These Are The 10 Best Madison Suburbs For 2018


We analyzed over 25 places around Madison to identify the most in demand places to live.

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Big city living isn’t for everyone–but at the same time, urban areas certainly have their perks.

There’s the culture, the food, the arts, the food, the energy, and you know, the food. But there are drawbacks. There’s traffic, expensive parking, expensive housing–pretty much, expensive everything, depending on which big city you’re looking at.

But that’s where the suburbs come in–they have all of the benefits of being near big cities, without actually having to be big cities.

Of course, not all suburbs of Madison are created equally, which is precisely why we set out to find the best ones. So without further ado…

Here are the 10 best suburbs around Madison for 2018:

  1. Waunakee (Photos | Homes)
  2. Verona (Photos | Homes)
  3. Mcfarland (Photos | Homes)
  4. Oregon (Photos | Homes)
  5. Mount Horeb (Photos | Homes)
  6. Prairie Du Sac (Homes)
  7. Cross Plains (Photos | Homes)
  8. Deforest (Homes)
  9. Middleton (Photos | Homes)
  10. Belleville (Photos | Homes)

If you happen to be a resident of Waunakee, you’re probably not too surprised to find it on the top our list.

We’ll tell you what makes each of these 10 Madison ‘burbs better than the rest–but first, a bit about our methodology.

For more Wisconsin reading, check out:

Editor’s Note: If you see a slight difference between the best in state rankings and this suburb ranking, it’s because of the methodology. We needed a way to include more places, so we eliminated crime and commute times as criteria for this analysis.

How We Determined The Best Suburbs Around Madison for 2018

Figuring out the best ‘burbs around Madison was pretty simple; we just needed to list several things that people like, and then find out which cities have the most of those things.

We threw a lot of criteria at this one in order to get the best, most complete results possible:

  • Low unemployment rate
  • High Median household incomes
  • Population density (lots of things to do)
  • High home values
  • A lot of college educated people
  • Low poverty
  • High rate of insured families

Then we used the newest American Community Survey data (2012-2016) to research each suburb.

FYI: We defined a suburb as being within 30 miles of Madison.

Additionally, we limited the analysis to places that have over 2,000 people. This left us with a grand total of 25 suburbs to evaluate around Madison.

We ranked each place with scores from 1 to 25 in each category, where 1 was the “best.

Next, we averaged the rankings for each place to create a quality of life index.

And finally, we crowned the city with the best quality of life index the “Best Suburb near Madison.” We’re lookin’ at you, Waunakee.

Read on below to learn more about what it’s like to live in the best of the best. Or skip to the end to see the list of all the suburbs ranked from best to worst.

1. Waunakee

Waunakee, Wisconsin

Population: 13,092
Unemployment Rate: 3.7%
Median Home Price: $300,600
Median Income: $93,132
More on Waunakee: Real Estate | Data

Waunakee is always mentioned as one of the best suburbs in the Madison area. We’ll tell you the good about “Awesome Waunakee.”

Everyone here is rich; families average $93,132 a year, which is the 1st highest in the Madison region. And only 3.7% are out of work. Homes average more than $300,600 each.

2. Verona

Verona, Wisconsin

Source: Public domain

Population: 12,113
Unemployment Rate: 2.8%
Median Home Price: $273,200
Median Income: $89,965
More on Verona: Real Estate | Data

Verona is the second best ‘burb we looked at near Madison for 2018.

It ranks 2nd for incomes in the area and only 3.6% of residents lack insurance, good for 10th best.

3. Mcfarland

Mcfarland, Wisconsin

Population: 8,168
Unemployment Rate: 3.0%
Median Home Price: $243,000
Median Income: $78,009
More on McFarland: Real Estate | Data

Here in McFarland, it’s really safe, and residents are just about as rich as you’ll see in the Madison metro area.

The bad side? Schools are more crowded, and the cost of living puts a large part of the city out of reach for most families.

But price is based on demand and a lot of people want to live in McFarland.

4. Oregon

Oregon, Wisconsin

Population: 9,912
Unemployment Rate: 3.5%
Median Home Price: $226,900
Median Income: $76,480
More on Oregon: Real Estate | Data

Oregon ranks as the 4th best suburb of Madison for 2018.

You won’t find many better places to raise your kids in the region than in Oregon and the schools are some of the best around.

5. Mount Horeb

Mount Horeb, Wisconsin

Population: 7,389
Unemployment Rate: 3.8%
Median Home Price: $235,300
Median Income: $67,793
More on Mount Horeb: Real Estate | Data

Coming in as the fifth best is Mount Horeb.

Mount Horeb gets kudos for having the 8th most expensive homes in the Madison area, where houses sell for an average of $235,300. However, the cost of living here is among the highest in the area.

6. Prairie Du Sac

Population: 4,218
Unemployment Rate: 1.2%
Median Home Price: $199,700
Median Income: $56,043
More on Prairie du Sac: Real Estate | Data

Prairie du Sac is proud of its 6th place finish on this list. And here’s why.

Most residents have great jobs and the unemployment rate sits at 1.2% which is 2nd best in the area.

According to online reports, Prairie du Sac is quickly becoming one of the more affluent suburbs in the Madison area, meaning you need to get in soon.

7. Cross Plains

Cross Plains, Wisconsin

Population: 3,914
Unemployment Rate: 2.9%
Median Home Price: $255,200
Median Income: $79,643
More on Cross Plains: Real Estate | Data

The 7th best suburb on our list goes to Cross Plains.

Cross Plains schools are some of the best in the region, and crime is really low. The cost of living makes it a lot more desirable for many families, especially first-time home buyers.

And, it’s only 11.1 miles to downtown, which is a good thing.

8. Deforest

Population: 9,468
Unemployment Rate: 2.1%
Median Home Price: $207,100
Median Income: $72,373
More on DeForest: Real Estate | Data

DeForest is growing quickly, and for a good reason. Crime is far below average, and most residents are gainfully employed. Even the cost of living is reasonable.

A solid 2.8% of people lack insurance, good for 6th in the area.

9. Middleton

Middleton, Wisconsin

Source: Public domain

Population: 18,707
Unemployment Rate: 4.9%
Median Home Price: $293,100
Median Income: $67,729
More on Middleton: Real Estate | Data

Is ‘Everything Better In Middleton?’

Almost.

It placed 9th on our list thanks to the fact that it’s really expensive to live here, but the schools are great, so you get what you pay for in that regard.

10. Belleville

Belleville, Wisconsin

Population: 2,515
Unemployment Rate: 3.3%
Median Home Price: $180,700
Median Income: $71,382
More on Belleville: Real Estate | Data

And rounding out the top ten for 2018 is Belleville.

This city is far above average in every category, and the best part? It’s far more affordable than the other cities listed above. So, you get a big bang for your buck here.

Welcome to the Best Madison ‘Burbs of 2018

We said it once and we’ll say it again–life in the big city isn’t for everyone. At least not all the time.

So if you’re hankering for some of the amenities of a larger city like Madison, but don’t want to deal with the drawbacks, one of these suburbs might just be for you.

For more Wisconsin reading , check out:

Detailed List Of The Best Madison Suburbs

Rank City Population Unemployment Rate Median Home Price Median Income
1 Waunakee 13,092 3.7% $300,600 $93,132
2 Verona 12,113 2.8% $273,200 $89,965
3 Mcfarland 8,168 3.0% $243,000 $78,009
4 Oregon 9,912 3.5% $226,900 $76,480
5 Mount Horeb 7,389 3.8% $235,300 $67,793
6 Prairie Du Sac 4,218 1.2% $199,700 $56,043
7 Cross Plains 3,914 2.9% $255,200 $79,643
8 Deforest 9,468 2.1% $207,100 $72,373
9 Middleton 18,707 4.9% $293,100 $67,729
10 Belleville 2,515 3.3% $180,700 $71,382
11 Lodi 3,044 3.5% $175,000 $65,833
12 Cottage Grove 6,729 4.5% $257,400 $87,386
13 Deerfield 2,488 7.4% $188,800 $73,281
14 Monona 7,919 4.1% $232,800 $56,481
15 Sun Prairie 31,721 4.0% $206,200 $65,203
16 Columbus 5,004 2.1% $153,400 $60,000
17 Stoughton 13,041 4.9% $182,400 $60,990
18 New Glarus 2,014 1.0% $160,600 $57,337
19 Poynette 2,441 4.5% $166,600 $63,633
20 Evansville 5,176 4.3% $162,200 $56,198
21 Lake Mills 5,796 3.8% $169,200 $60,302
22 Fitchburg 27,254 5.4% $276,200 $65,735
23 Edgerton 5,494 3.6% $142,200 $52,054
24 Waterloo 3,341 5.3% $138,800 $73,594
25 Marshall 3,934 8.8% $156,200 $60,313

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