The 10 Most Expensive Places To Live In Wisconsin For 2022


We used science and data to determine which cities in Wisconsin that will put a big dent in your wallet.

HomeSnacks is reader-supported. When you click through real estate links on our site, we earn an affiliate commission. Learn more.
Editor’s Note: We updated this article for 2022. This is our ninth time ranking the most expensive places to live in Wisconsin.

Everyone wants a home that mixes affordability with comfort and Wisconsin does this very well. Families love the Badger State's beaches, midlands, and mountains as tourists before moving here and calling it home.

But before you decide to relocate, you have to do some research into the exact cost of living around the state -- and that's how we're going to help you.

These are the places in Wisconsin that cost a pretty penny -- the most expensive cities in the state.

After we saved up for months and could finally afford it, we landed on this list of the ten most expensive cities in Wisconsin for 2022.

So where is the most expensive place to live in Wisconsin? That would be Middleton.
the 2016-2020 American Community Survey for the 141 places in Wisconsin with more than 5,000 people.

Here are the 10 most expensive places to live in Wisconsin for 2022:

  1. Middleton
  2. Madison
  3. Fox Point
  4. Hudson
  5. Delafield
  6. Fitchburg
  7. Pewaukee
  8. Whitewater
  9. Lake Geneva
  10. Shorewood

What's the most expensive place to live in Wisconsin? Well, HomeSnacks crunched the numbers and discovered that Middleton is the most expensive place to live in Wisconsin.

So hopefully Rothschild (the cheapest place to live in Wisconsin) can show these guys how to live on a budget in the coming years. Read on for how these places had costs rise faster than inflation.

And if you already knew these places were expensive, check out some more reading about Wisconsin and the most expensive cities in the country:

The 10 Most Expensive Places To Live In Wisconsin For 2022

1. Middleton

Middleton, WI

Overall SnackAbility

9.5
/10

Population: 19,764
Rank Last Year: 5 (Up 4)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 4.9x (most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 67.0x (40th most expensive)
More on Middleton: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The median income in Middleton comes in at $73,336 and the median home value is $361,000 for 2022.

2. Madison

Madison, WI

Overall SnackAbility

8.5
/10

Population: 258,366
Rank Last Year: 1 (Down 1)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 3.9x (7th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 58.9x (13th most expensive)
More on Madison: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The median income in Madison comes in at $67,565 and the median home value is $262,400 for 2022.

3. Fox Point

Fox Point, WI

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

10
/10

Population: 6,623
Rank Last Year: 80 (Up 77)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 3.7x (10th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 65.5x (33rd most expensive)
More on Fox Point: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The median income in Fox Point comes in at $90,063 and the median home value is $336,000 for 2022.

4. Hudson

Hudson, WI

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 13,912
Rank Last Year: 8 (Up 4)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 3.4x (18th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 58.6x (12th most expensive)
More on Hudson: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The median income in Hudson comes in at $74,207 and the median home value is $255,100 for 2022.

5. Delafield

Overall SnackAbility

9
/10

Population: 7,541
Rank Last Year: 2 (Down 3)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 4.2x (5th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 71.5x (57th most expensive)
More on Delafield: Real Estate | Data

The median income in Delafield comes in at $90,040 and the median home value is $374,900 for 2022.

6. Fitchburg

Fitchburg, WI

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

7.5
/10

Population: 30,032
Rank Last Year: 3 (Down 3)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 4.2x (4th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 69.4x (50th most expensive)
More on Fitchburg: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The median income in Fitchburg comes in at $76,240 and the median home value is $323,400 for 2022.

7. Pewaukee

Pewaukee, WI

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 8,139
Rank Last Year: 7 (No Change)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 3.8x (8th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 51.2x (3rd most expensive)
More on Pewaukee: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The median income in Pewaukee comes in at $52,172 and the median home value is $198,600 for 2022.

8. Whitewater

Whitewater, WI

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 14,762
Rank Last Year: 6 (Down 2)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 4.7x (2nd most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 46.2x (most expensive)
More on Whitewater: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The median income in Whitewater comes in at $36,211 and the median home value is $171,300 for 2022.

9. Lake Geneva

Lake Geneva, WI

Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 7,872
Rank Last Year: 4 (Down 5)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 3.5x (15th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 62.6x (2most expensive)
More on Lake Geneva: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The median income in Lake Geneva comes in at $61,028 and the median home value is $214,600 for 2022.

10. Shorewood

Shorewood, WI

Overall SnackAbility

7.5
/10

Population: 13,248
Rank Last Year: 9 (Down 1)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 4.7x (3rd most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 75.6x (87th most expensive)
More on Shorewood: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The median income in Shorewood comes in at $75,779 and the median home value is $352,600 for 2022.

Methodology: How We Determined The Most Expensive Places To Live In The Badger State For 2022

Map Of The Cheapest Places To Live In Wisconsin
The two most important things to think about when it comes to being able to afford if you can live comes down to:

  1. How much do money do I make?
  2. How much do I have spend to live there?

You need to understand your costs in the context of how much money you make.

For example, if the median household earns $100,000 and spends $40,000 on housing it's actually cheaper to live there than a place with a median income of $50,000 and housing costs of $21,000. You might spend more on housing, but you have more money overall to play with.

With that example in mind, we derived several statistics from the latest Census American Community Survey 2016-2020 around incomes and costs. They are:

  • Median Home Price / Median Income (lower is better)
  • Median Income / Median Rent (Higher is better)
  • Median Home Price

We added simply median home price because high home prices generally correlate with higher expenses for all costs related to homes (heating, electricity, etc).

You can then compare these metrics in each of the places in Wisconsin to figure out which is the most expensive.

What you are left with is a "Cost of Living Index" by taking the average rank of each of these metrics for each city.

So we used that cost of living index in order to rank all of the 141 places in Wisconsin that have more than 5,000 people.

The place with the highest cost of living in Wisconsin according to the data is Middleton. You can download the data here.

Summary: Taking A Chunk Out Of Your Paycheck In Wisconsin For 2022

Well there you have it, the places in Wisconsin that have the highest cost of living, with Middleton ranking as the most expensive city in the Badger State.

Here's a look at the most affordable cities in Wisconsin according to the data:

  1. Rothschild
  2. Merrill
  3. Manitowoc

For more Wisconsin reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Most Expensive Cities In Wisconsin

Rank City ExpensiveScore Population Home/Income Ratio Income/Rent Ratio
1 Middleton 15.33 19,764 4.9x 67.0x
2 Madison 16.67 258,366 3.9x 58.9x
3 Fox Point 17.67 6,623 3.7x 65.5x
4 Hudson 21.0 13,912 3.4x 58.6x
5 Delafield 22.0 7,541 4.2x 71.5x
6 Fitchburg 22.33 30,032 4.2x 69.4x
7 Pewaukee 23.33 8,139 3.8x 51.2x
8 Whitewater 26.33 14,762 4.7x 46.2x
9 Lake Geneva 28.67 7,872 3.5x 62.6x
10 Shorewood 32.33 13,248 4.7x 75.6x
11 New Berlin 35.33 39,794 3.2x 67.6x
12 Waukesha 37.0 72,419 3.4x 68.9x
13 Platteville 37.33 12,113 3.7x 56.1x
14 River Falls 37.67 15,870 3.5x 70.1x
15 Bellevue 38.67 15,812 3.3x 64.9x
16 Brookfield 39.33 38,626 3.1x 71.8x
17 Menomonie 40.33 16,479 3.5x 54.6x
18 Mcfarland 40.67 8,845 3.2x 69.7x
19 Stoughton 41.33 13,146 3.4x 70.6x
20 Oak Creek 41.33 36,321 3.1x 67.9x
21 Mequon 42.67 24,357 3.1x 75.2x
22 Verona 43.67 13,215 3.3x 76.4x
23 Sun Prairie 43.67 33,954 3.1x 70.4x
24 Hales Corners 44.0 7,609 3.1x 69.1x
25 Monona 45.33 8,141 3.8x 79.8x
26 Franklin 46.0 36,013 3.2x 74.3x
27 La Crosse 46.17 51,543 3.2x 56.6x
28 Mount Horeb 47.33 7,494 3.4x 78.5x
29 Hartland 47.33 9,317 3.6x 80.5x
30 Rice Lake 47.67 8,420 3.4x 53.5x
31 Pewaukee 48.0 14,561 3.2x 77.9x
32 St. Francis 48.0 9,600 3.3x 64.8x
33 Stevens Point 49.5 26,144 3.2x 61.1x
34 Cedarburg 49.67 11,592 4.1x 90.0x
35 Slinger 52.0 5,500 3.6x 81.9x
36 Muskego 52.0 25,077 3.2x 79.5x
37 Greenfield 52.33 37,117 3.0x 63.6x
38 Watertown 53.0 23,561 3.0x 59.1x
39 Elm Grove 53.33 6,156 3.5x 112.7x
40 Bristol 54.0 5,079 3.2x 80.3x
41 Howard 54.33 19,879 3.4x 77.7x
42 Hartford 55.0 15,228 3.2x 73.0x
43 Menomonee Falls 57.33 37,611 3.1x 76.7x
44 Twin Lakes 57.67 6,134 3.2x 76.9x
45 Kenosha 58.0 99,767 2.9x 60.8x
46 Oregon 58.33 10,513 3.3x 88.0x
47 Wauwatosa 58.33 48,143 3.0x 75.2x
48 Lake Hallie 59.0 6,710 2.8x 65.5x
49 South Milwaukee 59.33 20,857 2.9x 65.1x
50 Grafton 59.33 11,718 3.2x 79.6x
51 Glendale 59.33 12,890 2.9x 71.0x
52 Onalaska 60.0 18,814 3.1x 75.4x
53 Milwaukee 60.67 592,649 3.0x 49.8x
54 Holmen 62.67 10,023 3.0x 74.1x
55 Waunakee 63.67 13,903 3.1x 112.5x
56 Whitefish Bay 65.0 13,890 3.0x 107.9x
57 Plover 65.0 12,981 3.0x 72.5x
58 Germa 65.67 20,142 3.1x 84.0x
59 Richfield 66.33 11,782 3.0x 101.5x
60 Baraboo 66.67 12,133 2.9x 66.2x
61 Elkhorn 66.67 10,034 3.0x 73.3x
62 Port Washington 67.0 11,881 3.0x 77.0x
63 Burlington 67.33 10,911 3.2x 81.4x
64 Sussex 67.33 10,884 3.1x 92.9x
65 Cottage Grove 68.0 7,086 2.9x 83.8x
66 Greendale 68.0 14,160 3.0x 80.1x
67 West Allis 68.67 59,861 2.8x 63.0x
68 West Salem 70.0 5,010 2.9x 74.0x
69 New Richmond 70.33 9,212 2.9x 76.0x
70 Mukwonago 70.33 8,142 3.1x 90.4x
71 Janesville 70.67 64,415 2.7x 64.0x
72 Lake Mills 72.33 5,936 2.8x 75.4x
73 Chippewa Falls 72.33 14,197 2.8x 65.8x
74 Eau Claire 72.67 68,720 2.8x 71.6x
75 Portage 73.17 10,412 2.7x 64.0x
76 Hobart 73.67 9,499 3.0x 106.3x
77 Racine 76.0 76,893 2.6x 51.6x
78 West Bend 76.0 31,587 2.8x 75.1x
79 Waterford 76.0 5,520 2.7x 75.4x
80 Ashwaubenon 76.67 17,130 2.9x 75.8x
81 Ashland 77.67 7,841 2.7x 60.8x
82 Deforest 78.0 10,473 2.9x 84.3x
83 Oconomowoc 78.67 16,931 2.8x 95.2x
84 Suamico 79.0 12,890 2.7x 83.7x
85 Pleasant Prairie 80.67 20,969 2.6x 79.0x
86 Green Bay 80.67 104,508 2.7x 68.0x
87 Sturgeon Bay 81.33 8,927 2.7x 71.9x
88 Altoona 81.67 7,769 2.9x 79.9x
89 Oshkosh 82.0 66,753 2.6x 65.2x
90 Superior 83.0 26,260 2.6x 63.2x
91 New London 83.0 7,121 2.6x 67.4x
92 Sparta 83.0 9,751 2.5x 63.3x
93 Jefferson 83.67 8,011 2.6x 74.2x
94 Tomah 83.67 9,342 2.5x 60.1x
95 Wausau 84.0 38,685 2.6x 61.8x
96 Delavan 84.33 8,296 2.5x 65.7x
97 Waupaca 84.67 5,916 2.8x 69.2x
98 Mount Pleasant 85.33 27,008 2.9x 85.1x
99 Brown Deer 86.0 11,987 2.5x 72.3x
100 Fort Atkinson 86.0 12,455 2.5x 72.4x

How Is The Area 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.