These Are The 10 Best Places To Live In Wisconsin For 2018


These are the cream of the crop in the Badger State.

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This article is an opinion based on facts and is meant as infotainment. Don’t freak out that we updated it for 2018.

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Where are the best places in the state of Wisconsin?

To the untrained eye they are the places that have awesome economies. They’re the places in Badger State where people have the best jobs, residents are all above average, and the sun shines the most.

However, here at HomeSnacks, we don’t trust the untrained eye and instead look to data to understand the best places to call home in Wisconsin.

There might be some surprises on this list, but when you look at the unbiased data, it’s hard to argue against.

After analyzing 141 places in Wisconsin, we came up with this list of the best places:

  1. Fox Point (Photos)
  2. Whitefish Bay (Photos)
  3. Elm Grove (Photos)
  4. Waunakee (Photos)
  5. Mcfarland (Photos)
  6. Mequon (Photos)
  7. Cedarburg (Photos)
  8. Verona (Photos)
  9. Oregon (Photos)
  10. Middleton (Photos)

Follow along as we provide more insight into how we reached our overall best places to live in Wisconsin.

If you’re looking for something more national, check out the best states in America or the best places to live in America.

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The Pressing Question: Size

Before we even started to collect data, we had to answer a tough question: Is it fair to pit Madison with a population of 246,034 against places with a population of 18?

We firmly decided no, that just isn’t fair.

So to create our ranking, we broke places to live into three tiers:

  • Cities — Populations over 5,000
  • Towns — Populations between 1,000 and 5,000
  • Small Towns — Populations below 1,000

This left us with 141 cities, 241 towns, and 390 small towns.

We then decided, no matter how much anyone loves their town, the best places have more of everything and therefore you need to have over 5,000 people to truly be ‘the best’.

Now we also realize that city living might not be your cup of tea, so we ran the following analysis on towns and then again for small towns.

You can see those two top tens at the bottom of the post.

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How We Calculated The Best Place To Live In Wisconsin

Now that we had our set of cities, it was time to rank them.

We ranked each place in Wisconsin across a number of criteria from one to 141, with one being the best.

We then took the average rank across all criteria, with the city posting the lowest overall score being crowned the winner of the title “Best Place To Live In Wisconsin”.

The criteria we looked at were:

  • Median Home Values
  • Median Income
  • Population Density (Higher better)
  • Unemployment Rate
  • Commute Time
  • Crime
  • Education Levels
  • Health Insurance Coverage
  • Poverty rates

Sources of criteria include the New Census Data and FBI Crime Data.

If your city or town isn’t among the top 10, jump down to the bottom of the post to see a detailed chart of the best places in Wisconsin.

Otherwise, buckle up for a ride down good living lane with Fox Point at the end of the cul-de-sac.

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1. Fox Point


Population: 6,695
Rank Last Year: 4 (Up 3)
Home Values: $309,000 (5th best)
Unemployment Rate: 1.5% (1st best)
Let’s just put this to rest right now. No matter how passionate you are about where you live in Wisconsin, Fox Point is by far the best place to live. At least according to science.

The residents of Fox Point are some of the wealthiest, most employed, and just about safest of anyone in the state. Plus, their kids go to some of the best-funded schools.

You know what they say: Money doesn’t buy happiness. But, in this case, it buys safety and peace of mind.

If you live here, you probably won’t brag about this ranking because you want to keep Fox Point a secret.

2. Whitefish Bay


Population: 14,088
Rank Last Year: 1 (Down 1)
Home Values: $350,700 (3rd best)
Unemployment Rate: 3.2% (23rd best)
Known for its low unemployment rates and great education, Whitefish Bay is a wonderful place to live in this state.

The relatively stable household incomes and below average crime rates don’t hurt either!

While it may not be as great as some other places on this list, Whitefish Bay still holds its own in in Wisconsin.

3. Elm Grove


Population: 6,085
Rank Last Year: 2 (Down 1)
Home Values: $355,000 (1st best)
Unemployment Rate: 2.5% (5th best)
The crime is the 30th lowest in the state in Elm Grove, and there were only 1 violent crimes in the entire city last year. We think it’s even safer here than the numbers indicate.

The schools are some of the best in Wisconsin, and residents live in very expensive homes. They also earn more than most every other city in the state. Residents in Elm Grove earn $119,512 a year.

4. Waunakee

Waunakee, Wisconsin

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 13,092
Rank Last Year: 3 (Down 1)
Home Values: $300,600 (7th best)
Unemployment Rate: 3.7% (33rd best)
Waunakee is a cute little city where crime is far below the state average, and where it’s affordable. The schools are also solidly rated.

Home prices clock in at $300,600 and households earn a median salary of $93,132. One could get used to that.

5. Mcfarland


Population: 8,168
Rank Last Year: 18 (Up 13)
Home Values: $243,000 (18th best)
Unemployment Rate: 3.0% (15th best)
Well, I guess technically 3.0% of Mcfarland residents who want to have a job can’t find one, so not everyone has a job, but it’s the 16th closest of any city in Wisconsin.

You can tell they take business seriously as they have by far the coolest Chamber of Commerce website we came across in our research.

In addition to its incredibly low unemployment rate, Mcfarland also ranked well for crime (26th) and median income ($78,009).

6. Mequon

Mequon, Wisconsin

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 23,663
Rank Last Year: 8 (Up 2)
Home Values: $354,300 (2nd best)
Unemployment Rate: 2.9% (14th best)
The Mequon has the 14th lowest unemployment rate in Wisconsin. The population growth here has been 8% over the last 15 years, meaning a lot of people want to live here. If they can afford it; the cost of living in Mequon is higher than the national average and households make $104,691 per year.

We’d move to Mequon if we could in a heart beat.

7. Cedarburg

Cedarburg, Wisconsin

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 11,516
Rank Last Year: 10 (Up 3)
Home Values: $258,200 (16th best)
Unemployment Rate: 4.3% (53rd best)
Let’s take a look at why Cedarburg is a great place to call home for 2018.

There’s low crime in Cedarburg, and the residents here are gainfully employed (4.3% unemployment rate).

You can make Cedarburg your home for only $258,200 which won’t be too hard on a $79,266 household salary.

8. Verona

Verona, Wisconsin

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 12,113
Rank Last Year: 6 (Down 2)
Home Values: $273,200 (12th best)
Unemployment Rate: 2.8% (12th best)
Verona is by far one of the best places to live in Wisconsin: the math proves it! This city has the 12th lowest unemployment rate and the 8th highest median income in all of Wisconsin.

\nPlus, the median home values are the 12th highest in the state. And if all of that isn’t enough to convince you, then check this out: their crime rate is the 41st lowest in the state, making Verona a safe and great place to live.

9. Oregon

Oregon, Wisconsin

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 9,912
Rank Last Year: 5 (Down 4)
Home Values: $226,900 (25th best)
Unemployment Rate: 3.5% (28th best)
Oregon’s unemployment rates are some of the lowest in the state and the median income is the 18th highest, making Oregon a great place to work and settle down if you’re look for a stable job with a stable income.

Additionally, Oregon has above average education and low crime, making this place a safe place to live.

10. Middleton

Middleton, Wisconsin

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 18,707
Rank Last Year: 15 (Up 5)
Home Values: $293,100 (9th best)
Unemployment Rate: 4.9% (69th best)
Middleton has a strong showing in our best places to live in Wisconsin analysis, coming it at 10th best.

It ranks highly like many others in the top ten for a low unemployment rate and high adjusted median income. It scored extra points relative to the top ten for its size and things to do.

If you’re thinking of moving to Wisconsin, Middleton is a great option.

Wrapping Up The Best Of The Best In Wisconsin

If you’re looking at areas in Wisconsin with the best economic situations, where there’s lower than average crime, and a lot to do, this is an accurate list.

Fox Point made a strong showing to take in the overall number one spot for 2018.

Best Towns To Live In Wisconsin

  1. Shorewood Hills (Pop. 1,996)
  2. Maple Bluff (Pop. 1,452)
  3. Howards Grove (Pop. 3,247)
  4. Bayside (Pop. 4,428)
  5. Combined Locks (Pop. 3,486)
  6. Prairie du Sac (Pop. 4,218)
  7. Merton (Pop. 3,535)
  8. Cross Plains (Pop. 3,914)
  9. Wind Point (Pop. 1,785)
  10. Kohler (Pop. 2,363)

Best Small Towns To Live In Wisconsin

  1. Park Ridge (Pop. 619)
  2. Hewitt (Pop. 792)
  3. Brownsville (Pop. 585)
  4. North Bay (Pop. 207)
  5. Dale (Pop. 523)
  6. Butte des Morts (Pop. 938)
  7. Gibbsville (Pop. 473)
  8. Dyckesville (Pop. 510)
  9. Lake Sherwood (Pop. 315)
  10. Ephraim (Pop. 266)

If you’re curious enough, here are the worst places to live in Wisconsin:

  1. Beloit (Pop. 36,812)
  2. Milwaukee (Pop. 598,672)
  3. Antigo (Pop. 7,930)

For more Wisconsin reading , check out:

Detailed List Of The Best Cities In Wisconsin

City Rank Previous Rank Population Unemployment Rate Home Value
Fox Point 1 4 6,695 1.5% $309,000
Whitefish Bay 2 1 14,088 3.2% $350,700
Elm Grove 3 2 6,085 2.5% $355,000
Waunakee 4 3 13,092 3.7% $300,600
Mcfarland 5 18 8,168 3.0% $243,000
Mequon 6 8 23,663 2.9% $354,300
Cedarburg 7 10 11,516 4.3% $258,200
Verona 8 6 12,113 2.8% $273,200
Oregon 9 5 9,912 3.5% $226,900
Middleton 10 15 18,707 4.9% $293,100
Hales Corners 11 16 7,720 3.1% $218,700
Muskego 12 7 24,650 3.1% $271,400
Menomonee Falls 13 14 36,118 3.3% $228,300
New Berlin 14 11 39,807 2.8% $235,300
Sussex 15 19 10,716 2.7% $259,100
Brookfield 16 13 37,991 4.1% $287,500
Hartland 17 22 9,195 3.2% $266,500
Grafton 18 9 11,563 3.1% $201,100
Oconomowoc 19 20 16,289 4.5% $239,400
Pewaukee 20 27 8,225 3.5% $191,800
Wauwatosa 21 26 47,388 3.8% $221,800
De Pere 22 50 24,544 5.2% $167,400
Cottage Grove 23 12 6,729 4.5% $257,400
Kronenwetter 24 35 7,463 2.6% $164,900
Holmen 25 32 9,513 5.6% $168,600
Lake Hallie 26 34 6,603 2.4% $166,300
Mount Horeb 27 43 7,389 3.8% $235,300
Shorewood 28 17 13,300 4.3% $308,600
Sheboygan Falls 29 38 7,792 4.8% $139,900
Kaukauna 30 47 15,791 3.1% $138,800
Deforest 31 48 9,468 2.1% $207,100
Sun Prairie 32 23 31,721 4.0% $206,200
Port Washington 33 24 11,531 4.2% $182,800
Slinger 34 35 5,190 4.4% $191,100
Columbus 35 5,004 2.1% $153,400
Monona 36 40 7,919 4.1% $232,800
Jackson 37 41 6,839 4.9% $177,400
Allouez 38 31 13,933 3.8% $150,100
Little Chute 39 30 10,815 3.9% $140,500
Franklin 40 39 36,155 3.1% $224,800
Hudson 41 29 13,367 3.6% $225,900
Richfield 42 42 11,483 4.6% $295,600
Onalaska 43 28 18,396 4.2% $169,600
Delafield 44 24 7,218 6.0% $346,200
Greendale 45 44 14,303 5.4% $200,300
Oak Creek 46 84 35,218 4.0% $209,800
Evansville 47 57 5,176 4.3% $162,200
Neenah 48 51 25,849 3.2% $134,200
Altoona 49 37 7,193 5.0% $148,700
Glendale 50 55 12,880 3.0% $207,200
Sturtevant 51 49 6,961 3.7% $132,100
Waterford 52 86 5,344 3.6% $193,700
Waukesha 53 58 72,016 4.5% $192,400
Stoughton 54 53 13,041 4.9% $182,400
Kimberly 55 33 6,679 4.7% $138,800
Suamico 56 56 11,996 6.0% $220,300
Mukwonago 57 64 7,549 2.5% $219,200
Hobart 58 61 7,779 4.9% $234,900
Mount Pleasant 59 72 26,237 5.0% $180,100
Caledonia 60 60 24,767 7.2% $191,200
Lake Mills 61 71 5,796 3.8% $169,200
Plover 62 54 12,350 6.4% $167,400
Waupun 63 70 11,337 4.1% $120,300
Madison 64 59 246,034 4.8% $217,000
Madison 65 21 246,034 4.8% $217,000
Marshfield 66 67 18,410 4.4% $133,400
Sturgeon Bay 67 73 9,007 5.8% $136,500
Rothschild 68 45 5,307 5.2% $138,800
North Fond Du Lac 69 46 5,020 4.6% $92,100
Howard 70 78 18,950 5.0% $184,100
Appleton 71 62 73,446 4.0% $137,800
Burlington 72 96 10,571 5.3% $170,400
Hartford 73 52 14,350 3.8% $174,400
West Bend 74 68 31,661 4.5% $163,800
Ripon 75 85 7,712 3.2% $115,100
Plymouth 76 65 8,454 5.0% $137,600
Monroe 77 79 10,771 2.8% $124,700
River Falls 78 66 15,152 2.6% $174,600
Ashwaubenon 79 90 17,157 5.7% $151,600
Mayville 80 77 5,016 2.7% $139,600
Reedsburg 81 81 9,515 3.8% $128,200
Pleasant Prairie 82 74 20,395 7.2% $204,000
Brown Deer 83 68 12,075 6.2% $145,700
Elkhorn 84 80 9,931 6.8% $159,700
Edgerton 85 89 5,494 3.6% $142,200
Platteville 86 75 12,020 5.4% $149,000
Greenfield 87 87 37,070 5.3% $170,600
Bellevue 88 91 15,187 4.2% $177,700
Milton 89 93 5,574 5.9% $133,300
Twin Lakes 90 99 6,059 9.6% $171,800
Eau Claire 91 82 67,654 5.2% $141,300
Beaver Dam 92 88 16,440 5.9% $121,300
Richland Center 93 100 5,076 3.5% $97,300
St. Francis 94 104 9,516 5.3% $146,300
Stevens Point 95 94 26,714 7.5% $123,400
Fitchburg 96 92 27,254 5.4% $276,200
Menasha 97 83 17,930 6.1% $119,000
Menasha 98 62 17,930 6.1% $119,000
Fort Atkinson 99 76 12,470 6.0% $147,000
South Milwaukee 100 102 21,197 7.0% $154,300

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One thought on “These Are The 10 Best Places To Live In Wisconsin For 2018

  1. Shawano is often thought of as a great place to visit. And it is a great place for vacation! But we think Shawano is a great place for families to live, too. There are many conveniences of larger cities, but with a small town feel.

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