These Are The 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)
  2. Mequon (Photos)
  3. Verona (Photos)
  4. Burlington (Photos)
  5. Waunakee (Photos)
  6. Hartford (Photos)
  7. Muskego
  8. Oconomowoc (Photos)
  9. Whitefish Bay
  10. Grafton (Photos)

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: 45
Closest Major City: Milwaukee
Households with kids: 32.4%
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: 49
Closest Major City: Milwaukee
Households with kids: 30.0%
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

Population: 12,113
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 48
Closest Major City: Madison
Households with kids: 41.2%
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: 46
Closest Major City: Milwaukee
Households with kids: 33.4%
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: 44
Closest Major City: Madison
Households with kids: 40.0%

6. Hartford

Hartford, Wi

Population: 14,350
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 46
Closest Major City: Milwaukee
Households with kids: 33.9%
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: 49
Closest Major City: Milwaukee
Households with kids: 35.5%
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: 37
Closest Major City: Milwaukee
Households with kids: 34.0%
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

Population: 14,088
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 39
Closest Major City: Milwaukee
Households with kids: 40.8%

10. Grafton

Grafton, Wi

Source: Public domain

Population: 11,563
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 46
Closest Major City: Milwaukee
Households with kids: 28.5%
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

City Rank Population Amenities Score
Cedarburg 1 11,516 50
Mequon 2 23,663 68
Verona 3 12,113 50
Burlington 4 10,571 60
Waunakee 5 13,092 52
Hartford 6 14,350 48
Muskego 7 24,650 45
Oconomowoc 8 16,289 43
Whitefish Bay 9 14,088 48
Grafton 10 11,563 43
Sun Prairie 11 31,721 65
Middleton 12 18,707 48
Franklin 13 36,155 39
Waupun 14 11,337 58
Kaukauna 15 15,791 44
Fort Atkinson 16 12,470 44
Port Washington 17 11,531 54
Stoughton 18 13,041 50
Monroe 19 10,771 60
Stevens Point 20 26,714 58
Waukesha 21 72,016 38
Brookfield 22 37,991 41
Hudson 23 13,367 54
Platteville 24 12,020 46
Menomonee Falls 25 36,118 38
Shorewood 26 13,300 53
Portage 27 10,255 40
West Bend 28 31,661 45
Whitewater 29 14,840 51
Menomonie 30 16,295 39
New Berlin 31 39,807 57
River Falls 32 15,152 38
Green Bay 33 104,951 86
Baraboo 34 12,097 54
Two Rivers 35 11,409 52
Greendale 36 14,303 38
Kenosha 37 99,865 70
De Pere 38 24,544 53
Cudahy 39 18,321 47
Oak Creek 40 35,218 43
Chippewa Falls 41 13,939 61
Watertown 42 23,878 44
Beaver Dam 43 16,440 61
Beloit 44 36,812 61
Fitchburg 45 27,254 50
Appleton 46 73,446 61
Superior 47 26,676 41
Menasha 48 17,930 43
Wausau 49 39,138 61
Caledonia 50 24,767 41
Marshfield 51 18,410 64
Neenah 52 25,849 48
South Milwaukee 53 21,197 34
Janesville 54 63,880 66
Glendale 55 12,880 57
Wisconsin Rapids 56 17,987 36
Milwaukee 57 598,672 100
Marinette 58 10,836 65
Manitowoc 59 33,183 47
Pleasant Prairie 60 20,395 60
Oshkosh 61 66,713 55
Racine 62 77,931 55
Madison 63 246,034 100
Brown Deer 64 12,075 33
Sheboygan 65 48,813 51
Wauwatosa 66 47,388 47
Plover 67 12,350 41
Mount Pleasant 68 26,237 49
La Crosse 69 52,140 73
Eau Claire 70 67,654 69
Fond Du Lac 71 43,018 57
Onalaska 72 18,396 60
Greenfield 73 37,070 62
West Allis 74 60,543 61
Ashwaubenon 75 17,157 41

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