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 | Homes For Sale)
  2. Whitefish Bay (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  3. Elm Grove (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  4. Waunakee (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  5. McFarland (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  6. Mequon (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  7. Cedarburg (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  8. Verona (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  9. Oregon (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  10. Middleton (Photos | Homes For Sale)

Well, it looks like you should check out Fox Point if you’re thinking of moving to Wisconsin — it’s the best the Badger State has to offer according to the data.

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.

For more Wisconsin reading, check out:

Mapping The Best And Worst Places To Live in Wisconsin

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 380 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.

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.

Fox Point, WI

Overall SnackAbility

10
/10

Population: 6,695
Rank Last Year: 4 (Up 3)
Median Home Value: $309,000 (5th best)
Unemployment Rate: 1.5% (1st best)
More on Fox Point: Real Estate| Data| Photos

Well, I guess technically 1.5% of Fox Point residents who want to have a job can’t find one, so not everyone has a job, but it’s the 1st 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, Fox Point also ranked well for crime (12th) and median income ($113,854).

Whitefish Bay, WI

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

10
/10

Population: 14,088
Rank Last Year: 1 (Down 1)
Median Home Value: $350,700 (3rd best)
Unemployment Rate: 3.2% (24th best)
More on Whitefish Bay: Real Estate| Data| Photos

Whitefish Bay is a short drive from everything, but who would want to leave the 2nd best place in Wisconsin?

Homes are priced around $350,700 and residents have the 64th shortest commute in Wisconsin.

Elm Grove, WI

Overall SnackAbility

10
/10

Population: 6,085
Rank Last Year: 2 (Down 1)
Median Home Value: $355,000 (1st best)
Unemployment Rate: 2.5% (6th best)
More on Elm Grove: Real Estate| Data| Photos

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.

Waunakee, WI

Overall SnackAbility

10
/10

Population: 13,092
Rank Last Year: 3 (Down 1)
Median Home Value: $300,600 (7th best)
Unemployment Rate: 3.7% (34th best)
More on Waunakee: Real Estate| Data| Photos

Waunakee makes a case for being one of the best places to live in Wisconsin mainly because of a low crime rate and a higher than average household income level.

And when school spending is higher than the national average and only 3.7% of folks are jobless, you can bet Waunakee residents are glad to live where they do.

Mcfarland, WI

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 8,168
Rank Last Year: 18 (Up 13)
Median Home Value: $243,000 (18th best)
Unemployment Rate: 3.0% (16th best)
More on Mcfarland: Real Estate| Data| Photos

The Mcfarland has the 16th 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 Mcfarland is higher than the national average and households make $78,009 per year.

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

Mequon, WI

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

10
/10

Population: 23,663
Rank Last Year: 8 (Up 2)
Median Home Value: $354,300 (2nd best)
Unemployment Rate: 2.9% (14th best)
More on Mequon: Real Estate| Data| Photos

There’s two types of people who live in Mequon. Either the old hold outs who have lived there forever and are watching their home values skyrocket, or those d who can afford to buy a $354,300 home there.

Either way, you’re set. Your kids go to great schools, there’s a ton of things to do, and you earn a great salary. Mequon is exactly what you hoped for when you played that board game, LIFE as a kid.

Cedarburg, WI

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

10
/10

Population: 11,516
Rank Last Year: 10 (Up 3)
Median Home Value: $258,200 (16th best)
Unemployment Rate: 4.3% (53rd best)
More on Cedarburg: Real Estate| Data| Photos

Cedarburg 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 $258,200 and households earn a median salary of $79,266. One could get used to that.

Verona, WI

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

10
/10

Population: 12,113
Rank Last Year: 6 (Down 2)
Median Home Value: $273,200 (12th best)
Unemployment Rate: 2.8% (12th best)
More on Verona: Real Estate| Data| Photos

Verona has a long and illustrious history and its ranking in the top ten of our best places to live is just another notch in its belt.\n\Verona had the 8th highest household median income adjusted for cost of living at $89,965.

Not to mention that its residents have plenty to do on the weekends.

Oregon, WI

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 9,912
Rank Last Year: 5 (Down 4)
Median Home Value: $226,900 (25th best)
Unemployment Rate: 3.5% (28th best)
More on Oregon: Real Estate| Data| Photos

Oregon is another gem in Badger State. The unemployment rate here is 28th lowest in the entire state at 3.5%. Other factors that make Oregon so desirable is the solid education and home prices.

Homes are valued at $226,900, and parents earn a combined $76,480 a year

There’s nothing like the American dream.

Middleton, WI

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

9.5
/10

Population: 18,707
Rank Last Year: 15 (Up 5)
Median Home Value: $293,100 (9th best)
Unemployment Rate: 4.9% (70th best)
More on Middleton: Real Estate| Data| Photos

Taking its place as the 10th best place in Wisconsin is Middleton. Residents here earn a really high salary each year, and crime is fairly low, in comparison to the rest of Wisconsin.

It’s considered a cultural community, as it boasts an arts scene, and many ethnic restaurants, too. Which means you can’t be bored here.

An unemployment rate of only 4.9% helps thing too.

Wrapping Up The Best Places When It Comes To Living 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. Gibbsville (Pop. 473)
  7. Butte des Morts (Pop. 938)
  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 according to the data:

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

For more Wisconsin reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Best Places To Live In Wisconsin

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