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 on 4-6-2018 with a video. Article continues below video.

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

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:

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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

Fox Point, Wisconsin

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

Whitefish Bay, Wisconsin

Source: Public domain

Population: 14,088
Rank Last Year: 1 (Down 1)
Home Values: $350,700 (3rd best)
Unemployment Rate: 3.2% (23rd best)
More on Whitefish Bay: Real Estate | Data
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

Elm Grove, Wisconsin

Population: 6,085
Rank Last Year: 2 (Down 1)
Home Values: $355,000 (1st best)
Unemployment Rate: 2.5% (5th best)
More on Elm Grove: Real Estate | Data
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

Population: 13,092
Rank Last Year: 3 (Down 1)
Home Values: $300,600 (7th best)
Unemployment Rate: 3.7% (33rd best)
More on Waunakee: Real Estate | Data
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

Mcfarland, Wisconsin

Population: 8,168
Rank Last Year: 18 (Up 13)
Home Values: $243,000 (18th best)
Unemployment Rate: 3.0% (15th best)
More on McFarland: Real Estate | Data
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: Public domain

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

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

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

Plus, 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

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

Population: 18,707
Rank Last Year: 15 (Up 5)
Home Values: $293,100 (9th best)
Unemployment Rate: 4.9% (69th best)
More on Middleton: Real Estate | Data
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 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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