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Best Place to Live in Madison, Wisconsin

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Overview, People, Health, Economy, Housing, Rankings, Climate, Crime
Education, Comments, Transportation, Cost of Living, Religion, Voting

Overview
Population:234,586
Pop. Change:10%
State: Wisconsin
Metro Area: Madison Metro Area
County: Dane County
City:Madison
Zip Code:53711, 53704, ... 13 total
Real Estate:For Sale  For Rent
Search:Find and Compare Realtors
Schools:See Local Schools

Madison's Real Estate Market
 • Newly Listed Homes
 • Most Expensive Listing
 • Million Dollar Houses
 • Homes from $750,001 to $1,000,000
 • Homes from $500,001 to $750,000
 • Homes from $250,000 to $500,000
 • Homes under $250,000
 • Median Priced Homes
 • Median Condominiums


Madison Metro Area

Profile: Capital city/College town

Location: South-central Wisconsin

Elevation: 863

Time zone: Central Standard Time

PROCON
Attractive downtownCold winters
College-town amenitiesCost of living
Architectural interestRecent employment

Madison is a perennial contender for the top spot in Cities Ranked & Rated and most other comparative studies of places to live and work: if it weren’t for the winters and cost of living it would be a stronger challenger. The state capital and home to the University of Wisconsin, Madison is clean, attractive, progressive and well planned. The city itself surrounds a pair of lakes—Lake Mendota and Lake Monona—both of which provide recreation and attractive views from many city business and residential locations. The downtown is exceptionally clean and gives strong evidence of its twin roles as state government center and college town, and is one of the most walkable downtown cores we know of. The area boasts many buildings of architectural interest, most particularly those designed by Frank Lloyd Wright including the spectacular Monona Terrace convention center on the Lake Monona shore but also including churches and several residences. The surrounding countryside is beautiful and includes an assortment of outdoor recreation areas and attractions such as Taliesin, Wright’s former home and studio, and the Wisconsin Dells, a collection of good but somewhat touristy family attractions. The economy is anchored by the university and state government but also is supported by a number of small “new economy” firms mainly in biotech and software. East of town is a more traditional commercial complex with distribution centers and light manufacturing employing still more’ however, employment trends have softened recently. Excellent albeit expensive residential areas lie all around the town, with more middle class neighborhoods southwest and northeast towards the small town of DeForest. More upscale areas lie along the Lake Mendota lakefront north. Educational attainment is high, and college-town amenities abound, but one pays the price literally in housing and figuratively in winter chill. For those who can accept these negatives, the area is hard to beat.

The downtown sits on a narrow isthmus of land between Lake Mendota and Lake Monona. Madison has a continental climate with an extreme temperature range, historically—from 110[dg]F to –40[dg]F—and frequent temperature changes. Madison lies in the path of frequent storm systems during fall, winter, and spring. Winters are cloudy with occasional outbreaks of cold arctic air, and many days below freezing. Summers are pleasant with only occasional periods of extreme heat or high humidity. Summer months are prone to thunderstorms, and winter precipitation is lighter but lasts longer. Snow cover is common in the winter months. First freeze is early October, last is late April.

Interesting Facts about Madison, Wisconsin

As of 2014, Madison's population is 234,586 people. Since 2000, it has had a population growth of 9.97 percent.

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The median home cost in Madison is $217,400. Home appreciation the last year has been 1.60 percent.

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Compared to the rest of the country, Madison's cost of living is 15.70% Higher than the U.S. average.

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Madison public schools spend $13,382 per student. The average school expenditure in the U.S. is $12,435. There are about 13.9 students per teacher in Madison.

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The unemployment rate in Madison is 3.70 percent(U.S. avg. is 6.30%). Recent job growth is Positive. Madison jobs have Increased by 1.20 percent.


Ranked #1 Most Secure Places to Live in the U.S. (Large Metro Areas)
Ranked #2 America's Migraine Hot Spots
Ranked #6 Best Places for Military Retirees
Ranked #7 The Best Cities to Relocate to in America
Ranked #8 Best Green Cities
See More Rankings Click Here

Map Of Madison

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Average Commute time is 19 minutes. The National Average is 25 minutes.

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Madison's Real Estate Market (click to see properties)

 • Newly Listed Homes
 • Most Expensive Listing
 • Million Dollar Houses
 • Homes from $750,001 to $1,000,000
 • Homes from $500,001 to $750,000
 • Homes from $250,000 to $500,000
 • Homes under $250,000
 • Median Priced Homes