These Are The 10 Most Miserable Cities In Wisconsin


We used science and data to determine which places in Wisconsin are the unhappiest of all.

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Do you live in one of the most miserable places in Wisconsin?

According to a Harris Poll taken in October of 2015, only a third of Americans say they are truly happy. That’s too bad, considering that Americans – especially folks in Wisconsin – don’t really have it too bad, in the grand scheme of things.

But, we were curious – which Wisconsin cities might be the most miserable? We’re about to find out, using science and data.

After analyzing the largest cities, we sadly present the most miserable cities in the Badger State:

  1. Milwaukee (Photos)
  2. Kenosha (Photos)
  3. Racine (Photos)
  4. Beloit (Photos)
  5. Cudahy (Photos)
  6. Lake Geneva (Photos)
  7. Whitewater (Photos)
  8. Burlington (Photos)
  9. Twin Lakes
  10. River Falls (Photos)

Read on below to see how we crunched the numbers and how your town ranked. If you have a smile on your face, you probably don’t live in one of these cities.

Oh, and by the way, Elm Grove is the happiest place in Wisconsin.

Or check out the Most Miserable Cities In America.

If you’re looking for something more positive, check out the best states in America or the best places to live in America.

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How We Measured The Most Miserable Cities In Wisconsin

In order to rank the unhappiest places in Wisconsin, we had to determine what criteria makes people happy. It isn’t a stretch to assume that happy people earn great salaries, are relatively stress free, and have a stable home life.

So we went to the Census’s American Community Survey 2010-2014 report for the criteria, flipped the list, and it spit out the answer. Like magic.

We threw a lot of criteria at this one in order to get the best, most complete results possible:

  • Percentage of residents with a college degree
  • Average commute times
  • Unemployment rates
  • Cost of living
  • % of married couples
  • % of home owners
  • Poverty rate

After we decided on the criteria, we gathered the data for the 108 places in Wisconsin with over 2,000 people.

We then ranked each place from one to 169 for each of the seven criteria with a score of one being the most miserable (Any ties were given to the larger place).

Next, we averaged the seven rankings into a Miserable Index for each place with the lowest overall Miserable Index ‘earning’ the title ‘Most Miserable City In Wisconsin’.

If you’d like to see the complete list of states, most miserable to happiest, scroll to the bottom of this post to see the unabridged chart.

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1. Milwaukee

Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 598,078
People Who Own Their Home: 38.39%
Married Adults: 30.62%

2. Kenosha

Kenosha, Wisconsin

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 99,709
People Who Own Their Home: 52.91%
Married Adults: 42.84%

3. Racine

Racine, Wisconsin

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 78,347
People Who Own Their Home: 49.32%
Married Adults: 39.68%

4. Beloit

Beloit, Wisconsin

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 36,876
People Who Own Their Home: 53.45%
Married Adults: 40.45%

5. Cudahy

Cudahy, Wisconsin

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 18,321
People Who Own Their Home: 54.64%
Married Adults: 45.18%

6. Lake Geneva

Lake Geneva, Wisconsin

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 7,693
People Who Own Their Home: 37.6%
Married Adults: 49.14%

7. Whitewater

Whitewater, Wisconsin

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 14,801
People Who Own Their Home: 31.49%
Married Adults: 24.83%

8. Burlington

Burlington, Wisconsin

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 10,528
People Who Own Their Home: 51.77%
Married Adults: 44.49%

9. Twin Lakes

Twin Lakes, Wisconsin

Source: Google Maps

Population: 6,033
People Who Own Their Home: 51.94%
Married Adults: 49.08%

10. River Falls

River Falls, Wisconsin

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 15,050
People Who Own Their Home: 47.4%
Married Adults: 35.24%

There You Have It

Like we said earlier, trying to determine the most miserable cities in {state} is usually a subjective matter. But if you’re analyzing cities where people are not stable, where you’re stuck in traffic, and no one spent the time to go to college, then this is an accurate list.

If you’re curious enough, here are the happiest cities in {state}, according to science:
For more Wisconsin reading , check out:

Detailed List Of Miserable Places In Wisconsin

City Rank People Who Own Their Home
Milwaukee 1 38.39%
Kenosha 2 52.91%
Racine 3 49.32%
Beloit 4 53.45%
Cudahy 5 54.64%
Lake Geneva 6 37.6%
Whitewater 7 31.49%
Burlington 8 51.77%
Twin Lakes 9 51.94%
River Falls 10 47.4%
Sparta 11 49.3%
Portage 12 47.95%
Stanley 13 44.14%
Menomonie 14 37.06%
Rhinelander 15 50.37%
Rice Lake 16 48.32%
Stevens Point 17 45.86%
Green Bay 18 53.67%
Somerset 19 55.44%
Superior 20 51.37%
West Allis 21 51.42%
Marshall 22 70.64%
Antigo 23 53.12%
New Richmond 24 58.18%
Ashland 25 54.04%
Chippewa Falls 26 49.93%
Wausau 27 53.21%
South Milwaukee 28 58.63%
Fond Du Lac 29 53.67%
La Crosse 30 46.89%
Oshkosh 31 50.46%
Delavan 32 52.52%
Madison 33 46.41%
Osceola 34 51.84%
Washburn 35 64.36%
Fitchburg 36 48.18%
Baraboo 37 55.1%
Marinette 38 56.47%
Seymour 39 50.95%
Elkhorn 40 59.65%
Sheboygan 41 55.92%
Eau Claire 42 50.75%
Richland Center 43 52.3%
New London 44 56.19%
Edgerton 45 62.46%
Greenfield 46 54.31%
Janesville 47 63.05%
Merrill 48 54.31%
Shawano 49 50.68%
Bloomfield 50 62.45%
Platteville 51 43.81%
Arcadia 52 51.73%
Prairie Du Chien 53 53.93%
Ellsworth 54 56.47%
Wisconsin Rapids 55 59.65%
Medford 56 55.57%
Beaver Dam 57 53.21%
Berlin 58 55.63%
Silver Lake 59 52.36%
Shorewood 60 46.68%
Baldwin 61 51.14%
Cumberland 62 52.09%
Waukesha 63 56.6%
Lake Mills 64 53.91%
Watertown 65 58.92%
Ripon 66 56.13%
Brown Deer 67 63.88%
Jefferson 68 57.39%
Monona 69 52.49%
Fort Atkinson 70 62.64%
Mayville 71 60.07%
Waupaca 72 41.87%
Sturgeon Bay 73 56.19%
Tomah 74 45.37%
Columbus 75 60.9%
Menasha 76 59.03%
West Bend 77 62.74%
Milton 78 64.23%
Manitowoc 79 60.98%
Weston 80 58.11%
Monroe 81 56.39%
Plover 82 57.85%
Middleton 83 52.5%
Evansville 84 60.72%
Oak Creek 85 58.85%
Pulaski 86 54.76%
Ashwaubenon 87 58.64%
Bristol 88 80.07%
Pleasant Prairie 89 74.45%
Reedsburg 90 56.61%
Darlington 91 63.7%
Waterloo 92 65.08%
De Pere 93 59.16%
Altoona 94 63.79%
Appleton 95 64.08%
Glendale 96 63.05%
Waterford 97 67.53%
Sturtevant 98 69.42%
Two Rivers 99 62.34%
Bellevue 100 56.81%
Sun Prairie 101 55.37%
Waupun 102 65.19%
Hudson 103 60.02%
Mount Horeb 104 59.41%
Pewaukee 105 56.64%
Port Washington 106 60.86%
Stoughton 107 64.07%
Jackson 108 71.72%
Marshfield 109 58.81%
Kaukauna 110 66.45%
Hartland 111 59.44%
Mount Pleasant 112 72.37%
Greendale 113 63.69%
Deerfield 114 75.24%
Lodi 115 65.95%
Caledonia 116 79.92%
Plymouth 117 58.31%
Hartford 118 63.61%
Cedarburg 119 66.46%
Neenah 120 64.31%
Hales Corners 121 60.72%
Howard 122 63.25%
Delafield 123 59.96%
Sheboygan Falls 124 61.47%
Mukwonago 125 66.19%
Windsor 126 62.05%
Franklin 127 73.85%
Tichigan 128 86.33%
Oregon 129 65.31%
Rochester 130 86.57%
Oconomowoc 131 66.68%
Fredonia 132 71.75%
Prescott 133 68.14%
Wauwatosa 134 61.62%
Holmen 135 68.11%
Verona 136 60.73%
Slinger 137 69.77%
Rothschild 138 68.13%
Grafton 139 64.68%
Onalaska 140 61.72%
Lancaster 141 62.21%
Sussex 142 64.75%
Allouez 143 79.04%
Little Chute 144 63.75%
Wright 145 74.0%
New Berlin 146 73.38%
Kimberly 147 68.47%
Kronenwetter 148 73.05%
Cottage Grove 149 74.74%
Hobart 150 83.22%
Belleville 151 72.55%
Wind Lake 152 80.89%
Lake Hallie 153 67.28%
Deforest 154 71.27%
Summit 155 80.07%
Richfield 156 92.47%
Muskego 157 80.4%
Menomonee Falls 158 72.23%
Mequon 159 81.73%
Suamico 160 87.43%
Pewaukee 161 78.11%
Whitefish Bay 162 78.63%
Brookfield 163 85.13%
Sherwood 164 90.86%
Fox Point 165 79.42%
Waunakee 166 74.72%
Mcfarland 167 72.44%
Rib Mountain 168 78.71%
Elm Grove 169 84.56%

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