Milwaukee, Wisconsin Population 2018

Milwaukee is the largest city in Wisconsin and the 30th most populous city in the country. It's also the center of the Milwaukee-Waukesha-West Allis Metropolitan Statistical Area with a population of 1.57 million. In 2016, Milwaukee has a population exceeding 600,000.

Milwaukee is a very slowly growing city with a population estimated at 600,155 in 2016. Despite very strong growth through the 1950s, Milwaukee has experienced negative growth since then, and it's only since the 2010 census that signs of growth have been evident, although growth has been small.

The Milwaukee metropolitan area is home to approximately 1.57 million people in 2016. 30% of the entire state's population lives in the 5-country metropolitan area, with 10% of Wisconsin's population within the Milwaukee city limits.

Milwaukee Demographics

At the 2010 US Census, the racial breakdown of Milwaukee was:

  • White: 44.8% (non-Hispanic: 37%)
  • African American: 40.0%
  • Asian: 3.5%
  • American Indian and Alaska Native: 0.8%
  • Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander: 0.1%
  • Two or more races: 3.4%
  • Hispanic or Latino of any race: 17.3%

38.3% of Milwaukee's population reports having African American ancestry, while 21% claim German ancestry. Other common ancestry groups in the city include Polish (8.8%), Irish (6.5%), Italian (3.6%) and English (2.8%).

The city of Milwaukee seems diverse, but the picture changes when you look at the county as a whole. Milwaukee County's population is 55% white, and the county's African American population is 27%. Only about 8% of the county's African American population lives outside the city limits.

Milwaukee is often seen as a very racially segregated city; some consider it the most segregated city in the country, along with Detroit, Michigan, including a 2002 issue of Jet Magazine.

Milwaukee History

The Milwaukee area was originally inhabited by several Native American tribes, with French traders and missionaries first passing though the region in the late 17th century. A trading post was established in 1785 by Alexis Laframboise. It's believed the word Milwaukee comes from either a Potawatomi or Ojibwe word meaning "gathering place by the water." For many years, the settlement's name was printed as "Milwaukie," until a newspaper changed it to its current spelling sometime in the 1830s.

In its early history, Milwaukee had a great rivalry with two neighboring towns, Juneautown, across the river, and Walker's Point. By the 1840s, the rivalry had grown and there were battles between the town, culminating in the Milwaukee Bridge War of 1845. Afterward, the towns were united and, in 1846, the City of Milwaukee was incorporated.

Milwaukee began to grow rapidly with an influx of immigrants, especially those from Germany who made their way here from Wisconsin. Milwaukee continued its rapid growth, reaching a height of 741,000 in 1960 before beginning a 5-decade decline.

Current State of Milwaukee

Milwaukee currently ranks 4th among major cities in the US in terms of children living in poverty at 43%. Milwaukee's unemployment rate is the same as the national average, and its jobs market does show signs of stability and even improvement. The city has also started to attract college graduates, 80% of whom moved to Milwaukee because they got a job. Revitalization efforts in the downtown area have been used to attract residents to the area and encourage growth and development.

Milwaukee Population Growth

Milwaukee is a very slowly growing city, with its modest growth mostly concentrated in the neighborhoods around downtown. From 2011 to 2013, Milwaukee added only 4,000 people. While this doesn't sound like a lot, and it isn't, it does show that Milwaukee's experiencing a turnaround after almost 5 decades of decline. The growth in the downtown areas have been largely attributed to new construction of condos and apartments, and most of the new residents are younger adults.

It's still too soon to tell if the population growth trend in Milwaukee will continue and the city will be able to post positive growth at the next census in 2020, but signs are good Milwaukee has at least partially overcome the slump of the last fifty years.

Year Population Growth Growth Rate
2017595,351-2,157-0.36%
2016597,508-3,504-0.58%
2015601,012-190-0.03%
2014601,2028310.14%
2013600,3711,1360.19%
2012599,2351,6320.27%
2011597,6032,4620.41%
2010595,141-1,833-0.31%
2000596,974-31,114-4.95%
1990628,088-8,209-1.29%
1980636,297-81,075-11.30%
1970717,372-23,952-3.23%
1960741,324103,93216.31%
1950637,39249,9208.50%
1940587,4729,2231.59%
1930578,249121,10226.49%
1920457,14783,29022.28%
1910373,85788,54231.03%
1900285,31580,84739.54%
1890204,46888,88176.90%
1880115,58744,14761.80%
187071,44026,19457.89%
186045,24625,185125.54%
185020,06118,3611080.06%
18401,7000.00%

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

Population by Race

Race Population
White275,472
Black or African American234,711
Some Other Race40,145
Asian22,912
Two or More Races21,978
American Indian and Alaska Native3,325
Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander129

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

Milwaukee Population Pyramid 2018

0k0k0k0k0k0k Male Population0k0k0k0k0k0k Female Population757065605550454035302520151050

Milwaukee Median Age

31


Total

30.1


Male

32


Female

Lancaster Adults

There are 437,583 adults in Milwaukee.

Milwaukee Age Dependency

56.4

Age Dependency Ratio

15

Old Age Dependency Ratio

41.4

Child Dependency Ratio

Milwaukee Housing Indicators

Indicator Value
Median Number of Rooms (per House)
4.9
Houses Without Mortgage
30,285
Houses With Mortgage
65,976
Vacancy Rate
10.2
Median Rent
798
Median Home Value
115,500
Renter-Occupied Units
134,523
Owner-Occupied Units
96,261
Total Housing Units
256,971

This chart shows the employment and labor force participation rates in Milwaukee for residents over 16 years of age. The 2015 unemployment rate is 6.7% and the labor force participation rate is 65.2%.

Milwaukee Family/Household Indicators

Indicator Value
Average Household Size
2.52
Average Family Size
3.36
Total Households
230784
Married Couple Households
63652
Male Householder (no wife) Families
14195
Female Householder (no husband) Families
50271
Non Family Households
102666
Total Families
128118
Households With Own Children
66614
Unmarried Partner Households (Opposite Sex)
8.2
Unmarried Partner Households (Same Sex)
0.5

Milwaukee Income Distribution

Indicator Value
Under $10,000
27,852
$10,000 to $14,999
20,033
$15,000 to $24,999
33,787
$25,000 to $34,999
28,807
$35,000 to $49,999
32,481
$50,000 to $74,999
39,909
$75,000 to $99,999
22,635
$100,000 to $149,999
17,133
$150,000 to $199,999
4,845
Over $200,000
3,302

Milwaukee Household Income

Income

Median

Mean

Milwaukee

Wisconsin

$36,801

$54,610

$51,021

$71,459

Under 10k10k - 15k15k - 25k25k - 35k35k - 50k50k - 75k75k - 100k100k - 150k150k - 200kOver 200k00.050.10.150.2

Milwaukee Education Data

Milwaukee Educational Attainment (over 25)

Indicator Value Percentage
Less Than 9th Grade
23,0886.33%
9th to 12th Grade
40,71211.16%
High School Graduate
108,14529.64%
Some College
81,41422.31%
Associates Degree
25,7117.05%
Bachelors Degree
56,22215.41%
Graduate Degree
29,5908.11%