These Are The 10 Most Expensive Cities In Wisconsin For 2018


We used science and data to determine which cities in Wisconsin that will put a big dent in your wallet.

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Everyone wants a home that mixes affordability with comfort and Wisconsin does this very well. Families love the Badger State’s beaches, midlands, and mountains as tourists before moving here and calling it home.

But before you decide to relocate, you have to do some research into the exact cost of living around the state — and that’s how we’re going to help you.

These are the places in Wisconsin that cost a pretty penny — the most expensive cities in the state.

After we saved up for months and could finally afford it, we landed on this list of the ten most expensive cities in Wisconsin for 2018:

  1. Waunakee (Photos)
  2. Cottage Grove (Photos)
  3. Middleton (Photos)
  4. Fitchburg
  5. Verona (Photos)
  6. Mount Horeb (Photos)
  7. Oregon (Photos)
  8. Madison (Photos)
  9. Sun Prairie (Photos)
  10. Monona (Photos)

So hopefully Antigo (the cheapest place to live in Wisconsin) can show these guys how to live on a budget in the coming years. Read on for how these places had costs rise faster than inflation.

And if you already knew these places were expensive, check out the best places to live in Wisconsin or the cheapest.

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How We Determined The Most Expensive Places To Live In The Badger State For 2018

There are basic necessities that you have to buy no matter where in the country you live. Those things include:

  • Housing
  • Food
  • Gas
  • Health Insurance
  • Utilities
  • Transportation

You can then compare the cost of these things in each of the places in Wisconsin to figure out which is the most expensive.

What you are left with is a ‘Cost of Living Index’ that normalizes to 100 for an average place in the United States.

So we used that cost of living index in order to rank all of the 137 places in Wisconsin that have more than 5,000 people.

And just so you can better understand how the cost of living index works, 100 is the average cost of a place in the United States. A score of 90 means that the place cost 10% less than average.

San Francisco has a score of 243 meaning it’s almost 2.5 times as expensive as the average place in the country.

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1. Waunakee

Waunakee, Wisconsin

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 12,142
Services: 102
Groceries: 105
Health Care: 122
Housing: 151
Transportation: 106
Utilities: 92

2. Cottage Grove

Cottage Grove, Wisconsin

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 6,174
Services: 102
Groceries: 105
Health Care: 122
Housing: 135
Transportation: 106
Utilities: 92

3. Middleton

Middleton, Wisconsin

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 17,589
Services: 102
Groceries: 105
Health Care: 122
Housing: 133
Transportation: 106
Utilities: 92
Middleton is a city in Dane County, Wisconsin, United States, and a suburb of the state capital, Madison. Middleton’s motto is ‘The Good Neighbor City.’ The population was 17,442 at the 2010 census.

4. Fitchburg


Population: 25,222
Services: 102
Groceries: 105
Health Care: 122
Housing: 130
Transportation: 106
Utilities: 92
Fitchburg is a city in Dane County, Wisconsin, United States. The population was 25,260 at the 2010 census. Fitchburg is a suburb of Madison and is part of the Madison Metropolitan Statistical Area. Fitchburg consists of a mix of suburban neighborhoods closer the border with the city of Madison, commercial and industrial properties, and more rural properties in the southern portion of the city. Despite its status as an incorporated city, some rural parts of Fitchburg still lack certain municipal services such as sewer, water, and natural gas.

5. Verona

Verona, Wisconsin

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 10,632
Services: 102
Groceries: 105
Health Care: 122
Housing: 126
Transportation: 106
Utilities: 92
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.

6. Mount Horeb

Mount Horeb, Wisconsin

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 7,070
Services: 102
Groceries: 105
Health Care: 122
Housing: 117
Transportation: 106
Utilities: 92
Mount Horeb is a village in Dane County, Wisconsin, United States. The population was 7,009 at the 2010 census. It is part of the Madison Metropolitan Statistical Area.

7. Oregon

Oregon, Wisconsin

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 9,269
Services: 102
Groceries: 105
Health Care: 122
Housing: 116
Transportation: 106
Utilities: 92
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.

8. Madison

Madison, Wisconsin

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 234,586
Services: 102
Groceries: 105
Health Care: 122
Housing: 114
Transportation: 106
Utilities: 92
Madison is the capital of the U.S. state of Wisconsin and the seat of Dane County. As of July 1, 2016, Madison’s estimated population of 252,551 made it the second-largest city in Wisconsin, after Milwaukee, and the 82nd-largest in the United States. The city forms the core of the United States Census Bureau’s Madison Metropolitan Statistical Area, which includes Dane County and neighboring Iowa, Green, and Columbia counties. The Madison Metropolitan Statistical Area’s 2010 population was 568,593.

9. Sun Prairie

Sun Prairie, Wisconsin

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 29,274
Services: 102
Groceries: 105
Health Care: 122
Housing: 112
Transportation: 106
Utilities: 92
Sun Prairie is a city in Dane County in the U.S. state of Wisconsin. A suburb of Madison, it is part of the Madison Metropolitan Statistical Area. The city’s population was 29,441 at the 2010 U.S. Census. It is the second most populous city in Dane County after Madison.

10. Monona

Monona, Wisconsin

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 7,624
Services: 102
Groceries: 105
Health Care: 122
Housing: 108
Transportation: 106
Utilities: 92
Monona is a city in Dane County, Wisconsin, United States. The population was 7,533 at the 2010 census. It is completely surrounded by Madison and is part of the Madison Metropolitan Statistical Area.

Taking A Chunk Out Of Your Paycheck

Well there you have it, the places in Wisconsin that have the highest cost of living, with Waunakee ranking as the most expensive city in the Badger State.

If you’re curious, here are the least expensive cities in Wisconsin:

  1. Antigo
  2. Wisconsin Rapids
  3. Merrill

For more Wisconsin reading , check out:

Detailed List Of The Most Expensive Cities In Wisconsin

City Rank Population Services Groceries Health Care
Waunakee 1 12,142 102 105 122
Cottage Grove 2 6,174 102 105 122
Middleton 3 17,589 102 105 122
Fitchburg 4 25,222 102 105 122
Verona 5 10,632 102 105 122
Mount Horeb 6 7,070 102 105 122
Oregon 7 9,269 102 105 122
Madison 8 234,586 102 105 122
Sun Prairie 9 29,274 102 105 122
Monona 10 7,624 102 105 122
Stoughton 11 12,695 102 105 122
Lake Mills 12 5,695 102 105 122
Watertown 13 23,838 102 105 122
Baraboo 14 12,011 102 105 122
Lake Hallie 15 6,401 112 107 110
Portage 16 10,267 102 105 122
Holmen 17 8,982 112 107 110
Reedsburg 18 9,228 102 105 122
Onalaska 19 17,740 112 107 110
Menomonie 20 16,192 112 107 110
Richland Center 21 5,173 102 105 122
Altoona 22 6,780 112 107 110
Eau Claire 23 65,860 112 107 110
La Crosse 24 51,398 112 107 110
West Bend 25 31,200 102 106 113
Rice Lake 26 8,412 112 107 110
Chippewa Falls 27 13,673 112 107 110
Ashland 28 8,213 112 107 110
Plymouth 29 8,413 102 106 113
Mayville 30 5,128 102 106 113
Mequon 31 23,164 97 103 115
Elm Grove 32 5,958 97 103 115
Delafield 33 7,060 97 103 115
Whitefish Bay 34 14,063 97 103 115
Fox Point 35 6,703 97 103 115
Brookfield 36 38,015 97 103 115
Sheboygan Falls 37 7,755 102 106 113
Richfield 38 11,305 97 103 115
Pewaukee 39 8,168 97 103 115
Pewaukee 40 8,168 97 103 115
Pewaukee 41 8,168 97 103 115
Pewaukee 42 8,168 97 103 115
Shorewood 43 13,154 97 103 115
Muskego 44 24,118 97 103 115
Sussex 45 10,489 97 103 115
Neenah 46 25,529 102 106 113
New Berlin 47 39,621 97 103 115
Pleasant Prairie 48 19,658 97 103 115
Beaver Dam 49 16,215 102 106 113
Hales Corners 50 7,696 97 103 115
Franklin 51 35,236 97 103 115
Ripon 52 7,700 102 106 113
Cedarburg 53 11,425 97 103 115
Hartland 54 9,092 97 103 115
Menomonee Falls 55 35,595 97 103 115
Oshkosh 56 66,046 102 106 113
Wauwatosa 57 46,457 97 103 115
Oconomowoc 58 15,667 97 103 115
Lake Geneva 59 7,666 97 97 109
Menasha 60 17,213 102 106 113
Sheboygan 61 49,308 102 106 113
Oak Creek 62 34,190 97 103 115
Glendale 63 12,861 97 103 115
Hudson 64 12,732 109 105 103
Waupaca 65 6,041 102 106 113
Waupun 66 11,362 102 106 113
Mukwonago 67 7,280 97 103 115
Greendale 68 14,085 97 103 115
Slinger 69 5,050 97 103 115
Berlin 70 5,489 102 106 113
Grafton 71 11,457 97 103 115
Jackson 72 6,675 97 103 115
Elkhorn 73 9,983 97 97 109
Caledonia 74 24,654 97 103 115
Waukesha 75 70,593 97 103 115
Whitewater 76 14,385 97 97 109
Waterford 77 5,301 97 103 115
Port Washington 78 11,261 97 103 115
Twin Lakes 79 5,978 97 103 115
Platteville 80 11,170 103 98 96
Burlington 81 10,492 97 103 115
River Falls 82 14,986 109 105 103
Hartford 83 14,104 97 103 115
Mount Pleasant 84 26,068 97 103 115
Greenfield 85 36,657 97 103 115
Brown Deer 86 11,980 97 103 115
Fort Atkinson 87 12,401 97 97 109
Suamico 88 11,301 97 91 107
Suamico 89 11,301 97 91 107
Delavan 90 8,495 97 97 109
Milton 91 5,538 97 97 109
Jefferson 92 7,953 97 97 109
Edgerton 93 5,417 97 97 109
Sturtevant 94 6,880 97 103 115
South Milwaukee 95 21,119 97 103 115
Kenosha 96 99,297 97 103 115
Cudahy 97 18,251 97 103 115
New Richmond 98 8,376 109 105 103
West Allis 99 60,334 97 103 115
Hobart 100 6,307 97 91 107
Hobart 101 6,307 97 91 107
Janesville 102 63,586 97 97 109
Howard 103 17,564 97 91 107
Milwaukee 104 594,328 97 103 115
Bellevue 105 14,482 97 91 107
De Pere 106 23,796 97 91 107
Bellevue 107 14,482 97 91 107
Monroe 108 10,835 97 97 109
Racine 109 78,878 97 103 115
Allouez 110 14,056 97 91 107
Beloit 111 36,943 97 97 109
Ashwaubenon 112 17,039 97 91 107
Little Chute 113 10,447 97 91 107
Sturgeon Bay 114 9,157 97 91 107
Kaukauna 115 15,422 97 91 107
Appleton 116 72,575 97 91 107
Kimberly 117 6,505 97 91 107
Green Bay 118 104,226 97 91 107
New London 119 7,127 97 91 107
Manitowoc 120 33,646 97 91 107
Shawano 121 9,256 97 91 107
Two Rivers 122 11,702 97 91 107
Marinette 123 10,943 97 91 107
Kronenwetter 124 7,163 93 95 109
Kronenwetter 125 7,163 93 95 109
Plover 126 12,079 93 95 109
Weston 127 14,786 93 95 109
Rothschild 128 5,254 93 95 109
Marshfield 129 18,655 93 95 109
Tomah 130 9,136 93 95 109
Stevens Point 131 26,673 93 95 109
Wausau 132 39,158 93 95 109
Sparta 133 9,538 93 95 109
Rhinelander 134 7,776 93 95 109
Merrill 135 9,638 93 95 109
Wisconsin Rapids 136 18,289 93 95 109
Antigo 137 8,189 93 95 109

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