These Are The 10 Best Milwaukee Suburbs For 2019

We analyzed over 55 places around Milwaukee to identify the most in demand places to live.

Editor’s Note: Data has been updated for 2019. This is our fourth time ranking the best Milwaukee suburbs.

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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 Milwaukee are created equally, which is precisely why we set out to find the best ones. So without further ado…

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

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

Or feel free to check out some more reading about Wisconsin:

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 Milwaukee for 2019

Figuring out the best ‘burbs around Milwaukee 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 (2013-2017) to research each suburb.

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

Additionally, we limited the analysis to places that have over 2,000 people. This left us with a grand total of 57 suburbs to evaluate around Milwaukee.

We ranked each place with scores from 1 to 57 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 Milwaukee.” We’re lookin’ at you, Whitefish Bay.

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.

Whitefish Bay, WI

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 14,099
Rank Last Year: 4 (Up 3)
Median Income: $111,069
Unemployment Rate: 2.2%
Poverty Rate: 3.0%
More on Whitefish Bay: Real Estate | Data | Photos

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

Everyone here is rich; families average $111,069 a year, which is the 4th highest in the Milwaukee region. And only 2.2% are out of work. Homes average more than $365,500 each.

Fox Point, WI

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 6,706
Rank Last Year: 1 (Down 1)
Median Income: $118,281
Unemployment Rate: 1.2%
Poverty Rate: 3.2%
More on Fox Point: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Fox Point is the second best ‘burb we looked at near Milwaukee for 2019.

It ranks 2nd for incomes in the area and only 0.9% of residents lack insurance, good for 2nd best.

Merton, WI

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 3,574
Rank Last Year: 2 (Down 1)
Median Income: $151,818
Unemployment Rate: 1.9%
Poverty Rate: 1.8%
More on Merton: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Here in Merton, it’s really safe, and residents are just about as rich as you’ll see in the Milwaukee 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 Merton.

Elm Grove, WI

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 6,127
Rank Last Year: 3 (Down 1)
Median Income: $113,750
Unemployment Rate: 2.4%
Poverty Rate: 3.3%
More on Elm Grove: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Elm Grove ranks as the 4th best suburb of Milwaukee for 2019.

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

Bayside, WI

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 4,450
Rank Last Year: 5 (Up 1)
Median Income: $99,125
Unemployment Rate: 1.2%
Poverty Rate: 3.6%
More on Bayside: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Coming in as the fifth best is Bayside.

Bayside gets kudos for having the 7th most expensive homes in the Milwaukee area, where houses sell for an average of $341,200. However, the cost of living here is among the highest in the area.

Mequon, WI

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 23,787
Rank Last Year: 7 (Up 1)
Median Income: $109,488
Unemployment Rate: 2.5%
Poverty Rate: 4.8%
More on Mequon: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Mequon 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 2.5% which is 11th best in the area.

According to online reports, Mequon is quickly becoming one of the more affluent suburbs in the Milwaukee area, meaning you need to get in soon.

Brookfield, WI

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 37,943
Rank Last Year: 9 (Up 2)
Median Income: $101,761
Unemployment Rate: 3.3%
Poverty Rate: 3.5%
More on Brookfield: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The 7th best suburb on our list goes to Brookfield.

Brookfield 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 7.6 miles to downtown, which is a good thing.

North Prairie, WI

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 2,325
Rank Last Year: 8 (No Change)
Median Income: $92,552
Unemployment Rate: 2.8%
Poverty Rate: 3.7%
More on North Prairie: Real Estate | Data | Photos

North Prairie 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 0.9% of people lack insurance, good for 2nd in the area.

Sussex, WI

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 10,763
Rank Last Year: 10 (Up 1)
Median Income: $84,229
Unemployment Rate: 2.4%
Poverty Rate: 4.1%
More on Sussex: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Is ‘Everything Better In Sussex?’


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.

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 4,818
Rank Last Year: 6 (Down 3)
Median Income: $105,365
Unemployment Rate: 4.5%
Poverty Rate: 1.7%
More on Summit: Real Estate | Data

And rounding out the top ten for 2019 is Summit.

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 Milwaukee ‘Burbs of 2019

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 Milwaukee, 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 Milwaukee Suburbs

Rank City Population Median Income
1 Whitefish Bay 14,099 $111,069
2 Fox Point 6,706 $118,281
3 Merton 3,574 $151,818
4 Elm Grove 6,127 $113,750
5 Bayside 4,450 $99,125
6 Mequon 23,787 $109,488
7 Brookfield 37,943 $101,761
8 North Prairie 2,325 $92,552
9 Sussex 10,763 $84,229
10 Summit 4,818 $105,365
11 New Berlin 39,779 $78,078
12 Richfield 11,539 $98,626
13 Wales 2,558 $97,543
14 Wauwatosa 47,687 $74,929
15 Muskego 24,731 $86,588
16 Cedarburg 11,499 $82,198
17 Hartland 9,218 $74,707
18 Menomonee Falls 36,411 $77,069
19 Hales Corners 7,704 $71,516
20 Waterford 5,392 $77,973
21 Mukwonago 7,644 $75,441
22 Shorewood 13,367 $68,306
23 Delafield 7,298 $82,826
24 Oconomowoc 16,450 $74,675
25 Grafton 11,576 $70,436
26 Pewaukee 8,214 $57,411
27 Pewaukee 8,214 $57,411
28 Pewaukee 8,214 $57,411
29 Pewaukee 8,214 $57,411
30 Thiensville 3,182 $62,083
31 Franklin 36,295 $74,972
32 Greendale 14,293 $64,714
33 Slinger 5,269 $75,602
34 Glendale 12,868 $65,992
35 Dousman 2,452 $62,594
36 Port Washington 11,589 $63,289
37 Oak Creek 35,588 $70,530
38 Jackson 6,942 $65,422
39 Fredonia 2,264 $74,883
40 Caledonia 24,803 $77,240
41 Brown Deer 12,076 $61,225
42 Waukesha 72,173 $61,380
43 Mount Pleasant 26,300 $70,096
44 Rochester 3,740 $66,976
45 Sturtevant 6,977 $65,262
46 East Troy 4,321 $59,030
47 West Bend 31,656 $55,962
48 Greenfield 37,082 $54,973
49 Hartford 14,552 $55,438
50 South Milwaukee 21,185 $51,484
51 St. Francis 9,532 $40,116
52 West Allis 60,546 $47,669
53 Union Grove 4,924 $64,935
54 Saukville 4,460 $54,665
55 Cudahy 18,350 $50,923
56 Racine 77,740 $42,590
57 West Milwaukee 4,200 $35,286

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.