Wisconsin State Capitol and Madison skyline

Best Places to Live in the US in 2022 Sponsored by: eXp RealtyeXp Realty

Madison, WI is the #1 Best City to Live in the USA

Madison WI Capitol at night
Journal Communications/Nathan Lambrecht
Madison, WI
Quality of Life
Liv Score

How We Calculate Our Data
Civics 58
Demographics 47
Economy 85
Education 61
Health 76
Housing 67
Infrastructure 58
Amenities 79

Why Madison is one of the best cities to live in

With a famous farmers market, tons of free cultural attractions, outdoor concerts rocking all summer long and 200 miles for hiking, biking and snowshoeing, Madison, WI, earns its rank as the best place to live in the U.S. (for the second year in a row!). This Midwest college town possesses a resilient economy and is a welcoming place for recent grads, families and retirees alike. Located on an isthmus between lakes Mendota and Monona, Madison has a dozen beaches plus hundreds of parks, and residents in this bike-friendly city prefer getting around town on two wheels. Frank Lloyd Wright’s mid-century marvels and the beloved Dane County Farmers Market add to the magic of Madison.

What are Madison’s major industries and employers?

Advanced manufacturing, agriculture, food and beverage, health care, information communications technology, and bioscience dominate the diverse industry here in Madison. 

What are the major colleges and universities in Madison?

University of Wisconsin – Madison

What is the weather like in Madison? 

Warm summers and cold, snowy winters. Regardless, Madison residents have a love for ice cream that lasts all year long.

What is there to do outside in Madison?

Paddle the placid waters of Lake Mendota in the summer and snowshoe on the icy lake for surreal views in the winter.

Madison, WI is Remote-Ready

What makes Madison a great place for remote workers?

If you’re looking to start or grow your business, the University of Wisconsin – Madison’s Small Business Development Center is an excellent place to start. In addition, Madison offers plenty of coworking spaces, like 100state or Serendipity Labs (which comes with complimentary fitness center access for members) and public libraries for remote workers to choose from. Plus, Madison is one of the top two cities in the state with the highest median annual income — over $50,000 on average.

What Locals Love in Madison, WI

What is the best local bookstore in Madison?

A Room of One’s Own is a queer- and trans-owned bookstore that’s been a Madison staple since 1975.

How do you spend a weekend in Madison?

We know where you’ll be on Saturday morning: Snacking your way Pac-Man-style around the stalls at the Dane County Farmers Market, which is the largest producer-only market in the country. Afterward, cheer on the Badgers at the iconic Camp Randall Stadium or stroll through the rose garden at Olbrich Botanical Garden.

What can you do for free in Madison?

A spirit of volunteerism keeps many Madison amenities free and open to the public. For example, spend time perusing the Chazen Museum of Art, a free museum on the UW campus that houses 23,000 works of art from ancient Greece to 18th-century Japan and modern Africa. 

What’s the best way to spend happy hour in Madison?

Cento Ristorante serves classic Italian cocktails for $5 a pop. 

What’s something only locals know about Madison?

Madison has more bikes than cars and is the unofficial bike capital of the Midwest.

Is Madison, WI a good place to live?

A strong economy, welcoming residents, tons of free cultural attractions and plenty of destinations for outdoor adventure make Madison a best place to live in Wisconsin.

Thinking of Moving to Madison?

What is the Madison, WI Real Estate Market Like?

Flanked by two beautiful lakes, Madison, WI real estate is one of the top value markets in Wisconsin and has been dynamically appreciating for five years straight. Homes for sale in Madison list for higher than the state average, and are never more than a ten minute drive away from farmers markets, gourmet German food, and gorgeous lakeshores. For young professionals looking to put some space between them and the college scene, check out the Wexford neighborhood. With plenty of waterfront homes throughout the area, Local real estate agents will be happy to help you find your place in Madison, the most livable city in the U.S.

Quick Facts About Madison, WI

Average Commute
Median Home Value
Med. Household Income
Total Population
Walk Score
Median Property Tax

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