Wisconsin Population 2021

5,852,490
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Wisconsin is part of the Great Lakes region of the country, located in the northern 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 state currently has a growth rate of 0.35%, which ranks 39th in the state.

Wisconsin Area and Population Density

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.

The state's most populated counties are Milwaukee and Dane counties, with respective populations of 952,085 and 536,416.

Wisconsin Gender and Religion Statistics

The median age of the population residing in the state of Wisconsin is approximately 39.1 years of age. In terms of the ratio of females to males, females lead at 50.3% with males at 49.7% of the population.

In terms of preferred religions across the population of Wisconsin, 71% are affiliated with Christian based faiths, 4% are affiliated with non-Christian faiths, and 25% are not affiliated with any faith in particular.

Wisconsin Boundary, Census, and Statehood 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 Demographics

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

  • White: 85.43%
  • Black or African American: 6.41%
  • Asian: 2.79%
  • Two or more races: 2.39%
  • Other race: 2.04%
  • Native American: 0.89%
  • Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander: 0.04%

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 154% 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 Growth

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.

Wisconsin Population Projections

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.

Wisconsin's largest ancestry groups include: German (42.6%), Irish (10.9%), Polish (9.3%), Norwegian (8.5%) and English (6.5%). Wisconsin has more people of Polish ancestry than any other state in terms of percentage. The Norwegian population originally settled in the farming and lumbering areas, while African Americans came to the state from the 1940s on. Interestingly, Menominee County is the only county on the eastern part of the country with an American Indian majority population.

About 86% of Wisconsin's African American population lives in Kenosha, Beloit, Racine and Milwaukee. Only Detroit and Cleveland have higher percentages of African Americans in the Great Lakes region of the United States. In terms of the state's Asian American and African American population, the state falls squarely in the middle when compared to other states, ranking 26th and 30th out of 50, respectively.

Wisconsin Growth Rate

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Wisconsin Population Rank

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Wisconsin Population 2021

Wisconsin Facts

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.

Wisconsin Population Growth Rate by County

Wisconsin Population Density by County

Population by Race

Race Population Percentage
White4,946,96185.43%
Black or African American371,2006.41%
Asian161,8412.79%
Two or More Races138,5722.39%
Some Other Race118,3502.04%
American Indian and Alaska Native51,3920.89%
Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander2,4000.04%
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Wisconsin Population by Race

Wisconsin Population Pyramid $2021

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Wisconsin Median Age

40


Total

38


Male

41


Female

Wisconsin Adults

There are 4,509,813 adults, (953,571 of whom are seniors) in Wisconsin.

Wisconsin Age Dependency

63

Age Dependency Ratio

27

Old Age Dependency Ratio

36

Child Dependency Ratio

Wisconsin Sex Ratio

Female

2,910,822

50.27%

Male

2,879,894

49.73%

Wisconsin Population by Age

Wisconsin Renter vs Owner Occupied by Household Type

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Wisconsin Household Types

Type Owner Renter
Married86%14%
All67%33%
Male57%43%
Non Family49%51%
Female44%56%

67.0%

Rate of Home Ownership

Wisconsin Households and Families

Type Count Average Size Owned
All2,358,156267
Married1,148,844386
Non Family875,943149
Female226,897344
Male106,472357

3

Average Family Size

2

Average Household Size

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Wisconsin Households by Type

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Education Attained Count Percentage
Less Than 9th Grade105,1222.66%
9th to 12th Grade203,0945.13%
High School Graduate1,211,98130.64%
Some College814,74920.60%
Associates Degree429,43010.86%
Bachelors Degree780,82419.74%
Graduate Degree410,50510.38%
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Wisconsin Educational Attainment by Sex (over 25)

Wisconsin Educational Attainment by Race

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Race Total High School Bachelors
White3,381,2903,190,2071,067,774
Black212,316177,27231,016
Hispanic196,029134,94128,412
Asian95,40980,95945,846
Other Race64,70539,8146,426
2+ Races46,96642,56114,343
Native American32,27528,2755,044
Islander1,5151,271334

The highest rate of high school graduation is among white people with a rate of 94.35%.

The highest rate of bachelors degrees is among asian people with a rate of 48.05%.

Wisconsin Educational Attainment by Race

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Name Average Male Female
Overall$41,628$48,794$34,451
Less Than 9th Grade$26,869$31,213$20,664
High School Graduate$32,738$40,477$25,984
Some College$38,901$47,841$31,511
Bachelors Degree$52,686$64,190$44,927
Graduate Degree$66,536$79,154$60,231

$41,628

Average Earnings

$48,794

Average Male

$34,451

Average Female

Wisconsin Earnings by Educational Attainment

Wisconsin Language by Age

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Wisconsin Language

91.26% of Wisconsin residents speak only English, while 8.74% speak other languages. The non-English language spoken by the largest group is Spanish, which is spoken by 4.65% of the population.

Wisconsin Language

Wisconsin Poverty by Race

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Name Total In Poverty Poverty Rate
White4,598,080391,5178.51%
Black351,519110,07031.31%
Hispanic384,18781,79221.29%
Other116,17427,42123.60%
Multiple132,65327,08120.41%
Asian157,99424,49415.50%
Native48,92412,75826.08%
Islander2,29460226.24%

11.33%

Overall Poverty Rate

10.20%

Male Poverty Rate

12.44%

Female Poverty Rate

Poverty in Wisconsin

The race most likely to be in poverty in Wisconsin is Black, with 31.31% below the poverty level.

The race least likely to be in poverty in Wisconsin is White, with 8.51% below the poverty level.

The poverty rate among those that worked full-time for the past 12 months was 2.18%. Among those working part-time, it was 16.23%, and for those that did not work, the poverty rate was 18.29%.

Wisconsin Poverty

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Name Poverty
Less Than 9th Grade22.77%
High School10.66%
Some College8.02%
Bachelors or Greater3.47%

Wisconsin Poverty Rate by Education

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Rate Poverty
Female Unemployed33.87%
Male Unemployed29.64%
Female Employed7.43%
Male Employed4.81%

Wisconsin Poverty Rate by Employment Status and Sex

Wisconsin Income by Household Type

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Name Median Mean
Households$61,747$80,674
Families$78,679$97,431
Married Families$90,612$110,447
Non Families$36,528$49,088
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Income by Household Type

Wisconsin Marital Status

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Marriage Rates

51.0%

Overall Marriage Rate

51.0%

Male Marriage Rate

50.0%

Female Marriage Rate

Wisconsin Married by Age and Sex

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Wisconsin 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 55-64.

Wisconsin Marital Status by Race

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Wisconsin Marital Status

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331,340

Number of Veterans

307,154

Male Veterans

24,186

Female Veterans

War Veterans
Vietnam123,556
First Gulf War52,621
Second Gulf War48,847
Korea29,460
World War II13,153

Wisconsin Veterans by War

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Age Group Veterans
65 to 7495,811
75+86,715
35 to 5467,374
55 to 6457,409
18 to 3424,031

Wisconsin Veterans by Age

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Name Veterans % of Total
White309,8437.84%
Black11,8834.61%
Hispanic6,8632.83%
Native American3,2278.59%
2+ Races3,1124.86%
Asian1,7521.48%
Other Race1,3571.75%
Islander1669.04%

Wisconsin Veterans by Race

Wisconsin Veterans by Education

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6.19%

Veteran Poverty Rate

27.74%

Veteran Disability Rate

Wisconsin Veterans by Education

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67%

Labor Force Participation

64%

Employment Rate

4%

Unemployment Rate

Wisconsin Employment by Age

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Wisconsin Employment by Race

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Wisconsin Employment by Education

Origin of Non-Citizens

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

Origin of Naturalized Citizens

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71.22%

Born in Wisconsin

95.00%

Native Born

5.00%

Foreign Born

2.72%

Non Citizen

2.28%

Naturalized

Place of Birth

95.00% of Wisconsin residents were born in the United States, with 71.22% having been born in Wisconsin. 2.72% of residents are not US citizens. Of those not born in the United States, the largest percentage are from Latin America.

Wisconsin Place of Birth

  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)

Sources