These Are The 10 Most Expensive Places To Live 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 | Homes For Sale)
  2. Cottage Grove (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  3. Middleton (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  4. Fitchburg (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  5. Verona (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  6. Mount Horeb (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  7. Oregon (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  8. Madison (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  9. Sun Prairie (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  10. Monona (Photos | Homes For Sale)

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 131 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

Population: 12,142
Services: 102
Groceries: 105
Health Care: 122
Housing: 151
Transportation: 106
Utilities: 92
More on Waunakee: Homes For Sale | Data

2. Cottage Grove

Cottage Grove, Wisconsin

Population: 6,174
Services: 102
Groceries: 105
Health Care: 122
Housing: 135
Transportation: 106
Utilities: 92
More on Cottage Grove: Homes For Sale | Data

3. Middleton

Middleton, Wisconsin

Public domain

Population: 17,589
Services: 102
Groceries: 105
Health Care: 122
Housing: 133
Transportation: 106
Utilities: 92
More on Middleton: Homes For Sale | Data
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

Fitchburg, Wisconsin

Public domain

Population: 25,222
Services: 102
Groceries: 105
Health Care: 122
Housing: 130
Transportation: 106
Utilities: 92
More on Fitchburg: Homes For Sale | Data
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

Public domain

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

6. Mount Horeb

Mount Horeb, Wisconsin

Population: 7,070
Services: 102
Groceries: 105
Health Care: 122
Housing: 117
Transportation: 106
Utilities: 92
More on Mount Horeb: Homes For Sale | Data
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

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

8. Madison

Madison, Wisconsin

Population: 234,586
Services: 102
Groceries: 105
Health Care: 122
Housing: 114
Transportation: 106
Utilities: 92
More on Madison: Homes For Sale | Data
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

Population: 29,274
Services: 102
Groceries: 105
Health Care: 122
Housing: 112
Transportation: 106
Utilities: 92
More on Sun Prairie: Homes For Sale | Data
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

Population: 7,624
Services: 102
Groceries: 105
Health Care: 122
Housing: 108
Transportation: 106
Utilities: 92
More on Monona: Homes For Sale | Data
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. Merrill
  3. Wisconsin Rapids

For more Wisconsin reading , check out:

Detailed List Of The Most Expensive Cities In Wisconsin

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

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