The 10 Best Counties To Live In Wisconsin For 2021


Using science and data, we can tell you which counties in Wisconsin have the most for people looking to make the move to Wisconsin.

Editor’s Note: We updated this article for 2021. This is our seventh time ranking the best counties to live in Wisconsin.

Some of you might be asking yourself, at this very moment: is Wisconsin a good place?

The answer is unequivocally yes... if you know where to locate the best places to live in Wisconsin.

Lucky for you, we're here to help you identify the best counties to live in the Badger State based on the most recently available data from the Census. And this isn't our first rodeo -- we've been helping people find the best places to live in America for years.

So, the question becomes, if you wanted to relocate to the best part of Wisconsin, where would you go? To answer that we looked at crime, cost of living, and demographic data for all 72 counties in the state.

After the analytic dust settled, we identified the 10 best counties to live in Badger State for 2021.

Ozaukee County is the county to be when it comes to living the good life in Wisconsin. And you might want to avoid Menominee County if you can -- at least according to the data.

So if you're thinking of making the move Wisconsin, we've got you covered. Keep on reading for a detailed methodology.

Or, check out the best places to live in Wisconsin and the cheapest places to live in Wisconsin.

The Best Counties To Live In Wisconsin For 2021

1. Ozaukee County

Belgium, WI

Biggest Place: Mequon

Population: 88,597
Median Income: $85,215 (2nd best)
Median Home Price: $282,500.0 (best)
Unemployment Rate: 259.1% (13th best)
More on Ozaukee County: PhotosData

2. St. Croix County

Baldwin, WI

Biggest Place: River Falls

Population: 88,732
Median Income: $84,756 (3rd best)
Median Home Price: $244,500.0 (4th best)
Unemployment Rate: 203.6% (3rd best)
More on St. Croix County: PhotosData

3. Pierce County

Ellsworth, WI

Source: Public domain

Biggest Place: River Falls

Population: 41,977
Median Income: $72,323 (7th best)
Median Home Price: $208,700.0 (7th best)
Unemployment Rate: 235.4% (11th best)
More on Pierce County: PhotosData

4. Calumet County

Appleton, WI

Biggest Place: Appleton

Population: 49,928
Median Income: $75,814 (5th best)
Median Home Price: $178,900.0 (14th best)
Unemployment Rate: 219.8% (6th best)
More on Calumet County: PhotosData

5. Green County

Belleville, WI

Biggest Place: Monroe

Population: 36,896
Median Income: $64,502 (12th best)
Median Home Price: $171,400.0 (20th best)
Unemployment Rate: 198.0% (best)
More on Green County: PhotosData

6. Waukesha County

Brookfield, WI

Biggest Place: Waukesha

Population: 400,475
Median Income: $87,277 (best)
Median Home Price: $282,300.0 (2nd best)
Unemployment Rate: 292.8% (30th best)
More on Waukesha County: PhotosData

7. Door County

Sturgeon Bay, WI

Biggest Place: Sturgeon Bay

Population: 27,472
Median Income: $61,560 (19th best)
Median Home Price: $214,100.0 (6th best)
Unemployment Rate: 325.6% (38th best)
More on Door County: PhotosData

8. Washington County

Hartford, WI

Biggest Place: Milwaukee

Population: 134,925
Median Income: $77,663 (4th best)
Median Home Price: $236,200.0 (5th best)
Unemployment Rate: 289.0% (28th best)
More on Washington County: PhotosData

9. Kewaunee County

Algoma, WI

Biggest Place: Algoma

Population: 20,387
Median Income: $66,192 (10th best)
Median Home Price: $164,900.0 (29th best)
Unemployment Rate: 223.9% (8th best)
More on Kewaunee County: PhotosData

10. Outagamie County

Appleton, WI

Biggest Place: Appleton

Population: 185,700
Median Income: $65,572 (11th best)
Median Home Price: $169,400.0 (23rd best)
Unemployment Rate: 276.3% (23rd best)
More on Outagamie County: PhotosData

How do you determine which Wisconsin county is the best?

To give you the best county in Wisconsin, we have to look at a handful of metrics that signal the quality of a place. To do that, we need to make some assumptions about what's a "best county" and what isn't. And, for reference, we are trying to make the kind of argument you'd make at a bar using facts, don't take this analysis to court.

With that in mind, we went to two of the best sources of data on the internet; the American Community Survey data and FBI Crime data for the most recent time period.

We paid particular attention to:

  • Violent Crime Rates
  • Property Crime Rates
  • Median Home Values
  • Median Income
  • Unemployment Rates
  • Adult Education Levels
  • Health Insurance Coverage
  • Poverty Rates

We then ranked each county in Wisconsin across each of the criteria from one to 72, with one being the best.

Taking the average rank across all criteria, we created a quality of life score with the county posting the lowest overall score being the "Best County To Live In Wisconsin".

The result is some of the safest, quiet, and best counties to raise a family in the Badger State.

Read on to see why Ozaukee County is the best county, while Menominee County is probably in contention for being the worst county in Wisconsin.

There You Have It - The Best Counties In Wisconsin To Call Home For 2018

It turns out living in Wisconsin can vary from one part of the state to the next -- who woulda thought?

But now you the know the really good parts and the parts to avoid and that's why you came here to learn at the end of the day. And for that, you are welcome.

Here's a look at the worst counties in Wisconsin according to the data:

  1. Menominee County
  2. Langlade County
  3. Milwaukee County

For more Wisconsin reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Best Counties In Wisconsin

County Rank Population Median Income Median Home Price
Ozaukee County 1 88,597 $85,215 $282,500.0
St. Croix County 2 88,732 $84,756 $244,500.0
Pierce County 3 41,977 $72,323 $208,700.0
Calumet County 4 49,928 $75,814 $178,900.0
Green County 5 36,896 $64,502 $171,400.0
Waukesha County 6 400,475 $87,277 $282,300.0
Door County 7 27,472 $61,560 $214,100.0
Washington County 8 134,925 $77,663 $236,200.0
Kewaunee County 9 20,387 $66,192 $164,900.0
Outagamie County 10 185,700 $65,572 $169,400.0
Columbia County 11 57,133 $68,005 $192,900.0
Iowa County 12 23,618 $64,124 $183,200.0
Dane County 13 536,078 $73,893 $265,600.0
Jefferson County 14 84,701 $66,291 $190,400.0
Dodge County 15 87,715 $60,652 $162,100.0
Sheboygan County 16 115,178 $60,696 $159,700.0
Brown County 17 261,368 $62,340 $173,900.0
Portage County 18 70,632 $58,853 $168,100.0
Fond Du Lac County 19 102,597 $62,391 $157,800.0
Marathon County 20 135,396 $62,633 $156,300.0
Oconto County 21 37,646 $60,908 $157,000.0
Buffalo County 22 13,126 $57,829 $159,700.0
Trempealeau County 23 29,499 $58,548 $156,000.0
Lafayette County 24 16,715 $60,691 $140,000.0
Shawano County 25 40,904 $56,531 $136,700.0
Oneida County 26 35,381 $56,852 $174,100.0
Lincoln County 27 27,744 $58,541 $139,700.0
Chippewa County 28 63,892 $59,742 $167,400.0
Waupaca County 29 51,245 $58,693 $149,900.0
Racine County 30 195,602 $61,336 $176,000.0
Crawford County 31 16,235 $50,595 $134,200.0
Dunn County 32 44,759 $58,783 $165,200.0
Winnebago County 33 170,411 $58,543 $152,500.0
La Crosse County 34 117,894 $57,882 $173,300.0
Manitowoc County 35 79,185 $56,612 $130,100.0
Polk County 36 43,438 $59,994 $169,700.0
Price County 37 13,416 $47,956 $122,500.0
Kenosha County 38 168,524 $63,733 $177,400.0
Wood County 39 73,112 $54,913 $131,900.0
Walworth County 40 103,074 $63,776 $203,400.0
Sauk County 41 63,922 $59,943 $182,200.0
Bayfield County 42 14,993 $56,096 $170,200.0
Grant County 43 51,733 $54,800 $147,700.0
Pepin County 44 7,265 $54,583 $151,600.0
Iron County 45 5,687 $43,798 $119,000.0
Burnett County 46 15,289 $52,672 $158,800.0
Vilas County 47 21,751 $47,072 $202,900.0
Clark County 48 34,579 $54,012 $127,200.0
Washburn County 49 15,688 $50,280 $157,400.0
Monroe County 50 45,771 $59,587 $155,000.0
Vernon County 51 30,633 $52,459 $157,200.0
Eau Claire County 52 103,514 $59,476 $169,400.0
Richland County 53 17,459 $51,947 $139,900.0
Green Lake County 54 18,755 $55,075 $146,600.0
Barron County 55 45,229 $52,703 $153,200.0
Marquette County 56 15,304 $52,288 $155,300.0
Marinette County 57 40,391 $50,330 $123,800.0
Douglas County 58 43,295 $53,986 $145,800.0
Rusk County 59 14,132 $47,532 $113,400.0
Florence County 60 4,314 $52,181 $129,600.0
Sawyer County 61 16,399 $47,714 $168,400.0
Waushara County 62 24,193 $52,810 $146,100.0
Jackson County 63 20,522 $53,650 $135,900.0
Rock County 64 162,152 $57,875 $146,200.0
Taylor County 65 20,325 $53,020 $137,800.0
Forest County 66 8,995 $45,536 $132,300.0
Juneau County 67 26,478 $53,490 $125,800.0
Ashland County 68 15,617 $42,510 $113,100.0
Adams County 69 20,094 $46,369 $131,100.0
Milwaukee County 70 951,226 $50,606 $158,300.0
Langlade County 71 19,146 $49,491 $113,900.0
Menominee County 72 4,558 $40,921 $101,800.0

About Chris Kolmar

Chris Kolmar has been in the real estate business for almost ten years now. He originally worked for Movoto Real Estate as the director of marketing before founding HomeSnacks.

He believes the key to finding the right place to live comes down to looking at the data, reading about things to do, and, most importantly, checking it out yourself before you move.

If you've been looking for a place to live in the past several years, you've probably stumbled upon his writing already.

You can find out more about him on LinkedIn or his website.

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