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 Annual 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%
2010595,141-1,833-0.03%
2000596,974-31,114-0.51%
1990628,088-8,209-0.13%
1980636,297-81,075-1.19%
1970717,372-23,952-0.33%
1960741,324103,9321.52%
1950637,39249,9200.82%
1940587,4729,2230.16%
1930578,249121,1022.38%
1920457,14783,2902.03%
1910373,85788,5422.74%
1900285,31580,8473.39%
1890204,46888,8815.87%
1880115,58744,1474.93%
187071,44026,1944.67%
186045,24625,1858.47%
185020,06118,36127.99%
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

0%2%4%6%8%10% Male Population0%2%4%6%8%10% Female Population80757065605550454035302520151050

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

Milwaukee Median Age

31


Total

30.1


Male

32


Female

Milwaukee Adults

There are 440,024 adults, (57,473 of which are seniors) in Milwaukee.

Milwaukee Age Dependency

56.4

Age Dependency Ratio

15

Old Age Dependency Ratio

41.4

Child Dependency Ratio

Milwaukee Sex Ratio

Female

310,291

51.83%

Male

288,381

48.17%

Milwaukee Households and Families

Milwaukee Renter vs Owner Occupied by Household Type

Milwaukee Household Types

Type Owner Renter
Married69.4%30.6%
All41.7%58.3%
Male34.9%65.1%
Non Family32.9%67.1%
Female26.5%73.5%

41.7%

Rate of Home Ownership

Milwaukee Households by Type

Type Count Average Size Owned
All230,7842.5241.7
Non Family102,6661.3132.9
Married63,6523.3969.4
Female50,2713.6326.5
Male14,1953.4434.9

3.36

Average Family Size

2.52

Average Household Size

8.2%

Unmarried (Opposite Sex)

0.5%

Unmarried (Same Sex)

Milwaukee Households

Milwaukee Education

Milwaukee Educational Attainment by Sex (over 25)

Education Attained Count Percentage
Less Than 9th Grade23,0886.33%
9th to 12th Grade40,71211.16%
High School Graduate108,14529.64%
Some College81,41422.31%
Associates Degree25,7117.05%
Bachelors Degree56,22215.41%
Graduate Degree29,5908.11%

Milwaukee Educational Attainment by Race

Name Total High School Bachelors
White161,111149,32960,298
Black130,225104,75115,696
Hispanic55,05132,4944,629
Other Race21,11811,5101,280
Asian12,0998,8673,557
Multiple Races6,9745,8221,694
Native American2,2661,858263
Islander866523

The highest rate of high school graduation is among white people with a rate of 92.69%.

The highest rate of bachelors degrees is among white people with a rate of 37.43%.

Milwaukee Earnings by Educational Attainment

Name Average Male Female
Overall$30,727$33,056$28,026
Less Than High School$20,306$22,647$16,637
High School Grad$25,318$28,165$22,118
Some College$28,462$32,672$25,919
Bachelors Degree$43,172$47,451$40,890
Graduate Degree$56,818$62,132$53,994

$30,727

Average Earnings

$33,056

Average Male

$28,026

Average Female

Milwaukee Language

Milwaukee Language by Age

Milwaukee Language

80.56% of Milwaukee residents speak only English, while 19.44% speak other languages. The largest non-English language is Spanish, which is spoken by 13.76% of the population.

Milwaukee Poverty

Milwaukee Poverty by Race

Name Total In Poverty Poverty Rate
Black230,94988,12738.16%
Hispanic107,60834,99232.52%
White205,47630,64414.91%
Other39,76314,40936.24%
Multiple21,2167,02833.13%
Asian22,4306,36828.39%
Native3,13398731.50%
Islander1294837.21%

28.37%

Overall Poverty Rate

26.86%

Male Poverty Rate

29.76%

Female Poverty Rate

Poverty in Milwaukee

The race most likely to be in poverty in Milwaukee is Black, with 38.16% below the poverty level.

The race least likely to be in poverty in Milwaukee is White, with 14.91% below the poverty level.

The poverty rate among those that worked full-time for the past 12 months was 5.37%. Among those working part-time, it was 32.34%, and for those that did not work, the poverty rate was 39.05%.

Milwaukee Poverty Rate by Education

Name Poverty
Less Than High School37.20%
High School23.37%
Some College19.63%
Bachelors or Greater7.16%

Milwaukee Poverty Rate by Employment Status and Sex

Name Poverty
Female Unemployed52.09%
Male Unemployed46.51%
Female Employed16.05%
Male Employed11.75%

Milwaukee Income

Milwaukee Income by Household Type

Name Median Mean
Households$36,801$51,021
Families$42,741$58,001
Married Families$67,784$81,131
Non Families$28,339$39,767

Milwaukee Marital Status

Milwaukee Marital Status

Marriage Rates

30.1%

Overall Marriage Rate

32.2%

Male Marriage Rate

28.3%

Female Marriage Rate

Milwaukee Married by Age and Sex

Milwaukee 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.

Milwaukee Marital Status by Race

Milwaukee Veterans

Milwaukee Veterans by War

24,067

Number of Veterans

21,863

Male Veterans

2,204

Female Veterans

Name Veterans
Vietnam7,792
First Gulf War3,717
Second Gulf War3,295
Korea2,072
World War II1,618

Milwaukee Veterans by Age

Name Veterans
35 to 546,411
55 to 645,495
65 to 744,944
75+4,841
18 to 342,376

Milwaukee Veterans by Race

Name Veterans % of Total
White14,6296.45%
Black8,1795.16%
Hispanic1,6562.44%
Other4421.71%
2 or More4073.91%
Indian2148.15%
Asian1931.23%
Hawaiian32.78%

Milwaukee Veterans by Education

13.36%

Veteran Poverty Rate

27.01%

Veteran Disability Rate

Milwaukee Employment Status

Milwaukee Employment by Age

65.2%

Labor Force Participation

58.5%

Employment Rate

10.3%

Unemployment Rate

Milwaukee Employment by Race

Milwaukee Employment by Education

Milwaukee Place of Birth

Origin of Non Citizens

Non citizens include legal permanent residents (green card holders), international students, temporary workers, humanitarian migrants, and illegal immigrants.

Origin of Naturalized Citizens

65.54%

Born in Wisconsin

90.26%

Native Born

9.74%

Foreign Born

6.42%

Non Citizen

Place of Birth

90.26% of Milwaukee residents were born in the United States, with 65.54% having been born in Wisconsin. 6.42% of residents are not US citizens. Of those not born in the United States, the largest percentage are from Latin America.