide Mortality by State

DocHub: Suicide and homicide rates calculated

Wisconsin Department Of Health Services: Suicide in Wisconsin: Impact Response Report

Federal Bureau of Investigation: Crime Data Explorer Expanded Homicide Data

Center Square: Wisconsin Homicides Up Over Last Decade

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Erin Gretzinger joined Wisconsin Watch as a reporting intern in May 2022. She is a journalism and French major at UW-Madison and will graduate in spring 2023. Erin previously worked for the Wisconsin State Journal as a reporting intern and served as the 2021-22 editor-in-chief at The Badger Herald. She is a recipient of the Jon Wolman Scholarship, the Sigrid Schultz Scholarship and the Joseph Sicherman Award Fund for her academic and reporting work.