|Nickname(s): Cinder City|
|• Total||4.86 sq mi (12.59 km2)|
|• Land||4.65 sq mi (12.04 km2)|
|• Water||0.21 sq mi (0.54 km2)|
|Elevation||896 ft (273 m)|
|• Estimate (2012)||6,946|
|• Density||1,442.2/sq mi (556.8/km2)|
|Time zone||Central (CST) (UTC-6)|
|• Summer (DST)||CDT (UTC-5)|
|Area code(s)||715 & 534|
|GNIS feature ID||1560807|
The settlement of Altoona began in 1881 when the Chicago, St. Paul, Minneapolis and Omaha Railway selected the site for a new terminal to replace the overcrowded existing terminal in Eau Claire. The railroad had originally planned to put the new terminal in Fall Creek, but the city of Eau Claire lobbied for a site closer to the existing one, and representatives from Eau Claire and the railroad walked the tracks from Fall Creek to Eau Claire to determine a suitable site. When the location of present-day Altoona - approximately three miles east of the existing Eau Claire terminal - was found to have sufficient flat land and access to water (via the Eau Claire River), the railroad began construction of the new terminal and the community of "East Eau Claire" was platted in October.
Residents began moving into the community in early 1882 and the railroad terminal became operational in May of that year. However, confusion between the "Eau Claire" and "East Eau Claire" stations quickly caused the railroad to rename the new terminal "Altoona" on October 14, 1882. Altoona was incorporated as a city on April 5, 1887.
Continued growth in both Altoona and Eau Claire over the past century has left the two cities adjacent to one another, with Fairfax St. and Bus. 53 providing a general boundary between the two, although the actual border is irregular. Altoona is bounded on the north by Lake Altoona and the Eau Claire River. To the south, the city limits generally follow U.S. Highway 12 and Otter Creek.
Altoona is located at (44.804110, -91.442183).
Altoona is situated near Lake Altoona, a man-made lake, with water provided by the Eau Claire River.
As of the census of 2010, there were 6,706 people, 2,883 households, and 1,775 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,442.2 inhabitants per square mile (556.8 /km2). There were 3,288 housing units at an average density of 707.1 per square mile (273.0 /km2). The racial makeup of the city was 93.5% White, 0.9% African American, 0.4% Native American, 1.9% Asian, 0.8% from other races, and 2.5% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.5% of the population.
There were 2,883 households of which 31.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 43.8% were married couples living together, 13.3% had a female householder with no husband present, 4.4% had a male householder with no wife present, and 38.4% were non-families. 31.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 14.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.32 and the average family size was 2.91.
The median age in the city was 37.4 years. 24.8% of residents were under the age of 18; 8.6% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 26.2% were from 25 to 44; 24.6% were from 45 to 64; and 15.8% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 47.0% male and 53.0% female.
As of the census of 2000, there were 6,698 people, 2,844 households, and 1,731 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,638.6 people per square mile (632.3/km²). There were 3,063 housing units at an average density of 749.4 per square mile (289.2/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 95.89% White, 0.40% African American, 0.58% Native American, 1.15% Asian, 0.07% Pacific Islander, 0.27% from other races, and 1.63% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.73% of the population.
There were 2,844 households out of which 31.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 46.0% were married couples living together, 11.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 39.1% were non-families. 31.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 14.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.30 and the average family size was 2.92.
In the city the population was spread out with 24.3% under the age of 18, 9.4% from 18 to 24, 29.4% from 25 to 44, 20.9% from 45 to 64, and 16.0% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 90.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 84.0 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $40,394, and the median income for a family was $49,441. Males had a median income of $33,505 versus $22,200 for females. The per capita income for the city was $21,236. About 4.4% of families and 5.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 6.3% of those under age 18 and 4.6% of those age 65 or over.
Altoona is a part of the Eau Claire media market; until early 2009, it was served by its own free weekly newspaper, the Altoona Star. Altoona is also home to the studios and offices of Maverick Media stations WAYY, WEAQ, WECL, WIAL, WAXX, and WDRK-FM.
- Leonard Haas, third president (1959–1971) and first chancellor (1973–1980) of the University of Wisconsin–Eau Claire
- Fred "Fuzzy" Thurston, who played left guard for the Green Bay Packers in the 1960s, and for whom the Altoona High School football field is named
- "US Gazetteer files 2010". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2012-11-18.
- "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2012-11-18.
- "Population Estimates". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2013-06-24.
- "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- Hagen, Gerald A. (1987). A History of Altoona. Altoona Printing, Inc., Altoona, WI.
- "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23.