Wisconsin Population 2018

5,818,049

Wisconsin is part of the Great Lakes region of the country, located in the north Midwest. With a surface area of around 65,497.82 square miles, it is a relatively large state with a population to match -- it is the 23rd biggest state in the country, and in terms of population, it is the 20th most populous state in the US. The 2018 population of Wisconsin is estimated at 5.82 million. The state currently has a growth rate of 0.35%, which ranks 39th in the state.

The last census within the US was carried out in 2010, so in order to judge the population of Wisconsin in 2018, those figures have to be projected forward in the best way possible. Based on the state's growth rate, the population is now 5.82 million in 2018, showing a 1.5% growth from the 2010 figure of 5,686,986.

Within the surface area of 65,497.82 miles, there is an average of 105 people for every square mile of Wisconsin land. That figure converts to 39.6 people for every square kilometer and it makes Wisconsin the 23rd most densely populated state in the entire US.

The state's biggest city by far is Milwaukee, with a population exceeding 600,000. This is followed by Madison (pop 248,000), Green Bay (pop 105,207) and Kenosha (pop 99,858). The Milwaukee-Waukesha-West Allis Metropolitan Statistical Area has an estimated population of 1.55 million.

Wisconsin Population History

Wisconsin was part of the Northwest Territory organized in 1787, then of Indiana Territory (1800). In 1809 it was included in the new Illinois Territory, except for the northern part of the Door Peninsula, which remained in Indiana Territory. In 1818 Michigan Territory expanded to include the whole of present-day Wisconsin. Wisconsin Territory was organized in 1836 and briefly included all of Minnesota and Iowa and the Dakotas east of the Missouri River. After Iowa Territory was organized in 1838, only northeastern Minnesota, east of the Mississippi River and a line from its source north to the Canadian boundary, remained in Wisconsin Territory. Wisconsin was admitted as a State on May 29, 1848 with essentially its present boundaries.

There was only limited census coverage of the present area of the State prior to 1840. In 1790 the Northwest Territory had no census coverage. The 1800 census for Indiana Territory reported populations for Green Bay (50) and Prairie du Chien (65); in 1810 any settlers enumerated in these or other Wisconsin communities were reported as part of St. Clair County, Illinois Territory. In 1820 Crawford and Brown Counties, Michigan Territory, included nearly all of present-day Wisconsin; Crawford also included northeastern Minnesota but this had no census coverage. This also was the case in 1830, with the addition of Iowa County from part of Crawford. In 1840 some persons in northeastern Minnesota were enumerated in St. Croix County, Wisconsin Territory.

Wisconsin Population Chart

Wisconsin Population History

In 1820, Wisconsin’s population figures stood at a mere 1,444, but like in many areas of the US in the early 19th century, an explosion in numbers was just over the horizon. Just ten years later, a rise of over 150% took those figures to 3,635.

However, the biggest population spike came between the years of 1840 and 1850 when an incredible increase of nearly 900% took the population of Wisconsin from 305,391 to 775,881. Although the increases began to slow down, the overall picture was one of growth and by the start of the 20th century, numbers were recorded at 2,069,042.

That pattern continued through the 20th century and as census by census growth started to settle down, the numbers grew at a steady pace. As a result, the population of Wisconsin in 2016 is starting to climb toward the next milestone of 6 million.

Wisconsin Population Projections

Population growth in Wisconsin has been steady and as such, this is one of the easier states to predict in terms of further increases than some of the states that have seen both increases and decreases in their populations.

Wisconsin considers itself a very immigrant-friendly area, and many semiskilled people are able to find work in the state in a relatively short amount of time. In fact, a considerable number of refugees and asylum-seekers come to Wisconsin after being turned down elsewhere.

There is nothing to suggest that the pattern of Wisconsin population growth is going to slow down, and therefore, by the time of the next census in 2020, it is possible that the Wisconsin population will have exceeded its next major landmark of 6 million people.

Projections currently show Wisconsin will reach 6.375 million residents by 2030, growing 19.5% between 2000 and 2030. The amount of senior citizens in the state is expected to climb from its current 13% to 21% by that time. 70 of Wisconsin's 72 counties are projected to grow over the next 20 years, although not at a fast pace.

Population Data via US Census

Wisconsin Growth Rate

Wisconsin Population Rank

Year Pop % Change
20205,863,1810.39%
20195,840,6150.39%
20185,818,0490.39%
20175,795,4830.39%
20165,772,917Infinity%
20165,754,798-0.09%
20155,759,7440.15%
20145,751,2720.25%
20135,736,6730.27%
20125,721,0750.27%
20115,705,8120.27%
20105,690,4030.59%
20005,363,6750.93%
19904,891,7690.39%
19804,705,7670.63%
19704,417,7311.12%
19603,951,7771.41%
19503,434,5750.91%
19403,137,5870.66%
19302,939,0061.11%
19202,632,0671.21%
19102,333,8601.21%
19002,069,0422.02%
18901,693,3302.56%
18801,315,4972.23%
18701,054,6703.12%
1860775,8819.77%
1850305,39125.73%
184030,94523.88%
18303,6359.67%
18201,4440.00%

Wisconsin Facts

Wisconsin Population in 2018Source: By Towpilot [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC BY 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], from Wikimedia Commons

  • The Winnebago, Menominee, and Dakota Indians were among the first inhabitants of the land that is now Wisconsin.
  • Wisconsin became property of the United States following the American Revolution. Settlers began flocking to the area to work in the lumber, mining and dairy industries.
  • In 1854, a meeting held in Ripon to oppose the expansion of slavery led to the birth of the Republican Party.
  • Wisconsin produces about 15% of the milk in the US -- more than any other state.
  • The state has over 16,000 named lakes.
  • Wisconsin has a high number of German residents, earning it the title as the most German-American state in the country.
  • The Harley Davidson Motorcycle company was founded in Milwaukee.
  • The largest water park in the US -- Noah's Ark Family Park -- is located in Wisconsin Dells.

Wisconsin Population Density by County

Milwaukee County

  • Population952,085
  • Density3942.59 per sq km
  • Growth Since 20100.40%
  • State Rank1
  • % of State16.43%

Wisconsin Population Growth Rate by County

The state of Wisconsin has many counties, and of these counties, significant population losses and gains have been recorded based on 2010 data from the Census and estimates taken by the Census Bureau in 2015. This data shows that the highest gain in population was recorded in Menominee County, with a population growth rate of 7.22% during the 5-year period. Dane County's 7.04% growth rate was the 2nd highest in the state. There were multiple other counties that posted growth in populations from 2010 to 2015, albeit at smaller rates. These counties include Vernon, Brown, Eau Claire, and St. Croix, just to name a few.

There were other states that had declines in their populations during the same period of 2010 to 2015. The highest loss happened in Rusk County, with a 4.04%. This was followed by Langlade County of 3.61%, Adams County at 3.43%, and others including Richland, Lincoln, and Forest. Smaller losses were recorded in counties including Douglas, Sawyer, Wood, and others.

Population by Race

Race Population
White4,961,193
Black or African American361,730
Asian148,077
Two or More Races125,923
Some Other Race105,038
American Indian and Alaska Native51,459
Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander1,378

Race Data via US Census (2016 ACS 5-Year Survey)

Wisconsin Population Pyramid 2018

0%2%4%6%8% Male Population0%2%4%6%8% Female Population80757065605550454035302520151050

Data via US Census (2016 ACS 5-Year Survey): Table S0101

Wisconsin Median Age

39.1


Total

38


Male

40.3


Female

Wisconsin Adults

There are 4,454,214 adults, (874,729 of which are seniors) in Wisconsin.

Wisconsin Age Dependency

60.8

Age Dependency Ratio

24.5

Old Age Dependency Ratio

36.4

Child Dependency Ratio

Wisconsin Sex Ratio

Female

2,895,743

50.32%

Male

2,859,055

49.68%

Wisconsin Households and Families

Wisconsin Renter vs Owner Occupied by Household Type

Wisconsin Household Types

Type Owner Renter
Married86.1%13.9%
All67%33%
Male56.9%43.1%
Non Family48.8%51.2%
Female43.5%56.5%

67.0%

Rate of Home Ownership

Wisconsin Households by Type

Type Count Average Size Owned
All2,310,2462.4367
Married1,136,9243.0486.1
Non Family838,9321.2848.8
Female230,5493.2243.5
Male103,8413.1856.9

3

Average Family Size

2.43

Average Household Size

6.6%

Unmarried (Opposite Sex)

0.3%

Unmarried (Same Sex)

Wisconsin Households

Wisconsin Education

Wisconsin Educational Attainment by Sex (over 25)

Education Attained Count Percentage
Less Than 9th Grade115,9602.98%
9th to 12th Grade220,1365.66%
High School Graduate1,233,22031.69%
Some College816,54020.98%
Associates Degree401,31410.31%
Bachelors Degree729,49918.75%
Graduate Degree374,5839.63%

Wisconsin Educational Attainment by Race

Name Total High School Bachelors
White3,363,1843,147,3581,001,299
Black201,923163,92327,477
Hispanic180,692119,22122,798
Asian82,85168,87838,390
Other Race55,13132,6094,336
Multiple Races40,86036,29710,871
Native American31,09126,7294,559
Islander872699181

The highest rate of high school graduation is among white people with a rate of 93.58%.

The highest rate of bachelors degrees is among white people with a rate of 46.34%.

Wisconsin Earnings by Educational Attainment

Name Average Male Female
Overall$36,855$43,157$30,829
Less Than High School$22,317$26,247$16,775
High School Grad$30,475$36,391$23,872
Some College$34,771$42,417$28,362
Bachelors Degree$48,286$59,270$40,915
Graduate Degree$61,842$73,178$55,037

$36,855

Average Earnings

$43,157

Average Male

$30,829

Average Female

Wisconsin Language

Wisconsin Language by Age

Wisconsin Language

91.30% of Wisconsin residents speak only English, while 8.70% speak other languages. The largest non-English language is Spanish, which is spoken by 4.59% of the population.

Wisconsin Poverty

Wisconsin Poverty by Race

Name Total In Poverty Poverty Rate
White4,616,207433,8519.40%
Black342,045123,98336.25%
Hispanic361,81295,15426.30%
Multiple119,88029,49924.61%
Other103,01429,31628.46%
Asian144,35326,66218.47%
Native48,67113,67728.10%
Islander1,33932924.57%

12.73%

Overall Poverty Rate

11.54%

Male Poverty Rate

13.90%

Female Poverty Rate

Poverty in Wisconsin

The race most likely to be in poverty in Wisconsin is Black, with 36.25% below the poverty level.

The race least likely to be in poverty in Wisconsin is White, with 9.40% below the poverty level.

The poverty rate among those that worked full-time for the past 12 months was 2.31%. Among those working part-time, it was 17.70%, and for those that did not work, the poverty rate was 19.40%.

Wisconsin Poverty Rate by Education

Name Poverty
Less Than High School24.25%
High School10.97%
Some College8.91%
Bachelors or Greater3.62%

Wisconsin Poverty Rate by Employment Status and Sex

Name Poverty
Female Unemployed37.02%
Male Unemployed30.68%
Female Employed8.17%
Male Employed5.59%

Wisconsin Income

Wisconsin Income by Household Type

Name Median Mean
Households$54,610$71,459
Families$69,925$85,975
Married Families$80,798$97,913
Non Families$32,060$43,382

Wisconsin Marital Status

Wisconsin Marital Status

Marriage Rates

50.7%

Overall Marriage Rate

51.6%

Male Marriage Rate

49.8%

Female Marriage Rate

Wisconsin Married by Age and Sex

Wisconsin Marriage

The age group where males are most likely to be married is Over65, while the female age group most likely to be married is 45To54.

Wisconsin Marital Status by Race

Wisconsin Veterans

Wisconsin Veterans by War

367,227

Number of Veterans

341,594

Male Veterans

25,633

Female Veterans

Name Veterans
Vietnam133,364
First Gulf War52,863
Second Gulf War43,211
Korea38,442
World War II24,578

Wisconsin Veterans by Age

Name Veterans
65 to 7496,098
75+93,528
35 to 5479,266
55 to 6471,957
18 to 3426,378

Wisconsin Veterans by Race

Name Veterans % of Total
White343,6738.73%
Black14,2975.76%
Hispanic6,6922.98%
Indian3,3229.06%
2 or More3,1365.45%
Asian1,3931.33%
Other1,2921.91%
Hawaiian1149.49%

Wisconsin Veterans by Education

6.61%

Veteran Poverty Rate

26.46%

Veteran Disability Rate

Wisconsin Employment Status

Wisconsin Employment by Age

66.9%

Labor Force Participation

63.2%

Employment Rate

5.5%

Unemployment Rate

Wisconsin Employment by Race

Wisconsin Employment by Education

Wisconsin Nativity

Wisconsin Citizenship Status

Data Sources
  1. Demographic Services Center
  2. US Census State Population Estimates - Most recent state estimates from the Census Bureau's Population Estimates Program
  3. US Census County Population Estimates - Most recent county estimates from the Census Bureau's Population Estimates Program
  4. American Community Survey (2009 - 2013)
  5. Census QuickFacts
  6. Historical Populations of States and Counties (1790 - 1990)