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Milwaukee: Now More than Ever

Milwaukee’s accessibility, affordability and big-city amenities have made it a top-tier destination for people looking for value and a better quality of life

What makes Milwaukee shine?

There are a lot of factors that make the Milwaukee area such a special place to live and work. Following are some examples:

Space Abounds

Milwaukee is spread out. The city has a density of 6,200 people per square mile, which is about half that of Chicago, and less than a fourth that of New York. The density levels drop significantly as you move into the suburban communities that surround Milwaukee. And with miles of lakefront beach and one of the largest urban park systems in the country, there is plenty for you to do outside.

Easy & Accessible

Milwaukee is an easy city to get around. The metro area boasts one of the best commute times in the country – 22 minutes each way – meaning that residents don’t spend their days driving to and from work. That will become important as offices return to normal. Parking is seldom a problem, which reduces the stress of running errands. And if you don’t feel like driving, the city is known for its walkable neighborhoods. You can also jump on The Hop, the city’s electric streetcar.

Affordable

If you’re looking to buy a home, you will likely be surprised at how far your money will go in southeastern Wisconsin. The region has affordable home prices. You will also find that dining and entertainment costs are well below what you would expect from a city that offers so much.   

A Booming Downtown

There’s a lot of “mojo” in Milwaukee as new residential, office and entertainment developments continue to transform the city. Already known for its magnificent lakefront, bustling RiverWalk and Historic Third Ward, the city is getting a new shot of energy from the Deer District, an entertainment destination built around Fiserv Forum, the home of the Milwaukee Bucks professional basketball team.

A Thriving Arts Scene

Milwaukee is among a handful of medium-size cities that features an opera company, ballet and a symphony (which recently moved into its brand-new home in a historic movie theater that has been renovated). It also has a vibrant music scene with venues of all sizes that can accommodate everything from emerging acts to today’s rock stars.  
Whatever reason brings you here, the region’s residents welcome you and trust that you will find it a great – and safe – place to live.    

A Strong Economic Region

There are different definitions depending on who is measuring what, but when we talk about the Milwaukee Region, we are referring to five counties in southeastern Wisconsin – Milwaukee, Waukesha, Ozaukee, Washington and Racine – that have a combined population of nearly 1.8 million people. Milwaukee is the largest city in the region with 590,547 people, followed by Racine (77,447), Waukesha (72,043) and West Allis (59,780). There are dozens of smaller communities in the region, as well as gorgeous, rural landscapes – including Waukesha County's lake country, the rolling glacial topography of the Kettle Moraine that spans Waukesha, Washington and Ozaukee counties, and the stunning Lake Michigan vistas in Ozaukee and Racine counties. For detailed information about the region's counties and communities, please see the Communities section, which starts on page 73of the current edition of Discover Milwaukee. Click on the "Order Copy Now" button to receive your free copy, or read the digital edition.  

Lake Michigan, one of the largest freshwater lakes in the world, moderates temperatures in the Milwaukee area, taking the sizzle out of the summer sun and warming winter winds.
View a data comparison to see how Milwaukee compares to other major cities in population, commute, living costs, home prices, and median rent.
What are the people like? For starters, we're very friendly. In fact, we were named one of America's friendliest cities in 2017 by Travel & Leisure magazine. We're down-to-earth, hard-working and like to have fun.
A region of many faiths, Milwaukee has often been referred to as a city of steeples and for good reason. The city's immigrant history created a melting pot of various cultures and faith traditions.
There are many reasons why the Milwaukee area is a good place to live.
SAY WHAA? Here's a quick intro to Milwaukee slang! Like any metro area, Milwaukee has it's own terminology that may take some getting used to. Learn some of the terms you're likely to hear, followed by an explanation of what they mean.