Milwaukee, Wisconsin Population 2021

587,721
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Milwaukee is a city located in Milwaukee County Wisconsin. It is also the county seat of Milwaukee County. With a 2020 population of 587,721, it is the largest city in Wisconsin and the 30th largest city in the United States . Milwaukee is currently declining at a rate of -0.21% annually and its population has decreased by -1.20% since the most recent census, which recorded a population of 594,833 in 2010. Milwaukee reached it's highest population of 741,324 in 1960. Spanning over 97 miles, Milwaukee has a population density of 6,110 people per square mile.

The average household income in Milwaukee is $57,332 with a poverty rate of 25.43%. The median rental costs in recent years comes to $858 per month, and the median house value is $122,100. The median age in Milwaukee is 31.5 years, 30.6 years for males, and 32.5 years for females.

Milwaukee is the center of the Milwaukee-Waukesha-West Allis Metropolitan Statistical Area with a population of 1.57 million.

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.

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.

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.

Milwaukee Demographics

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

  • White: 44.35%
  • Black or African American: 38.75%
  • Other race: 7.98%
  • Asian: 4.26%
  • Two or more races: 4.01%
  • Native American: 0.60%
  • Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander: 0.04%
The current population of Milwaukee, Wisconsin is 587,721 based on our projections of the latest US Census estimates. The US Census estimates the 2018 population at 591,375.The last official US Census in 2010 recorded the population at 594,833.

Milwaukee, Wisconsin Population 2021

2019 and 2020 population is estimated by projecting the raw 2018 numbers.

Year Population Growth Growth Rate
20211,577,5501,1900.08%
20201,576,3601,1800.07%
20191,575,1801,1800.07%
20181,574,000-440-0.03%
20171,574,440-1,560-0.10%
20161,576,000-500-0.03%
20151,576,5001,5000.10%
20141,575,0003,2700.21%
20131,571,7304,4800.29%
20121,567,2505,9500.38%
20111,561,3004,6200.30%
20101,556,6800.00%

Milwaukee Metro Area Population by Year

Population by Race

Race Population Percentage
White263,70344.35%
Black or African American230,37138.75%
Some Other Race47,4577.98%
Asian25,3444.26%
Two or More Races23,8384.01%
American Indian and Alaska Native3,5790.60%
Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander2560.04%
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Milwaukee Population by Race

Milwaukee Population Pyramid $2021

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Milwaukee Median Age

31.5


Total

30.6


Male

32.5


Female

Milwaukee Adults

There are 440,371 adults, (62,328 of whom are seniors) in Milwaukee.

Milwaukee Age Dependency

57.3

Age Dependency Ratio

16.5

Old Age Dependency Ratio

40.8

Child Dependency Ratio

Milwaukee Sex Ratio

Female

308,467

51.88%

Male

286,081

48.12%

Milwaukee Population by Age

Milwaukee Renter vs Owner Occupied by Household Type

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Milwaukee Household Types

Type Owner Renter
Married69.4%30.6%
All41.4%58.6%
Male35.2%64.8%
Non Family31.8%68.2%
Female27.5%72.5%

41.4%

Rate of Home Ownership

Milwaukee Households and Families

Type Count Average Size Owned
All230,0862.5141.4
Non Family105,2221.3231.8
Married62,9263.4169.4
Female47,9893.6627.5
Male13,9493.4835.2

3.38

Average Family Size

2.51

Average Household Size

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Milwaukee Households by Type

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Education Attained Count Percentage
Less Than 9th Grade21,8865.93%
9th to 12th Grade37,35210.11%
High School Graduate111,43530.18%
Some College81,05321.95%
Associates Degree26,7047.23%
Bachelors Degree58,87415.94%
Graduate Degree31,9848.66%
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Milwaukee Educational Attainment by Sex (over 25)

Milwaukee Educational Attainment by Race

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Race Total High School Bachelors
White158,598148,45563,008
Black131,332109,05016,556
Hispanic58,18136,2005,414
Other Race26,09215,2231,706
Asian13,8959,5623,768
2+ Races7,9997,0782,308
Native American2,2481,973329
Islander15912452

The highest rate of high school graduation is among white people with a rate of 93.60%.

The highest rate of bachelors degrees is among white people with a rate of 39.73%.

Milwaukee Educational Attainment by Race

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Name Average Male Female
Overall$33,798$37,304$31,265
Less Than 9th Grade$23,809$27,520$19,493
High School Graduate$27,239$31,216$23,378
Some College$31,969$37,344$29,623
Bachelors Degree$47,829$52,704$44,627
Graduate Degree$60,327$65,175$54,896

$33,798

Average Earnings

$37,304

Average Male

$31,265

Average Female

Milwaukee Earnings by Educational Attainment

Milwaukee Language by Age

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Milwaukee Language

79.72% of Milwaukee residents speak only English, while 20.28% speak other languages. The non-English language spoken by the largest group is Spanish, which is spoken by 14.39% of the population.

Milwaukee Language

Milwaukee Poverty by Race

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Name Total In Poverty Poverty Rate
Black226,41375,11133.17%
Hispanic111,10431,49828.35%
White198,75027,82814.00%
Other47,00614,19230.19%
Asian24,8948,13032.66%
Multiple23,0136,29827.37%
Native3,48397427.96%
Islander253249.49%

25.43%

Overall Poverty Rate

23.91%

Male Poverty Rate

26.83%

Female Poverty Rate

Poverty in Milwaukee

The race most likely to be in poverty in Milwaukee is Black, with 33.17% below the poverty level.

The race least likely to be in poverty in Milwaukee is Islander, with 9.49% below the poverty level.

The poverty rate among those that worked full-time for the past 12 months was 4.95%. Among those working part-time, it was 29.30%, and for those that did not work, the poverty rate was 37.61%.

Milwaukee Poverty

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Name Poverty
Less Than 9th Grade34.09%
High School22.98%
Some College17.02%
Bachelors or Greater7.32%

Milwaukee Poverty Rate by Education

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Rate Poverty
Female Unemployed49.19%
Male Unemployed47.46%
Female Employed14.09%
Male Employed9.81%

Milwaukee Poverty Rate by Employment Status and Sex

Milwaukee Income by Household Type

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Name Median Mean
Households$41,838$57,332
Families$48,926$66,572
Married Families$74,736$90,840
Non Families$31,298$43,425
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Income by Household Type

Milwaukee Marital Status

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Marriage Rates

30.0%

Overall Marriage Rate

31.8%

Male Marriage Rate

28.3%

Female Marriage Rate

Milwaukee Married by Age and Sex

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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

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Milwaukee Marital Status

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19,347

Number of Veterans

17,514

Male Veterans

1,833

Female Veterans

War Veterans
Vietnam6,650
Second Gulf War3,239
First Gulf War2,972
Korea1,527
World War II675

Milwaukee Veterans by War

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Age Group Veterans
65 to 745,264
35 to 544,307
55 to 644,229
75+3,785
18 to 341,762

Milwaukee Veterans by Age

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Name Veterans % of Total
White11,9785.45%
Black6,2153.96%
Hispanic1,3911.95%
Other Race4091.31%
2+ Races3883.43%
Asian1720.97%
Native American1676.02%
Islander1810.34%

Milwaukee Veterans by Race

Milwaukee Veterans by Education

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10.79%

Veteran Poverty Rate

28.97%

Veteran Disability Rate

Milwaukee Veterans by Education

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64.7%

Labor Force Participation

60.2%

Employment Rate

6.8%

Unemployment Rate

Milwaukee Employment by Age

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Milwaukee Employment by Race

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Milwaukee 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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65.85%

Born in Milwaukee

90.02%

Native Born

9.98%

Foreign Born

6.58%

Non Citizen

3.40%

Naturalized

Place of Birth

90.02% of Milwaukee residents were born in the United States, with 65.85% having been born in Wisconsin. 6.58% of residents are not US citizens. Of those not born in the United States, the largest percentage are from Latin America.

Milwaukee Place of Birth

Year Population Growth Annual Growth Rate
2021587,721-1,218-0.21%
2020588,939-1,218-0.21%
2019590,157-1,218-0.21%
2018591,375-2,350-0.40%
2017593,725-3,271-0.55%
2016596,996-3,481-0.58%
2015600,477-187-0.03%
2014600,6647480.12%
2013599,9161,3470.23%
2012598,5691,4830.25%
2011597,0862,2210.37%
2010594,865-2,109-0.04%
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 by Year