Introduction to Waukesha, Wisconsin

Waukesha, Wisconsin, in Waukesha county, is 16 miles W of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The city is located along the Fox River. In 2006 the city was ranked 36th in Money Magazine's 100 best places to live in the United States list. The region provides numerous opportunities for outdoor recreation.

Waukesha History

Settlers arrived in 1834. In 1846 the Village of Prairieville was incorporated and in 1847 it was renamed Waukesha. During the late 1800's and the early 1900's the town was a prominent spa location due to the area's high quality spring water. The rich and famous often visited the luxury resorts, including the notable Fountain Spring House. The city was named after a nearby Indian village.

Waukesha Attractions

  • Old World Wisconsin is a museum focusing on rural history and features a vast number of noteworthy buildings.
  • Waukesha County Museum.
  • Wisconsin Highland Games & Celtic Fling features a rugby tournament, Scottish and Irish sporting events, music, parades, dancing and pipe and drum competitions.
  • Ashton Arts Gallery.
  • Apple Harvest Festival features hay rides, concerts and activities for children.
  • Waukesha Symphony Orchestra.
  • Carrol Players.
  • Waukesha Civic Theatre.
  • Waukesha Art Fest includes a fine arts competition and a variety of entertainment.
  • Les Paul Band Shell features summer concerts.
  • Charles Z. Horwitz Planetarium.
  • Waukesha County Expo Center.
  • Waukesha Farmers Market.
  • Almont Gallery.
  • Rowe Art Gallery.
  • The historic downtown includes numerous specialty shops.

Waukesha Activities

The Retzer Nature Center includes a trail which provides opportunities to see a wide variety of plants, birds and animals. Golf enthusiasts enjoy the numerous courses. The city incldudes extensive bicycle and hiking trail systems. A vast number of pristine lakes provide residents and visitors with opportunities for outdoor recreation. The scenic Kettle Moraine State Forest is a popular destination and includes hiking and bicycle riding trails.

The scenic Glacial Drumlin State Trail features rolling hills, marshes and rivers. The Lapham Peak Trails are enjoyed by residents and tourists. Fox River Park includes woodlands, wetlands and trails. Minooka Park is situated in a vast acreage and is popular for swimming, horseback riding, hiking as well as cross-country skiing.

Waukesha Higher Education

Carrol University is a private Presbyterian liberal arts college. The University of Wisconsin-Waukesha is located in the city.

Waukesha Transportation

The city is served by the nearby General Mitchell International Airport.


Total Population 71,324
Male Share of the Population 49.5%
Female Share of the Population 50.5%
Senior Citizens 11.5%
Employed Population 16+ 38,219
Age of the Population 34


% of people married 48.3%
Average household size 2

Education and Earnings

Population % with Bachelor Degree or Higher 35.2%
Median Earnings25+ $39,986
Median Earnings Without High School Qualification $24,943
Median Earnings With High School Degree $29,821


Median Family Income $75,635
% Above Poverty Level 88.7%
% Below Poverty Level 11.3%

Commute & Sprawl

Average Commute Time 22 minutes
% Working from Home 3.1%
% Walking and Biking to Work 3.9%
% Using Public Transportation 1.6%


People Living Alone 30.5%
Median Gross Rent $847
Median House Value $192,200


Other(often includes Hispanic and African American) 24%
US/American 0%
English 5.4%
Irish 11%

Source: American Community Survey, U.S. Census Bureau, 2015, www.census.gov/programs-surveys/acs/.

Waukesha Almanac

Category Value
Nearest Large City 16 miles W of Milwaukee, Wisconsin
County Waukesha
Standard Zip Codes 53146, 53151, 53186, 53188, 53189
P.O. Box Zip Codes 53187
Phone Area Codes 262
Time Zone Central (-6 hours from GMT)
Daylight Savings The city observes Daylight Saving Time.
Latitude 43.011
Longitude -88.231

Waukesha Climate

Nearest Weather Stations


  • Temp ranges are avg daily min and max for the month
  • Precipitation is rainfall (and rainfall equiv of snowfall)

Distance 0.4 miles
Jan Temp 11 to 28 F
Apr Temp 38 to 57 F
Jul Temp 63 to 84 F
Oct Temp 42 to 61 F
Annual Precip 34.6 inches
Distance 11.7 miles
Jan Temp 13 to 27 F
Apr Temp 38 to 54 F
Jul Temp 66 to 82 F
Oct Temp 44 to 61 F
Annual Precip 33.8 inches
Distance 15.3 miles
Jan Temp 8 to 25 F
Apr Temp 34 to 53 F
Jul Temp 58 to 80 F
Oct Temp 38 to 58 F
Annual Precip 33.4 inches

Neighborhood and Nearby Area Names

According to the US Postal Service, Waukesha, its neighborhoods, and/or surrounding areas are also referred to as:

Vernon (53186, 53188)

Note that not all alternate names are acceptable for use in US Post Office addresses.

Nearby Cities and Towns

Location Population Median Family Income
Brookfield 38,000 $108,394
Elm Grove 6,037 $149,500
New Berlin 39,774 $96,953
Pewaukee 13,784 $98,708
Sussex 10,680 $94,615

Source: American Community Survey, U.S. Census Bureau, 2015, www.census.gov/programs-surveys/acs/.

Waukesha Public Libraries

Waukesha Public Library
Waukesha, Wisconsin
(262) 524-3680

library logo

More Information for Librarians

Waukesha Hospitals

(Voluntary non-profit - Private)
(262) 928-1000
Emergency Service: Yes

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Waukesha High Schools

(Sorted by Number of Students)

Serves 1,440 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 16.7

Serves 1,419 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 17.4

Serves 1,335 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 15.9

A Non-traditional School
A Charter School.
Serves 115 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 7.2

A Non-traditional School
A Charter School.
Serves 7 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 7

Waukesha Colleges

Click school name for a detailed profile.

Additional Details
Waukesha Colleges
Waukesha colleges and trade schools.
Waukesha Graduate Schools
Waukesha Graduate and Business Schools
Study Online in Waukesha
Historic Waukesha


Waukesha (Bethesda Springs, Silurian Spring) between 1880 and 1899

Select a photo to view (Source):

Waukesha (Bethesda Springs, Silurian Spring) between 1880 and 1899

Waukesha (Bethesda Springs from gate) c1898.

Waukesha (Bethesda Springs, the pavilion) between 1880 and 1899

Additional Resources
Info for Waukesha Government Officials

Are you an official in the Waukesha government or quasi-government agency such as the chamber of commerce, visitors bureau or economic development council? If so, visit our information page for government officials to see how CityTownInfo can support you.

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