Best Places To Raise A Family In Wisconsin For 2020


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.

Editor’s Note: We updated this article for 2020. This is our sixth time ranking the best cities for families in Wisconsin.

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If your family loves milk, milkshakes, grilled cheese, fried cheese, cheese curds, beer cheese--all things dairy--then you should definitely live in Wisconsin. The trick, however, is finding the places in the Dairy Capital of the World that have all of the above and are family friendly to boot. And this is where HomeSnacks steps in: we've created a list of the best places for families in Wisconsin for 2020.

How did we determine Wisconsin most family friendly places? We consulted the US Census on places in The Badger State with more than 10,000 residents. We looked at several factors: crime, education, family friendly activities, and the percent of households that currently have children. We ended up with 75 family friendly Wisconsin places that any family would be lucky to call home.

Now, if the thought of changing jobs is holding your family back from setting up shop in one of Wisconsin's most family friendly places, have no fear. Wisconsin is home to a bunch of major companies that are always hiring. Companies like Miller Brewing in Milwaukee and Menards in Eau Claire are keeping families employed and their pockets full. And that's a good thing, because there's a lot of family fun to be had in the land of the Cheese Heads. And that fun starts with Wisconsin's four seasons. You can take your family boating on Lake Winnebago just outside of Oshkosh in the summer and skiing at Granite Peak in Weston in the winter.

To learn more about our methodology and to see why Wisconsin's top ten best places to raise a family are truly the best of the best, read on.

Wisconsin does have beautiful, mild summers, but super snowy winters; so for many, the burning question is: what is it about Wisconsin that makes over 5 million people--2.3 million families happy to call it home?

We'll tell you, point blank, it has a lot to offer. And this is especially evident in Wisconsin's number one best place to raise a family, Mequon.

If you want to see how Wisconsin's other amazing best places to raise a family faired, take a look at the list below. And if you don't see your favorite there, head to the bottom.

Check out some more reading about Wisconsin and the best places for families in the country:

The 10 Best Places To Raise A Family In Wisconsin For 2020

Mequon, WI

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

9.5
/10

Population: 23,984
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 56
Closest Major City: Milwaukee
Households with kids: 30.7%
More on Mequon: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Mequon is a city in Ozaukee County, Wisconsin, United States. The population was 23,132 at the 2010 census.

Cedarburg, WI

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

10
/10

Population: 11,501
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 61
Closest Major City: Milwaukee
Households with kids: 29.7%
More on Cedarburg: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Cedarburg is a city in Ozaukee County, Wisconsin, United States. It is located about 20 miles 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.

Oregon, WI

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 10,215
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 62
Closest Major City: Madison
Households with kids: 39.7%
More on Oregon: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Oregon is a village in Dane County, Wisconsin, United States. As of the census of 2010, the population was 9,231. Oregon is part of the Madison Metropolitan Statistical Area. The village is located mostly within the Town of Oregon.

Grafton, WI

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

9.5
/10

Population: 11,627
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 53
Closest Major City: Milwaukee
Households with kids: 29.3%
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.

Verona, WI

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

9.5
/10

Population: 12,743
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 49
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.

Burlington, WI

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 10,758
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 62
Closest Major City: Milwaukee
Households with kids: 32.4%
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.

Hartford, WI

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 14,761
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 54
Closest Major City: Milwaukee
Households with kids: 35.6%
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.

Waunakee, WI

Overall SnackAbility

10
/10

Population: 13,522
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 35
Closest Major City: Madison
Households with kids: 40.4%
More on Waunakee: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Oconomowoc, WI

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

9.5
/10

Population: 16,579
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 62
Closest Major City: Milwaukee
Households with kids: 33.3%
More on Oconomowoc: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Oconomowoc 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.

Muskego, WI

Overall SnackAbility

9.5
/10

Population: 24,868
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 34
Closest Major City: Milwaukee
Households with kids: 33.0%
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. 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.

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. You can download the data here.

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. Eau Claire

For more wisconsin reading, check out:

Where Are The Best Places For Families In Wisconsin?

Rank City Population Amenities Score
1 Mequon, WI 23,984 62
2 Cedarburg, WI 11,501 61
3 Oregon, WI 10,215 36
4 Grafton, WI 11,627 49
5 Verona, WI 12,743 61
6 Burlington, WI 10,758 34
7 Hartford, WI 14,761 37
8 Waunakee, WI 13,522 50
9 Oconomowoc, WI 16,579 34
10 Muskego, WI 24,868 34

How Is The Area In ?

About Chris Kolmar

Chris Kolmar has been in the real estate business for almost ten years now. He originally worked for Movoto Real Estate as the director of marketing before founding HomeSnacks.

He believes the key to finding the right place to live comes down to looking at the data, reading about things to do, and, most importantly, checking it out yourself before you move.

If you've been looking for a place to live in the past several years, you've probably stumbled upon his writing already.

You can find out more about him on LinkedIn or his website.

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