What makes Milwaukee such a great place to live? The communities of the metropolitan area, each of which offers a quality of life that can't be beat. Looking for an urban setting that's close to downtown or a rural outpost where you can enjoy nature? There is something here for everyone. Each of the five counties in the metropolitan area has its own distinct character. Milwaukee County seethes with energy. Waukesha is one of the fasted-growing counties in the state, yet it still boasts thousands of acres of natural habitat. The rolling hills of Washington County offer beautiful scenery, while historic Ozaukee County recalls life in the 19th Century with its miles of unspoiled Lake Michigan beachfront. Racine County has a thriving, modern marina and is an urban center of its own.

Choosing where to live may be one of the most difficult decisions you will have to make. One of your primary considerations will likely be finding a home near where you or your partner will work. Fortunately, Milwaukee’s average commute time is among the lowest in the country, which means it’s possible to live anywhere in the metropolitan area and still be close to the urban amenities of downtown Milwaukee.

Included on our website are descriptions of the five diverse counties in metropolitan Milwaukee: Milwaukee, Waukesha, Racine, Ozaukee and Washington. Communities in Wisconsin are either cities, villages or towns, designations that are based on the municipality’s legal and political structure and is not related to the community’s population. Beginning on page 68 of the current edition of Discover Milwaukee, you will find a detailed narrative about life in each county is followed by brief descriptions and statistical data on every municipality. Click on the "Order Copy Now" button to receive your free copy.

"HOT" Communities

We have selected two ways to identify upscale communities – communities with the highest median incomes and communities with highest median home sales prices. 

Communities with the Highest Median Incomes

The five communities with the highest median incomes in 2018 were: River Hills ($156,250) and Fox Point ($115,523) in Milwaukee County; and Lac La Belle ($154,375), Chenequa ($144,500) and Merton ($133,315) in Waukesha County.  

Communities with the Highest Home Sales Prices

The five communities with the highest median home sales prices in 2018 were: Chenequa ($1.3 million), Oconomowoc Lake ($1.2 million), Elm Grove ($499,000) and Summit ($438,800) in Waukesha County; and River Hills ($796,000) in Milwaukee County. 

Communities with Top Performing Schools

The five communities with the highest performing schools according to district report card scores (out of 100) in 2017-2018 were: Hartland-Lakeside (96.6), Lake Country (93.0), Fox Point/Bayside (91.8), Merton (91.3) and Whitefish Bay (90.1).

Terms & Sources

Following is a description of the community information used:

  • Median Income: Based on the 2010 Census and adjusted to account for wage inflation between 2010 and 2018
  • Median Home Sales Price: Based on January-September 2018 sales prices from the Multiple Listing Service and the Trulio home sale website
  • School Performance: District report card scores based on 2017-2018 data as provided by the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction
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Discover Milwaukee, The Greater Milwaukee Relocation Guide has detailed information on schools, communities, home prices, and more...