Wisconsin: Land of Lakes & Lively Cities
Wisconsin is a state that captures the essence of both serene natural beauty and vibrant urban life. Known as the "Badger State," Wisconsin's diverse landscapes range from the serene shores of the Great Lakes to the rolling hills of its interior. Wisconsin's history is filled with the legacies of Native American tribes, European settlers and industrious pioneers. Renowned for its dairy farming heritage, Wisconsin's picturesque countryside is dotted with red barns and charming small towns. Meanwhile, its bustling cities like Milwaukee, Madison and Green Bay offer a dynamic blend of culture, industry, and innovation. The state is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts, boasting over 15,000 lakes, including the iconic Lake Michigan and Lake Superior, as well as numerous state parks and forests that beckon with opportunities for hiking, fishing and camping.
Wisconsin State Quick Facts
Wisconsin was the 30th state to gain statehood on May 29th, 1848. There are a total of 743 cities and towns in Wisconsin. The capital city of Wisconsin is Madison and the largest city is Milwaukee with a population of 592,649. Wisconsin is the 23rd largest state with 65,496 square miles and is the 20th largest state by population with almost 6 million people. The state is known for its iconic Harley-Davidson Museum, Frank Lloyd Wright's architectural masterpieces, and the famous Milwaukee Art Museum. Home to the Green Bay Packers, the state has a strong football culture. It also has a rich tradition of college basketball and baseball. The state hosts various festivals, including Milwaukee's Summerfest, one of the largest music festivals in the world. Wisconsin is renowned for its dairy products, especially cheese. The state is often associated with cheese curds and bratwurst. The state nickname is "The Badger State." The badger is the state animal and the university's mascot, but not the reason for the nickname. When miners came to the state, in the winter they slept in their mines, earning the name "badgers." The Green Bay Packers are fan-owned as the team is owned by at least 537,000 shareholders. There are more bikes than cars in Madison. The Milwaukee Public Museum goes back to 1882 and there are over 4 million artifacts on display. Famous people from Wisconsin include Frank Lloyd Wright, Chris Noth, Mar Ruffalo, JJ Watt, Gene Wilder, William Dafoe and Colin Kaepernick.
The History of Wisconsin
The state's strategic location between the Great Lakes and the Mississippi River has shaped its history and culture. Wisconsin was originally inhabited by various Native American tribes, including the Ho-Chunk, Menominee, Ojibwe and Potawatomi. French explorers and fur traders, including Jean Nicolet and Jacques Marquette, were among the first Europeans to arrive in the area during the 17th century. After the American Revolution, the United States gained control of the region through the Treaty of Paris in 1783. The mid-19th century saw a surge in lead mining, particularly in the southwestern part of the state. European immigrants, particularly Germans, Scandinavians, and Irish, began to settle in Wisconsin in large numbers during the mid-19th century. The late 19th century marked industrialization, with manufacturing and lumber industries driving economic growth. Wisconsin's cities, including Milwaukee and Madison, grew rapidly during the 20th century, becoming centers of industry, education and culture. The state's natural beauty and resources have led to efforts in conservation and environmental protection. Wisconsin's lakes, forests, and outdoor activities remain integral to its identity.
The Geography of Wisconsin
Wisconsin is bordered by Minnesota, Iowa, Illinois and Michigan. Wisconsin has a significant presence along two of the Great Lakes: Lake Michigan to the east and Lake Superior to the north. Lake Michigan's shoreline offers sandy beaches, while Lake Superior's rugged coast is known for its stunning cliffs and rocky terrain. In the southwestern part of the state, the Driftless Area stands out due to its unique geology. The central part of the state features fertile plains and gentle rolling hills. It's known for its agriculture, including dairy farming, which is a cornerstone of Wisconsin's economy. The Fox River flows through the eastern part of the state, creating a valley that supports both agricultural activities and urban centers. Wisconsin's cities, such as Milwaukee, Madison, and Green Bay, are centers of industry, culture and education. Wisconsin is home to several national parks, forests, and natural areas, including Apostle Islands National Lakeshore on Lake Superior, where visitors can explore pristine islands, sea caves and lighthouses. With over 15,000 lakes, Wisconsin offers abundant water resources for boating, fishing, and water-based recreational activities.
Wisconsin Relocation Guide
Wisconsin has a lot to offer for those who are considering relocating to the state. Wisconsin's largest city, Milwaukee, is less than 100 miles north of Chicago. The great ethnic diversity of Milwaukee contributes to a wide variety of restaurants and events. Summerfest is one of the nation's largest music festivals and takes place in Milwaukee at the end of June. Madison, the state capital, is home to the University of Wisconsin's flagship campus, and the college atmosphere makes Madison a lively, entertaining place to be. Green Bay, home of the legendary Green Bay Packers is in the northeastern part of the state. Lambeau Field in Green Bay is a great place to visit even without seeing a game. Outdoor enthusiasts will find many opportunities for hunting, fishing, snowmobiling and boating.
The main industries in Wisconsin cities are tourism, agriculture and manufacturing. Besides dairy production in "America's Dairyland," Wisconsin is a major producer of cranberries. Many of the larger cities in Wisconsin have public bus transportation. The top ten school districts in Wisconsin are located in or near the suburbs of Milwaukee. Northern Wisconsin is the coolest part of the state in both winter and summer. Annual snowfall can range from approximately 30 inches in the south to over 100 inches in the north.
Cities in Wisconsin are known to be very safe and the numbers back that up. Cities in Wisconsin average a crime rate that is almost 30% less than that national average. Even larger cities like Green Bay are fairly safe for a larger city. The cost of living in Wisconsin is below average, and especially low in smaller cities. Housing costs are some of the lowest in the country as Wisconsin homes are extremely affordable.