10 Best Places To Raise A Family In Wisconsin For 2018


We used science and data to determine which cities in Wisconsin have the best set up for children: a lot to do, good schools, and no crime.

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If you’re like the rest of us, you’re looking for the perfect place for your family. But you have a strict criteria; the city has to be safe, affordable, and stimulating. Basically, the place you move – or even visit – has to be outright perfect.

Is that attainable? Perhaps not, but we’ll get you as close as we can.

Promise.

According to the United States Census, the number of American families who move is trending downwards Why is that? Perhaps it has to do with the ‘safety net’ factor: We get comfortable where we live, and we’re afraid to try a new move. What if the schools are bad? What if it’s dangerous?

Well, we can pretty much guarantee that if you choose the cities we’re mentioning below, you won’t lose any sleep whatsoever.

So, where are the best cities for families in Wisconsin? We’ve got the answers here.

These are the best cities to raise a family in the Badger State:

  1. Cedarburg (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  2. Mequon (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  3. Verona (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  4. Burlington (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  5. Waunakee (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  6. Hartford (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  7. Muskego (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  8. Oconomowoc (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  9. Whitefish Bay (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  10. Grafton (Photos | Homes For Sale)

If you’re thinking of making a move to Wisconsin, and want a family-friendly place, we’ve got you covered. And if you already have kids, we’re surprised you made it this far into the article and hope your little ones give you a couple of more minutes of free time.

Keep on reading for a detailed methodology.

Or, check out the best places to live in Wisconsin and, for those of you on a budget, the cheapest places to live in Wisconsin.

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How do you determine which place is best for families in Wisconsin anyways?

To give you the places in Wisconsin which are best for families, we have to look at a handful of metrics. Of course, we want to measure the type of people who live in each city, and make some assumptions about what’s family-friendly and what isn’t.

So we researched the internet for a database that contains all that information.

How we crunched the family friendly numbers for the Badger State

We threw a lot of criteria at this one in order to get the best, most complete results possible. Using U.S. Census data produced for the state of Wisconsin, we looked at every single city in the state. We paid particular attention to:

  • Crime (Both violent and property)
  • Quality of local schools
  • Distance to a major city without necessarily being in it
  • % of households with children
  • Family-friendly amenities nearby (museums, libraries and colleges)

We then gave each city a Family Score.

The higher the score, the better the city is for families. We also limited our results to cities with populations over 10,000 people. For Wisconsin, that meant a total of 75 cities.

Read on to see why Cedarburg is where all the families are headed, while Ashwaubenon is probably a place made for singles.

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1. Cedarburg

Cedarburg, WI

Source: Public domain

Population: 11,516
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 50
Closest Major City: Milwaukee
Households with kids: 32.4%
More on Cedarburg: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Cedarburg is a city in Ozaukee County, Wisconsin, United States. It is located about 20 miles (32 km) north of Milwaukee and near the shores of Lake Michigan. The city is bordered by the village of Grafton to the east and the Town of Cedarburg elsewhere. The population was 11,412 at the 2010 census.

2. Mequon

Mequon, WI

Source: Public domain

Population: 23,663
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 61
Closest Major City: Milwaukee
Households with kids: 30.0%
More on Mequon: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Mequon (/mkwn/ MEK-won) is a city in Ozaukee County, Wisconsin, United States. The population was 23,132 at the 2010 census.

3. Verona

Verona, WI

Source: Public domain

Population: 12,113
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 40
Closest Major City: Madison
Households with kids: 41.2%
More on Verona: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Verona is a city in Dane County, Wisconsin, in the United States and is a suburb of Madison. The population was 10,619 at the 2010 census. The city is located ten miles southwest of downtown Madison within the Town of Verona. It is part of the Madison Metropolitan Statistical Area.

4. Burlington

Burlington, WI

Population: 10,571
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 51
Closest Major City: Milwaukee
Households with kids: 33.4%
More on Burlington: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Burlington is a city in Racine and Walworth counties in the U.S. state of Wisconsin, with the majority of the city located in Racine County. The population of the portion of the city inside Racine County was 10,464 as of the 2010 census.

5. Waunakee

Waunakee, WI

Population: 13,092
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 57
Closest Major City: Madison
Households with kids: 40.0%
More on Waunakee: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

6. Hartford

Hartford, WI

Population: 14,350
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 57
Closest Major City: Milwaukee
Households with kids: 33.9%
More on Hartford: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Hartford is a city in Washington and Dodge counties in the U.S. state of Wisconsin. As of the 2010 census, the city had a population of 14,223. All of this population resided in the Washington County portion of the city.

7. Muskego

Muskego, WI

Population: 24,650
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 44
Closest Major City: Milwaukee
Households with kids: 35.5%
More on Muskego: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Muskego is a city in Waukesha County, Wisconsin, United States. As of the 2010 census, the city had a population of 24,135. Muskego is the fifth largest community in Waukesha County.[citation needed] The name Muskego is derived from the Potawatomi Indian name for the area, ‘Mus-kee-Guaac’, meaning sunfish. The Potawatomi were the original inhabitants of Muskego. There are three lakes within the city’s boundaries.

8. Oconomowoc

Oconomowoc, WI

Source: Public domain

Population: 16,289
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 39
Closest Major City: Milwaukee
Households with kids: 34.0%
More on Oconomowoc: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Oconomowoc /oknmwk/ is a city in Waukesha County, Wisconsin, United States. The name was derived from Coo-no-mo-wauk, the Potawatomi term for ‘waterfall.’ The population was 15,712 at the 2010 census. The city is partially adjacent to the Town of Oconomowoc and near the village of Oconomowoc Lake, Wisconsin.

9. Whitefish Bay

Whitefish Bay, WI

Source: Public domain

Population: 14,088
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 33
Closest Major City: Milwaukee
Households with kids: 40.8%
More on Whitefish Bay: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

10. Grafton

Grafton, WI

Source: Public domain

Population: 11,563
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 60
Closest Major City: Milwaukee
Households with kids: 28.5%
More on Grafton: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Grafton is a village in Ozaukee County, Wisconsin, United States. The population was 11,459 at the 2010 census. The village is adjacent to the Town of Grafton and the city of Cedarburg.

There You Have It – The Best Places To Raise A Family In Wisconsin

If you’re looking for a breakdown of cities in Wisconsin ranked by criteria that most would agree make a place a great spot for families, this is an accurate list.

Here’s a look at the best cities for singles Wisconsin according to the data:

  1. Ashwaubenon
  2. West Allis
  3. Greenfield

For more Wisconsin reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Best Places For Families In Wisconsin

Rank City Population Amenities Score
1 Cedarburg 11,516 65
2 Mequon 23,663 58
3 Verona 12,113 54
4 Burlington 10,571 57
5 Waunakee 13,092 33
6 Hartford 14,350 61
7 Muskego 24,650 62
8 Oconomowoc 16,289 54
9 Whitefish Bay 14,088 43
10 Grafton 11,563 36
11 Sun Prairie 31,721 53
12 Middleton 18,707 63
13 Franklin 36,155 52
14 Waupun 11,337 60
15 Kaukauna 15,791 37
16 Fort Atkinson 12,470 57
17 Port Washington 11,531 32
18 Stoughton 13,041 42
19 Monroe 10,771 56
20 Stevens Point 26,714 44
21 Waukesha 72,016 40
22 Brookfield 37,991 49
23 Hudson 13,367 58
24 Platteville 12,020 45
25 Menomonee Falls 36,118 50
26 Shorewood 13,300 55
27 Portage 10,255 48
28 West Bend 31,661 44
29 Whitewater 14,840 51
30 Menomonie 16,295 61
31 New Berlin 39,807 42
32 River Falls 15,152 55
33 Green Bay 104,951 91
34 Baraboo 12,097 67
35 Two Rivers 11,409 61
36 Greendale 14,303 59
37 Kenosha 99,865 56
38 De Pere 24,544 31
39 Cudahy 18,321 52
40 Oak Creek 35,218 54
41 Chippewa Falls 13,939 52
42 Watertown 23,878 54
43 Beaver Dam 16,440 53
44 Beloit 36,812 66
45 Fitchburg 27,254 34
46 Appleton 73,446 56
47 Superior 26,676 56
48 Menasha 17,930 59
49 Wausau 39,138 61
50 Caledonia 24,767 60
51 Marshfield 18,410 47
52 Neenah 25,849 43
53 South Milwaukee 21,197 40
54 Janesville 63,880 46
55 Glendale 12,880 62
56 Wisconsin Rapids 17,987 37
57 Milwaukee 598,672 100
58 Marinette 10,836 50
59 Manitowoc 33,183 50
60 Pleasant Prairie 20,395 51
61 Oshkosh 66,713 58
62 Racine 77,931 42
63 Madison 246,034 104
64 Brown Deer 12,075 38
65 Sheboygan 48,813 62
66 Wauwatosa 47,388 48
67 Plover 12,350 55
68 Mount Pleasant 26,237 48
69 La Crosse 52,140 70
70 Eau Claire 67,654 60
71 Fond Du Lac 43,018 62
72 Onalaska 18,396 48
73 Greenfield 37,070 43
74 West Allis 60,543 46
75 Ashwaubenon 17,157 39

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