53 Facts About Wisconsin


Wisconsin is the 25th-largest state by total area and the 20th-most populous.

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Wisconsin is divided into 72 counties and as of the 2020 census had a population of nearly 5.

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Wisconsin's geography is diverse, having been greatly impacted by glaciers during the Ice Age with the exception of the Driftless Area.

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Wisconsin is third to Ontario and Michigan in the length of its Great Lakes coastline.

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Wisconsin remains a center of German American and Scandinavian American culture, particularly in respect to its cuisine, with foods such as bratwurst and kringle.

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Wisconsin is home to one UNESCO World Heritage Site, comprising two of the most significant buildings designed by Wisconsin-born architect Frank Lloyd Wright: his studio at Taliesin near Spring Green and his Jacobs I House in Madison.

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Wisconsin has some of the most permissive alcohol laws in the country and is well known for its drinking culture.

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French explorer Jacques Marquette was the first European to reach the Wisconsin River, arriving in 1673 and calling the river Meskousing in his journal.

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The legislature of Wisconsin Territory made the current spelling official in 1845.

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Wisconsin has been home to a wide variety of cultures over the past 14, 000 years.

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Toward the end of this period, Wisconsin was the heartland of the "Effigy Mound culture", which built thousands of animal-shaped mounds across the landscape.

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Wisconsin canoed west from Georgian Bay through the Great Lakes in 1634, and it is traditionally assumed that he came ashore near Green Bay at Red Banks.

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One notable event in the fur trading industry in Wisconsin occurred in 1791, when two free African Americans set up a fur trading post among the Menominee at present day Marinette.

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The fur trade in what is Wisconsin reached its height under British rule, and the first self-sustaining farms in the state were established as well.

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Wisconsin became a territorial possession of the United States in 1783 after the American Revolutionary War.

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Wisconsin encouraged the development of the state's infrastructure, particularly the construction of new roads, railroads, canals, and harbors, as well as the improvement of the Fox and Wisconsin Rivers.

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Politics in early Wisconsin were defined by the greater national debate over slavery.

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The Republican Party, founded on March 20, 1854, by anti-slavery expansion activists in Ripon, Wisconsin, grew to dominate state politics in the aftermath of these events.

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Wisconsin briefly became one of the nation's leading producers of wheat during the 1860s.

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Many immigrants carried cheese-making traditions that, combined with the state's suitable geography and dairy research led by Stephen Babcock at the University of Wisconsin, helped the state build a reputation as "America's Dairyland".

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Between 1901 and 1914, Progressive Republicans in Wisconsin created the nation's first comprehensive statewide primary election system, the first effective workplace injury compensation law, and the first state income tax, making taxation proportional to actual earnings.

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The progressive Wisconsin Idea promoted the statewide expansion of the University of Wisconsin through the UW-Extension system at this time.

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Later, UW economics professors John R Commons and Harold Groves helped Wisconsin create the first unemployment compensation program in the United States in 1932.

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Wisconsin took part in several political extremes in the mid to late 20th century, ranging from the anti-communist crusades of Senator Joseph McCarthy in the 1950s to the radical antiwar protests at UW-Madison that culminated in the Sterling Hall bombing in August 1970.

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In 2011, Wisconsin became the focus of some controversy when newly elected governor Scott Walker proposed, passed, and enacted the 2011 Wisconsin Act 10, which made large changes in the areas of collective bargaining, compensation, retirement, health insurance, and sick leave of public sector employees, among other changes.

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Wisconsin is bordered by the Montreal River; Lake Superior and Michigan to the north; by Lake Michigan to the east; by Illinois to the south; and by Iowa to the southwest and Minnesota to the northwest.

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Wisconsin has sister-state relationships with Germany's Hesse, Japan's Chiba Prefecture, Mexico's Jalisco, China's Heilongjiang, and Nicaragua.

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Wisconsin has the highest percentage of residents of Polish ancestry of any state.

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Wisconsin publishes its own statistics through the Bureau of Justice Information and Analysis.

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Wisconsin has had a diplomatic relationship with the Japanese prefecture of Chiba since 1990.

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In 2020, Wisconsin leaned back in the Democratic party's direction as Joe Biden won the state by an even narrower margin of 0.

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Wisconsin has leaned Democratic in recent presidential elections, although Donald Trump managed to win the state in 2016 by a narrow margin of 0.

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At the statewide level, Wisconsin is competitive, with control regularly alternating between the two parties.

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The economy of Wisconsin is driven by manufacturing, agriculture, and health care.

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Wisconsin produces about a quarter of America's cheese, leading the nation in cheese production.

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Wisconsin is second in butter production, producing about one-quarter of the nation's butter.

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Wisconsin is a leading producer of oats, potatoes, carrots, tart cherries, maple syrup, and sweet corn for processing.

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Wisconsin is home to a very large and diversified manufacturing economy, with special focus on transportation and capital equipment.

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Wisconsin is a major producer of paper, packaging, and other consumer goods.

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Tourist destinations such as the House on the Rock near Spring Green, Circus World Museum in Baraboo, and The Dells of the Wisconsin River draw thousands of visitors annually, and festivals such as Summerfest and the EAA Oshkosh Airshow draw international attention, along with hundreds of thousands of visitors.

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Wisconsin is served by eight commercial service airports, in addition to a number of general aviation airports.

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Wisconsin is served by multiple intercity bus operators, which provide service to 71 stops and 53 cities.

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Wisconsin has three types of municipality: cities, villages, and towns.

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The "Wisconsin Idea" exemplified the Progressive movement within colleges and universities at the time.

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Varied landscape of Wisconsin makes the state a popular vacation destination for outdoor recreation.

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Wisconsin is situated on two Great Lakes and has many inland lakes of varied size; the state contains 11, 188 square miles of water, more than all but three other states—Alaska, Michigan, and Florida.

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Wisconsin is represented by major league teams in three sports: football, baseball, and basketball.

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Lambeau Field, located in Green Bay, Wisconsin, is home to the National Football League's Green Bay Packers.

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Wisconsin is home to Forward Madison FC which is a professional soccer team that plays in the USL League One.

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Many other schools in the University of Wisconsin system compete in the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference at the Division III level.

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Teams from Wisconsin include: The Green Bay Gladiators from Green Bay, The Fox Valley Force in Appleton, The Kimberly Storm in Kimberly, The Central Wisconsin Spartans in Wausau, The Eau Claire Crush and the Chippewa Valley Predators from Eau Claire, and the Lake Superior Rage from Superior.

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Wisconsin is home to the nation's oldest operating velodrome in Kenosha where races have been held every year since 1927.

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Wisconsin'sboygan is home to Whistling Straits golf club which has hosted PGA Championships in 2004, 2010 and 2015 and the Ryder Cup golf competition between USA and Europe in 2020.

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