Madison 82 Exceptional
Madison Livability #39 ranked city in Wisconsin#907 ranked city in the USARanks better than 96% of areas

Pros and Cons of Living in Madison

  • Commute

    High scores in the commute category could indicate that this area offers short commute times to work and readily available public transportation options.

  • Employment

    This area scores extremely well in the employment category. This is primarily due to the combination of low unemployment rates, higher median home income and income per capita.

  • Housing

    The housing category in this area boasts higher than average scores, likely influenced by a positive home affordability ratio, robust appreciation rates or elevated home values.

  • Health & Safety

    Earning a high health and safety score depends on factors such as good air quality and the availability of essential health facilities like hospitals, clinics, doctors, and fire stations.

  • Nothing Found

    This area did not exhibit any cons, as none of the categories were rated low enough.

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What's it like Living in Madison?

Located in the state of Wisconsin, Madison is a highly populated city with a population of 258,366 people. With a population density of 3,247 people per square mile, Madison is well above the nation's average density level. The majority of Madison residents report their race to be White; this is followed by Asian and Black. If you are a young adult or student, you might be pleased to know that the average age of all Madison residents is 31. In Madison, only 41% of people over the age of fifteen are married. This city could be a good option for singles ready to mingle. If you prefer shorter commutes, living in Madison will be a delight. With an average one-way commute time of just 20 minutes, traveling to and from work is notably more convenient than the national average, which stands at 26 minutes.

If you’re considering moving to any new city, it could be a very intimidating task. However, it could also be a good experience if you are willing to get to know the area before actually living in Madison, Wisconsin. When searching for a new neighborhood, several key items should be considered. Safety is of utmost importance, ensuring a secure environment with low crime. Proximity to your workplace or school helps reduce commuting time and offers convenience. Access to amenities such as parks, grocery stores, and healthcare facilities enhances your daily life. Public transportation options contribute to easy mobility. A sense of community fosters a supportive and engaging environment. Lastly, the overall atmosphere should align with your desired lifestyle, ensuring a fulfilling living experience. Considering these items will guide you towards finding the perfect neighborhood that fits all your needs. With useful information like amenities, health & safety, education, employment and other key data points, finding the best places to live in Madison and in the areas around Madison is a much easier task.

With a livability score of 81/100, Madison is ranked #986 in the United States and #42 in Wisconsin. Compared to the US average, Madison ranks among some of the best places to live in the country! Another exciting tidbit, is that Madison ranks better than 90% of all US cities! If we check out each of the categories individually, we see that Madison ranks well for employment (A) and housing (A).

The unemployment rate in Madison has consistently declined over the years and currently stands well below the national average at 2.02%. This downward trend holds the potential to reduce poverty and inequality within the region, promote higher wage levels and stimulate greater economic growth. Such positive indicators signal the overall robust health of the local economy, offering a promising outlook for its residents and fostering an environment of financial well-being and prosperity.

For home buyers, real estate will be the largest purchase they will ever make and it will also be their most valuable asset. For renters, the monthly rent paid on their Madison apartments will most likely be their largest expense. Based on tangible metrics like home and rental affordability and appreciation rates, housing in this area has received a score that is well above the average of every other US city. A thriving real estate market can also generate strong local economic activity and job creation.

Assuming that Madison meets all of your requirements like low crime rates, good schools and great local amenities, the next most important item to examine is the affordability of real estate in Madison. Everything else becomes a lot less important if it turns out that home prices in Madison are simply unattainable. The median home price for Madison homes is $262,400, which is 57.1% higher than the Wisconsin average. If we take a closer look at the affordability of homes in Madison, we’ll see that the home price to income ratio is 3.9, which is 25.8% higher than the Wisconsin average.

Best Places to Live in and Around Madison

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Compare Madison, WI Livability


      Madison transportation information

      Statistic Madison Wisconsin National
      Average one way commute20min22min26min
      Workers who drive to work62.5%80.7%76.4%
      Workers who carpool6.9%8.3%9.3%
      Workers who take public transit8.2%1.9%5.1%
      Workers who bicycle4.0%0.8%0.6%
      Workers who walk9.0%3.3%2.8%
      Working from home8.1%4.2%4.6%
      Source: The Madison, WI data and statistics displayed above are derived from the United States Census Bureau American Community Survey (ACS).