Best Places to Live

Milwaukee, WI

Population: 585,612
LIV
SCORE
615
Alexis Amenson/VISIT Milwaukee

We’ve already shared a whole list of reasons why Milwaukee is the Best City on Earth, but the short version is that Milwaukee is a centrally-located large city that has stellar food, sports, culture, outdoor space and beer as well as a low cost of living. It’s a city that’s growing, but still has room to flourish and isn’t shy about what needs to change — and how newcomers can help shape the future. 

Top Industries and Employers: Seven of the top 11 employers in the Milwaukee area are in the healthcare industry. Milwaukee is home to a $10 billion water industry that is doing work which has global implications. There are 15 Fortune 1000 companies headquartered in the Milwaukee area. Manufacturing and energy, power and controls also make up a big part of business in Milwaukee. Kroger, Kohl’s, GE Technologies, Harley Davidson, Manpower and Northwestern Mutual are some of the biggest employers in the area. 

Best Coffee Shop: Anodyne Coffee Roasting Co. The locally-owned, small batch roasters have five locations. Beyond delicious coffee, the Bayview location has a Neapolitan brick pizza oven and the Walker’s Point spot is a certified organic roastery and cafe that also serves beer and wine and has a wonderful space that hosts everything from concerts to weddings. 

Best Local Beer/Brewery: Eagle Park Brewing

Must-Have Meal: Lakefront Brewery’s Friday fish fry. There are a lot of great Milwaukee foods, but the most quintessential dining experience is beer-battered cod, potato pancakes, an appetizer of cheese curds and a polka band providing the entertainment. 

Best Co-Working Space: The Hive

Best Meetup Spot (When Meeting Up Is a Thing Again): The Deer District, there are four different spots for drinking and dining to rotate between, plus an outdoor beer garden. 

Creative Hub: Nō Studios is a collaboration between Oscar winner and Milwaukee native John Ridley and outgoing County Executive Chris Abele. Nō Studios has co-working and collaboration spaces, performance spaces, a screening room, a gallery, a cafe and more.

Favorite Weekend Activity: Tailgating at Miller Park. For Milwaukeeans, the time before the game is at least as important as the action on the field. 

Free Way to Have Fun: Find a festival. From May to September, there are more than 60 festivals in Milwaukee, many of which are free and the rest of which have multiple opportunities for discount admission. Oktoberfest, Mitten Fest and Christkindlmarket mean you can get out and have free fun year round. 

Local Dream Job: Summerfest music act booker. Milwaukee is home to the World’s Largest Music Festival, with more than 800 bands on 11 stages over 11 days. General admission is just $23 a day, with a number of discounts available every day. Imagine getting to curate that lineup. 

Read More: 
Moving to Milwaukee? Here’s Everything You Need to Know
10 Indisputable Reasons Why Milwaukee is the Best City on Earth 
This is Milwaukee: A City on the Rise Gets Real

- Nicole Haase

"The environment for businesses in Milwaukee has never been more attractive, and the proof is in the constant business expansion and relocation announcements. From employee satisfaction to convenience and prestige, Milwaukee offers so many competitive advantages."

Erica Chang
Marketing, Events & Social Media Director, Milwaukee Downtown

Milwaukee, WI Ranking Data

Civic
20
Demographics
74
Economy
66
Education
55
Health
41
Housing
46
Infrastructure
55