15 Interesting Facts of Wisconsin

Author: Jason Coles

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The beautifully green and expansive state of Wisconsin lies in the Midwestern region of the U.S, bordered by Minnesota from the west, Iowa from the southwest, Illinois from the south, Lake Michigan from the east, Michigan from the northeast, and Lake Superior from the north.

Wisconsin was the 30th state to be admitted to the union and became a U.S. state on May 29, 1848. The Badger state is also the 23rd largest state by area and the 20th most populous, with Madison being the state’s capital and Milwaukee being its largest city.

During the Ice Age, glaciers had a huge impact on the natural landscape and geography of the state, nowadays the landscape is covered by luscious forests and greenery, however, the state’s landscape is still very diverse. There is so much to consider when taking a look at the interesting facts of Wisconsin, so, let’s check them out.

Alternatively, if you are here solely to check out the economic and business facts about the state of Wisconsin, then feel free to skip straight to this section.

Interesting Facts of Wisconsin

15 Interesting facts of Wisconsin that you probably didn’t know!

1. The “Badger State” is the official nickname and state symbol for Wisconsin, however, the “Badger” is not referring directly to the animal. The reference originates from the lead miners of the 1820s who traveled for work, even digging tunnels to find a safe and warm place to sleep, the same way a Badger would!

2. Wisconsin, like many other states has had more than one state capital over the years, as it stands, Madison is the capital city, however, the previous capital city was Belmont, which was established back in 1836.

3. If you enjoy the outdoors, nature, and long hikes then you will absolutely love Wisconsin’s Ice Age National Scenic Trail, with beautiful scenery, amazing lakes on display, and some historical information regarding the state’s deep-rooted history. Some of the keenest hikers from around the country and world come to Wisconsin to experience the brilliance of nature in abundance here.

4. Milwaukee, commonly known as “Brew City” adopted this name due to the city being home to four of the world’s biggest breweries: Miller, Pabst, Blatz, and Schlitz. Unfortunately, there is only one of these still remaining in operation and that is the Miller brewery.

5. The sale and use of the butter alternative, yellow margarine was illegal within the state from 1895 to 1967! However, since then the ban has been lifted meaning you can freely use margarine without having to worry about any legal repercussions, although, if a restaurant was to serve their customers margarine as a butter replacement without it being requested, there could be some serious legal issues!

6. Wisconsin has a lot of history with the famous Ice Age, and the largest wooly mammoth to have been excavated was discovered in the state! Kenosha, WI was where the remains were discovered, and you can now find a replica at the Milwaukee Public Museum.

7. The Wisconsin state bird is the robin, the state flower is the wood violet, the state song is “On, Wisconsin”, the state motto is “forward” (can be found on the Wisconsin state seal), and the state insect is the European Honey Bee.

8. Here is a list of famous actors, writers, musicians, and artists who were born in the “Badger State”:

  • Willem Dafoe.
  • Chris Farley.
  • Georgia O’Keeffe.
  • Orson Welles.
  • Laura Ingalls Wilder.
  • Liberace.
  • Gene Wilder.
  • Mark Ruffalo.

9. Wisconsin lays claim to the invention of the blender, the QWERTY keyboard layout, a beer-dispensing device named the TurboTap, social security, and Ice Cream Sundaes!

10. Wisconsin borders two Great Lakes: Lake Michigan and Lake Superior. Wisconsin, unlike Minnesota, is fairly modest about the abundance of lakes within the state as there is very little mention of it. However, it is believed that there are more lakes in Wisconsin than there are in Minnesota!

Wisconsin Lakes

Economic Facts About The State Of Wisconsin

There is plenty to take into consideration when looking at the business and economic interesting facts about Wisconsin as the state has several positive business attributes. Wisconsin has been overlooked by many over the years due to a perceived weaker economy and business climate than most other states, however, this is not all true!

Over the past several years Wisconsin’s popularity certainly has increased, with business owners, investors, and entrepreneurs all deciding to call the Badger State their new home and subsequent place of business.

When you compare the state GDP, median income, and college education system with the population and the state’s cost of living, Wisconsin has an impressive business and economic environment.
Here is our List of Awesome Economic Facts about the State of Wisconsin

  • Wisconsin’s GDP is around $321 billion.
  • Wisconsin has a progressive income tax rate from 3.54% to 7.65%.
  • Over 41% of the state is college-educated.
  • $31,998 is the median income in Wisconsin.
  • US News & World Report has ranked Wisconsin 6th for economic opportunity.
  • Wisconsin has the 11th best higher education system out of all 50 states.
  • Wisconsin’s air and water quality has been ranked 7th out of all other U.S. states.
  • Wisconsin also has some of the best access to healthcare in the entire nation.
  • The top industries in Wisconsin are manufacturing, agriculture and healthcare.
  • Wisconsin’s affordability is the 16th best in the United States (US News & World Report).
  • The minimum wage in Wisconsin is $7.25 per hour.
  • The average house price in Wisconsin is $211,086, however, this number is seasonally adjusted. See the latest average on Zillow’s website.
  • Small businesses are the lifeblood of America! Wisconsin’s number of small businesses is rising each year, there are currently over 456,000 small businesses.
  • Small businesses account for over 99% of all Wisconsin businesses.
  • There are over 1.3 million small business employees in Wisconsin.
  • The number of small business employees makes up over 49% of all employees in the state.
  • Wisconsin’s sales tax rate is 5%.
  • Wisconsin’s corporate income tax rate is 7.9%.

All of these economic facts about the state of Wisconsin provide many valid reasons why people decide to move to the state for business and work opportunities, and it’s difficult to argue with any of them!

Here are the remaining 5 facts about Wisconsin

11. In 2014 it was discovered that over 30% of the state’s population lived within the five-county metropolitan area of Milwaukee.

12. Wisconsin is known for its famous agricultural exports, with many believing that the weather accompanied by the landscape makes for a perfect environment for producing fresh produce. It is hard to argue with this when Wisconsin is the number one exporter in the U.S. of cranberries, sweet corn, ginseng, and the second-largest whey exporter in the U.S. too.

13. Although well-known for its fruit and vegetable exports, the main export that Wisconsin prides itself on is Dairy. The Badger State is the number one cheese producer in the U.S., and second for its milk production.

14. If you ever visit the Wisconsin Dells make sure to bring your swimsuit because you will discover the highest number of water parks in a single area in the entire world!

15. The Toilet Paper Capital of the World is also in Wisconsin. Green Bay has been labeled this due to the place being home to the first splinter-free toilet paper in the 1930s!

Thanks for taking a look at our 15+ interesting facts of Wisconsin! If you have some facts and fun information regarding Wisconsin’s past and present that we have not covered, make sure to comment below.

Interesting US State Facts


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Jason Coles

Jason Coles is the Founder of Foreign USA and its Chief Content Writer and Editor. Recognized as a prolific business plan writer by many prominent immigration attorneys in the U.S. who refer his services to their clients regularly, Jason has written over 1,365 business plans across the past 17+ years for start-up companies and franchises looking to expand their footprint in the United States. Jason is considered a seasoned expert in his field. He creates detailed business plans for his clients that include five-year financial projections, market and industry analysis reports, demographic studies, organizational charts, job descriptions, employee hiring plans, and more.