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Madison, Wisconsin

  •   State: 
    Dane County
      County FIPS: 
    43°04′29″N 89°23′03″W
      Area total: 
    101.53 sq mi
      Area land: 
    79.57 sq mi (206.09 km²)
      Area water: 
    21.96 sq mi (56.88 km²)
    873 ft (266 m)
    1846; Incorporated 1856
  •   Latitude: 
      Dman name cbsa: 
    Madison, WI
    Eastern Standard Time (EST) UTC-5:00; Eastern Daylight Time (EDT) UTC-4:00
      ZIP codes: 

    Madison, Dane County, Wisconsin, United States

  •   Population: 
      Population density: 
    3,391.23 residents per square mile of area (1,309.33/km²)
      Household income: 
      Unemployment rate: 
  •   Sales taxes: 
      Income taxes: 

As of the 2020 census the population was 269,840, making it the second-largest city in Wisconsin by population, after Milwaukee. The city forms the core of the Madison Metropolitan Area which includes Dane County and neighboring Iowa, Green, and Columbia counties for a population of 680,796. Madison is home to the University of WisconsinMadison, the Wisconsin State Capitol, the Overture Center for the Arts, and the Henry Vilas Zoo. It has the most parks and playgrounds per capita of any of the 100 largest U.S. cities and is one of five communities to have received a "Platinum Bicycle Friendly Community" rating from the League of American Bicyclists. In 1800, the Madison area was Ho-Chunk (Winnebago) Country. The Native Americans called this place Taychopera (Ta-ko-per-ah), meaning "land of the four lakes" (Mendota, Monona, Waubesa, and Kegonsa). Effigy mounds, which had been constructed for ceremonial and burial purposes over 1,000 years earlier, dotted the rich prairies around the lakes. Madison has long been a center for progressive political activity, protests, and demonstrations, and contemporary Madison is considered the most politically liberal city inWisconsin. As of 2021, Madison is the fastest-growing city in the state, with a booming population combined with a lack in the quantity of housing due to restrictive zoning density regulations have contributed to rising housing costs in many Madison neighborhoods.


Madison is the primary city name, but also Fitchburg are acceptable city names or spellings. The official name is Madison, Wisconsin. Before Europeans, humans inhabited the area in and around Madison for about 12,000 years. In 1800, the Madison area was Ho-Chunk (Winnebago) Country. The cornerstone for the Wisconsin capitol was laid in 1837, and the legislature first met there in 1838. Madison was incorporated as a village in 1846, with a population of 626. It became the site of the University of Wisconsin in 1848. In the 1960s and 1970s, theMadison counterculture was centered in the neighborhood of Mifflin and Bassett streets, referred to as "Miffland". The area contained many three-story apartments where students and counterculture youth lived, painted murals, and operated the co-operative grocery store, the Mifflins Street Co-op. The Mifflins became a focal point for protest, although by the late 1970s the party had become a mainstream community party. In 2004, the last vestige of active military training on the site was removed when the stadium renovation replaced a firing range used for ROTC training. Camp Randall, on the west side of Madison, was built and used as a training camp, a military hospital, and a prison camp for captured Confederate soldiers. After the war ended, the Camp Randall site was absorbed into the Universityof Wisconsin and Camp Randall Stadium was built there in 1917. The original cap Capitol was replaced in 1863 and the second capitol burned in 1904. Madison is home to the Wisconsin National Guard.


Madison is located in the center of Dane County in south-central Wisconsin, 77 miles (124 km) west of Milwaukee and 122 miles (196 km) northwest of Chicago. The city completely surrounds the smaller town of Madison, the city of Monona, and the villages of Maple Bluff and Shorewood Hills. Madison shares borders with its largest suburb, Sun Prairie, and three other suburbs, Middleton, McFarland, and Fitchburg. It is sometimes described as The City of Four Lakes, comprising the four successive lakes of the Yahara River: Lake Mendota ("Fourth Lake"), Lake Monona ("Third Lake") and Lake Waubesa ("Second Lake") The city's trademark of "Lake, City, Lake" reflects this geography. The highest elevation is located along S. Pleasant View Rd. on the far west side of the city, atop a portion of a terminal moraine of the Green Bay Lobe of the Wisconsin Glaciation, at 1,192 ft (363 m) The city has a total area of 94.03 square miles (243.54 km²), of which 76.79 sq miles (198.89 km²) is land and 17.24sq miles (44.65 km 2) is water. Madison has over 120 officially recognized neighborhood associations, such as the east side Williamson-Marquette Neighborhood. Historically, the north, east, and south sides were blue collar while the west side was white collar, and to a certain extent this remains true.


As of the census of 2020, the population was 269,840. Ethnically, the city was 8.7% Hispanic or Latino of any race. Of the population age 25 and over, 95.9% were high school graduates or higher and 58.5% had a bachelor's degree or higher. Madison is the episcopal see for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Madison. The Madison-Janesville-Beloit, WI CSA, a Combined Statistical Area, includes the Madison metropolitan area (Columbia, Dane, Green and Iowa counties) and the Janesville-beloit micropolitan area (Sauk County) As of the 2020 census, the Madison MSA had a population of 680,796 and the Madison CSA hadA population of 910,246. The city is one of the largest Lutheran congregations in the country, including mainline evangelical, charismatic and fully independent churches, including an LDS, and an Evangelical Lutheran Church in downtown Madison. It is home to the University of Wisconsin-Madison, which is a member of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and the Wisconsin Theological Seminary. The U.S. Evangelical Church in Madison has its headquarters in Madison and has three churches in the city: Eastside Lutheran, Our Saviour's Lutheran Church, and Holy Cross Lutheran Chapel. It also has a church in Madison, Wisconsin, which was destroyed by arson in 2005 and spire and steeple preserved in a replacement building.


Madison's economy is marked by the sectors of tech business and state employment. As of late 2018, the two largest employers in the Madison Metropolitan Area were the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and Epic Systems. Madison's economy today is evolving from a government-based economy to a consumer services and high-tech base. 48.2% of Madison's population over the age of 25 holds at least a bachelor's degree. Forbes magazine reported in 2004 that Madison had the highest percentage of individuals holding Ph.D.s in the United States. The Onion satirical newspaper, as well as the pizza chains Rocky Rococo and the Glass Nickel Pizza Company, originated in Madison. The Madison metropolitan area is home to companies such as Spectrum Brands (formerly Rayovac), Trek, Alliant Energy, the Credit Union National Association (CUNA), MGE Energy, EatStreet, and Sub-Zero & Wolf Appliance. Oscar Mayer was a Madison fixture for decades, and was a family business for many years before being sold to Kraft Foods. Madison was also named in a number of Forbes 'Ten Best Cities' lists several times in the early 21st century. The contract research organization Covance is a major employer in the city. Insurance companies based in Madison include American Family Insurance, CUNA Mutual Group, and National Guardian Life. Some economic growth in Madison is driven by biotech and health information technology. The city is also home to many Wisconsin state agencies and bureaus, such as the State Capital of Wisconsin.

Arts and culture

Madison is home to several James Beard Award winners, gastropubs, and farm-to-table restaurants. The Dane County Farmers' Market is the largest producer-only farmers' market in the country. The Great Taste of the Midwest craft beer festival, established in 1987 and the second-longest-running such event in North America, is held the second Saturday in August. The Wisconsin State Capitol dome was modeled after the dome of the U.S. Capitol, and was erected on the high point of the isthmus. Madison's architectural landmarks reflect a wide range of styles, from the densest cluster of Native American effigy mounds in the United States to the Renaissance Revival University of Wisconsin Memorial Union and the Overture Center for the Arts, designed by postmodern architect César Pelli. The height of Madison's skyline is limited by a state law that restricts building heights in the downtown area. Some restaurants in Madison follow the general Wisconsin supper club practice of restaurants serving "Friday fish fry, Saturday prime rib special, Sunday chicken dinner special"  Madison's Museum of Contemporary Art is the home to the Kohasas Zoo and the Mifflin Street Block Party, home to Miffllin Street Party and Camp Randall Stadium. The city is also home to a number of museums, including the Wisconsin History Museum and the Wisconsin Museum of Ice and Science, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Madison is the birthplace of Frank Lloyd Wright, who spent much of his childhood in Madison and studied briefly at the University of Madison.


Madison is known for having its athletics fan base centered on the University of Wisconsin-Madison. In 2003, Sports Illustrated identified the city as one of the "best college sports towns" in the nation. The Wisconsin Badgers football team plays at Camp Randall Stadium where crowds of as many as 83,000 have attended games. The Madison Mallards, a college wood-bat summer baseball league team in the Northwoods League, play in Warner Park on the city's north side from June to August. In 2014, the Madison Capitols made their return to the Madison area following 19 years of dormancy. On May 17, 2018, it was announced that Forward Madison FC would become Madison's first professional soccer team, which plays at the historic Breese Stevens Field. The city is home to the Wisconsin Badger women's ice hockey team and the Madison Badgers women's basketball team. Madison is also the home of the Wisconsin Men's and Women's Badgers ice hockey teams, as well as the Wisconsin State Badgers men's and women's lacrosse teams, and the Wisconsin Women's and Men's Ice Hockey Teams. Madison has been home to a number of professional sports teams, including the Madison Muskies, a Class A, Midwest League affiliate of the Oakland A's, and The Madison Hatters, an independent Northern League franchise. In 2013, Madison was named the "greatest college football town in the country" by Sports Illustrated. In 2019, Sports Magazine named Madison the greatest college football city in the United States.

Parks and recreation

Madison has 6,431 acres (26.03 km²) of park space, which is 13.5% of the city's total area. The city has 12.7 parks per 10,000 residents, more than any other city. Madison has an active amateur sports scene, with ultimate, endurance sports, and soccer being common pastimes. In 2013, the Madison Radicals, a professional ultimate frisbee team, debuted in the city. In 2015 Madison was awarded platinum level Bicycle Friendly Community designation from the League of American Bicyclists. As of 2017, the CrossFit Games have been held at the Alliant Energy Center, which encompasses 164 acres (0.66 km²), after posting a national request for proposals. The Blackhawk Ski Club, formed in 1947, provides ski jumping, cross country skiing and alpine skiing. The club's programs have produced several Olympic ski jumpers, two Olympic ski jumping coaches and one ski jumping director. Madison is also home to Wisconsin United Roller Derby, a member league of the Men's Roller Derby Association. The adult women's ice hockey teams (Thunder, Lightning, Freeze, UWB and C teams) play in the Women's Central Hockey League. Madison's Gaelic sports club hosts a hurling team organized as The Hurling Club of Madison and a Gaelic football club with men's and women's teams. The Wisconsin Rugby Club, the 1998 and 2013 USA Rugby Division II National Champions, and the Wisconsin Women's Rugby Football Club are the state's only Division I women's rugby team.


The city's voters are generally more liberal than voters in the rest of Wisconsin. A liberal and progressive majority is generally elected to the city council. Madison is the heart of Wisconsin's 2nd congressional district in the United States House of Representatives. Madison's city council, known as the Common Council, consists of 20 members, one from each district. The mayor is elected in a citywide vote.Ron Johnson (R) and Tammy Baldwin (D) represent Madison, and all of Wisconsin, in the U.S. Senate. In 1992, a local third party, Progressive Dane, was founded. The party holds several seats on the Madison City Council and Dane County Board of Supervisors, and is aligned variously with the Democratic and Green parties. In 2013, there was a motion to turn Lee S. Dreyfus' humor into the official city "punchline," but it was voted down by the cityCouncil. The city is home to the University of Wisconsin-Madison, which is a member of the National Council of Applied Arts and Sciences. Madison has a mayor-council system of government, with the mayor elected by a vote of the entire Common Council. Madison also has a state legislature, with six members in the Wisconsin State Assembly and one in the State Senate. The state Senate is represented by Mark Pocan (D), who represented the 2nd district from 1999 to 2013 before handing it to Pocan. The State Assembly is currently represented by Jimmy P. Anderson and Samba Baldeh.


The Madison Metropolitan School District serves the city while a variety of other districts serve the surrounding area. The city is home to the University of WisconsinMadison, Edgewood College and Madison Area Technical College, giving the city a post-secondary student population of nearly 55,000. Madison also has a non-credit learning community with multiple programs and many private businesses also offering classes. The University ofWisconsin accounts for the vast majority of students, with an enrollment of roughly 44,000, of whom 31,750 are undergraduates.Additional degree programs are available through satellite campuses of Cardinal Stritch University, Concordia University-Wisconsin, Globe University, Lakeland College, the Universityof Phoenix, and Upper Iowa University. The Madison Metropolitan school district is the second largest school district in Wisconsin behind the Milwaukee School District. The five public high schools are Vel Phillips Memorial, Madison West, Madison East, La Follette, and Malcolm Shabazz City High School, an alternative school. Madison Country Day School is a private high school with no religious affiliation. The City of Madison has a population of about 2.2 million. The population of the city is about 1.7 million, with the majority of the population living in the city's downtown area. It is the state's second largest city, after Milwaukee, with approximately 1.8 million people living in its central area. Madison is the largest city in the state, with about 25,000 students in 46 schools. It also has one of the highest percentages of high school graduates in the United States.

Air Quality, Water Quality, Superfund Sites & UV Index

The Air Quality index is in Madison, Dane County, Wisconsin = 63.1. These Air Quality index is based on annual reports from the EPA. Higher values are better (100=best). The number of ozone alert days is used as an indicator of air quality, as are the amounts of seven pollutants including particulates, carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, lead, and volatile organic chemicals. The Water Quality Index is 48. A measure of the quality of an area’s water supply as rated by the EPA. Higher values are better (100=best). The EPA has a complex method of measuring the watershed quality, using 15 indicators such as pollutants, turbidity, sediments, and toxic discharges. The Superfund Sites Index is 20. Higher is better (100=best). Based upon the number and impact of EPA Superfund pollution sites in the county, including spending on the cleanup efforts. The UV Index in Madison = 3.3 and is a measure of an area's exposure to the sun's ultraviolet rays. This is most often a combination of sunny weather, altitude, and latitude. The UV Index has been defined by the WHO ( and is uniform worldwide.


The most recent city population of 269,840 individuals with a median age of 33.8 age the population grows by 8.52% in Madison, Dane County, Wisconsin population since 2000 and are distributed over a density of 3,391.23 residents per square mile of area (1,309.33/km²). There are average 2.19 people per household in the 97,275 households with an average household income of $50,726 a year. The unemployment rate in Alabama is 5.20% of the available work force and has dropped -2.14% over the most recent 12-month period and the projected change in job supply over the next decade based on migration patterns, economic growth, and other factors will increase by 30.52%. The number of physicians in Madison per 100,000 population = 368.4.


The annual rainfall in Madison = 30.7 inches and the annual snowfall = 38.1 inches. The annual number of days with measurable precipitation (over .01 inch) = 114. The average number of days per year that are predominantly sunny = 187. 82 degrees Fahrenheit is the average daily high temperature for the month of July and 10.8 degrees Fahrenheit is the average daily low temperature for the month of January. The Comfort Index (higher=better) is 47, where higher values mean a more pleasant climate. The Comfort Index measure recognizes that humidity by itself isn't the problem. (Have you noticed nobody ever complains about the weather being 'cold and humid?) It's in the summertime that we notice the humidity the most, when it's hot and muggy. Our Comfort Index uses a combination of afternoon summer temperature and humidity to closely predict the effect that the humidity will have on people.

Median Home Cost

The percentage of housing units in Madison, Dane County, Wisconsin which are owned by the occupant = 44.05%. A housing unit is a house, apartment, mobile home, or room occupied as separate living quarters. The average age of homes = 36 years with median home cost = $189,290 and home appreciation of -3.92%. This is the value of the years most recent home sales data. Its important to note that this is not the average (or arithmetic mean). The median home price is the middle value when you arrange all the sales prices of homes from lowest to highest. This is a better indicator than the average, because the median is not changed as much by a few unusually high or low values. The property tax rate of $21.40 shown here is the rate per $1,000 of home value. If for simplification for example the tax rate is $14.00 and the home value is $250,000, the property tax would be $14.00 x ($250,000/1000), or $3500. This is the 'effective' tax rate.


The local school district spends $7,346 per student. There are 13.9 students for each teacher in the school, 520 students for each Librarian and 657 students for each Counselor. 7.60% of the area’s population over the age of 25 with an Associate Degree or other 2-year college degree, 28.06% with a master’s degree, Ph.D. or other advanced college degree and 21.20% with high school diplomas or high school equivalency degrees (GEDs).

  • Madison's population in Dane County, Wisconsin of 19,164 residents in 1900 has increased 14,08-fold to 269,840 residents after 120 years, according to the official 2020 census.

    Approximately 50.31% female residents and 49.69% male residents live in Madison, Dane County, Wisconsin.

    As of 2020 in Madison, Dane County, Wisconsin are married and the remaining 56.59% are single population.

  • 20.3 minutes is the average time that residents in Madison require for a one-way commute to work. A long commute can have different effects on health. A Gallup poll in the US found that in terms of mental health, long haul commuters are up to 12 percent more likely to experience worry, and ten percent less likely to feel well rested. The Gallup poll also found that of people who commute 61­–90 minutes each day, a whopping one third complained of neck and back pain, compared to less than a quarter of people who only spend ten minutes getting to work.

    66.74% of the working population which commute to work alone in their car, 9.37% of the working population which commutes to work in a carpool, 6.86% of the population that commutes using mass transit, including bus, light rail, subway, and ferry. 3.14% of the population that has their home as their principal place of work.

  • Of the total residential buildings in Madison, Dane County, Wisconsin, 44.05% are owner-occupied homes, another 49.37% are rented apartments, and the remaining 6.58% are vacant.

  • The 49.99% of the population in Madison, Dane County, Wisconsin who identify themselves as belonging to a religion are distributed among the following most diverse religions.

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