Milwaukee, Wis.

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Updated July 10, 2020 | Infoplease Staff

Mayor: Tom Barrett (to April 2016)

2010 census population (rank): 594,833 (28); Male: 286,949 (48.2%); Female: 307,884 (51.8%); White: 266,339 (44.8%); Black: 237,769 (40.0%); American Indian and Alaska Native: 4,695 (0.8%); Asian: 20,851 (3.5%); Other race: 44,650 (7.5%); Two or more races: 20,288 (3.4%); Hispanic/Latino: 103,007 (17.3%). 2010 percent population 18 and over: 72.9%; 65 and over: 8.9%; Median age: 30.3.

2013 population estimate (rank): 599,164 (31)

See additional census data

Land area: 96 sq mi. (249 sq km);

Alt.: 580.60 ft.

Avg. daily temp.: Jan., 19.9° F; July, 73.6° F

Churches: 411;

County-owned parks: 140 (15,000+ ac.);

Radio stations: AM, 6; FM, 13;

Television stations: 11

Civilian Labor Force (2013): 295,247;

Unemployed (2013): 11.3%;

Per capita personal income (2013:) $19,371

Chamber of Commerce: Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce, 756 N. Milwaukee St., Milwaukee, WI 53202; Milwaukee Minority Chamber of Commerce, P.O. Box 1662, Milwaukee, WI 53201; Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, 816 W. National Ave., Milwaukee, WI 53204

Milwaukee, the largest city in Wisconsin and seat of Milwaukee County, is located in the southeast part of the state on Lake Michigan.

French missionaries visited the site of Milwaukee in the 17th century, but it was not until 1795 that Jacques Vieau established a fur-trading post there. The first permanent white settler, Vieau's son-in-law, Solomon Juneau, an agent of the American Fur Company, made his home there in 1818. The settlement merged with several neighboring villages in 1838 to form Milwaukee, and the city was incorporated in 1846. A large wave of German immigrants arrived after 1848 and contributed greatly to the city's political, economic, and cultural development.

The origins of the word “Milwaukee” are disputed; it may come from the Potawatomi “Mahn-ah-wauk,” meaning council grounds of the Potawatomi; “Mah-an-wauk-seepe,” meaning gathering place of rivers; or the Algonquian “Milo-aki,” meaning beautiful land.

Milwaukee is one of the great industrial centers in the country and one of the largest Great Lakes ports. Manufacturing remains strong, and Milwaukee manufacturers are national leaders in lithographic commercial printing and the production of medical diagnostic instruments, small gasoline engines, malt beverages, iron and steel forgings, mining machinery, and robotics. Milwaukee's high-tech manufacturing community is one of the largest among the nation's major metropolitan areas.

Though Milwaukee was once known as a “beer town,” only a small percentage of its workforce is now involved in beer production. However, beer still plays an important role, and almost 11% of the nation's malt beverage is produced there.

See also Encyclopedia: Milwaukee.

Selected famous natives and residents:

  • Donald Gramm bass-baritone;
  • Woody Herman band leader;
  • Al Jarreau singer;
  • Kristen Johnston actress;
  • George F. Kennan diplomat;
  • Alfred Lunt actor;
  • Douglas MacArthur army general;
  • Pat O'Brien actor;
  • Tom Snyder TV personality;
  • Speech member of the rap group Arrested Development;
  • Spencer Tracy actor;
  • Gene Wilder actor;
  • Jerry and David Zucker film producers.

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