10 Best Places to Live in Wisconsin

Wisconsin is a friendly and casual place to enjoy all four seasons. Best known for its dairy farms and pro sports, it is also home to tech companies and a world-class research university.

Most of the landscape is sparsely populated countryside, dotted with thousands of lakes. But while over half of Wisconsinites live in towns of fewer than 20,000, there are also cities to enjoy. The biggest, Milwaukee, has a larger population than Baltimore or Atlanta.

Some Common Factors

All of the communities described here have certain characteristics in common. Here are a few:

  1. 1. Taxes. Wisconsin has a progressive state income tax that ranges from 3.54% to 7.65%. The national average state income tax is 4.6%. The state and local sales tax combined rate ranges from 5.0% to 5.5%, below the national average of 6.2%. Wisconsin has a relatively high effective property tax rate of 1.68%.
  2. 2. Climate. Most of Wisconsin is cold and snowy in the winter and hot and humid in the summer. We will mention any specific climatic anomalies for specific areas if they exist.

For each community below, we assign a HOMEiA Score, which provides an overall assessment of its safety and appeal as a place to call home.

Here’re the 10 best cities to live in Wisconsin.

1. Madison


HOMEiA Score: 93/100

  • Population: 269,840 | Rank Last Year: #1
  • Cost of Living: 1% above the U.S. national average
  • Home price to income ratio: $246,300/$65,332 = 3.77 (buying homes is affordable)
  • Income to rent ratio: $65,332/$13,416 = 4.87 (renting homes is affordable)

Madison, the state capital, is centered on an isthmus between two lakes in the south-central part of the state. It is served by the Dane County Regional Airport and is crossed by Interstate 39/90 from north to south and I-94 from east to west.

a. Size and Population

Madison has a population of 269,840 (2020) spread over a 101.53-square-mile area. The population density is 2,658 per square mile.

The population in Madison grew by 15.7% from April 2010 through April 2020, substantially above both the overall U.S. rate of 6.9% and the Wisconsin rate of 3.5%.

b. Median Income, Cost of Living and Housing Market Characteristics

The numbers below show the median income, cost of living and annual spending on housing for owned and rented properties in Madison.

MADISON MEDIAN HOUSEHOLD INCOME (2019): $65,332

Madison Cost of Living

  • 1% Above the U.S. National Average
  • 19% Higher than Milwaukee, Wisconsin
  • 40% Lower than New York City, New York
  • 6% Lower than Chicago, Illinois

Madison Housing Costs

Median Home Value Annual Spend for Homeowners Annual Spend for Renters
(Rent & Utilities)
$246,300 $21,012 $13,416

 

Madison shows a home P/E (home price to income) ratio of 3.77, based on a median home value of $246,300 and a median household income of $65,332. The U.S. average is 4.00. Therefore, it is affordable to buy homes in the Madison area.

Madison shows an income to rent ratio of 4.87, based on a median household income of $65,332 and an annual spend of $21,012. Therefore, it is affordable to rent properties in Madison.

In Madison, 47.1% of residents own their homes.

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Top Neighborhoods in Madison

  • Marquette (Home Value Range: $300,000 to $1 million+)
    Right on the isthmus in the middle of the city, Marquette is an active, somewhat bohemian neighborhood.
  • Arbor Hills (Home Value Range: $350,000 to $500,000)
    Adjacent to the UW-Madison Arboretum, this neighborhood features well-kept homes at a range of price points.
  • Hill Farms – University (Home Value Range: $350,000 to $600,000)
    This popular family neighborhood features midrange homes built in the mid-to-late 20th century.
  • Nakoma (Home Value Range: $400,000 to $1 million+)
    Situated along Lake Wingra, Nakoma is a well-established neighborhood with upscale homes.
  • Hawk’s Landing (Home Value Range: $400,000 to $1 million+)
    A newer neighborhood on the western edge of town, Hawk’s Landing offers large, elegant houses and generous lots.

c. Employment Prospects

The unemployment rate in Madison is 3.6% (June 2021), which is below both the U.S. national rate of 5.8% and the Wisconsin rate of 3.9%. The poverty rate, at 16.9%, is above both the national average of 10.5% and the Wisconsin average of 10.4%.

The largest employers in the Madison area include the University of Wisconsin at Madison, Bombardier Recreational Products, Menard, Inc. and Epic.

The Madison area has an average commute time of 19.9 minutes.

d. Unique Attributes and Lifestyle

The heart of Madison is the University of Wisconsin-Madison, whose campus sprawls across the isthmus and lakeshore downtown. While the university is a major economic and cultural driver, it’s not the only attraction. Here are some others:

  • The Capitol. Madison is the capital of Wisconsin, and its prominent domed capitol building is located right in the center of the isthmus.
  • Dane County Farmer’s Market. One of the biggest and best in the country, this farmer’s market lines the streets around the capitol building every summer.
  • Olbrich Botanical Gardens. This facility includes an indoor rainforest as well as many distinct outdoor gardens that are beautiful to walk through any time of year.
  • State Street. This major pedestrian mall downtown is full of great restaurants, bars and shops.
  • Henry Vilas Zoo. This popular free zoo features a newer Arctic Passage exhibit where you can watch polar bears swim.

e. Education

There are 56 public schools and 175 private schools in the Madison area, based on data from GreatSchools.org. Among high schools, there 10 public and 13 private schools.

Overall, the Madison area has a good educational infrastructure compared to similarly sized metro areas.

Madison is home to a number of recognized universities and colleges. The best-known is the University of Wisconsin at Madison, ranked #42 nationally by U.S. News & World Report. Other postsecondary schools in the area include Edgewood College and Madison College.

Over the 2015–2019 period, the high school graduation rate in Madison was significantly above the U.S. national average of 88%. The population of adults above 25 years of age with a college degree was also substantially above the national average of approximately 32%.

f. Healthcare and Safety

University of Wisconsin Hospitals is ranked #1 in the state by U.S. News & World Report. SSM Health St. Mary’s Hospital ties for #6. American Family Children’s Hospital is also highly renowned. The city has many clinics, including those operating under UW, Dean, SSM and GHC.

Madison has 3.62 violent crimes per 1,000 residents, above Wisconsin’s statewide median rate of 2.93 but below the U.S. national median rate of 4.00. It has 24.93 property crimes per 1,000 residents, above both Wisconsin’s statewide median of 14.71 and the U.S. national median of 21.00.

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2. Milwaukee

HOMEiA Score: 86/100

  • Population: 577,222 | Rank Last Year: #7
  • Cost of Living: 15% below the U.S. national average
  • Home price to income ratio: $122,100/$41,838 = 2.92 (buying homes is very affordable)
  • Income to rent ratio: $41,838/$10,296 = 4.06 (renting homes is affordable)

Milwaukee is located in southeastern Wisconsin, just north of Chicago along the shore of Lake Michigan. General Mitchell International Airport is the major hub for air travel in the state.

a. Size and Population

Milwaukee has a population of 577,222 (2020) spread over a 96.81-square-mile area. The population density is 5,962 per square mile.

The population in Milwaukee decreased by 3% from April 2010 through April 2020, while the overall U.S. population rose by 6.9% and Wisconsin’s population rose by 3.5%.

b. Median Income, Cost of Living and Housing Market Characteristics

The numbers below show the median income, cost of living and annual spending on housing for owned and rented properties in Milwaukee.

MILWAUKEE MEDIAN HOUSEHOLD INCOME (2019): $41,838

Milwaukee Cost of Living

  • 15% Lower the U.S. National Average
  • 16% Lower than Madison, Wisconsin
  • 50% Lower than New York City, New York
  • 21% Lower than Chicago, Illinois

Milwaukee Housing Costs

Median Home Value Annual Spend for Homeowners Annual Spend for Renters
(Rent & Utilities)
$122,100 $15,576 $10,296

 

Milwaukee shows a home P/E (home price to income) ratio of 2.92, based on a median home value of $122,100 and a median household income of $41,838. The U.S. average is 4.00. Therefore, it is very affordable to buy homes in the Milwaukee area.

Milwaukee shows an income to rent ratio of 4.06, based on a median household income of $41,838 and an annual spend of $15,576. Therefore, it is affordable to rent properties in Milwaukee.

In Milwaukee, 41.4% of residents own their homes.

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Top Neighborhoods in Milwaukee

  • Historic Third Ward (Home Value Range: $150,000 to $750,000+)
    Home to many young professionals, this neighborhood attracts visitors to its restaurants, bars and shops.
  • Menomonee River Valley (Home Value Range: $250,000 to $600,000+)
    A revitalized former industrial area, this neighborhood is now stylish and upscale.
  • Upper East Side (Home Value Range: $250,000 to $500,000+)
    If your budget can handle it, the Upper East Side has some of the city’s most impressive older properties.
  • Bay View (Home Value Range: $150,000 to $400,000+)
    Located to the south of the city center, this neighborhood has attractive mid-range homes and several parks.
  • Granville (Home Value Range: $75,000 to $300,000+)
    Farther out of the city, Granville is a quiet community with moderate home prices.

c. Employment Prospects

The unemployment rate in Milwaukee is 5.5% (June 2021), which is below the U.S. national rate of 5.8% and above the Wisconsin rate of 3.9%. The poverty rate, at 25.4%, is above both the national average of 10.5% and the Wisconsin average of 10.4 %.

The largest employers in the Milwaukee area include Advocate Aurora Health, Johnson Controls, Froedtert Health, Ascension, Quad, Kohl’s and GE Healthcare.

The Milwaukee area has an average commute time of 22.2 minutes.

d. Unique Attributes and Lifestyle

Milwaukee is a big city with a lot to offer residents and visitors. Here are some highlights:

  • Sports. The Milwaukee Bucks – 2021 NBA Champions – and the Milwaukee Brewers (MLB) are well loved in this city. See them play at the Fiserv Forum or American Family Field.
  • Beer. The Milwaukee nickname Brew City comes from the area’s long history of brewing, starting with beer barons Blatz, Pabst, Schlitz and Miller. Today the city is home to many craft breweries.
  • Art. The Milwaukee Art Museum, a stunning landmark seated on the shore of Lake Michigan, has thousands of works, including some by Andy Warhol, Georgia O’Keefe and Pablo Picasso.
  • Architecture. Since Milwaukee was founded in 1846, several big-name architects and numerous movements have made their mark, and well-preserved churches and mansions (such as the Basilica of St. Josaphat and the Pabst Mansion) are open for tours.
  • Food. Milwaukee has an impressive food scene, with great restaurants at every price point. The Public Market is a favorite destination for foodies.
  • Water. Three rivers – the Milwaukee, Menomonee and Kinnickinnic – meet up shortly before emptying into Lake Michigan. Enjoy the water while swimming, boating or fishing.
  • Music. Milwaukee draws high-quality musical acts throughout the year, but the biggest draw is the annual Summerfest music festival.
  • Motorcycles. The Harley Davidson Museum is a popular tourist spot.
  • Animals. The highlights of the excellent Milwaukee County Zoo include hippopotamuses and elephants.

e. Education

There are 195 public schools and 531 private schools in the Milwaukee area, based on data from GreatSchools.org. Among high schools, there 51 public and 34 private schools.

Overall, the Milwaukee area has a below average educational infrastructure compared to similarly sized metro areas.

Milwaukee is home to a number of recognized universities and colleges. The best-known are the Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Marquette University, Alverno College, Mount Mary University, Milwaukee School of Engineering and the Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design.

Over the 2015–2019 period, the high school graduation rate in Milwaukee was below the U.S. national average of 88%. The population of adults above 25 years of age with a college degree was also below the national average of approximately 32%.

f. Healthcare and Safety

Froedtert Hospital and the Medical College of Wisconsin earn the #2 ranking in Wisconsin from U.S. News & World Report, and Aurora St. Luke’s takes the #3 spot. Milwaukee’s many clinics include Aurora and Ascension facilities.

Milwaukee has 13.53 violent crimes per 1,000 residents, way above both Wisconsin’s statewide median rate of 2.93 and the U.S. national median rate of 4.00. It has 26.3 property crimes per 1,000 residents, way above both Wisconsin’s statewide median of 14.71 and the U.S. national median of 21.00.

3. Eau Claire

HOMEiA Score: 91/100

  • Population: 69,421 | Rank Last Year: #3
  • Cost of Living: 11% below the U.S. National Average
  • Home price to income ratio: $155,000/$55,477 = 2.79 (buying homes is very affordable)
  • Income to rent ratio: $55,477/$10,020 = 5.54 (renting homes is very affordable)

Eau Claire is found in the western part of Wisconsin, almost due east of Minneapolis. The Chippewa River cuts through the city. Interstate 94 takes drivers west to the Twin Cities or southeast toward Madison.

a. Size and Population

Eau Claire has a population of 69,421 (2020) spread over a 34.95-square-mile area. The population density is 1,986 per square mile.

The population in Eau Claire grew by 5.4% from April 2010 through April 2020, below the overall U.S. rate of 6.9% and above the Wisconsin rate of 3.5%.

b. Median Income, Cost of Living and Housing Market Characteristics

The numbers below show the median income, cost of living and annual spending on housing for owned and rented properties in Eau Claire.

EAU CLAIRE MEDIAN HOUSEHOLD INCOME (2019): $55,477

Eau Claire Cost of Living

  • 11% Below the U.S. National Average
  • 12% Lower than Madison, Wisconsin
  • 47% Lower than New York City, New York
  • 17% Higher than Chicago, Illinois

Eau Claire Housing Costs

Median Home Value Annual Spend for Homeowners Annual Spend for Renters
(Rent & Utilities)
$155,000 $15,132 $10,020

 

Eau Claire shows a home P/E (home price to income) ratio of 2.79, based on a median home value of $155,000 and a median household income of $55,477. The U.S. average is 4.00. Therefore, it is very affordable to buy homes in the Eau Claire area.

Eau Claire shows an income to rent ratio of 5.54, based on a median household income of $55,477 and an annual spend of $15,132. Therefore, it is very affordable to rent properties in Eau Claire.

In Eau Claire, 56.6% of residents own their homes.

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Top Neighborhoods in Eau Claire

  • Putnam Heights (Home Value Range: $175,000 to $350,000)
    Centered around the sizable Putnam Park, Putnam Heights offers affordable homes near the UW-Eau Claire campus.
  • Seymour (Home Value Range: $200,000 to $1 million+)
    Just east of Eau Claire proper, this lakeside neighborhood feels rural and spacious.
  • North Side (Home Value Range: $200,000 to $1 million+)
    With Dells Pond and several parks, this neighborhood is quiet and pleasant.
  • South (Home Value Range: $100,000 to $350,000+)
    Southern Eau Claire, north of I-94, is the place to find contemporary, upscale new construction.
  • Randall Park (Home Value Range: $100,000 to $300,000+)
    This neighborhood is rich in parks, featuring not only the eponymous Randall Park, but Owen Park to the east and Carson Park (which is almost surrounded by Halfmoon Lake) to the west.

c. Employment Prospects

The unemployment rate in Eau Claire is 4.0% (June 2021), which is below the U.S. national rate of 5.8% and just above the Wisconsin rate of 3.9%. The poverty rate, at 16.6%, is above both the national average of 10.5% and the Wisconsin average of 10.4%.

The largest employers in the Eau Claire area include the Mayo Clinic Health System, EC Area School District, University of Wisconsin–Eau Claire, Menard, Inc. and Philips-Medisize.

The Eau Claire area has an average commute time of 16.2 minutes.

d. Unique Attributes and Lifestyle

Eau Claire is a university town that prides itself on an “indie” attitude. Here are a few features to know about:

  • Water. The Chippewa River is the dominant geographical feature of the area, and Lake Altoona draws crowds for water sports in the summer and ice fishing in the winter.
  • Woods. Local recreational areas include Big Falls County Park and Beaver Creek Reserve. Eau Claire is also a good jumping-off point for a weekend trip to Wisconsin’s Northwoods region, known to Wisconsinites simply as “up north.”
  • Parks. Carson Park is a favorite, with high-quality play equipment and mini train rides for kids.
  • Hunting. Deer hunting is a popular fall activity in this part of the state.

e. Education

There are 23 public schools and 58 private schools in the Eau Claire area, based on data from GreatSchools.org. Among high schools, there 5 public and 7 private schools.

Overall, the Eau Claire area is known for a good educational infrastructure, above similarly sized metro areas.

The best-known colleges and universities close to Eau Claire include the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, Chippewa Valley Technical College and the University of Wisconsin-Stout.

Over the 2015–2019 period, the high school graduation rate in Eau Claire was significantly above the U.S. national average of 88%. The population of adults above 25 years of age with a college degree was above the national average of approximately 32%.

f. Healthcare and Safety

Mayo Clinic Eau Claire is the #4 ranked hospital in Wisconsin, according to U.S. News & World Report. The city’s many clinics include Dove Healthcare and Oakleaf Clinics facilities.

Eau Claire has 2.81 violent crimes per 1,000 residents, below both Wisconsin’s statewide median rate of 2.93 and the U.S. national median rate of 4.00. It has 24.27 property crimes per 1,000 residents, above both Wisconsin’s statewide median of 14.71 and the U.S. national median of 21.00.

4. Green Bay

HOMEiA Score: 85/100

  • Population: 107,395 | Rank Last Year: #8
  • Cost of Living: 20% below the U.S. national average
  • Home price to income ratio: $135,900/$49,251= 2.76 (buying homes is very affordable)
  • Income to rent ratio: $49,251/$8,760 = 5.62 (renting homes is very affordable)

The city of Green Bay is located at the mouth of the Fox River, as it flows northward from Lake Winnebago and ends at Green Bay. Interstate 41 connects Green Bay to Appleton to the southwest.

Green Bay has a population of 107,395 (2020) spread over a 55.76-square-mile area. The population density is 1,926 per square mile.

The population in Green Bay grew by 3.2% from April 2010 through April 2020, below both the overall U.S. rate of 6.9% and the Wisconsin rate of 3.5%.

a. Median Income, Cost of Living and Housing Market Characteristics

The numbers below show the median income, cost of living and annual spending on housing for owned and rented properties in Green Bay.

GREEN BAY MEDIAN HOUSEHOLD INCOME (2019): $49,251

Green Bay Cost of Living

  • 20% Below the U.S. National Average
  • 5% Lower than Milwaukee, Wisconsin
  • 52% Lower than New York City, New York
  • 5% Lower than Chicago, Illinois

Green Bay Housing Costs

Median Home Value Annual Spend for Homeowners Annual Spend for Renters
(Rent & Utilities)
$135,900 $13,932 $8,760

 

Green Bay shows a home P/E (home price to income) ratio of 2.76, based on a median home value of $135,900 and a median household income of $49,251. The U.S. average is 4.00. Therefore, it is very affordable to buy homes in the Green Bay area.

Green Bay shows an income to rent ratio of 5.62, based on a median household income of $49,251 and an annual spend of $13,932. Therefore, it is very affordable to rent properties in Green Bay.

In Green Bay, 55.6% of residents own their homes.

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Top Neighborhoods in Green Bay

  • Howard (Home Value Range: $100,000 to $200,000)
    With access to many fun food and beverage options, this neighborhood west of the Fox River is popular.
  • Allouez (Home Value Range: $125,000 to $250,000+)
    This family-friendly suburb has tidy streets and a convenient location south of town.
  • Preble (Home Value Range: $175,000 to $250,000+)
    Wide, tree-lined streets and mid-range single-family homes define this family neighborhood.
  • Astor (Home Value Range: $150,000 to $300,000+)
    Located between the Fox River and the East River, Astor has modest homes and a convenient location.
  • Bay Settlement (Home Value Range: $350,000 to $1 million+)
    To the northeast of the city, this is an upscale neighborhood near the Green Bay shore.

b. Employment Prospects

The unemployment rate in Green Bay is 4% (June 2021), which is below the U.S. national rate of 5.8% and just above the Wisconsin rate of 3.9%. The poverty rate, at 14.9%, is above both the national average of 10.5% and the Wisconsin average of 10.4%.

The largest employers in the Green Bay area include Schneider National, Schreiber Foods, Associated Bank and Bellin Health Systems.

The Green Bay area has an average commute time of 18 minutes.

c. Unique Attributes and Lifestyle

Green Bay is a friendly community that epitomizes much of Wisconsin’s culture. Here are a few notable features:

  • The Packers. No mention of Green Bay is complete without a nod to the all-important NFL team that possesses the heart of the city.
  • Lambeau Field. Even when the Packers aren’t playing, the stadium is a popular place to visit.
  • Green Bay. The bay is a large extension of Lake Michigan, and boating and fishing are two ways to enjoy it.
  • Bay Beach Amusement Park. This old-timey park still offers affordable single-ride tickets, and its charm exceeds its footprint.
  • Bay Beach Wildlife Sanctuary. This refuge covers 700 acres where you can stroll (or ski) the trails and watch the animals.

d. Education

There are 57 public schools and 117 private schools in the Green Bay area, based on data from GreatSchools.org. Among high schools, there 10 public and 8 private schools.

Overall, the Green Bay area has an average educational infrastructure compared to similarly sized metro areas.

The best-known colleges and universities close to Green Bay include the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, the University of Wisconsin-Marinette, St. Norbert College and Bellin College.

Over the 2015–2019 period, the high school graduation rate in Green Bay was below the U.S. national average of 88%. The population of adults above 25 years of age with a college degree was below the national average of approximately 32%.

e. Healthcare and Safety

Aurora is the major healthcare system in Green Bay. Bellin Memorial Hospital ties for the 6th best in Wisconsin, according to U.S. News & World Report, and Aurora BayCare Medical Center is #11.

Green Bay has 5.07 violent crimes per 1,000 residents, above both Wisconsin’s statewide median rate of 2.93 and the U.S. national median rate of 4.00. It has 16.64 property crimes per 1,000 residents, above Wisconsin’s statewide median of 14.71 but below the U.S. national median of 21.00.

5. Janesville

HOMEiA Score: 80/100

  • Population: 65,615 | Rank Last Year: #10
  • Cost of Living: 15% below the U.S. national average
  • Home price to income ratio: $142,500/$56,293 = 2.53 (buying homes is very affordable)
  • Income to rent ratio: $56,293/$10,296=5.47 (renting homes is very affordable)

Janesville is located near the southern border of the state, slightly closer to the eastern side than the western side. It is under an hour’s drive from Madison via I-94, and just over an hour from Milwaukee.

a. Size and Population

Janesville has a population of 65,615 (2020) spread over a 34.76-square-mile area. The population density is 1,888 per square mile.

The population in Janesville grew by 3.2% from April 2010 through April 2020, below both the overall U.S. rate of 6.9% and the Wisconsin rate of 3.5%.

b. Median Income, Cost of Living and Housing Market Characteristics

The numbers below show the median income, cost of living and annual spending on housing for owned and rented properties in Janesville.

JANESVILLE MEDIAN HOUSEHOLD INCOME (2019): $56,293

Janesville Cost of Living

  • 15% Below the U.S. National Average
  • 16% Lower than Madison, Wisconsin
  • 50% Lower than New York City, New York
  • 21% Lower than Chicago, Illinois

Janesville Housing Costs

Median Home Value Annual Spend for Homeowners Annual Spend for Renters
(Rent & Utilities)
$142,500 $14,652 $10,296

 

Janesville shows a home P/E (home price to income) ratio of 2.53, based on a median home value of $142,500 and a median household income of $56,293. The U.S. average is 4.00. Therefore, it is very affordable to buy homes in the Janesville area.

Janesville shows an income to rent ratio of 5.47, based on a median household income of $56,293 and an annual spend of $14,652. Therefore, it is affordable to rent properties in Janesville.

In Janesville, 66.0% of residents own their homes.

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Top Neighborhoods in Janesville

Most homes in Janesville fall in the $150,000 to $400,000 range. While it is a small town that tends to lack named, there are some distinctions among different areas of town, as described.

  • South
    Affordable single-story homes dominate the south of Janesville.
  • West Central
    West of the Rock River are moderate family homes, with more expensive developments as you move west.
  • Northwest 
    In the Riverside Park and Arboretum area, expect to find larger lots and larger homes.
  • East of Randall to I-90
    Homes in this area are uniquely laid out encircling Hawthorne Park.
  • Northeast
    Mid- to high-end homes with large lot sizes make up this neighborhood.

c. Employment Prospects

The unemployment rate in Janesville is 5.4% (June 2021), which is below the U.S. national rate of 5.8% but above the Wisconsin rate of 3.9%. The poverty rate, at 11.5%, is above both the national average of 10.5% and the Wisconsin average of 10.4%.

The largest employers in the Janesville area include Mercy Health Systems, SSI Technologies, Lab Safety Supply and Simmons Bedding Company.

The Janesville area has an average commute time of 21.2 minutes.

d. Unique Attributes and Lifestyle

Janesville is a mid-size city with a focus on quality of life. While it’s a quiet place, it is located within an easy drive of Madison, Milwaukee and Chicago. Here are some of the highlights:

  • Parks and recreational areas. The city has abundant parks where residents can enjoy the greenery and kids can play.
  • Golf courses. There are two public golf courses in town.
  • Bike trails. Take a ride on over 25 miles of paved trails in the area, including the Glacial River Bike Trail.
  • Botanical Gardens. The Rotary Botanical Gardens are a favorite attraction and a great place to experience seasonal changes.

e. Education

There are 25 public schools and 45 private schools in the Janesville area, based on data from GreatSchools.org. Among high schools, there 7 public schools and 1 private school.

Overall, the Janesville area is known to have a below average educational infrastructure compared to similarly sized metro areas.

Janesville is home to Blackhawk Technical College, and the best-known colleges and universities nearby include the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater and Beloit College.

Over the 2015–2019 period, the high school graduation rate in Janesville was above the U.S. national average of 88%. The population of adults above 25 years of age with a college degree was below the national average of approximately 32%.

f. Healthcare and Safety

Janesville is served by both SSM Health St. Mary’s Hospital and Mercyhealth Hospital and Trauma Center. Its clinics include Mercyhealth facilities.

Janesville has 2.29 violent crimes per 1,000 residents, below both Wisconsin’s statewide median rate of 2.93 and the U.S. national median rate of 4.00. It has 24.42 property crimes per 1,000 residents, above Wisconsin’s statewide median of 14.71 and the U.S. national median of 21.00.

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6. Wausau

HOMEiA Score: 83/100

  • Population: 39,994 | Rank Last Year: #9
  • Cost of Living: 19% below the U.S. national average
  • Home price to income ratio: $121,900/$46,824 = 2.60 (buying homes is very affordable)
  • Income to rent ratio: $46,824/$8,496 = 5.51 (renting homes is very affordable)

Wausau is just north of the center of Wisconsin. It is accessible via Interstate 39 north to south and U.S. Highway 29 east to west. The Wisconsin River runs widely through the town.

a. Size and Population

Wausau has a population of 39,994 (2020) spread over a 20.33-square-mile area. The population density is 1,967 per square mile.

The population in Wausau grew by 2.3% from April 2010 through April 2020, below both the overall U.S. rate of 6.9% and the Wisconsin rate of 3.5%.

b. Median Income, Cost of Living and Housing Market Characteristics

The numbers below show the median income, cost of living and annual spending on housing for owned and rented properties in Wausau.

WAUSAU MEDIAN HOUSEHOLD INCOME (2019): $46,824

Wausau Cost of Living

  • 19% Below the U.S. National Average
  • 20% Lower than Madison, Wisconsin
  • 52% Lower than New York City, New York
  • 25% Lower than Chicago, Illinois

Wausau Housing Costs

Median Home Value Annual Spend for Homeowners Annual Spend for Renters
(Rent & Utilities)
$121,900 $12,912 $8,496

 

Wausau shows a home P/E (home price to income) ratio of 2.60, based on a median home value of $121,900 and a median household income of $46,824. The U.S. average is 4.00. Therefore, it is very affordable to buy homes in the Wausau area.

Wausau shows an income to rent ratio of 5.51, based on a median household income of $46,824 and an annual spend of $12,912. Therefore, it is very affordable to rent properties in Wausau.

In Wausau, 58.1% of residents own their homes.

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Top Neighborhoods in Wausau

  • Longfellow (Home Value Range: $100,000 to $200,000+)
    A neighborhood toward the south end of Wausau, Longfellow has many affordable family homes.
  • Fountain Hills (Home Value Range: $200,000 to $500,000)
    This neighborhood along the east side of town offers spacious newer homes.
  • Mount View (Home Value Range: $100,000 to $400,000+)
    Homes in this suburban area to the west of town fall in the mid-to-upper price range.
  • Riverview (Home Value Range: $100,000 to $600,000+)
    On the north end of Wausau, Riverview has many mid-to-late 20th century homes for families.
  • Westies (Home Value Range: $100,000 to $150,000)
    Downtown along the river, the Westies neighborhood is modestly priced.

c. Employment Prospects

The unemployment rate in Wausau is 3.5% (June 2021), which is below both the U.S. national rate of 5.8% and the Wisconsin rate of 3.9%. The poverty rate, at 15.2%, is above both the national average of 10.5% and the Wisconsin average of 10.4%.

The largest employers in the Wausau area include Aspirus Wausau Hospital, Apogee Wausau Group, Eastbay, Marathon Electric and Fiskers, Inc.

The Wausau area has an average commute time of 15.3 minutes.

d. Unique Attributes and Lifestyle

Wausau’s location in central Wisconsin puts it far from the hustle and bustle of city life. The main attractions here are natural, and the scenery draws visitors to the area along with locals.

  • Parks. The Wausau area is heavily wooded, a draw for hikers, bird watchers and campers. Rib Mountain State Park is a favorite destination.
  • Hunting and fishing. Deer season is its own holiday season in central Wisconsin, and the fishing never depends on the weather – ice fishing is a favorite Wisconsin pastime. The Wisconsin River, which is the major geographical feature of the city, is a popular spot for recreation.
  • ATV trails. Adventurous riders enjoy four-wheeling in many places around the city.
  • Granite Peak Ski & Snowboard Area. With long winters here, it’s important to find some outdoor fun in the snow.
  • The Grand Theater. This venue brings a variety of entertaining acts to the city each year.
  • Monk Botanical Gardens. This well-kept attraction features beautiful flowers and plants.

e. Education

There are 21 public schools and 36 private schools in the Wausau area, based on data from GreatSchools.org. Among high schools, there are 5 public and 5 private schools.

Overall, the Wausau area has an average educational infrastructure compared to similarly sized metro areas.

The best-known colleges and universities in Wausau include the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point at Wausau and Northcentral Technical College.

Over the 2015–2019 period, the high school graduation rate in Wausau was above the U.S. national average of 88%. The population of adults above 25 years of age with a college degree was below the national average of approximately 32%.

f. Healthcare and Safety

Aspirus Wausau Hospital ties for the #6 hospital in Wisconsin, according to U.S. News & World Report. The town is also served by clinics that include some North Central Health Care facilities.

Wausau has 4.05 violent crimes per 1,000 residents, above the Wisconsin’s statewide median rate of 2.93 and just above the U.S. national median rate of 4.00. It has 13.51 property crimes per 1,000 residents, below both Wisconsin’s statewide median of 14.71 and the U.S. national median of 21.00.

7. Waunakee

HOMEiA Score: 93/100

  • Population: 14,879 | Rank Last Year: #2
  • Cost of Living: 12% above the U.S. national average
  • Home price to income ratio: $346,300/$112,845 = 3.07 (buying homes is affordable)
  • Income to rent ratio: $112,845/$12,156 = 9.28 (renting homes is very affordable)

Waunakee is a suburb located just north of Madison and not far to the west of the Dane County Regional Airport. Six Mile Creek runs through the town.

a. Size and Population

Waunakee has a population of 14,879 (2020) spread over a 7.17-square-mile area. The population density is 2,075 per square mile.

The population in Waunakee grew by 23.0% from April 2010 through April 2020, substantially above both the overall U.S. rate of 6.9% and the Wisconsin rate of 3.5%.

b. Median Income, Cost of Living and Housing Market Characteristics

The numbers below show the median income, cost of living and annual spending on housing for owned and rented properties in Waunakee.

WAUNAKEE MEDIAN HOUSEHOLD INCOME (2019): $112,845

Waunakee Cost of Living

  • 12% Above the U.S. National Average
  • 11% Higher than Madison, Wisconsin
  • 34% Lower than New York City, New York
  • 4% Higher than Chicago, Illinois

Waunakee Housing Costs

Median Home Value Annual Spend for Homeowners Annual Spend for Renters
(Rent & Utilities)
$346,300 $26,784 $12,156

 

Waunakee shows a home P/E (home price to income) ratio of 3.07, based on a median home value of $346,300 and a median household income of $112,845. The U.S. average is 4.00. Therefore, it is affordable to buy homes in the Waunakee area.

Waunakee shows an income to rent ratio of 9.28, based on a median household income of $112,845 and an annual spend of $ 26,784. Therefore, it is very affordable to rent properties in Waunakee.

In Waunakee, 75.9% of residents own their homes.

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Top Neighborhoods in Waunakee

  • North Ridge Estates (Home Value Range: $400,000 to $600,000)
    This newer subdivision is pedestrian-friendly and features spacious, higher-end houses.
  • Savannah Village (Home Value Range: $400,000 to $700,000)
    With brick walkways, a covered bridge and historic streetlights, this neighborhood is full of charm.
  • Six Mile Creek (Home Value Range: $350,000 to $600,000)
    Popular among golfers, Six Mile Creek has large lots and ample green space.
  • Castle Crest (Home Value Range: $300,000 to $450,000)
    This tree-lined neighborhood is close to the center of town and very quiet.
  • Kilkenny Farms (Home Value Range: $500,000 to $800,000)
    This planned community is walkable and features a trail system that accommodates golf carts.

c. Employment Prospects

The unemployment rate in Waunakee is 3.6% (June 2021), which is below both the U.S. national rate of 5.8% and the Wisconsin rate of 3.9%. The poverty rate, at 4.9%, is substantially below both the national average of 10.5% and the Wisconsin average of 10.4%.

The largest employers in the Waunakee area include the Waunakee School District, Tormach, Unirek Inc. and Wipperfurth’s Piggly Wiggly.

The Waunakee area has an average commute time of 23.5 minutes.

d. Unique Attributes and Lifestyle

Waunakee’s focus is on being the best small-town community it can be – not on attracting visitors. For entertainment, residents can reach most points in Madison within a half-hour drive. Waunakee does, however, offer lots of outdoor fun.

  • Families. Many families who work in Madison choose to live in Waunakee for the great schools, larger homes, and sense of community.
  • Golf. The Meadows of Six Mile Creek is a popular course.
  • Waunafest. This annual Fourth of July festival is one of the few in the area to host fireworks show on Independence Day itself.
  • Castle Creek Conservancy. Take a short hike to enjoy the weather in the spring and fall.
  • Rip Park. This Park has well-maintained fields for sports, including baseball and soccer.
  • Cherokee Marsh. Located just outside of town, this is a popular preservation area for hikers and bird lovers.

e. Education

Waunakee has no postsecondary schools, but it is within an hour’s commute of the colleges and universities in the Madison area.

There are seven public schools and 12 private schools in the Waunakee area, based on data from GreatSchools.org. There is 1 public high school and 1 private high school.

Overall, the Waunakee area is known for its excellent educational infrastructure, ahead of the average for similarly sized metro areas.

Over the 2015–2019 period, the high school graduation rate in Waunakee was significantly above the U.S. national average of 88%. The population of adults above 25 years of age with a college degree was also significantly above the national average of approximately 32%.

f. Healthcare and Safety

Healthcare in Waunakee includes an SSM Health facility. Waunakee also has proximity to the top-rated hospitals and clinics in Madison.

Waunakee has 1.07 violent crimes per 1,000 residents, substantially below both Wisconsin’s statewide median rate of 2.93 and the U.S. national median rate of 4.00. It has 9.54 property crimes per 1,000 residents, also substantially below both Wisconsin’s statewide median of 14.71 and the U.S. national median of 21.00.

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8. Sturgeon Bay

HOMEiA Score: 88/100

  • Population: 9,646 | Rank Last Year: #5
  • Cost of Living: 18% below the U.S. national average
  • Home price to income ratio: $147,000/$57,673 = 2.55 (buying homes is very affordable)
  • Income to rent ratio: $57,673/$9,480 = 6.08 (renting homes is very affordable)

Sturgeon Bay is located at the base of the Door Peninsula, which juts out into Lake Michigan and creates Green Bay. The body of water for which the town is named, Sturgeon Bay, divides the town in two. Three bridges (including U.S. Highway 42) connect the halves.

a. Size and Population

Sturgeon Bay has a population of 9,646 (2020) spread over an 11.49-square-mile area. The population density is 840 per square mile.

The population in Sturgeon Bay grew by 5.5% from April 2010 through April 2020, below the overall U.S. rate of 6.9% but above the Wisconsin rate of 3.5%.

b. Median Income, Cost of Living and Housing Market Characteristics

The numbers below show the median income, cost of living and annual spending on housing for owned and rented properties in Sturgeon Bay.

STURGEON BAY MEDIAN HOUSEHOLD INCOME (2019): $57,673

Sturgeon Bay Cost of Living

  • 18% Below the U.S. National Average
  • 4% Higher than Milwaukee, Wisconsin
  • 52% Lower than New York City, New York
  • 24% Lower than Chicago, Illinois

Sturgeon Bay Housing Costs

Median Home Value Annual Spend for Homeowners Annual Spend for Renters
(Rent & Utilities)
$147,000 $13,944 $9,480

 

Sturgeon Bay shows a home P/E (home price to income) ratio of 2.55, based on a median home value of $147,000 and a median household income of $57,673. The U.S. average is 4.00. Therefore, it is very affordable to buy homes in the Sturgeon Bay area.

Sturgeon Bay shows an income to rent ratio of 6.08, based on a median household income of $57,673 and an annual spend of $13,944. Therefore, it is very affordable to rent properties in Sturgeon Bay.

In Sturgeon Bay, 66.0% of residents own their homes.

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Top Neighborhoods in Sturgeon Bay

Home values in Sturgeon Bay range from $75,000 to $600,000. Sturgeon Bay is a small town that lacks distinct named neighborhoods; the bay, however, divides the town into its upper and lower halves.

  • Southwest
    The area to the southwest of the bay has somewhat older homes in a wide price range.
  • Northeast 
    The larger part of the city, north of the bay, has everything from small and affordable to big, beautiful and bayside.

c. Employment Prospects

The unemployment rate in Sturgeon Bay is 3.7% (June 2021), which is below both the U.S. national rate of 5.8% and the Wisconsin rate of 3.9%. The poverty rate, at 9.1%, is below both the national average of 10.5% and the Wisconsin average of 10.4%.

The largest employers in the Sturgeon Bay area include Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding, Hatco Corporation, N.E.W. Industries and the Door County Medical Center.

The Sturgeon Bay area has an average commute time of 14.7 minutes.

d. Unique Attributes and Lifestyle

Sturgeon Bay is a scenic little town with views of the water. It’s a popular place to watch ships, especially impressive pleasure yachts, which were also historically built here. One of the best parts of Sturgeon Bay is that it’s the gateway to Door County, a recreational area that many call the “Cape Cod of the Midwest.”
From Sturgeon Bay you can drive all the way to the tip of the peninsula – the farthest you can go before hopping the ferry to Washington Island – in just an hour.
Here are a few can’t-miss attractions in Door County:

  • Whitefish Dunes State Park. If you long for an ocean beach but can’t get to the coast, this white sand beach along Lake Michigan will do nicely.
  • Cave Point County Park. If you love to watch the waves crash into the rocks, this is a great place to stop for a while.
  • Peninsula State Park. This beautifully wooded park covers nearly 4,000 acres.
  • Wineries. You can visit one at a time or take a trolley tour to various wineries on the peninsula.
  • Orchards. Apples grow here, and so do the sour cherries for which Door County is famous.
  • Fish Boils. These traditional events involve open fires and huge kettles in which the cooks prepare fresh whitefish and potatoes.
  • Door County Maritime Museum. Located within Sturgeon Bay itself, this museum on the water will teach you about the history of the lake and its ports.

e. Education

There are nine public schools and nine private schools in the Sturgeon Bay area, based on data from GreatSchools.org. Among high schools, there 2 public and 2 private schools.

Overall, the Sturgeon Bay area is known for an above-average educational infrastructure, ahead of the average for similarly sized metro areas.

The best-known colleges and universities close to Sturgeon Bay include the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay (Marinette and Green Bay campuses) and St. Norbert College.

Over the 2015–2019 period, the high school graduation rate in Sturgeon Bay was above the U.S. national average of 88%. The population of adults above 25 years of age with a college degree was below the national average of approximately 32%.

f. Healthcare and Safety

Sturgeon Bay has a small local hospital. It is also served by several clinics, many under Bellin Health and Aurora. Green Bay’s more extensive healthcare facilities are about a 45-minute drive away.

Sturgeon Bay has 0.45 violent crimes per 1,000 residents, substantially below both Wisconsin’s statewide median rate of 2.93 and the U.S. national median rate of 4.00. It has 10.41 property crimes per 1,000 residents, below both Wisconsin’s statewide median of 14.71 and the U.S. national median of 21.00.

9. Appleton

Appleton Wisconsin

HOMEiA Score: 90/100

  • Population: 75,664 | Rank Last Year: #4
  • Cost of Living: 16% below the U.S. national average
  • Home price to income ratio: $147,800/$58,112 = 2.54 (buying homes is very affordable)
  • Income to rent ratio: $58,112/$9,696 = 5.99 (renting homes is very affordable)

Appleton is one of the Fox Cities, a group of several communities along the Fox River in eastern Wisconsin. It is situated at the north end of Lake Winnebago. Interstate 41 connects Appleton to Milwaukee to the southeast and Green Bay to the northeast.

a. Size and Population

Appleton has a population of 75,644 (2020) spread over a 25.29-square-mile area. The population density is 2,991 per square mile.

The population in Appleton grew by 4.1% from April 2010 through April 2020, substantially below the overall U.S. rate of 6.9% and above the Wisconsin rate of 3.5%.

b. Median Income, Cost of Living and Housing Market Characteristics

The numbers below show the median income, cost of living and annual spending on housing for owned and rented properties in Appleton.

APPLETON MEDIAN HOUSEHOLD INCOME (2019): $58,112

Appleton Cost of Living

  • 16% Below the U.S. National Average
  • 1% Lower Than Milwaukee, Wisconsin
  • 50% Lower than New York City, New York
  • 22% Lower than Chicago, Illinois

Appleton Housing Costs

Median Home Value Annual Spend for Homeowners Annual Spend for Renters
(Rent & Utilities)
$147,800 $14,964 $9,696

 

Appleton shows a home P/E (home price to income) ratio of 2.54, based on a median home value of $147,800 and a median household income of $58,112. The U.S. average is 4.00. Therefore, it is very affordable to buy homes in the Appleton area.

Appleton shows an income to rent ratio of 5.99, based on a median household income of $58,112 and an annual spend of $14,966. Therefore, it is very affordable to rent properties in Appleton.

In Appleton, 65.6% of residents own their homes.

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Top Neighborhoods in Appleton

  • Apple Creek (Home Value Range: $275,000 to $400,000)
    This spacious, upscale subdivision to the north of town is made up of mostly newer homes.
  • City Park Historic District (Home Value Range: $175,000 to $400,000+)
    This established, moderately priced neighborhood located near downtown and Lawrence University features some charming older homes.
  • Darboy (Home Value Range: $150,000 to $500,000+)
    Darboy is a desirable neighborhood on the east edge of Appleton with large lots and mature trees.
  • Erb Park (Home Value Range: $125,000 to $250,000)
    Erb Park offers elegant older homes at a variety of price points surrounding a large public park with a popular outdoor pool complex.
  • Whispering Pines (Home Value Range: $175,000 to $500,000+)
    A cozy neighborhood with affordable single-family homes, Whispering Pines is just south of Appleton Memorial Park.

c. Employment Prospects

The unemployment rate in Appleton is 3.7% (June 2021), which is below both the U.S. national rate of 5.8% and the Wisconsin rate of 3.9%. The poverty rate, at 10.8%, is above both the national average of 10.5% and the Wisconsin average of 10.4%.

The largest employers in the Appleton area include ThedaCare, Affinity Health Systems, Kimberly-Clark and Thrivent Financial.

The Appleton area has an average commute time of 18.4 minutes.

d. Unique Attributes and Lifestyle

Appleton is a small city, but it has a lot to offer. Here are a few highlights:

  • The Fox Cities Performing Arts Center. This venue attracts an impressive schedule of musical events and other performances.
  • College Avenue. Appleton’s main street is a major destination for restaurants and bars.
  • Lawrence University. This well-respected liberal arts school has an outstanding music program.
  • Building for Kids. This children’s museum is a great place for families to spend an afternoon.
  • Gordon Bubolz Nature Preserve. Observe wildlife in a peaceful setting.
  • Paper Discovery Center. This museum celebrates the local paper industry.
  • History Museum at the Castle. Check out the exhibit on onetime Appleton resident Harry Houdini.
  • Quaint older neighborhoods. Take a stroll and enjoy the architecture.
  • Abundant city parks. There’s enough green space for everyone.
  • Water. Nearby lakes are popular for fishing and water sports.

e. Education

There are 39 public schools and 68 private schools in the Appleton area, based on data from GreatSchools.org. Among high schools, there are 11 public and 3 private schools.

Overall, the Appleton area is known for average educational infrastructure compared to similarly sized metro areas.

The best-known colleges and universities close to Appleton include the University of Wisconsin-Appleton, Lawrence University, the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh and St. Norbert College.

Over the 2015–2019 period, the high school graduation rate in Appleton was above the U.S. national average of 88%. The population of adults above 25 years of age with a college degree was also above the national average of approximately 32%.

f. Healthcare and Safety

ThedaCare is the major healthcare system serving Appleton, with Affinity Health and Ascension extending the options. The two main hospitals are Outagamie Hospital and St. Elizabeth.

Appleton has 2.86 violent crimes per 1,000 residents, below both Wisconsin’s statewide median rate of 2.93 and the U.S. national median rate of 4.00. It has 14.68 property crimes per 1,000 residents, below both Wisconsin’s statewide median of 14.71 and the U.S. national median of 21.00.

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10. Stoughton

HOMEiA Score: 88/100

  • Population: 13,173 | Rank Last Year: #6
  • Cost of Living: 3% below the U.S. national average
  • Home price to income ratio: $218,100/$67,329 = 3.24 (buying homes is affordable)
  • Income to rent ratio: $67,329/$11,316 = 5.95 (renting homes is very affordable)

Stoughton is a small community about a half hour’s drive southeast of Madison. It is located on the Yahara River and just south of Lake Kegonsa. Highway 51 is the main route in and out of town.

a. Size and Population

Stoughton has a population of 13,173 (2020) spread over a 6.35-square-mile area. The population density is 2,075 per square mile.

The population in Stoughton grew by 4.5% from April 2010 through April 2020, below the overall U.S. rate of 6.9% and above the Wisconsin rate of 3.5%.

b. Median Income, Cost of Living and Housing Market Characteristics

The numbers below show the median income, cost of living and annual spending on housing for owned and rented properties in Stoughton.

STOUGHTON MEDIAN HOUSEHOLD INCOME (2019): $67,329

Stoughton Cost of Living

  • 3% Below the U.S. National Average
  • 3% Lower than Madison, Wisconsin
  • 42% Lower than New York City, New York
  • 10% Lower than Chicago, Illinois

Stoughton Housing Costs

Median Home Value Annual Spend for Homeowners Annual Spend for Renters
(Rent & Utilities)
$218,100 $18,660 $11,316

 

Stoughton shows a home P/E (home price to income) ratio of 3.24, based on a median home value of $218,100 and a median household income of $67,329. The U.S. average is 4.00. Therefore, it is affordable to buy homes in the Stoughton area.

Stoughton shows an income to rent ratio of 5.95, based on a median household income of $67,329 and an annual spend of $18,660. Therefore, it is very affordable to rent properties in Stoughton.

In Stoughton, 69.3% of residents own their homes.

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Top Neighborhoods in Stoughton

Stoughton’s small size means it doesn’t break down into distinct neighborhoods to the extent of a larger city. The majority of home values in Stoughton range from $150,000 to $400,000, though home worth more $1 million are not uncommon. Below are some characteristics of different parts of town.

  • Downtown
    The revitalized downtown features many buildings that are over 150 years old.
  • East Side
    Located along a bend in the Yahara River.
  • Northwest Side
    This is the place to find large historic homes.
  • Southwest Side
    Homes start out more affordable and get more expensive further from the center of town.
  • East Park
    East Park is a quaint neighborhood with many bungalow-style homes.

c. Employment Prospects

The unemployment rate in Stoughton is 3.6% (June 2021), which is below both the U.S. national rate of 5.8% and the Wisconsin rate of 3.9%. The poverty rate, at 7.0%, is below both the national average of 10.5% and the Wisconsin average of 10.4%.

The largest employers in the Stoughton area include Stoughton Trailers, B&G Foods and Uniroyal. Many residents commute to Madison or its suburbs.

The Stoughton area has an average commute time of 25.7 minutes.

d. Unique Attributes and Lifestyle

Stoughton was founded in 1847 and claims to be the birthplace of the coffee break. Some of Stoughton’s best features include:

  • Downtown. The historic downtown area has undergone many renovations but retained the original charm. Visit breweries, boutique stores, high-quality restaurants and more.
  • Syttende Mai. An annual celebration of Norwegian heritage, this festival draws crowds for food, music, dancing and athletic events (including runs, a canoe race and a strongman competition).
  • Stoughton Opera House. This elegant historical venue hosts performances in a wide variety of genres – not just opera.
  • Waterfront. Stoughton was built along a stretch of the Yahara River and just south of Lake Kegonsa. Fishing is a popular pastime in the summer and the winter.

e. Education

There are six public schools and 12 private schools in the Stoughton area, based on data from GreatSchools.org. There are 2 private high schools and 1 public high school.

Overall, the Stoughton area has a good educational infrastructure compared to similarly sized metro areas.

The best-known colleges and universities close to Stoughton include multiple Madison-area schools, including the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison College and Edgewood College.

Over the 2015–2019 period, the high school graduation rate in Stoughton was substantially above the U.S. national average of 88%. The population of adults above 25 years of age with a college degree was above the national average of approximately 32%.

f. Healthcare and Safety

Stoughton has a small local hospital and is also served by top-ranked hospitals in Madison. Clinics include UW Health and UnityPoint facilities.

Stoughton has 2.29 violent crimes per 1,000 residents, below both Wisconsin’s statewide median rate of 2.93 and the U.S. national median rate of 4.00. It has 14.49 property crimes per 1,000 residents, above both Wisconsin’s statewide median of 14.71 and the U.S. national median of 21.00.

CONCLUSION

Wisconsin may be known for its cheese – and it makes some really great cheese – but it has a lot more to offer residents and visitors. With miles of lakeshore and thick forests, big cities and quaint towns, it is a state with a lot of variety.

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HOMEiA is a city living guide site where visitors can find detailed information about communities of interest. HOMEiA’s City Living Guides, created in partnership with local writers, are curated lists of the best, safest, and most affordable places to live. The guides feature the HOMEiA Score, a proprietary index that rates communities on such factors as housing costs, education and employment.

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I’m an avid writer who often focuses on real estate, business consulting, economics and finance. Before leading business and investment advisory services for over 25 years, I got a Ph.D. in Economics and taught at the university level. I have lived in Houston, Texas and Chicago, Illinois for a combined 35 years. I also traveled to 40+ states on business and pleasure, and love writing about the great cities and small towns across the US. Read more >>