These Are The 20 Best Small Towns In Wisconsin For 2018


We used science and data to determine which small towns in Wisconsin are the best of the best.

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This article is an opinion based on facts and is meant as infotainment. Data updated for 2018.

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You’ve seen these lists before: Best places to live in Wisconsin, Most Beautiful Downtowns, etc., etc. But all of them focus on major cities and towns in the Badger State and no one pays attention to the little guy.

Well, that’s all about to change as we put together a list of the best small towns in Wisconsin based on numbers–not opinions or hearsay.

We’ll dive right into our methodology in the next section; but first, we thought you might just want to know which places in Wisconsin ranked the based–you know, based on science.

Before we get to the top 20, here’s a look at the 10 Best Small Towns To Live in Wisconsin for 2018:

  1. Shorewood Hills (Homes For Sale)
  2. Maple Bluff (Homes For Sale)
  3. Bayside (Homes For Sale)
  4. Howards Grove (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  5. Cross Plains (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  6. Prairie du Sac (Homes For Sale)
  7. Merton (Homes For Sale)
  8. Wind Point (Homes For Sale)
  9. Combined Locks (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  10. Kohler (Photos | Homes For Sale)

If you live in one of these small towns like Shorewood Hills, chances are, you’re not surprised. After all, you know how great you have it.

But for the rest of you–keep reading and we’ll get to just why these small towns made our list.

For more reading on the Badger State check out:

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How We Determined The Coolest Towns In Wisconsin

We threw a lot of criteria at this one in order to get the best, most complete results possible. Using the most recent data from the Census’s 2012-2016 American Community Survey and the Bureau of Labor Statistics, this is the criteria we used:

  • Population Density (Higher is better)
  • Lowest Unemployment Rates
  • Housing costs (Higher is better. More demand.)
  • Adjusted Median Income (Higher is better)
  • Highly Educated Adults (Higher is better)
  • Insurance Rates (Higher is better)
  • Commute Times (Lower is better)

We looked at places with populations lower than 5,000 people and greater than 1,000, of which, there were a lot – 241 to be exact.

We then ranked each place in each category with scores from 1 to 241, averaged them out, and the lowest scores went to our Best Small Towns in Wisconsin. Top of that list — Shorewood Hills.

Keep reading to find out more about our top 20 best small towns in Wisconsin.

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1. Shorewood Hills


Population: 1,996
Median Income: $123,889 (4th Best)
Median Home Value: $605,500 (1st Best)
More on Shorewood Hills: Data| Homes For Sale

2. Maple Bluff


Population: 1,452
Median Income: $133,438 (3rd Best)
Median Home Value: $479,800 (3rd Best)
More on Maple Bluff: Data| Homes For Sale

3. Bayside


Population: 4,428
Median Income: $99,000 (7th Best)
Median Home Value: $332,600 (9th Best)
More on Bayside: Data| Homes For Sale

4. Howards Grove

Howards Grove, WI

Population: 3,247
Median Income: $74,320 (24th Best)
Median Home Value: $166,800 (65th Best)
More on Howards Grove: PhotosData| Homes For Sale

5. Cross Plains

Cross Plains, WI

Population: 3,914
Median Income: $79,643 (14th Best)
Median Home Value: $255,200 (18th Best)
More on Cross Plains: PhotosData| Homes For Sale

6. Prairie Du Sac


Population: 4,218
Median Income: $56,043 (97th Best)
Median Home Value: $199,700 (34th Best)
More on Prairie Du Sac: Data| Homes For Sale

7. Merton


Population: 3,535
Median Income: $141,250 (2nd Best)
Median Home Value: $411,800 (4th Best)
More on Merton: Data| Homes For Sale

8. Wind Point


Population: 1,785
Median Income: $96,016 (9th Best)
Median Home Value: $257,100 (17th Best)
More on Wind Point: Data| Homes For Sale

9. Combined Locks

Combined Locks, WI

Source: Public domain

Population: 3,486
Median Income: $66,121 (44th Best)
Median Home Value: $160,000 (73rd Best)
More on Combined Locks: PhotosData| Homes For Sale

10. Kohler

Kohler, WI

Population: 2,363
Median Income: $81,000 (13th Best)
Median Home Value: $236,900 (20th Best)
More on Kohler: PhotosData| Homes For Sale

11. Okauchee Lake


Population: 4,300
Median Income: $102,946 (5th Best)
Median Home Value: $330,600 (10th Best)
More on Okauchee Lake: Data| Homes For Sale

12. West Salem

West Salem, WI

Population: 4,949
Median Income: $60,982 (70th Best)
Median Home Value: $167,200 (63rd Best)
More on West Salem: PhotosData| Homes For Sale

13. Thiensville


Population: 3,184
Median Income: $61,125 (69th Best)
Median Home Value: $222,000 (24th Best)
More on Thiensville: Data| Homes For Sale

14. Summit


Population: 4,783
Median Income: $101,554 (6th Best)
Median Home Value: $370,700 (6th Best)
More on Summit: Data| Homes For Sale

15. Oostburg


Population: 2,943
Median Income: $58,996 (82nd Best)
Median Home Value: $148,000 (95th Best)
More on Oostburg: Data| Homes For Sale

16. St. Peter


Population: 1,497
Median Income: $78,080 (16th Best)
Median Home Value: $210,000 (27th Best)
More on St. Peter: Data| Homes For Sale

17. Elkhart Lake


Population: 1,046
Median Income: $55,859 (98th Best)
Median Home Value: $175,000 (57th Best)
More on Elkhart Lake: Data| Homes For Sale

18. River Hills


Population: 1,548
Median Income: $151,111 (1st Best)
Median Home Value: $588,600 (2nd Best)
More on River Hills: Data| Homes For Sale

19. Brooklyn


Population: 1,343
Median Income: $78,882 (15th Best)
Median Home Value: $173,100 (61st Best)
More on Brooklyn: Data| Homes For Sale

20. Lodi


Population: 3,044
Median Income: $65,833 (45th Best)
Median Home Value: $175,000 (57th Best)
More on Lodi: Data| Homes For Sale

Science Can Tackle Any Issue, Even Small Ones

We said it once and we’ll say it again — this list: it’s just science. We did the research, we crunched the numbers, and it turns out, these 20 small towns in Wisconsin are the best, in which to live.

And who can argue with that?

If you’re curious, here are the worst small towns in Wisconsin:

  1. Centuria
  2. Boyceville
  3. Little Round Lake

For more Wisconsin reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Best Small Towns In Wisconsin

Rank City Population Median Income Median Home Value
1 Shorewood Hills 1,996 $123,889 $605,500
2 Maple Bluff 1,452 $133,438 $479,800
3 Bayside 4,428 $99,000 $332,600
4 Howards Grove 3,247 $74,320 $166,800
5 Cross Plains 3,914 $79,643 $255,200
6 Prairie Du Sac 4,218 $56,043 $199,700
7 Merton 3,535 $141,250 $411,800
8 Wind Point 1,785 $96,016 $257,100
9 Combined Locks 3,486 $66,121 $160,000
10 Kohler 2,363 $81,000 $236,900
11 Okauchee Lake 4,300 $102,946 $330,600
12 West Salem 4,949 $60,982 $167,200
13 Thiensville 3,184 $61,125 $222,000
14 Summit 4,783 $101,554 $370,700
15 Oostburg 2,943 $58,996 $148,000
16 St. Peter 1,497 $78,080 $210,000
17 Elkhart Lake 1,046 $55,859 $175,000
18 River Hills 1,548 $151,111 $588,600
19 Brooklyn 1,343 $78,882 $173,100
20 Lodi 3,044 $65,833 $175,000
21 Sherwood 2,829 $96,944 $223,600
22 North Prairie 2,391 $83,875 $245,900
23 Lake Wissota 2,959 $68,049 $204,600
24 Potter Lake 1,169 $69,323 $200,300
25 Belleville 2,515 $71,382 $180,700
26 Prescott 4,217 $74,875 $183,500
27 Johnson Creek 2,890 $70,074 $185,200
28 Sauk City 3,467 $54,757 $183,400
29 North Hudson 3,810 $63,125 $206,300
30 Cambridge 1,179 $64,545 $186,300
31 Lake Ripley 1,755 $72,961 $267,900
32 Fontana-On-Geneva Lake 1,636 $77,011 $341,300
33 Black Earth 1,335 $53,365 $185,800
34 Dane 1,043 $75,167 $199,700
35 Lake Wazeecha 2,565 $66,131 $133,600
36 Wright 3,265 $72,667 $169,000
37 Oakfield 1,053 $58,000 $155,700
38 New Glarus 2,014 $57,337 $160,600
39 Barneveld 1,301 $75,852 $174,000
40 French Island 4,392 $54,219 $149,700
41 Nashotah 1,428 $90,500 $347,400
42 Williams Bay 2,605 $64,313 $272,600
43 Hortonville 2,702 $65,451 $149,500
44 Dousman 2,493 $62,238 $221,700
45 Brillion 3,155 $63,510 $123,600
46 Chain O’ Lakes 1,009 $59,375 $407,000
47 Deerfield 2,488 $73,281 $188,800
48 Browns Lake 1,897 $73,868 $183,400
49 Lake Wisconsin 4,388 $77,877 $269,800
50 Eagle 1,760 $73,802 $200,600
51 Cedar Grove 2,172 $54,509 $151,700
52 Kewaskum 4,072 $61,914 $166,500
53 New Holstein 3,192 $51,518 $114,700
54 Wales 2,562 $95,714 $280,200
55 Hazel Green 1,048 $61,354 $120,800
56 Belgium 2,245 $67,245 $181,300
57 Luxemburg 2,560 $61,786 $157,800
58 Cuba City 2,076 $49,904 $120,800
59 Ixonia 1,679 $68,009 $212,600
60 Lancaster 3,796 $42,714 $127,400
61 Spring Green 1,662 $58,611 $158,400
62 Trempealeau 1,787 $52,171 $146,600
63 Newburg 1,183 $53,750 $181,900
64 Dickeyville 1,164 $50,577 $142,100
65 Fall River 1,584 $60,972 $156,400
66 Kiel 3,756 $55,577 $118,800
67 Winneconne 2,382 $58,447 $142,700
68 Random Lake 1,527 $62,333 $167,200
69 Big Bend 1,212 $72,614 $204,700
70 Cleveland 1,583 $62,070 $131,300
71 Saukville 4,494 $58,750 $187,300
72 Poynette 2,441 $63,633 $166,600
73 Fredonia 2,108 $71,750 $184,500
74 Eagle Lake 1,166 $74,438 $159,900
75 East Troy 4,293 $58,266 $186,400
76 Denmark 2,143 $50,417 $135,200
77 Whiting 1,572 $47,672 $139,600
78 Campbellsport 2,020 $50,966 $154,500
79 Mineral Point 2,615 $50,234 $154,900
80 Butler 1,816 $46,771 $166,700
81 Marathon City 1,322 $60,000 $141,600
82 Kewaunee 2,907 $54,833 $102,600
83 Monticello 1,188 $50,682 $129,200
84 Brice Prairie 2,068 $72,917 $159,500
85 Silver Lake 2,506 $61,220 $196,900
86 Rochester 3,733 $57,941 $227,500
87 Chilton 3,910 $50,000 $132,700
88 Amery 2,853 $39,278 $123,800
89 Mosinee 4,023 $58,056 $118,800
90 Bangor 1,323 $52,738 $134,100
91 Theresa 1,090 $50,455 $123,500
92 Baldwin 3,972 $56,694 $144,000
93 Bohners Lake 2,195 $58,963 $165,800
94 Whitehall 1,751 $45,395 $117,900
95 Clinton 2,206 $59,375 $120,800
96 Hammond 2,006 $65,380 $135,100
97 Seymour 1,626 $59,444 $175,700
98 King 1,754 $65,089 $108,200
99 Como 2,443 $57,721 $174,000
100 Delavan Lake 2,141 $60,333 $193,100

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