Commonly referred to as the “Badger State,” Wisconsin is known for its delicious cheese, devoted football fans, and excellent schools and healthcare. Here are the top reasons to move to Wisconsin, in no particular order, and why you should make this great state your new home.
1) Affordable living
Living in Wisconsin is relatively affordable in comparison with other states. The cost of living in Wisconsin is nearly 10% less than the national average, due primarily to the low cost of housing. The median sale price in Wisconsin is $257K compared to the US median of $412K, allowing residents to live anywhere of their choosing, whether that’s urban, rural, or woodland. However, it is important to keep in mind that the cost of living and home prices can vary depending on where you are living. For example, homes for sale in Lake Geneva are two times more expensive than homes for sale in Milwaukee.
2) Excellent colleges and healthcare
The state’s medical system is consistently ranked among the top five in the country and the best in the Midwest. There are excellent hospitals in its major cities and in smaller towns like Eau Claire, Grafton, Wausau, and others.
Wisconsin also has 31 public universities, enrolling almost 300k students. The Badger State is home to the University of Wisconsin, a highly ranked university in both academic and student life categories.
3) Rich history
When the Eerie Canal opened in 1825, there was a surge of settlers into Wisconsin, most immigrants from Germany and Scandinavia. These immigrants became wheat farmers in the south and loggers in the north. Both industries flourished, and Wisconsin cities expanded rapidly.
4) Wisconsin’s thriving food scene
As a leading producer of cheese, milk, and butter in the United States, it’s no surprise the state is sometimes referred to as “America’s Dairyland.” Bratwurst, other German foods, fish, meat, and potatoes are staples here. Don’t miss some of the best fish, fries, steak, prime rib, and more at the state’s diners. There are also plenty of fine dining options and farm-to-table eating experiences.
Check out some of the excellent farmer’s markets held state-wide throughout the summer and fall seasons. Here you’ll be able to find milk, cheese, cranberries, ginseng, and beer. Home to brewing companies Miller, Sprecher, and Leinenkugel’s, Wisconsin is also referred to as the “Beer Capital of the United States.”
5) Things to do
Wisconsin is packed with outdoor activities. Due to heavy Ice Age glaciers that used to cover the land, Wisconsin boasts around 15K documented lakes and over 12K rivers and streams. Head to a lake or river, perhaps Lake Michigan, Lake Superior, or the Mississippi River to partake in kayaking, boating, sailing, water skiing, fishing, swimming, and white water rafting. Or, head to Wisconsin Northwoods for hiking, biking, camping, downhill skiing, cross country skiing, snowboarding, and snowmobiling.
Wisconsin hosts several festivals throughout the year, including Summerfest, Oktoberfest, Polishfest, Brat Fest, Wisconsin Cheese Festival, Lumberjack World Championships, and the Wisconsin State Fair.
The state is home to dozens of state parks and recreation areas, such as the Big Bay State Park, Newport State Parks, Devil’s Lake State Park, and New Glarus Woods State Park. You can’t miss the Ice Age National Scenic Trail, a 1,000-mile footpath highlighting landscape features through some of the state’s most beautiful natural areas.
The climate in Wisconsin varies based on where it is in the state that you are living. Summers are warm, with a high of around 81 degrees, while winters can get quite cold and snowy, with a low of 7 degrees in January.
Wisconsin is big into sports. Locals cheer on the Milwaukee Brewers (MLB), The Green Bay Packers (NFL), and the Milwaukee Bucks (NBA). College sports are also extremely popular, especially the football and basketball programs at the University of Wisconsin.
Methodology: Median home sale price data was pulled from the US Housing Market resource during April 2022.