Madison is a city located in Dane County Wisconsin. Madison has a 2023 population of 269,897. It is also the county seat of Dane County.Madison is currently growing at a rate of 0.13% annually and its population has increased by 0.39% since the most recent census, which recorded a population of 268,846 in 2020.
The average household income in Madison is $94,746 with a poverty rate of 16.6%. The median rental costs in recent years comes to - per month, and the median house value is -. The median age in Madison is 31.5 years, 31.2 years for males, and 31.9 years for females.
Madison is the capital of the state of Wisconsin and the county seat of Dane County in the southern part of the state, about 122 miles northwest of Chicago, Illinois and 77 miles west of Milwaukee. Madison is the second-largest city in Wisconsin and the 83rd largest in the United States.
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 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 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'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 the 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.
According to the most recent ACS, the racial composition of Madison was:
Black or African American
Two or more races
Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander
Average Family Size
Average Household Size
Rate of Home Ownership
Less Than 9th Grade
9th to 12th Grade
High School Graduate
High School Graduation Rate
The highest rate of high school graduation is among islander people with a rate of 87.91%.
The highest rate of bachelors degrees is among asian people with a rate of 47.78%.
Other Indo-European Languages
Asian and Pacific Island Languages
86.32% of Madison residents speak only English, while 13.68% speak other languages. The non-English language spoken by the largest group is Asian and Pacific Island languages, which is spoken by 7.92% of the population.
Overall Poverty Rate
Male Poverty Rate
Female Poverty Rate
The race most likely to be in poverty in Madison is Multiple, with 31.71% below the poverty level.
The race least likely to be in poverty in Madison is Islander, with 12.09% below the poverty level.
The poverty rate among those that worked full-time for the past 12 months was 2.68%. Among those working part-time, it was 33.05%, and for those that did not work, the poverty rate was 28.42%.
Overall Marriage Rate
Male Marriage Rate
Female Marriage Rate
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 35-44.
Second Gulf War
First Gulf War
World War II
Less Than 9th Grade
High School Graduate
Bachelors or Greater
Veteran Poverty Rate
Veteran Disability Rate
Labor Force Participation
Non citizens include legal permanent residents (green card holders), international students, temporary workers, humanitarian migrants, and illegal immigrants.
Born in Madison
86.79% of Madison residents were born in the United States, with 51.67% having been born in Wisconsin. 7.28% of residents are not US citizens. Of those not born in the United States, the largest percentage are from Asia.