Onalaska, Wisconsin

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Onalaska, Wisconsin

Introduction to Onalaska, Wisconsin

Onalaska, Wisconsin, in La Crosse county, is 5 miles N of La Crosse, Wisconsin and 117 miles SE of St. Paul, Minnesota. Part of the surrounding La Crosse metro area, Onalaska is home to some 14,839 residents.

Onalaska History

The city of Onalaska was founded by Thomas G. Rowe and John C. Laird in 1851. It originally began as a hub for lumber and other related industries. It is said that the name of the city was inspired by a poem written by Thomas Campbell called "The Pleasures of Hope," which was about an Aleutian fishing village called Oonalaska.

Onalaska and nearby Attractions

  • Myrick Park Zoo
  • Gumu Bowuguan - Ancient Han Tombs
  • La Crosse Doll Museum
  • Children’s Museum of La Crosse
  • Swarthout Museum
  • Forest Hills Golf Course

Things To Do In Onalaska

The Myrick Park Zoo and the Hidden Trails Corn Maze are accessible from Onalaska. Nearby museums include the Children’s Museum of La Crosse, the Swarthout Museum and the La Crosse Doll Museum. Golfers can enjoy a round at the Cedar Creek Country Club. Local festivals include the Legion Community Days and Sunfish Days.

Onalaska Transportation

La Crosse Municipal Airport is nearby.

Onalaska Higher Education

Nearby colleges and universities include the Western Wisconsin Technical College, the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, Winona State University and Luther College.

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High Points

Onalaska strengths, compared to Peers (similar size places nationally) or State (other places in Wisconsin):

Category Trophy
College Educated Adults
(vs. State)
Top 10% Onalaska College Educated Adults
Short Commute Times
(vs. Peers)
Top 15% Onalaska Short Commute Times
Well-Paid Single Women
(vs. State)
Top 17% Onalaska Well-Paid Single Women
Racial Diversity
(vs. State)
Top 18% Onalaska Racial Diversity

Comparative Profile of Onalaska, Wisconsin

Comparing Onalaska to similar size places nationwide (Peers) and to other places in Wisconsin (State):

Ratings range from 1 (lowest) to 10 (highest).

The People

Characteristic Compared
to Peers
to State
Well-Paid Single Women 7 9
Well-Paid Single Men 7 7
Male Share of the Population 6 5
Children Under 5 Years Old 6 7
Female Share of the Population 5 6
Age of the Population 4 4
Racial Diversity 3 9
Senior Citizens 3 2


Characteristic Compared
to Peers
to State
Portion of People Married 7 8
Average Household Size 5 7


Characteristic Compared
to Peers
to State
College Educated Adults 8 10
Median Family Income 7 9
People in Middle Class or Better 7 7
People Above Poverty 7 6

Commute & Sprawl

Characteristic Compared
to Peers
to State
Short Commute Times 9 9
Walking and Biking to Work 5 5
Public Transportation Use 3 5
Working at Home 2 2


Characteristic Compared
to Peers
to State
Housing Recently Built 9 10
Affordability of Rents 6 4
Seasonal and Vacation Housing 6 5
People Living Alone 4 3
Studio & One-Bedroom Rentals 4 4
Affordability of Property Taxes 3 3

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Onalaska Almanac

Category Value
Nearest Medium City 5 miles N of La Crosse, Wisconsin (center to center)
Nearest Large City 117 miles SE of St. Paul, Minnesota
County La Crosse
Metro Area La Crosse
Standard Zip Codes 54650
Phone Area Codes 608
Time Zone Central (-6 hours from GMT)
Daylight Savings The city observes Daylight Saving Time.
Latitude 43.884
Longitude -91.235

Onalaska Climate

Nearest Weather Stations

  • Temp ranges are avg daily min and max for the month
  • Precipitation is rainfall (and rainfall equiv of snowfall)
Distance 0.8 miles
Jan Temp 6 to 26 F
Apr Temp 37 to 60 F
Jul Temp 63 to 85 F
Oct Temp 40 to 61 F
Annual Precip 32.3 inches
Distance 12.7 miles
Jan Temp 6 to 24 F
Apr Temp 37 to 58 F
Jul Temp 63 to 83 F
Oct Temp 40 to 60 F
Annual Precip 32.9 inches
Station SPARTA
Distance 21.1 miles
Jan Temp 3 to 24 F
Apr Temp 34 to 57 F
Jul Temp 59 to 83 F
Oct Temp 37 to 60 F
Annual Precip 33 inches
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Onalaska Population (2000)

Category Count Percent
Total Population 14,839 100%
Male 7,181 48.4%
Female 7,658 51.6%
Under 18 3,883 26.2%
18+ 10,956 73.8%
65+ 1,670 11.3%
Median Age 35.5
Average Family Size 3
White 14,123 95.2%
African-American 93 0.6%
Asian 416 2.8%
American Indian & Alaskan 29 0.2%
Other 37 0.2%
Mixed Race 141 1%
Hispanic (included in categories above) 141 1%

Estimated Onalaska Population Growth 2000-2005

Category Value
Est. 2005 Population 15,701
Growth 862
Growth % 5.8%

Onalaska Ancestry

(From 2000 Census, as reported by individuals)

Note: This is national, not racial, ancestry, so, e.g., the Census doesn't have categories for Hispanic and African-American people. CityTownInfo is currently gathering additional ancestry data for this site.
Ancestry Percent
German 37.7%
Norwegian 19.2%
Irish 7.6%
Other (often includes Hispanic and African American) 7.5%
English 5.3%
Polish 4.1%
US/American 3.3%
French (except Basque) 2.5%
Swedish 1.9%
Italian 1.8%
Czech 1.2%
Scottish 1%
Scotch-Irish 0.9%
Dutch 0.7%
Danish 0.7%
Scandinavian 0.6%
French Canadian 0.5%
Canadian 0.5%
Swiss 0.4%
Finnish 0.4%
Belgian 0.3%
Carpatho Rusyn 0.3%
Czechoslovakian 0.2%
Luxemburger 0.2%
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Nearby Cities and Towns

Location Pop. Median Family
Income (2000)
Onalaska 14,839 $57,264
Bangor 1,400 $46,058
Galesville 1,427 $45,333
Holmen 6,200 $49,375
La Crosse 51,818 $43,047
Trempealeau 1,319 $44,792
West Salem 4,540 $50,176

Wal-mart in Onalaska

(As of 2006)
3107 Market Place
(608) 781-8282
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Featured Colleges in the Onalaska Area (QuickSchools™)

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Onalaska High Schools (2004)

Serves 915 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 16

Onalaska Colleges

(List of Wisconsin Colleges)

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Limit Results to One State?

City, State Similarity   1 Person Houses 65+ College Grads Commute Minutes Family Income Kids 0-4 Non White Pop. Poverty Prop. Crime Seasonal Housing Viol. Crime
      loose loose loose loose loose loose loose loose loose loose loose loose
1. Muscle Shoals, Alabama 84.8   23.5% 13.1% 20.3% 19 $48,113 6.3% 16.1% 11,924 7.3% 63.8 0.3% 6.2
2. Oxford, Alabama 82.5   23.4% 14% 17.3% 21 $47,891 6.3% 12.5% 14,592 9.4% 91.2 0.3% 8.6
3. Murray, Utah 81.8   24.7% 11.3% 25.5% 22 $51,482 7.5% 8.4% 34,024 6.3% 110.7 0.2% 5
4. Rock Springs, Wyoming 80.5   27% 9.9% 18.1% 20 $51,539 6.8% 8.3% 18,708 9.4% 51.2 0.8% 9
5. Sioux City, Iowa 76.5   27.6% 13.3% 19% 17 $45,751 7.9% 14.8% 85,013 11.2% 49.1 0.2% 4.7
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