The 10 Best Milwaukee Suburbs To Live For 2021

We analyzed over 55 places around Milwaukee to identify the most in demand places to live.

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Editor’s Note: Data has been updated for 2021. This is our seventh time ranking the best Milwaukee suburbs.

Big city living isn't for everyone--but at the same time, urban areas certainly have their perks.

There's the culture, the food, the arts, the food, the energy, and you know, the food. But there are drawbacks. There's traffic, expensive parking, expensive housing--pretty much, expensive everything, depending on which big city you're looking at.

But that's where the suburbs come in--they have all of the benefits of being near big cities, without actually having to be big cities.

Of course, not all suburbs of Milwaukee are created equally, which is precisely why we set out to find the best ones. So without further ado...

Here are the 10 best suburbs to live around Milwaukee for 2021:

  1. Fox Point
  2. Whitefish Bay
  3. Elm Grove
  4. Summit
  5. Bayside
  6. North Prairie
  7. Merton
  8. Richfield
  9. Mequon
  10. Brookfield

What's the best suburb of Milwaukee? Fox Point ranks as the best suburb of Milwaukee for 2021 based on the most recent Census and FBI data. If you happen to be a resident of Fox Point, you're probably not too surprised to find it on the top our list.

We'll tell you what makes each of these 10 Milwaukee 'burbs better than the rest--but first, a bit about our methodology.

Note: This result may differ from our state wide data as we did not include commute times and crime for this analysis to allow for a larger selection of suburbs.

Feel free to check out some more reading about Wisconsin:

The 10 Best Milwaukee Suburbs To Live For 2021

Fox Point, WI

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 6,650
Rank Last Year: 2 (Up 1)
Median Income: $117,903
Unemployment Rate: 1.0%
Poverty Rate: 3.4%
More on Fox Point: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Fox Point is always mentioned as one of the best suburbs in the Milwaukee area. We'll tell you the good about "Awesome Fox Point."

Everyone here is rich; families average $117,903 a year, which is the 3rd highest in the Milwaukee region. And only 1.0% are out of work. Homes average more than $325,700 each.

Whitefish Bay, WI

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 13,972
Rank Last Year: 1 (Down 1)
Median Income: $124,397
Unemployment Rate: 2.2%
Poverty Rate: 4.2%
More on Whitefish Bay: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Whitefish Bay is the second best 'burb we looked at near Milwaukee for 2021.

It ranks 2nd for incomes in the area and only 2.46% of residents lack insurance, good for 17th best.

Elm Grove, WI

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 6,153
Rank Last Year: 3 (No Change)
Median Income: $106,058
Unemployment Rate: 1.6%
Poverty Rate: 3.5%
More on Elm Grove: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Here in Elm Grove, it's really safe, and residents are just about as rich as you'll see in the Milwaukee metro area.

The bad side? Schools are more crowded, and the cost of living puts a large part of the city out of reach for most families.

But price is based on demand and a lot of people want to live in Elm Grove.

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 4,917
Rank Last Year: 11 (Up 7)
Median Income: $113,854
Unemployment Rate: 2.7%
Poverty Rate: 3.7%
More on Summit: Real Estate | Data

Summit ranks as the 4th best suburb of Milwaukee for 2021.

You won't find many better places to raise your kids in the region than in Summit and the schools are some of the best around.

Bayside, WI

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 4,558
Rank Last Year: 5 (No Change)
Median Income: $101,231
Unemployment Rate: 2.6%
Poverty Rate: 5.2%
More on Bayside: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Coming in as the fifth best is Bayside.

Bayside gets kudos for having the 7th most expensive homes in the Milwaukee area, where houses sell for an average of $341,300. However, the cost of living here is among the highest in the area.

North Prairie, WI

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 2,352
Rank Last Year: 8 (Up 2)
Median Income: $106,688
Unemployment Rate: 0.8%
Poverty Rate: 4.3%
More on North Prairie: Real Estate | Data | Photos

North Prairie is proud of its 6th place finish on this list. And here's why.

Most residents have great jobs and the unemployment rate sits at 0.76% which is best in the area.

According to online reports, North Prairie is quickly becoming one of the more affluent suburbs in the Milwaukee area, meaning you need to get in soon.

Merton, WI

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 3,672
Rank Last Year: 4 (Down 3)
Median Income: $154,464
Unemployment Rate: 2.9%
Poverty Rate: 1.0%
More on Merton: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The 7th best suburb on our list goes to Merton.

Merton schools are some of the best in the region, and crime is really low. The cost of living makes it a lot more desirable for many families, especially first-time home buyers.

And, it's only 18.3 miles to downtown, which is a good thing.

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 11,690
Rank Last Year: 12 (Up 4)
Median Income: $105,441
Unemployment Rate: 1.9%
Poverty Rate: 1.7%
More on Richfield: Real Estate | Data

Richfield is growing quickly, and for a good reason. Crime is far below average, and most residents are gainfully employed. Even the cost of living is reasonable.

A solid 1.29% of people lack insurance, good for 4th in the area.

Mequon, WI

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 24,144
Rank Last Year: 7 (Down 2)
Median Income: $116,486
Unemployment Rate: 2.0%
Poverty Rate: 5.2%
More on Mequon: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Is 'Everything Better In Mequon?'


It placed 9th on our list thanks to the fact that it's really expensive to live here, but the schools are great, so you get what you pay for in that regard.

Brookfield, WI

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 38,358
Rank Last Year: 6 (Down 4)
Median Income: $108,198
Unemployment Rate: 2.9%
Poverty Rate: 3.6%
More on Brookfield: Real Estate | Data | Photos

And rounding out the top ten for 2021 is Brookfield.

This city is far above average in every category, and the best part? It's far more affordable than the other cities listed above. So, you get a big bang for your buck here.

How We Determined The Best Suburbs Around Milwaukee for 2021

Figuring out the best suburbs around Milwaukee was pretty simple; we just needed to list several things that people like, and then find out which cities have the most of those things.

We threw a lot of criteria at this one in order to get the best, most complete results possible:

  • Low unemployment rate
  • High Median household incomes
  • Population density (lots of things to do)
  • High home values
  • A lot of college educated people
  • Low poverty
  • High rate of insured families

Then we used the newest American Community Survey data for 2015-2019 to research each suburb.

FYI: We defined a suburb as being within 30 miles of Milwaukee.

Additionally, we limited the analysis to places that have over 2,000 people. This left us with a grand total of 58 suburbs to evaluate around Milwaukee.

We ranked each place with scores from 1 to 58 in each category, where 1 was the "best.

Next, we averaged the rankings for each place to create a quality of life index.

And finally, we crowned the city with the best quality of life index the "Best Suburb near Milwaukee." We're lookin' at you, Fox Point. You can download the data here.

Read on below to learn more about what it's like to live in the best of the best. Or skip to the end to see the list of all the suburbs ranked from best to worst.

Welcome to the Best Milwaukee 'Burbs of 2021

We said it once and we'll say it again--life in the big city isn't for everyone. At least not all the time.

So if you're hankering for some of the amenities of a larger city like Milwaukee, but don't want to deal with the drawbacks, one of these suburbs might just be for you.

For more Wisconsin reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Best Milwaukee Suburbs

Rank City Population Median Income
1 Fox Point, WI 6,650 $117,903
2 Whitefish Bay, WI 13,972 $124,397
3 Elm Grove, WI 6,153 $106,058
4 Summit, WI 4,917 $113,854
5 Bayside, WI 4,558 $101,231
6 North Prairie, WI 2,352 $106,688
7 Merton, WI 3,672 $154,464
8 Richfield, WI 11,690 $105,441
9 Mequon, WI 24,144 $116,486
10 Brookfield, WI 38,358 $108,198
11 Hartland, WI 9,268 $90,968
12 Cedarburg, WI 11,527 $88,487
13 New Berlin, WI 39,718 $83,488
14 Waterford, WI 5,452 $87,929
15 Sussex, WI 10,833 $91,387
16 Wauwatosa, WI 47,971 $82,392
17 Menomonee Falls, WI 37,160 $82,396
18 Thiensville, WI 3,157 $73,007
19 Shorewood, WI 13,290 $74,745
20 Oconomowoc, WI 16,698 $88,662
21 Mukwonago, WI 8,035 $78,692
22 Hales Corners, WI 7,646 $77,041
23 Muskego, WI 24,946 $95,242
24 Greendale, WI 14,176 $71,786
25 Glendale, WI 12,943 $77,584
26 Slinger, WI 5,389 $78,387
27 Grafton, WI 11,646 $75,963
28 Wales, WI 2,581 $98,125
29 Delafield, WI 7,457 $86,897
30 Fredonia, WI 2,459 $76,532
31 Franklin, WI 36,064 $82,569
32 Pewaukee, WI 8,164 $60,909
33 Pewaukee, WI 8,164 $60,909
34 Pewaukee, WI 8,164 $60,909
35 Pewaukee, WI 8,164 $60,909
36 Rochester, WI 3,811 $90,377
37 Brown Deer, WI 11,965 $63,884
38 Dousman, WI 2,368 $66,792
39 Port Washington, WI 11,761 $68,167
40 Oak Creek, WI 36,066 $74,840
41 West Bend, WI 31,596 $60,910
42 East Troy, WI 4,316 $70,389
43 Caledonia, WI 25,120 $80,659
44 Eagle, WI 2,063 $80,417
45 Union Grove, WI 4,963 $67,405
46 Cudahy, WI 18,271 $56,795
47 Jackson, WI 7,081 $70,974
48 Waukesha, WI 72,412 $65,260
49 Greenfield, WI 37,099 $60,788
50 St. Francis, WI 9,549 $44,426
51 Mount Pleasant, WI 26,928 $69,485
52 Saukville, WI 4,442 $52,329
53 West Allis, WI 60,025 $52,325
54 Hartford, WI 14,977 $56,784
55 Sturtevant, WI 6,606 $65,718
56 South Milwaukee, WI 20,957 $52,678
57 Racine, WI 77,081 $44,056
58 West Milwaukee, WI 4,146 $41,591

How Is Your Town In ?

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.