These Are The 10 Happiest Places In Wisconsin

Chris Kolmar
by Chris Kolmar
Rankings - 3 years ago
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There’s a search that we are all on that dwarfs our job or career search — the search for happiness.

And as we all know, where we live and the job we have can all play a big part in our overall sense of contentment and happiness. For that reason, we took a dive into a the most recent census data to help you identify which places in Wisconsin have the biggest smile of them all.

On our happy data journey, we settled on seven criteria to help determine which Wisconsin places are the happiest. The criteria include things like having insurance, owning a home, and having a job.

As it turns out, life is all rainbows and butterflies in Elm Grove, the happiest place in Wisconsin.

Don’t start feeling sad, there’s plenty of happy to go around as life is still pretty sweet in the following “Happiest Places in the Badger State”:

  1. Elm Grove
  2. Rib Mountain
  3. Mcfarland
  4. Waunakee
  5. Fox Point
  6. Brookfield
  7. Whitefish Bay
  8. Pewaukee
  9. Suamico
  10. Mequon
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There’s Nothing We’d Rather Do Than Measure Happiness In The Badger State

There’s a bunch of different studies out there that try to measure what makes people truly happy. And while we all know that money doesn’t buy happiness, it definitely removes anxieties and helps keep you healthy. It’s just that anything past about $70,000 a year doesn’t help as much.

So what else besides money contributes to your happiness? Well we think the following certainly do:

  • Being well educated (Population with at least a bachelor’s degree)
  • Having a job (As measured by the unemployment rate)
  • A short commute to work (God do people hate traffic)
  • Low cost of living
  • Having a family (Getting, and staying married, has a ton of happiness benefits, on average)
  • Owning a home (That’s a big plus)
  • And the poverty rate (Money definitely helps out)

That’s a ton of fun — and happiness — for the whole family, backed by science. The data all comes from the 2010-2014 American Community Survey.

After we decided on the criteria, we gathered the data for the 141 places in Wisconsin with over 2,000 people.

We then ranked each place from one to 141 for each of the seven criteria with a score of one being the happiest (Any ties were given to the larger place).

Next, we averaged the seven rankings into a Happiness Index for each place with the lowest overall Index being crowned “Happiest Place In Wisconsin”.

Read on for more happy information about the top ten or skip to the end to see a list of how every places in Wisconsin ranked. Our apologies to Menomonee Falls which ranked 11th overall and just missed the list.

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1. Elm Grove

Elm Grove, Wisconsin

Source: Flickr

Population: 5,985People Who Own Their Home: 84.6%
Married Adults: 64.0%

2. Rib Mountain


Population: 5,512 People Who Own Their Home: 78.7%
Married Adults: 64.7%

3. Mcfarland


Population: 8,009 People Who Own Their Home: 72.4%
Married Adults: 60.2%

4. Waunakee

Waunakee, Wisconsin

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 12,613People Who Own Their Home: 74.7%
Married Adults: 64.3%

5. Fox Point

Fox Point, Wisconsin

Source: Flickr

Population: 6,695People Who Own Their Home: 79.4%
Married Adults: 65.9%

6. Brookfield

Brookfield, Wisconsin

Source: Flickr

Population: 37,971People Who Own Their Home: 85.1%
Married Adults: 65.2%

7. Whitefish Bay

Whitefish Bay, Wisconsin

Source: Flickr

Population: 14,132People Who Own Their Home: 78.6%
Married Adults: 61.8%

8. Pewaukee

Pewaukee, Wisconsin

Source: Flickr

Population: 13,599People Who Own Their Home: 78.1%
Married Adults: 65.3%

9. Suamico

Suamico, Wisconsin

Source: Flickr

Population: 11,621People Who Own Their Home: 87.4%
Married Adults: 69.2%

10. Mequon

Mequon, Wisconsin

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 23,300People Who Own Their Home: 81.7%
Married Adults: 65.1%

Detailed List Of Happiest Places In Wisconsin

City Rank Population People Who Own Their Home Married Adults
Elm Grove 1 5,985 84.6% 64.0%
Rib Mountain 2 5,512 78.7% 64.7%
McFarland 3 8,009 72.4% 60.2%
Waunakee 4 12,613 74.7% 64.3%
Fox Point 5 6,695 79.4% 65.9%
Brookfield 6 37,971 85.1% 65.2%
Whitefish Bay 7 14,132 78.6% 61.8%
Pewaukee 8 13,599 78.1% 65.3%
Suamico 9 11,621 87.4% 69.2%
Mequon 10 23,300 81.7% 65.1%
Menomonee Falls 11 35,828 72.2% 59.6%
Muskego 12 24,387 80.4% 64.1%
Richfield 13 11,365 92.5% 69.5%
DeForest 14 9,232 71.3% 60.4%
Lake Hallie 15 6,550 67.3% 58.0%
Wind Lake 16 5,347 80.9% 64.2%
Hobart 17 6,951 83.2% 62.6%
Cottage Grove 18 6,533 74.7% 59.4%
Kronenwetter 19 7,330 73.0% 62.4%
Kimberly 20 6,590 68.5% 54.3%
New Berlin 21 39,712 73.4% 60.5%
Little Chute 22 10,520 63.8% 61.2%
Allouez 23 13,948 79.0% 55.3%
Sussex 24 10,632 64.7% 58.4%
Onalaska 25 18,148 61.7% 57.0%
Grafton 26 11,539 64.7% 55.1%
Rothschild 27 5,279 68.1% 52.5%
Slinger 28 5,131 69.8% 56.2%
Verona 29 11,353 60.7% 54.6%
Holmen 30 9,335 68.1% 59.1%
Wauwatosa 31 46,838 61.6% 51.6%
Oconomowoc 32 15,990 66.7% 60.2%
Oregon 33 9,629 65.3% 54.2%
Tichigan 34 5,332 86.3% 62.7%
Franklin 35 35,920 73.9% 55.8%
Mukwonago 36 7,426 66.2% 58.8%
Sheboygan Falls 37 7,796 61.5% 57.4%
Delafield 38 7,136 60.0% 59.5%
Howard 39 18,313 63.2% 57.3%
Hales Corners 40 7,749 60.7% 49.9%
Neenah 41 25,697 64.3% 52.0%
Cedarburg 42 11,485 66.5% 57.1%
Hartford 43 14,251 63.6% 57.7%
Plymouth 44 8,408 58.3% 54.6%
Caledonia 45 24,689 79.9% 61.7%
Greendale 46 14,208 63.7% 58.8%
Mount Pleasant 47 26,220 72.4% 55.1%
Hartland 48 9,161 59.4% 58.1%
Kaukauna 49 15,649 66.5% 54.1%
Marshfield 50 18,514 58.8% 51.4%
Jackson 51 6,773 71.7% 56.3%
Stoughton 52 12,886 64.1% 53.7%
Port Washington 53 11,401 60.9% 52.6%
Pewaukee 54 8,233 56.6% 45.0%
Mount Horeb 55 7,286 59.4% 53.6%
Hudson 56 13,023 60.0% 51.3%
Waupun 57 11,336 65.2% 46.0%
Sun Prairie 58 30,601 55.4% 53.1%
Bellevue 59 14,936 56.8% 53.3%
Two Rivers 60 11,577 62.3% 54.5%
Sturtevant 61 6,981 69.4% 39.2%
Waterford 62 5,346 67.5% 56.2%
Glendale 63 12,893 63.0% 49.0%
Appleton 64 72,861 64.1% 48.4%
Altoona 65 6,940 63.8% 52.2%
De Pere 66 24,216 59.2% 49.4%
Reedsburg 67 9,411 56.6% 54.0%
Pleasant Prairie 68 20,015 74.4% 56.7%
Ashwaubenon 69 17,065 58.6% 53.5%
Oak Creek 70 34,823 58.8% 56.6%
Evansville 71 5,089 60.7% 54.9%
Middleton 72 18,185 52.5% 50.7%
Plover 73 12,195 57.8% 54.9%
Monroe 74 10,807 56.4% 46.8%
Weston 75 14,937 58.1% 56.3%
Manitowoc 76 33,443 61.0% 49.0%
Milton 77 5,562 64.2% 55.6%
West Bend 78 31,496 62.7% 55.0%
Menasha 79 17,535 59.0% 51.5%
Columbus 80 5,014 60.9% 57.4%
Tomah 81 9,281 45.4% 46.5%
Sturgeon Bay 82 9,093 56.2% 49.8%
Waupaca 83 6,016 41.9% 47.5%
Mayville 84 5,086 60.1% 48.3%
Fort Atkinson 85 12,436 62.6% 49.1%
Monona 86 7,711 52.5% 44.0%
Jefferson 87 7,968 57.4% 46.4%
Brown Deer 88 12,067 63.9% 51.9%
Ripon 89 7,699 56.1% 44.7%
Watertown 90 23,899 58.9% 52.8%
Lake Mills 91 5,768 53.9% 51.7%
Waukesha 92 71,083 56.6% 49.3%
Shorewood 93 13,245 46.7% 47.9%
Berlin 94 5,451 55.6% 54.2%
Beaver Dam 95 16,331 53.2% 46.8%
Wisconsin Rapids 96 18,162 59.7% 48.3%
Prairie du Chien 97 5,829 53.9% 43.1%
Platteville 98 11,480 43.8% 24.3%
Shawano 99 9,202 50.7% 46.8%
Merrill 100 9,491 54.3% 50.7%
Janesville 101 63,674 63.1% 49.7%
Greenfield 102 36,990 54.3% 46.7%
Edgerton 103 5,478 62.5% 51.5%
New London 104 7,091 56.2% 52.5%
Richland Center 105 5,128 52.3% 48.0%
Eau Claire 106 67,036 50.8% 39.3%
Sheboygan 107 48,918 55.9% 47.3%
Elkhorn 108 10,020 59.6% 49.4%
Marinette 109 10,890 56.5% 43.1%
Baraboo 110 12,046 55.1% 45.5%
Fitchburg 111 26,050 48.2% 51.9%
Madison 112 239,848 46.4% 38.8%
Delavan 113 8,467 52.5% 52.2%
Oshkosh 114 66,430 50.5% 36.0%
La Crosse 115 51,864 46.9% 33.0%
Fond du Lac 116 43,007 53.7% 45.9%
South Milwaukee 117 21,210 58.6% 46.4%
Wausau 118 39,209 53.2% 44.2%
Chippewa Falls 119 13,803 49.9% 43.9%
Ashland 120 8,167 54.0% 40.5%
New Richmond 121 8,501 58.2% 51.1%
Antigo 122 8,075 53.1% 38.8%
West Allis 123 60,595 51.4% 42.0%
Superior 124 26,932 51.4% 39.7%
Green Bay 125 104,574 53.7% 44.4%
Stevens Point 126 26,778 45.9% 34.0%
Rice Lake 127 8,353 48.3% 42.1%
Rhinelander 128 7,642 50.4% 40.1%
Menomonie 129 16,219 37.1% 28.4%
Portage 130 10,227 47.9% 43.4%
Sparta 131 9,610 49.3% 41.7%
River Falls 132 15,050 47.4% 35.2%
Twin Lakes 133 6,033 51.9% 49.1%
Burlington 134 10,528 51.8% 44.5%
Whitewater 135 14,801 31.5% 24.8%
Lake Geneva 136 7,693 37.6% 49.1%
Cudahy 137 18,321 54.6% 45.2%
Beloit 138 36,876 53.5% 40.4%
Racine 139 78,347 49.3% 39.7%
Kenosha 140 99,709 52.9% 42.8%
Milwaukee 141 598,078 38.4% 30.6%