Madison Population 2017

Madison has an estimated population of 247,000, making it the second-largest city in the state behind Milwaukee. The Madison Metropolitan Statistical Area, including Dane, Iowa and Columbia counties, has a population estimated at 578,000, the 86th largest metro area in the United States. Madison has a population density of 3,037 people per square mile, or 1,173 per square kilometer.

Madison Demographics

At the 2010 census, the racial composition of Madison was:

  • White: 78.9%
  • African American: 7.3%
  • Asian: 7.4%
  • Native American: 0.4%
  • Other races: 2.9%
  • Two or more races: 3.1%
  • Hispanic or Latino of any race: 6.8%

Madison is home to the third-largest congregation of Unitarian Universalists in the country, and the First Unitarian Society of Madison has its home in the Unitarian Meeting House, which was designed by world-famous architect and member, Frank Lloyd Wright. There are many Christian denominations present in the city, along with Buddhism, Hinduism and more. Long known as a center for non-theists, Madison is also home to the Freedom From Religion Foundation.

Madison Population Growth

Madison is the fastest-growing municipality in Wisconsin, with a population growth rate of almost 3% in 2011 and 2012. Madison has a high quality of life, which has helped its population grow nearly 11% from 2000 to 2008. By 2030, Madison is projected to have a population of 270,000. 
## Madison History Madison's history dates back to 1829, when former federal judge James Doty bought more than one thousand acres of forest and swamp land on the isthmus between Lakes Monona and Mendota. He intended to build a city. When the Wisconsin Territory was created seven years later, the legislature was tasked with choosing a permanent location for the capital. Doty lobbied for Madison as the new capital and offered buffalo robes to the cold legislators and promised the best lots in the city at a discount to undecided voters. The city -- which only existed on paper at this point -- was named the capital of the territory.

Madison was incorporated as a village in 1846 with a population of just over 600. When Wisconsin became a state two years later, Madison remained the capital and it then became the site of the University of Wisconsin. It was incorporated as a city in 1856 with a population of nearly 6,700.

Madison served as the center for the Union Army in Wisconsin during the Civil War, and it was a last stop for soldiers heading to fight the Confederates. Camp Randall in Madison was used as a prison camp, military hospital and training camp, and it was absorbed into the University of Wisconsin and Camp Randall Stadium in 1917.

Madison Facts

  • No buildings may be constructed in Madison that are taller than or overshadow the State Capital.
  • Madison is one of just 2 U.S. cities built on an isthmus.
  • Madison is named for James Madison, the fourth president of the United States who died the year of the city's founding. The streets of Madison were named for the other 39 signers of the Constitution.
Year Population Change
2015 248,951 6.80%
2010 233,209 12.10%
2000 208,054 8.80%
1990 191,262 12.10%
1980 170,616 -0.70%
1970 171,809 35.60%
1960 126,706 31.90%
1950 96,056 42.40%
1940 67,447 16.50%
1930 57,899 50.90%
1920 38,378 50.30%
1910 25,531 33.20%
1900 19,164 42.70%
1890 13,426 30.00%
1880 10,324 12.50%
1870 9,176 38.80%
1860 6,611 0.20%
1850 6,600 340.00%
1840 1,500 0.00%

Madison Population in 2017 Source: Dori

Madison Race Data

Race Population Percentage
White 189,999 79.22%
Black or African American 17,300 7.21%
American Indian and Alaska Native 723 0.30%
Asian 19,497 8.13%
Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander 0.00%
Some Other Race 4,043 1.69%
Two or More Races 8,286 3.45%

Population Pyramid

Madison Housing Indicators

Indicator Value
Total Housing Units 108,824
Owner-Occupied Units 49,793
Renter-Occupied Units 54,294
Median Home Value $212,500
Median Rent $939
Vacancy Rate 4.4%
Houses With Mortgage 36,094
Houses Without Mortgage 13,699
Median Number of Rooms (per House) 4.9

This chart shows the employment and labor force participation rates in Madison for residents over 16 years of age. The 2015 unemployment rate is 3.9% and the labor force participation rate is 72.5%.

Madison Family/Household Indicators

Indicator Value
Average Household Size 2.22
Average Family Size 2.89
Married Couple Families 37,354
Male Householder (no wife) Families 4,043
Female Householder (no husband) Families 8,859
Non Family Households
Unmarried Partner Households (Opposite Sex) 7.7%
Unmarried Partner Households (Same Sex) 0.9%