Milwaukee, Wisconsin Population 2019

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 had a population exceeding 600,000.

Milwaukee is a very slowly growing city with a population estimated at 600,155 in 2016. Despite robust 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 metro area, with 10% of Wisconsin's population within the Milwaukee city limits.

Milwaukee Population and Diversity Statistics

38.3% of Milwaukee's population reports having African American ancestry, while 21% claim German descent. 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 community 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 through 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 competition 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 proliferate 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 city 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 five decades of decline. The growth in the downtown areas has been largely attributed to the construction of condos and apartments, with most new residents being young 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.

Milwaukee Demographics

According to the most recent ACS, the racial composition of Milwaukee was:

  • White: 45.77%
  • Black or African American: 38.92%
  • Other race: 6.82%
  • Asian: 3.99%
  • Two or more races: 3.94%
  • Native American: 0.53%
  • Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander: 0.03%
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
White274,202
Black or African American233,178
Some Other Race40,864
Asian23,888
Two or More Races23,608
American Indian and Alaska Native3,192
Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander154

Milwaukee Population Pyramid 2019

Milwaukee Median Age

31.3


Total

30.4


Male

32.3


Female

Milwaukee Adults

There are 442,282 adults, (59,752 of whom are seniors) in Milwaukee.

Milwaukee Age Dependency

56.6

Age Dependency Ratio

15.6

Old Age Dependency Ratio

41

Child Dependency Ratio

Milwaukee Sex Ratio

Female

310,915

51.90%

Male

288,171

48.10%

Milwaukee Households and Families

Milwaukee Renter vs Owner Occupied by Household Type

Milwaukee Household Types

Type Owner Renter
Married69.4%30.6%
All41.9%58.1%
Male36.3%63.7%
Non Family32.9%67.1%
Female26.7%73.3%

41.9%

Rate of Home Ownership

Type Count Average Size Owned
All230,4632.5341.9
Non Family103,4871.3232.9
Married63,6563.3969.4
Female49,4323.6626.7
Male13,8883.536.3

3.37

Average Family Size

2.53

Average Household Size

8.2%

Unmarried (Opposite Sex)

0.5%

Unmarried (Same Sex)

Milwaukee Education

Education Attained Count Percentage
Less Than 9th Grade22,6906.16%
9th to 12th Grade39,83610.82%
High School Graduate109,99729.87%
Some College81,96522.26%
Associates Degree26,0947.09%
Bachelors Degree56,99415.48%
Graduate Degree30,6798.33%

Milwaukee Educational Attainment by Race

Name Total High School Bachelors
White161,720150,55661,399
Black130,776106,18216,003
Hispanic56,19433,9124,563
Other Race21,73811,9051,099
Asian13,0539,2483,854
Multiple Races7,5546,4311,957
Native American2,1301,754235
Islander1017832

The highest rate of high school graduation is among white people with a rate of 93.10%.

The highest rate of bachelors degrees is among white people with a rate of 37.97%.

Name Average Male Female
Overall$31,436$34,776$29,121
Less Than High School$21,159$24,259$16,969
High School Grad$26,105$30,206$22,777
Some College$29,686$33,836$26,737
Bachelors Degree$44,086$49,464$41,216
Graduate Degree$58,409$62,736$54,779

$31,436

Average Earnings

$34,776

Average Male

$29,121

Average Female

Milwaukee Language

Milwaukee Language by Age

Milwaukee Language

80.61% of Milwaukee residents speak only English, while 19.39% speak other languages. The non-English language spoken by the largest group is Spanish, which is spoken by 13.68% of the population.

Milwaukee Poverty

Milwaukee Poverty by Race

Name Total In Poverty Poverty Rate
Black229,46083,32936.32%
Hispanic108,82034,14531.38%
White204,54129,77414.56%
Other40,49914,49535.79%
Asian23,3667,39731.66%
Multiple22,7097,10931.30%
Native3,02493931.05%
Islander1544227.27%

27.41%

Overall Poverty Rate

26.04%

Male Poverty Rate

28.67%

Female Poverty Rate

Poverty in Milwaukee

The race most likely to be in poverty in Milwaukee is Black, with 36.32% below the poverty level.

The race least likely to be in poverty in Milwaukee is White, with 14.56% below the poverty level.

The poverty rate among those that worked full-time for the past 12 months was 5.30%. Among those working part-time, it was 31.26%, and for those that did not work, the poverty rate was 38.67%.

Name Poverty
Less Than High School36.82%
High School22.70%
Some College18.88%
Bachelors or Greater7.19%
Name Poverty
Female Unemployed51.20%
Male Unemployed48.23%
Female Employed15.31%
Male Employed11.21%

Milwaukee Income

Milwaukee Income by Household Type

Name Median Mean
Households$38,289$53,239
Families$44,723$60,870
Married Families$70,102$84,204
Non Families$29,655$41,105

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 Over 65, while the female age group most likely to be married is 45-54.

Milwaukee Marital Status by Race

Milwaukee Veterans

22,270

Number of Veterans

20,293

Male Veterans

1,977

Female Veterans

War Veterans
Vietnam7,413
First Gulf War3,527
Second Gulf War3,050
Korea2,071
World War II1,303
Age Group Veterans
35 to 545,538
65 to 745,217
55 to 644,998
75+4,443
18 to 342,074

Milwaukee Veterans by Race

Name Veterans % of Total
White13,7116.04%
Black7,3084.61%
Hispanic1,6362.37%
2 or More4383.91%
Other4171.57%
Asian2301.38%
Indian1636.62%
Hawaiian32.75%

Milwaukee Veterans by Education

11.89%

Veteran Poverty Rate

28.41%

Veteran Disability Rate

Milwaukee Employment Status

65%

Labor Force Participation

59.2%

Employment Rate

9%

Unemployment Rate

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

65.96%

Born in Wisconsin

90.31%

Native Born

9.69%

Foreign Born

6.24%

Non Citizen

Place of Birth

90.31% of Milwaukee residents were born in the United States, with 65.96% having been born in Wisconsin. 6.24% of residents are not US citizens. Of those not born in the United States, the largest percentage are from Latin America.