Introduction to Wausau, Wisconsin

Wausau, Wisconsin is 76 miles NW of Appleton, Wisconsin and 158 miles NW of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. It is in Marathon County. The population of the city is 38,426.

Wausau History

Wausau was first settled in the mid 1800s. French explorers called the area Big Bull Flats or Big Bull Falls. The Chippewa Native Americans were the original inhabitants of the area. The federal government purchased the land in 1836. In Ojibwe language, the name of the city means "a place which can be seen from far away" or "a faraway place." Wausau was established as a town in 1852 and incorporated as a village in 1861. August Kickbusch, Sr. became its first mayor in the year 1874. The first railroad entered the city in 1874. It is the county seat of Marathon County, which was founded in 1807.

Wausau and nearby Attractions

  • Grand Avenue Shopping Center
  • Rib Mountain State Park
  • Marathon County Historical Museum
  • Mountain - Bay State Trail
  • Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum
  • Council Grounds State Park

Things To Do In Wausau

Wausau is home to many parks and playgrounds. These include the Schulenberg Park, Pleasant View Park, Oak Island Park, Marathon Park, D C Everest Park, and Hammond Park. The Marathon County Historical Society Museum and Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum provide absorbing insights into the history of this area. The Wausau Center Mall Shopping Center, Grand Avenue Shopping Center, and Riverside Plaza Shopping Center are the local shopping destinations. Local celebrations include Big Bull Falls Blues Festival, Wisconsin Valley Fair, and Festival of Arts.

Wausau Transportation

Central Wisconsin Airport is nearby.

Wausau Higher Education

Northcentral Technical College is the local college. Others nearby include the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh and Fox Valley Technical College at Appleton.


Total Population 39,210
Male Share of the Population 48.7%
Female Share of the Population 51.3%
Senior Citizens 16.9%
Employed Population 16+ 18,607
Age of the Population 39


% of people married 44.1%
Average household size 2

Education and Earnings

Population % with Bachelor Degree or Higher 26.2%
Median Earnings25+ $31,166
Median Earnings Without High School Qualification $19,388
Median Earnings With High School Degree $25,253


Median Family Income $55,672
% Above Poverty Level 83.4%
% Below Poverty Level 16.6%

Commute & Sprawl

Average Commute Time 16 minutes
% Working from Home 2.5%
% Walking and Biking to Work 4.2%
% Using Public Transportation 1.2%


People Living Alone 35.8%
Median Gross Rent $654
Median House Value $114,300


Other(often includes Hispanic and African American) 20.4%
US/American 0%
English 5%
Irish 8.9%

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

Wausau Almanac

Category Value
Nearest Medium City 76 miles NW of Appleton, Wisconsin (center to center)
Nearest Large City 158 miles NW of Milwaukee, Wisconsin
County Marathon
Metro Area Wausau
Standard Zip Codes 54401, 54403
P.O. Box Zip Codes 54402
Phone Area Codes 715
Time Zone Central (-6 hours from GMT)
Daylight Savings The city observes Daylight Saving Time.
Latitude 44.959
Longitude -89.63

Wausau Climate

Nearest Weather Stations


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

Distance 1.8 miles
Jan Temp 4 to 22 F
Apr Temp 33 to 55 F
Jul Temp 59 to 81 F
Oct Temp 37 to 57 F
Annual Precip 33.3 inches
Distance 24.2 miles
Jan Temp 0 to 22 F
Apr Temp 30 to 54 F
Jul Temp 55 to 80 F
Oct Temp 33 to 57 F
Annual Precip 32.6 inches
Station ANTIGO
Distance 28.3 miles
Jan Temp -1 to 20 F
Apr Temp 30 to 52 F
Jul Temp 55 to 79 F
Oct Temp 34 to 55 F
Annual Precip 30.6 inches

Nearby Cities and Towns

Location Population Median Family Income
Hatley 518 $75,795
Mosinee 4,021 $76,944
Rothschild 5,287 $71,189
Schofield 2,104 $53,259

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

Wausau Public Libraries

Marathon County Public Library
300 N. FIRST ST.
Wausau, Wisconsin
(715) 261-7200

library logo

More Information for Librarians

Wausau Hospitals

(715) 847-2121
Emergency Service: Yes

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Wausau High Schools

(Sorted by Number of Students)

Serves 1,659 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 15.8

2607 N 18TH ST
Serves 1,321 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 15.8

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