Wisconsin is beloved by natives and tourists alike for its lush, diverse geography, world-famous dairy products, and colorful cities. The Badger Street is also a beer drinker’s mecca: home to dozens of breweries, both large and small.  If this sounds like your kinda place, check out our overview of Wisconsin’s five best cities to live in for a better idea of where to settle down in the state.

1. Brookfield

Brookfield, a suburb of Milwaukee in Waukesha County, is Wisconsin’s top city. The presence of companies like Fiserv and FedEx account for the city’s strong economy and high median household income.  

2. Middleton

#2 Middleton is a modestly sized suburb of the state capital Madison. The city’s motto is “The Good Neighbor City” and Middleton’s friendly residents and small-town charm follow through on that promise. Of note to mustard lovers is the National Mustard Museum, located right in downtown Middleton.

3. Mequon

Our choice for #3 is Mequon, a bucolic lakeshore community in the Milwaukee metropolitan area. For a city its size, Mequon is home to a wide array of parks and nature preserves, over two dozen in all.

4. Sun Prairie

Sun Prairie, Dane County’s second largest city after Madison, is fourth on the list. The city is a quiet alternative to its larger neighbor and a great place to raise a family, as many residents commute to Madison for work.

5. Pewaukee

Rounding out the list is Pewaukee, a pint-sized city in Waukesha County with oodles of Midwestern charm and a high household median income.  

Best Cities to Live in Wisconsin, 2019

RankCity
1Brookfield
2Middleton
3Mequon
4Sun Prairie
5Pewaukee
6Hudson
7De Pere
8Menomonee Falls
9New Berlin
10Sheboygan
11Neenah
12Eau Claire
13Oconomowoc
14La Crosse
15Appleton
16Wausau
17Manitowoc
18Marshfield
19Muskego
20Kaukauna
21Green Bay
22Waukesha
23Chippewa Falls
24West Bend
25Menomonie
26Menasha
27Fond Du Lac
28Oshkosh
29Superior
30Franklin
31Stevens Point
32Wisconsin Rapids
33Oak Creek
34Watertown
35Kenosha
36Burlington
37Janesville
38Racine
39Beloit
40Madison
41Milwaukee

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Methodology

We ranked a total of 2,509 qualified cities (those with populations above 25,000 and enough data for analysis) by five factors: employment (number of establishments, median earnings); housing (owner-occupied housing with a mortgage, monthly housing costs); quality of life (work commute, poverty levels); education (percentage with a bachelor’s degree or higher); and health (obesity ratios).