Milwaukee, Wisconsin

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This article is about Milwaukee in Wisconsin. There is also Milwaukie, Oregon.

Milwaukee is the largest city in the state of Wisconsin, United States and the county of Milwaukee. The city's population is 596,974 with an estimated total of 1,709,926 in the Milwaukee metropolitan area (2005). The city of Milwaukee is the 19th largest city in the United States. The city is located in the southeastern portion of the state on the western shore of Lake Michigan.



Picturesque Milwaukee; famous sites,
Picturesque Milwaukee; famous sites, 1880s

The Milwaukee area was originally inhabited by the Fox, Mascouten, Potawatomi, and Winnebago Indian tribes. Milwaukee received its name from the Indian word Millioke which is thought to have meant "The Good Land", or "gathering place by the water". French missionaries and traders passed through the area in the late 1600s and 1700s. In 1818, Frenchman Solomon Juneau settled in the area. Juneau bought out his father-in-law's trading business, and in 1833 he founded a town on the east side of the Milwaukee River. In 1846, Juneau's town combined with neighboring rival towns (Kilbourn Town and Walker's Point) to incorporate the city of Milwaukee. Juneau was Milwaukee's first mayor. (His statue is part of the montage at the right - the frontiersman with the rifle, in the center of the montage. Juneau's statue gazes upon the buildings of downtown Milwaukee, with its back to Lake Michigan. A replica of his tiny log cabin is in the same park.) German immigrants helped increase the city's population during the 1840s and the following decades. Milwaukee still today has a large German-American population. The liberal tradition of these peoples led to decades of socialist government in Milwaukee during the twentieth century.


Although most people associate Milwaukee's reputation with its breweries, today companies like Miller Brewing employ less than one percent of the city's workers. Milwaukee's reputation as a blue collar town is more accurate, however, with 22 percent of the workforce involved in manufacturing -- second only to San Jose, CA and far higher than the national average of 16.5%. Service and managerial jobs are the fastest growing segments of the Milwaukee economy, and healthcare makes up 27% of all service jobs in the city.

Milwaukee is headquarters to six Fortune 1000 manufacturers and six Fortune 1000 service companies. Among these are Briggs & Stratton, Harley-Davidson, Johnson Controls, Manpower Inc., Marshall & Ilsley, Northwestern Mutual, Rockwell Automation, Roundy's and Wisconsin Energy. Milwaukee also has a large number of financial service firms, particularly those specializing in mutual funds, and a disproportionate number of publishing and printing companies.

Arts, Culture and Sports

The Milwaukee Art Museum
The Milwaukee Art Museum

Milwaukee's most visually prominent cultural attraction is the Milwaukee Art Museum, and especially its new $100 million wing designed by Santiago Calatrava in his first American commission. The museum includes a "brise soleil," a moving sunscreen that quite literally unfolds like the wing of a bird. The Milwaukee Public Museum and Milwaukee County Zoo are also notable public attractions.

Milwaukee is home to the Florentine Opera, the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, the Milwaukee Ballet, Milwaukee Repertory Theatre, Skylight Opera Theatre, and a number of other arts organizations.

It is also home to a number of professional sports teams including:

Milwaukee has advertised itself as the "City of Festivals," especially emphasizing an annual fair along the lakefront called Summerfest. Listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the largest music festival in the world, Summerfest attracts around 900,000 visitors a year to its twelve stages. Smaller festivals througout the year celebrate the city's German, Native American, African-American, Italian, Irish, Asian, French and Polish heritage.

Geography and Layout

Location of Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Milwaukee's downtown area is about 90 miles north of the Chicago Loop. Milwaukee lies along the shores of Lake Michigan near the meeting points of three rivers: the Menomonee, the Kinnickinnic and the Milwaukee. It is crossed by Interstate 43 and Interstate 94, which come together downtown at the Marquette Interchange.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 251.0 km² (96.9 square miles). 248.8 km² (96.1 square miles) of it is land and 2.2 km² (0.9 mi²) of it is water. The total area is 0.88% water.


In the 2000 census, over a third (38 percent) of Milwaukeeans reported that they were of German descent. Other large population groups include Polish (12.7%), Irish (10%), English (5.1%), Italian (4.4%), French (3.9%), and Hispanic origin totaled 6.3%.

As of the censusTemplate:GR of 2000, there are 596,974 people, 232,188 households, and 135,133 families residing in the city. The population density is 2,399.5/km² (6,214.3 per square mile). There are 249,225 housing units at an average density of 1,001.7/km² (2,594.4 per square mile). The racial makeup of the city is 49.98% White, 37.34% African American, 0.87% Native American, 2.94% Asian, 0.05% Pacific Islander, 6.10% from other races, and 2.71% from two or more races. 12.00% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There are 232,188 households out of which 30.5% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 32.2% are married couples living together, 21.1% have a female householder with no husband present, and 41.8% are non-families. 33.5% of all households are made up of individuals and 9.5% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 2.50 and the average family size is 3.25.

In the city the population is spread out with 28.6% under the age of 18, 12.2% from 18 to 24, 30.2% from 25 to 44, 18.1% from 45 to 64, and 10.9% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 31 years. For every 100 females there are 91.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 87.2 males.

The median income for a household in the city is $32,216, and the median income for a family is $37,879. Males have a median income of $32,244 versus $26,013 for females. The per capita income for the city is $16,181. 21.3% of the population and 17.4% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total population, 31.6% of those under the age of 18 and 11.0% of those 65 and older are living below the poverty line.


  • Average January high/low temperatures: 26°F/11°F (-3°C/-12°C)
  • Average July high/low temperatures: 79°F/62°F (26°C/17°C)

Milwaukee's proximity to Lake Michigan causes a convection current to form mid-afternoon, resulting in the so-called lake effect, causing the temperatures to be warmer in the winter, and cooler in the summer ("cooler by the lake" is practically boilerplate language for local meteorologists during the summer). Also, the relative humidity in the summer is far higher than that of comparable cities at the same latitude, meaning that it feels hotter than it really is.

Milwaukee's all-time record high temperature is 105°F (41°C) set on July 17, 1995. The coldest temperature ever experienced by the city was -26°F (-32°C) on both January 17, 1982 and February 4, 1996. The 1982 event, also known as Cold Sunday, featured temperatures as low as -40°F (-40°C) in some of the suburbs as little as 10 miles (16km) to the north of Milwaukee, although the city itself did not approach such cold temperatures.


Colleges and universities



  • Bay View Known for its affordable rents, views of the city skyline and proximity to Lake Michigan. Features a heavy concentration of trendy stores and music venues. Located about 3 miles south of downtown on the lake, within the area including Kinnickinnic Street. [1] (
  • Brady Street Another neighborhood in Milwaukee noted for its trendiness. The neighborhood is filled with coffee houses, nightclubs, trendy restaurants, vintage clothing and thrift stores. [2] (
  • Brewers Hill An upper middle class neighborhood located near Miller Park [3] (
  • Capitol West
  • Concordia
  • East Side One of the most diverse neighborhoods in Milwaukee, the "east side" is a broad area that basically refers to anything east of the Milwaukee River, north of downtown and south of the suburb of Shorewood. This area includes Brady Street, the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee campus, the lakefront, and the marina. The streets and buildings in this neighborhood range from towering, expensive high rises and condominiums along the lake to brownstones and walkups a few blocks inland to cheap duplexes near the river. An economically and ethnically diverse group of people live in this neighborhood.
  • Eastown
  • East Village
  • Granville A working class neighborhood located on Milwaukee's far northwest side.
  • Havenswoods
  • Hillside/Lapham Park
  • Jackson Park Neighborhood on the south side of Milwaukee, located about 6 miles south of downtown. Jackson Park's architecture consists largely of two-story wood frame houses that were constructed in the early 20th century. Jackson Park's makeup is mostly Caucasian, lower middle class and blue collar, though in recent years, it has seen a growing number of Hispanic residents.
  • Jacobus Park
  • Town of Lake Located near the airport, this neighborhood is based on its namesake township which was established by the Territorial Legislature in 1838 and covered much of what is now the south side of Milwaukee. The old Lake city hall on 6th & Howard currently serves as a municipal building and water treatment facility.
  • Layton Park
  • Martin Drive
  • Metcalfe Park An area bordered by North Avenue on the north, Walnut on the south, 18th Street on the east, and 25th Street on the west. The neighborhood has had problems with crime in recent years.
  • Piggsville
  • Riverwest A neighborhood located west of the Milwaukee River, near Milwaukee's east side. Riverwest is noted for its ethnic diversity (including a growing Iranian, Asian and Hispanic population), as well as its increasing numbers of artists and musicians. [4] (
  • Sherman Park A north side middle class, mostly African-American neighborhood, that was once the heart of Milwaukee's Jewish population.
  • Story Hill
  • Third Ward An increasingly upper middle class neighborhood located just to the south of downtown, the Third Ward is noted for a large number of condominiums and loft apartments, antique stores, and art galleries. It is also a center of Milwaukee's gay community.
  • Walker's Point A neighborhood that lies south of the Third Ward, it is noted for being the center of Milwaukee's Hispanic community, as well as the location of most of the city's gay and lesbian nightclubs and bars.
  • Walnut Hill An inner-city, predominately African-American neighborhood on the north side, near Center street and Teutonia. The neighborhood is economically mixed, ranging from impoverished to middle class.
  • Washington Heights
  • Washington Park A predominately African-American neighborhood bordering Metcalfe Park
  • West End
  • West Town

Notable denizens

Missing image
Golda Meir, prime minister of Israel

  • Herbert SimonNobel laureate for advances in artificial intelligence (AI): the influence of Milwaukee even showed up in his professional work; as the inventor of bounded rationality, Simon showed that people work only as much as needed, and then adjust their priorities to other, perhaps more enjoyable things, an attitude which is very common in a city dedicated to gemuetlich pursuits and beer.
  • Jack Kilby—Nobel laureate, co-inventor of the integrated circuit
  • Golda Meir—prime minister of Israel
  • Lloyd and Jane Pettit —Well known philanthropists of Bradley family fortune, who gifted the Bradley Center and Pettit National Ice Center. [5] (
  • Leroy Chiaoastronaut, Commander and Science Officer for International Space Station Expedition 10 in orbit as of October 16, 2004 for a 6-month mission.

See also

External links


Template:Milwaukee, Wisconsin

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