About Madison, Wisconsin

What is life like in Madison, WI?

Madison has a population of 255,000 (metro area 660,000) and is nestled between two lakes in south-central Wisconsin. Madison is the state capital and home of the main campus of the University of Wisconsin and its 44,000 students. Situated on a narrow isthmus, Madison shares many qualities with other well-known “college towns” like Berkeley and Austin – including a creative and educated population – but retains a small-town feel. There are many outstanding restaurants, an active theater community, live music, more than 250 parks, a plethora of summer and winter outdoor activities and good shopping – yet Madison is just minutes from the beautiful rural countryside. National groups and magazines rank Madison highly for being a very bike-friendly city and a great place to raise a family and is consistently rated as one of the best places to live in the country for quality of schools, housing affordability, standard of living, peace of mind, continuing education opportunity, adult education level, health, air access, traffic congestion and safety, and work force employability.

Recent Awards

  • Madison Ranked 10th Best City for Recent College Grads April 2018 by Livability.com
  • Madison Named One of the Best Small Cities in America (Top 30) January 2018 by National Geographic
  • Madison Ranked 9th for Public Land Park Score May 2017by Trust for Public Land
  • Madison Ranked 2nd Best City for Parks May 2016by Livability.com
  • Madison Ranked One of the 13 Hottest American Cities for 2016 January 2016by Business Insider
  • Madison Ranked Platinum Level Bicycle Friendly Community November 2015by The League of American Bicyclists
  • Madison Ranked the 3rd Healthiest City April 2015by Livability.com
  • Madison Ranked #5 in America’s Best Cities for Young Professionals August 2014by Forbes.com
  • Madison Ranked the 2nd Best Midwest City for Green Commuting May 2014by HomeownersInsurance.com
  • Madison Ranked One of the Top 50 Swim Cities July 2015by USA Swimming
  • Madison Ranked 7th Best Place to Live January 2018 by Livability.com
  • Madison Ranked 18th Best US City to Live In February 2017by US News and World Report
  • Madison Ranked 10th Best City for 20-Somethings August 2016by Move.org
  • Madison Ranked U.S. Growth City #4 February 2016by U-Haul
  • Madison Ranked 5 Stars December 2015by Yelp.com
  • Madison Ranked One of the Top 10 Happiest Cities January 2015by National Geographic
  • Madison Ranked the 9th Best City for People 35 and Younger December 2014by Livability.com
  • Madison Ranked One of the 10 Best Cities for Food Carts May 2014by USA Today
  • Madison Ranked the #1 Most Livable City in America September 2014by Livability.com