Wisconsin Facts



The beautiful state of Wisconsin, in the midwest of the United States, has shorelines on two Great Lakes (Michigan and Superior). In Milwaukee, there is the Milwaukee Public Museum, where international villages are recreated. There is also the Harley-Davidson Museum, which features classic motorcycles. Several breweries are based in Milwaukee, and tours are available at many breweries.

  • Capital City: Madison
  • Largest City: Milwaukee
  • Nickname: Badger State
  • Statehood: May 29, 1848; 30th state
  • Population (as of 2020): 5,893,718
  • Abbreviation: WI
  • State bird: American robin
  • State flower: wood violet
  • Total Size Of The State: 65,498.37 sq mi (169,640.0 km2)

  • wisconsin

    Historical Background

    An archaeological find in Wisconsin shows people have lived in this part of the world a lot longer than previously thought. This find suggests that humans have lived in the Western Hemisphere for much longer than previously assumed. Wisconsin has been home to eleven Native American tribes for thousands of years, including the Dakota Sioux, the Winnebago, the Menominee, the Ojibwe, the Potawatomi, the Fox, and the Sauk.

    After the French and Indian War ended, in 1763, the region came under British rule. The first European explorers to reach the area were French. A little more than two decades after the American Revolution ended, the land was formally annexed to the new country, but the British fur traders continued to control it for several years.

    There was a lead mining boom in the 1820s, bringing many settlers to the area. In 1832 most of the Native American battles had ended. Wisconsin was made a state in 1848 after the Wisconsin Territory was named.

    After a meeting in Wisconsin to address the spread of slavery, the Republican Party was born. (The Democratic Party's roots go back to the followers of Thomas Jefferson in 1792.) The state also aided escaped slaves to reach freedom in Canada via the Underground Railroad.

    Why Does It Have That Name?

  • Wisconsin's name may derive from the Native American word meskonsing, which roughly means "it lies red" or "this stream flows through something red." It probably refers to the state's reddish sandstone.
  • Badgers live all over Wisconsin, but the animal is not the reason for the nickname. "Badgers" were the nicknames given to miners who carved into Wisconsin's hills to dig for lead then slept in caves, just as badgers dig burrows to make dens.

  • Geographic Features and Landforms

  • It's bordered by Minnesota, Michigan, and Lake Superior in the north, Lake Michigan in the east, Illinois in the south, and Iowa and Minnesota in the west. Wisconsin has more than 15,000 lakes, while Minnesota has 10,000! Glaciers scraped across the land during the last Ice Age about 12,000 years ago, creating these lakes. There are five geographical areas in the state.
  • Wisconsin's northernmost region is Lake Superior Lowland. The region is mostly flat and slopes down to Lake Superior (one of the five Great Lakes of the United States). Off the coast are the Apostle Islands.
  • Nearly a third of the state is occupied by the Northern Highlands. It includes Wisconsin's highest point, Timms Hill, which is surrounded by woodlands and lakes.
  • Located in the middle of the state, the Central Plain is a U-shaped, fertile region that stretches from the northwest to the northeast. There is a glacier-carved sandstone gorge, the Dells of the Wisconsin River, as well as flattop hills called buttes and mesas.
  • There are gentle hills and some of the best farmland in the world in the Eastern Ridges and Lowlands of the state. Sandy beaches and bluffs lie along the edge of Lake Michigan.

  • The Natural World

    Along with badgers, the state is home to black bears, moose, white-tailed deer, muskrats, porcupines, and flying squirrels. Some common fliers include downy woodpeckers, eastern bluebirds, purple finches, red-winged blackbirds, and robins (the state bird).

    The state's reptiles include milk snakes, which live near barns (although they do not drink milk! ), snapping turtles, and five-lined skinks. Amphibians in the state include the eastern red-backed salamander, American bullfrog, and mink frog.

    During the fall, the large leaves of the sugar maple turn bright red, orange, and yellow, making it the state tree of Wisconsin not only for its sap, but also for maple syrup. Other common native trees include red cedar, hemlock, oak, and ash.

    In most parts of the state, wildflowers grow. Tall bellflowers, crimson bee balms, fire pink, orange coneflowers, and cutleaf rosinweed, which resembles a sunflower, are standouts.

    Natural Resources

    A major crop in Wisconsin's black prairie soil is corn, which is extremely fertile. Wisconsin is also one of the top producers of green beans in the country. In addition to the thousands of lakes found in the state, tourism is also a major part of the state's economy.

    Some Fun Facts About Wisconsin

  • Among the famous people born in Wisconsin were painter Georgia O'Keeffe, author Laura Ingalls Wilder, architect Frank Lloyd Wright, and race car driver Danica Patrick.
  • Prairie chickens have been hunted almost to extinction in Wisconsin's Buena Vista Grasslands, but they're now common in the state.
  • There is a cheese museum in Wisconsin... It's very famous, and we highly recommend checking it out if you happen to be in the state. The National Historic Cheesemaking Center makes a 90-pound wheel of Swiss cheese on the second Saturday in June.
  • The Milwaukee Public Museum features recreations of historic Milwaukee, an ancient Mediterranean civilization, and a European village. A dinosaur skull is on display as part of the museum.
  • In Pepin, Wisconsin, visitors can see a recreation of Laura Ingalls Wilder's first house. The house was built on the land where Wilder was born in 1867.
  • The state is home to the NBA's Milwaukee Bucks.