About Milwaukee

Come Join the Excitement!

You could not have picked a more exciting time to move to Milwaukee! The region is sizzling with energy – from the construction of the Milwaukee Bucks new professional basketball arena and entertainment district in the heart of downtown Milwaukee to Foxconn’s decision to invest $10 billion in a new technology enterprise in Racine County that is expected to create more than 13,000 jobs and further Wisconsin’s already well-established reputation for technological innovation and advanced manufacturing (even before the Foxconn announcement, Milwaukee was named as an up-and-coming tech city by Forbes magazine). Then there’s the social energy. It should come as no surprise that Milwaukee has become a preferred destination for Millennials. One reason is that Milwaukee has been a leader in New Urbanism, which focuses on creating walkable and sustainable communities. Twenty years ago, the city began work on the RiverWalk, which transformed the downtown and made it a hotbed of entertainment and downtown living opportunities. The momentum continues. There’s another announcement for a new apartment or condominium project in the Milwaukee area almost every month.

So Where Is Milwaukee?

Milwaukee is ideally located in the heart of the Upper Midwest. Situated on the western shores of Lake Michigan, one of the five Great Lakes, it is a 90-minute drive from downtown Chicago, a five-hour drive from Minneapolis-St. Paul and Indianapolis, and slightly more than an hour away from Madison, the capital of Wisconsin. Wisconsin’s fabled North Woods and Michigan’s Upper Peninsula are just three hours away. But you don’t have to travel that far to find plenty to do in the metropolitan area, which consists of five counties: Milwaukee, Waukesha, Ozaukee, Washington and Racine. 

What Is the Milwaukee Region?

There are different definitions depending on who is measuring what, but when we talk about the Milwaukee Region, we are referring to five counties in southeastern Wisconsin – Milwaukee, Waukesha, Ozaukee, Washington and Racine – that have a combined population of 1.75 million people. Milwaukee is the largest city in the region with 595,000 people, followed by Racine (78,000), Waukesha (71,700) and West Allis (60,000). There are dozens of smaller communities in the region, as well as gorgeous, rural landscapes – including Waukesha County’s lake country, the rolling glacial topography of the Kettle Moraine that spans Waukesha and Washington and Ozaukee counties, and the stunning Lake Michigan vistas in Ozaukee and Racine counties. For detailed information about the region’s counties and communities, please see the Area Communities section, which starts on page 68.    

The Magic of Milwaukee

There are many reasons why the Milwaukee area is a good place to live. Here are a few:

  • One of America's Friendliest Cities - Travel and Leisure
  • Top 10 Urban Beaches - USA Today
  • Top 12 Cities for Art - 88Nine
  • Best Cities for Money-$avvy College Grads - Credit Donkey

Our Future

With the Foxconn development (the largest business investment in the history of the United States) and billions more dollars being invested in the region’s entertainment, housing, retail, office space and transportation infrastructure, the Milwaukee Region is poised for its greatest growth in more than a generation. A new basketball arena and entertainment district, condos and apartments, and office buildings are reshaping the skyline. Milwaukee’s “can-do” mentality, ideal location, educated workforce and forward-facing economy have positioned the region for growth.


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Discover Milwaukee, The Greater Milwaukee Relocation Guide has detailed information on schools, communities, home prices, and more...