So, you're thinking about moving to Milwaukee? There are many resources into which you can tap to learn more about the metropolitan area and its communities, decide where you want to live, and get assistance in buying or renting a home. Start by visiting the Living and Working section of ChooseMilwaukee.com. It includes a video tour of Milwaukee, a newcomer's perspective of the city and demographics on our residents, education, neighborhoods, housing and much more.
Our relocation packet includes valuable information about Milwaukee, including an area map, demographic data and a listing of important resources, including the Greater Milwaukee Relocation Handbook. You can also find helpful relocation information at discovermilwaukee.com.
Want our relocation packet? Email KATIE HENRY today.
Milwaukee is a major league city—the business, cultural, sports and technical base of a four-county metropolitan market of 1.5 million people. It is an affordable, comfortable place to live, do business and raise a family, big enough to be exciting and uncongested enough to get around in easily. It is safe, friendly and clean.
Milwaukee's many neighborhoods have much charm, and its beautiful parks are world-famous.Its lakefront downtown is busy, noted for its Old World charm and modern buildings.
Metro Milwaukee is located 90 miles north of Chicago on Lake Michigan's western shore. Milwaukee's central location makes it a natural marketing hub. Over 70 million people and one-third of U.S. manufacturing volume are located within 600 miles of Milwaukee.
Metro Milwaukee offers a four seasons way of life—white winters, green springs and summers, and colorful falls. Average monthly temperatures range from 21 degrees Fahrenheit in January to 72 in July. Average annual precipitation is 35 inches, while snowfall averages 53 inches annually, yet both vary considerably from season to season.
Milwaukee (city), population 599,164, is the nation's 31st largest city. The four-county metro area (Milwaukee, Ozaukee, Washington, and Waukesha counties) has more than 1.5 million people, making it the nation's 39th largest metro area. By area, the city of Milwaukee covers 96 square miles; Milwaukee County 242 square miles; and the metro area 1,460 square miles.
Among metro area counties, Milwaukee County is the most heavily populated with a 2013 estimated population of 956,023. Waukesha (393,843), Washington (132,739) and Ozaukee (87,054) follow in order. Over the 2000 to 2013 period, Washington County posted the largest estimated percentage increase in population, up 13%. Waukesha County registered a 9.2% gain, Ozaukee County posted a 5.8% increase, while Milwaukee County recorded a 1.7% rise. Population growth metro-wide measured 4.6% over this period.
Milwaukee's ethnic and racial heritage is rich and diverse. Metro Milwaukee's African-American population totaled 267,767 in 2013, representing 17.1% of the area's total, while Hispanic/Latino persons numbered 158,035, or 10.1% of the population. Significant Asian and Native American populations are also represented in the Milwaukee area.
Milwaukee's central location and high quality of life lend itself to corporate headquarter operations. Seven Fortune 500 companies are headquartered in metro Milwaukee, while more than 50 Fortune 500 companies have major Milwaukee operations. Companies headquartered in the Milwaukee area are national leaders in industries such as air travel, banking, data processing, insurance, law, manufacturing, money management, retail department stores and securities.
Fortune 500 Corporations Headquartered in Metro Milwaukee (ranked by 2013 revenue)
Johnson Controls, Inc. ($42.7 bil./control systems/414-524-1200)
Northwestern Mutual ($29.0 bil./life insurance/414-271-1444)
ManpowerGroup ($20.3 bil./temporary employment services/414-961-1000)
Kohl's Corp. ($19.0 bil./department stores/262-703-7000)
Rockwell Automation ($6.4 bil./industrial automation prod./414-382-2000)
Harley-Davidson, Inc. ($5.9 bil./motorcycles/414-342-4680)
Joy Global Inc. ($5.0 bil./mining equipment/414-319-8500)
Major Private Sector Employers in Metro Milwaukee (ranked by employment)
Aurora Health Care (22,000/health care system/414-647-3000)
Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare (12,000/health care system/414-465-3000)
Froedtert & Community Health (8,900/health care services/414-805-3000)
Roundy's (8,400/food distributor and retailer/414-231-5000)
Kohl's Corp. (7,800/department stores/262-703-7000)
GE Healthcare Technologies (6,000/medical imaging equipment & information systems/262-544-3011)
Quad/Graphics Inc. (5,600/commercial printer/414-566-6000)
Medical College of Wisconsin (5,400/medical school/414-456-8296)
Northwestern Mutual (5,000/insurance & annuities/414-271-1444)
ProHealth Care Inc. (4,900/health care system/262.928.1000)
Wisconsin Enegy Corp. (4,700/electric & gas utility/414-221-2345)
Columbia-St. Mary's (4,500/health care system/414-291-1000)
Children's Hospital of Wisconsin (4,400/pediatric health care services /414.266.2000)
AT&T Wisconsin (3,700/ telecommunications sevices /800-403-3302)
BMO Harris Bank (3,500/bank holding company/414-765-7700)
Wells Fargo (3,500/bank holding company/414-414-224.3775)
US Bank (3,300/bank holding company/800-872-2657)
Goodwill Industries of SE Wis. (3,300/training, packaging & assembly services/414-847-4200)
Johnson Controls (3,200/control systems & batteries/414-524-1200)
Rockwell Automation (3,000/industrial automation products/414-382-2000)
FIS (2,800/financial data & processing systems/414-357-2200)
Marquette University (2,800/university/414-288-7250)
Harley-Davidson Inc. (2,700/ motocycles & accessories /414-342-4680)
Potawatomi Bingo Casino (2,600/casino/800-729-7244)
Bon-Ton Dept. Stores (2,500/department stores/414-347-4141)
Milwaukee is a leading money management center. One of the nation's largest life insurance companies (Northwestern Mutual) and regional securities brokerages (Robert W. Baird & Co.) are headquartered in the metro area.Area banks and savings associations have deposits of more than $56.4 billion (2013).
Nonfarm employment levels in the metro area numbered 825,800 in 2013. Since 1990 (1990 to 2013), the metro area has added 69,200 jobs. Eighty-three percent of metro area jobs fall in the service-providing sector, with 17% in the goods-producing sector. Approximately 14.4% of all metro employment falls in the manufacturing sector (part of the goods-producing sector), the second highest such proportion among major U.S. metro areas.
While known as a manufacturing center, activity in Milwaukee's service and high-technology sectors has grown increasingly important in recent years. Over the 1990 to 2013 period, the service-providing sector added 114,600 jobs, an 20.2% increase, exceeding the 9.1% gain recorded overall. High tech business establishments in the area number over 3,300 and employ over 102,000 people.
Overall, there are 37,728 private sector business establishments (with payroll) in metro Milwaukee (2012 figure). Of the total number, most (36,474) have less than 100 employees. Conversely, 1,254 area establishments have more than 100 employees.
Total personal income for the metro Milwaukee area reached $73.6 billion in 2012, which translates into a per capita personal income of $46,943. The per capita figure is 7.3% higher than that for the United States as a whole, and ranks 42nd among the nation's 381 metropolitan areas.
Metro industrial firms produce more than $41 billion worth of manufactured products annually. Metro Milwaukee's annual wholesale trade business is over $40 billion, while retail sales surpass $18 billion.
Milwaukee and Wisconsin are noted for having a well-educated workforce with a strong work ethic. Ninty percent of metro Milwaukee's working age population are high school graduates, while 33% are college graduates—both higher than national averages.
Industrial diversity has kept the metro area's economy on an even keel. No single industry accounts for more than 7% of all metro area employees. This diversity has helped keep annual unemployment rates for the metro area generally under those posted nationally. In the past ten years (2004 to 2013), metro Milwaukee's unemployment rate averaged 0.3 percentage points under the U.S. rate.
Occupationally, metro Milwaukee's workforce reflects its strong manufacturing background, but also its increasingly important white-collar sector. Production, transportation and material moving occupations total 17.2% of the workforce according to 2013 estimates, while construction, extractive and maintenance workers represent 5.8%. Conversely, skilled white-collar workers in management and professional occupations number nearly 251,050 or 31% of all workers.
Milwaukee and Wisconsin have a long tradition of educational excellence at all levels. The metro area's 51 public school districts enroll over 235,000 students and produce nearly 16,300 high school graduates annually. In addition, students in private schools in metro Milwaukee total nearly 58,000 and generate 2,700 high school graduates per year. Wisconsin high school students have consistently ranked among the top states in performance on ACT and SAT tests. The average composite college entrance exam score (ACT) for metro Milwaukee high school students ranks higher than the national average.
Likewise, Wisconsin is a recognized leader in post-secondary education.Milwaukee's 22 institutions of higher learning enroll 102,400 students and grant over 21,400 degrees and certificates annually. Metro Milwaukee is home to 14 colleges and universities (bachelor's degree or higher) and eight two-year colleges (associate's degree and technical certificate institutions). Wisconsin's public vocational education system—the nation's first and considered one of its finest—maintains three area colleges.
The Medical College of Wisconsin ranks as the nation's 102nd largest academic research institution by academic research & development expenditures in 2009. Academic research spending among all institutions in the metro area totaled more than $234 million in 2009, according to National Science Foundation figures.
Institutions of Higher Learning
Alverno College (414-382-6000)
Bryant & Stratton College (414-276-5200)
Cardinal Stritch University (414-410-4000)
Carroll University (262-547-1211)
Concordia University Wisconsin (262-243-5700)
|Herzing University-Brookfield (262-649-1710)
|ITT Technical Institute (414-282-9494)
Keller Graduate School of Management (414-278-7677)
Marquette University (414-288-7250)
Medical College of Wisconsin (414-456-8296)
|Milwaukee Area Technical College (414-297-6600)
|Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design (414-276-7889)
|Milwaukee School of Engineering (414-277-7300)
|Mount Mary University (414-258-4810)
|Ottawa University (262-879-0200)
|University of Phoenix-Milwaukee (262-785-0608)
|University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (414-229-1122)
|University of Wisconsin Center-Washington Co. (262-335-5200)
|University of Wisconsin Center-Waukesha (262-521-5200)
|Waukesha County Technical College (262-691-5566)
|Wisconsin Lutheran College (414-443-8800)
Mitchell International Airport (414-747-5300)
Located eight miles south of Milwaukee's business center, Mitchell International is the region's primary commercial airport. Mitchell's eight airlines offer roughly 141 daily departures and serve approximately 35 non-stop destinations. Mitchell International served 6.5 million passengers and handled 149 million pounds of freight in 2013. In a fourth-quarter 2013 report by the U.S. Department of Transportation, Mitchell International ranked 26th lowest in average domestic airfare among the nation's 100 largest airports. Metro Milwaukee is served by four other general aviation airports.
Port of Milwaukee (414-286-3511)
Its location on Lake Michigan, one of the five Great Lakes, provides Milwaukee with a direct route to the oceans, via the St. Lawrence Seaway. The Port serves both domestic and international locations with waterborne commerce totaling 2.3 million tons in 2012. High-speed lake ferry service is available seasonally from Milwaukee to Muskegon, Michigan by Lake Express (www.lake-express.com).
Amtrak passenger service is available from Milwaukee to all of the U.S. and Canada.Seven round trips daily are available between Milwaukee and Chicago from the Intermodal Station (downtown) and the Milwaukee Airport Railroad Station. Freight rail service is provided principally by four railroads with service to other important cities throughout the Midwest and North America.
The metro Milwaukee area is accessible by 151 miles of expressways. Highways include Interstates I-43 and I-94 and U.S. Highways 41, 45 and 18. Commute times in the metro area average 21.9 minutes (one-way), among the shortest commutes for major U.S. metro areas.
Milwaukee County Transit System (414-344-6711)
Ozaukee County Express (414-344-6711)
Washington County Commuter Express (262-677-3445)
Waukesha Metro Transit (262-524-3636)
Mass transit needs are provided principally by the Milwaukee County Transit System. Its 48 regular routes place nearly 85% of Milwaukee County residents within one-quarter mile of bus service. Commuter bus service is available to selected areas of outlying counties.
Cost of Living
Milwaukee's ACCRA Cost of Living Index for 2014's first quarter was 101.9, with the U.S. city average equal to 100. Thus, Milwaukee's cost of living, excluding taxes, is slightly above the U.S. average. Grocery items, transportation and miscellaneous goods and services cost less than average. Conversely, costs associated with housing, utilities and health care items are ranked above average. Versus larger U.S.metro areas, Milwaukee's overall cost of living compares favorably. Milwaukee's cost of living falls below 70% of the nation's 20 largest metro areas.
Housing & Taxes
The metro Milwaukee area has more than 623,700 occupied housing units. Of these units, 59.9% are owner occupied and 40.1% are renter occupied. The median sales price of an existing single-family home in metro Milwaukee was $200,700 in 2013, according to the National Association of Realtors. This compares to New York at $391,800 and Los Angeles at $405,600.
Taxes collected in Wisconsin consist primarily of property taxes collected by local units of government, and income and sales taxes collected by the state. These taxes account for a majority of all taxes collected. See below for a summary of selected state and local taxes.For more information on state taxes contact the Wisconsin Department of Revenue (414-227-4000).
State personal income tax (2014 rates):
Taxable income—married persons filing jointly
|$0 to $14,540
|More than $320,250
Taxable income—filing as single
|$0 to $10,910
|More than $240,190
State/county sales tax:
5.6% (Milwaukee, Ozaukee, and Washington counties); 5.1% (Waukesha County).
State corporate income tax:
7.9% of net income.
Local property taxes:
Among area municipalities, property taxes range from $13.26-$30.80 per $1,000 of a property's full value. There is no property tax on non-business personal property. Manufacturing machinery and equipment, and computers and related equipment are exempt from property taxation.
Capital gains treatment:
30% exclusion for assets held for more than 12 months.
We Energies (800-242-9137)
Electric power is supplied by We Energies. A good balance of fuel resources used in the production of electricity results in electric rates that compare favorably with national averages.
We Energies (800-242-9137)
We Energies provides natural gas service to the greater Milwaukee area. Rates for Wisconsin utilities are competitive with national averages.
Water & Sewer
Milwaukee Water Works (414-286-2830)
Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District (414-272-5100)
Milwaukee Water Works services most of Milwaukee County, while several cities tap directly into Lake Michigan. Sewerage treatment service for much of the area is provided by the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District.
AT&T is the metro area's largest local service provider. AT&T provides state-of-the-art business services, including electronic fiber connectivity and a fiber optic ring network in downtown Milwaukee.
Auto & Voter Registration
After establishing residency, new residents must register any motor vehicle driven on the highway with the Wisconsin Division of Motor Vehicles. Applications for registration and certificates of title are available at seven metro area motor vehicle stations. The auto registration fee (license plate) is $75 a year. For more information contact the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (414-266-1000).
To reduce air pollution in the metro area, a tail pipe emissions inspection is required every second year for specified motor vehicles. Inspection is required just prior to renewal of vehicle registration. Vehicles may be tested at any area vehicle emission testing station. For more information contact the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (414-266-1000).
All drivers are required to be licensed in Wisconsin within 60 days of establishing state residency. New residents with out-of-state licenses need a proof of identity (such as your current out-of-state drivers license), a proof of residency (such as a pay check/stub or utility bill), and proof of citizenship or legal presence (such as certified birth certificate or valid passport). A $28 fee is charged for an original (first time issuance) 4-year Wisconsin driver's license. Renewals of the original license are $34 for an 8-year period. For more information contact the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (414-266-1000).
To vote in federal, state and local elections in Wisconsin, you must be 18 years of age, a U.S. citizen and be a resident in the voting district for 28 days prior to the election. Voters may register by mail or in person anytime prior to election at their city, village or town hall. Registration may also be done on Election Day at the polling place with proof of residence. For more information contact the Wisconsin Government Accountability Board (608-266-8005).
Culture & Recreation
Points of Interest
Allen-Bradley Clock (414-382-2000)
American Geographical Society Library (414-229-6282)
Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church (414-461-9400)
Basilica of Holy Hill - National Shrine of Mary (262-628-1838)
Humphrey IMAX Dome Theater (414-319-4629)
Henry Maier Festival Park (414-273-2680)
Miller Brewery (414-931-2337)
Milwaukee City Hall (414-286-2489)
Milwaukee County Courthouse
Milwaukee County War Memorial Center (414-273-5533)
Milwaukee County Zoo (414-771-3040)
Milwaukee Public Market (414-336-1111)
Milwaukee Public Library (414-286-3000)
Milwaukee Riverwalk (414-286-5800)
Potawatomi Bingo Casino (800-729-7244)
St. Josaphat Basilica (414-645-5623)
Daniel M. Soref Planetarium (414-319-4629)
VISIT Milwaukee (800-554-1448)
Wisconsin Athletic Walk of Fame (414-908-6001)
Wisconsin Center (414-908-6001)
Wisconsin Exposition Center (414-727-8840)
Museums & Historic Sites
Betty Brinn Children's Museum (414-390-5437)
Charles Allis Mansion & Art Museum (414-278-8295)
Discovery World Museum (414-765-9966)
Grohmann Museum (414-277-2300)
Haggerty Museum of Art (414-288-1669)
Harley-Davidson Museum (414-287-2789)
Institute of Visual Arts at UWM (414-229-5070)
Jewish Museum Milwaukee (414-390-5730)
Lynden Sculpture Garden (414-446-8794)
Milwaukee Art Museum (414-224-3200)
Milwaukee County Historical Center (414-273-8288)
Milwaukee Public Museum (414-278-2700)
Museum of Wisconsin Art (262-334-9638)
National Soldiers Home Historic District (414-383-1867)
Old World Wisconsin (262-594-6300)
Captain Frederick Pabst Mansion (414-931-0808)
Peck School of the Arts (414-229-5070)
Ten Chimneys (262-968-4161)
Villa Terrace Decorative Arts Museum (414-271-3656)
Waukesha County Museum (262-521-2859)
Wisconsin Automotive Museum (262-673-7999)
Bel Canto Chorus of Milwaukee (414-481-8801)
Broadway Theater Center (414-291-7800)
Cedarburg Performing Arts Center (262-376-6161)
Danceworks Performance Company (414-227-8480)
First Stage Children's Theater (414-267-2929)
Florentine Opera Company (414-291-5700)
Ko-Thi Dance Company (414-273-0676)
Marcus Amphitheater (414-273-2680)
Marcus Center for the Performing Arts (414-273-7121)
Milwaukee Ballet Company (414-643-7677)
Milwaukee Chamber Theatre (414-276-8842)
Milwaukee Repertory Theatre (414-224-1761)
Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra (414-291-6010)
Milwaukee Theatre (414-908-6001)
Milwaukee Youth Arts Center (414-267-2900)
Next Act Theatre (414-278-7780)
Pabst Theater (414-286-3205)
Present Music (414-271-0711)
Renaissance Theaterworks (414-273-0800)
Riverside Theater (414-286-3205)
Schauer Arts & Activities Center (262-670-0560)
The Skylight (414-291-7811
Sharon Lynne Wilson Center for the Arts (262-781-9470)
Wisconsin Philharmonic (262-547-1858)
Milwaukee Brewers (NL) (414-902-4400)
Milwaukee Bucks (NBA) (414-227-0500)
Milwaukee Admirals (AHL) (414-227-0550)
Erin Hills Golf Course (Site of the 2011 U.S. Amateur & the 2017 U.S. Open)
Milwaukee WAVE (Indoor Soccer-MASL) (414-224-9283)
Marquette University Golden Eagles (NCAA Div.-1) (414-288-6303)
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Panthers (NCAA Div.-1) (414-229-5158)
ABC Supply Wisconsin 250 (IndyCar) (414-326-4303)
Bradley Center (18,000 seat arena) (414-227-0400)
Erin Hills Golf Course (Site of the 2011 U.S. Amateur & the 2017 U.S. Open)
Miller Park (42,000 seat retractable dome stadium) (414-902-4400)
The Milwaukee Mile (one mile oval auto racing track) (414-453-8277)
Pettit National Ice Center (indoor speed skating rink) (414-266-0100)
UW-Milwaukee Panther Arena (12,000 seat arena) (414-908-6001)
Uihlein Soccer Park (414-358-2510)
33 square miles of inland water
49 miles of Great Lakes coastline
166 county parks totaling more than 19,000 acres
8 state parks, trails and forests covering 26,000 acres
72 public & private golf courses
240 miles of designated bikeways
10 indoor ice skating/hockey centers
6 downhill ski hills with lifts
Parks & Recreation
Boerner Botanical Gardens (414-525-5600)
Eisenbahn State Trail (262-335-4445)
Glacial Drumlin State Trail (262-646-3025)
Hank Aaron State Trail (414-263-8559)
Harrington Beach State Park (262-285-3015)
Havenwoods State Forest (414-527-0232)
Ice Age National Scenic Trail (608-441-5610)
Kettle Moraine State Forest – Southern Unit (262-594-6200)
Lapham Peak Unit (262-646-3025)
Pike Lake Unit (262-670-3400)
Lakeshore State Park (414-274-4281)
McKinley Marina (414-273-5224)
Milwaukee County Parks (414-257-7275)
Mitchell Park Horticultural Conservatory – The Domes (414-257-5611)
Ozaukee County Parks (262-284-8257)
Port Washington Marina (262-284-6606)
Riveredge Nature Center (262-375-2715)
Schlitz Audubon Nature Center (414-352-2880)
Washington County Parks (262-335-4445)
Waukesha County Parks (262-548-7801)
Wehr Nature Center (414-425-8550)
Major Annual Events
African World Festival
Arab World Fest
Briggs & Al's Run & Walk
Gathering on the Green
Holiday Folk Fair International
Indian Summer Festival
Jazz in the Park
Lakefront Festival of the Arts
Milwaukee a la Carte
Milwaukee Air & Water Show
Milwaukee Film Festival
Milwaukee Highland Games
Milwaukee Lakefront Marathon
Ozaukee County Fair
UPAF's Ride for the Arts
Washington County Fair
Waukesha County Fair
Wisconsin State Fair
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (414-224-2000)
The Daily News (262-306-5000)
Daily Reporter (414-276-0273)
The Waukesha Freeman (262-542-2500)
Selected Weekly/Monthly Publications
BizTimes Milwaukee (414-277-8181)
Milwaukee Business Journal (414-278-7788)
Milwaukee Magazine (414-273-1101)
Shepherd Express (414-276-2222)
Online Magazine/Internet Guide
13 AM Stations
22 FM Stations
Time Warner Cable (414-277-4000)
WTMJ-Channel 4 (NBC) (414-332-9611)
WITI-Channel 6 (Fox) (414-355-6666)
WMVS-Channel 10 (PBS) (414-271-1036)
WISN-Channel 12 (ABC) (414-342-8812)
WVTV-Channel 18 (WB) (414-442-7050)
WCGV-Channel 24 (UPN) (414-442-7050)
WVCY-Channel 30 (Religious) (414-935-3000)
WMVT-Channel 36 (PBS) (414-271-1036)
WMLW-Channel 41 (Independent) (414-777-5800)
WBME-Channel 49 (Independent) (414-777-5800)
WXPE-Channel 55 (Ion)
WDJT-Channel 58 (CBS) (414-777-5800)
WYTU-Channel 63 (Telemundo) (414-777-5800)
Better Business Bureau (414-847-6000)
Community Coordinated Child Care - 4C's (day care info.) (414-562-2650)
Greater Milwaukee Dental Association (dental referral service) (414-276-9911)
International Institute of Wisconsin (immigration services) (414-225-6220)
Jobing.com (online job information)
Jobnoggin.com (online job information)
League of Women Voters (voter information) (414-273-8683)
Medical Society of Milw. County (physician referral) (414-475-4750)
Metropolitan Milwaukee Assn. of Commerce (Chamber of Commerce) (414-287-4100)
Milwaukee City Hall (414-286-2489)
Milwaukee County Labor Council (labor union information) (414-771-7070)
Milwaukee County Transit System (bus schedule information) (414-344-6711)
MilwaukeeJobs.com (online job information)
Milwaukee Public Library (414-286-3000)
Milwaukee Urban League (414-374-5850)
Multiple Listing Service (online real estate listings)
United Way of Greater Milwaukee (414-263-8100)
VISIT Milwaukee (convention & tourism info.) (800-554-1448)
Volunteer Center of Greater Milwaukee (414-273-7887)
Wisconsin Dept. of Public Instruction (public school info.) (800-441-4563)
Wisconsin Dept. of Regulation & Licensing (occupational licenses) (608-266-2112)
Wisconsin Dept. of Revenue (tax information) (414-227-4000)
Wisconsin Job Center (job placement information) (888-258-9966)