The 10 Best Places To Live In Wisconsin For 2019


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

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Editor’s Note: We updated this article for 2019. This is our fifth time ranking the best places to live in Wisconsin.

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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.

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:

The 10 Best Places To Live In Wisconsin For 2019

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

At an unemployment rate of 1.5%, everyone who wants a job can get one in Fox Point. And the residents command high salaries ($113,854 a year combined income), and live in big fancy homes ($309,000 each).

We’re not saying money is why these cities are the ‘best’ in Wisconsin. What we’re implying is that money means safety and peace of mind. And there’s nothing wrong with that.

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

The crime rate is much lower here than in the rest of Wisconsin, as there were only 7 violent crimes in the city limits last year. The unemployment rate is the 24th lowest in Wisconsin (3.2%), and the public schools are ranked 3rd in the state in terms of spending per student.

Additionally, homes are the 3rd most expensive in Whitefish Bay ($350,700), meaning a lot of people want to live there.

Plus, the residents earn a really great salary: $105,156 a year.

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

Elm Grove 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 $355,000 and households earn a median salary of $119,512. One could get used to that.

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 is another gem in Badger State. The unemployment rate here is 34th lowest in the entire state at 3.7%. Other factors that make Waunakee so desirable is the solid education and home prices.

Homes are valued at $300,600, and parents earn a combined $93,132 a year

There’s nothing like the American dream.

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

Who doesn’t want to live in Mcfarland? Because, according to the data, most everyone should want to.

Crime is lower than the state average, and the unemployment rate sits at only 3.0%. The school systems are generally well funded, meaning lots of personal attention for area kids.

Expect to see more of Mcfarland in the news in the coming months.

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

Mequon, population 23,663, is the largest ‘big’ city to make the top of this list. When you combine a short commute time, high employment rates and a high population density, you get a very nice place to live.

Mequon has ranked high on other similar lists in America by major news media, so we aren’t alone in our analysis.

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

You might be surprised to see the Town of Cedarburg so high on the list. Unless you live in Cedarburg.

The unemployment rate here is really low, and at 4.3%, Cedarburg residents are some of the hardest working in the state of Wisconsin. When you factor in high home prices, high incomes and low crime, Cedarburg is doing quite well.

Let’s be honest — Cedarburg is the kind of place you brag to your friends on Facebook about.

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 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.

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 known for having a great education system and has the 102nd shortest commute time.

Additionally, the unemployment rate in Oregon is the 28th lowest in Wisconsin and the median income is the 18th highest in the state.

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

We wouldn’t be surprised to see CNN call Middleton one of the best places to live in the United States. Not only do the residents all make great livings, there’s essentially no crime in the entire city. And the residents are very involved in the community.

They can’t build homes fast enough here as it seems everyone wants a piece of Middleton.

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 Cities 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.

After the dust settled, what was the best place to live in Wisconsin? That would be Fox Point.

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.

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 the best place to live in Wisconsin for 2019.

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:

Where Are The 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

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3 thoughts on “The 10 Best Places To Live In Wisconsin For 2019

  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.

  2. This is a crazy list. The median cost of living is far,far above the actual ability for 90% of WI citizens to support. Even entry level college edjucated individuals are earning less then half of the living cost in all of these areas. WI being mostly farming or production facilities, the average pay for the these individuals is less then $70000 a year. Placing all of these towns well above average affordability. For example…a civil court judge with a 4 year law school degree and atleast 10 years of experience may clear just over $250000 a year. This would be a example of just the top 2% of individual earnings withing WI. How does this list realistically represent the other 98% of citizens? Obviously the editor needs to go back to school. They got ripped off with the first school they attended.

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