Milbradt's family originally was from Wągrowiec (Wongrowitz) near Poznań (Posen) but ended up in Dortmund after World War II, and he passed his Abitur there in 1964. From 1964–68, Milbradt studied economics, law, and mathematics at the University of Münster. He graduated with a degree in economics in 1968. From 1970–1980, he was scientific assistant at the institute for finance at the University of Münster, where he obtained his doctoral degree (Dr. rer. pol., summa cum laude) in 1973 and his habilitation in 1980. From 1980–1983, Milbradt worked as substitute professor of finance and political economics at the University of Mainz; since 1985 he holds the title of an (unsalaried) professor at the economics faculty in Münster.
Georg Milbradt is married to Angelika Meeth-Milbradt, a professor of economics, since 1975. They have two children.
Milbradt has been a member of the CDU since 1973. He was head of the finance department of the city of Münster 1983–1990 and then Minister of Finance of Saxony from 1990 to January 2001, but was dismissed from office by the then minister-president Kurt Biedenkopf because Milbradt had started a debate about Biedenkopf's succession. However, on 18 April 2002, he was elected minister-president of Saxony despite Biedenkopf's explicit opposition. Milbradt first governed with an absolute CDU majority, but is in a coalition with the SPD since the state elections of 19 September 2004, in which the CDU lost a large amount of votes.
Milbradt has been member of the state board of the CDU since 1991 and became deputy chairman of the state CDU in 1999 and chairman in 2001. Since 1994, he has been a member of the Saxony state parliament and since 2002 has been the minister-president of Saxony. However, in April 2008 Milbradt announced that he will resign from the office by the end of May and that Stanislaw Tillich shall succeed him. He has been under pressure for months because of his involvement in the liquidity crisis of the government's Sachsen LB bank. Milbradt has also been criticized for private loans from the bank during his time as Minister of Finance in Saxony.
Georg Milbradt oversees the Schüler Helfen Leben initiative.
In 2010 Georg Milbradt was nominated as Germany's representative to the board of the Forum of Federations.
In 2013 Georg Milbradt was elected Chairman of the Board of the Forum of Federations.
- Die demographische Herausforderung. Sachsens Zukunft gestalten, by Georg Milbradt and Johannes Meier, Bertelsmann Stiftung, 2004, ISBN 3-89204-793-6
- Kraft der Visionen, by Georg Milbradt and Thomas Rietzschel, Kiepenheuer, 2003, ISBN 3-378-01065-7
- Mühlbradt, Max: Das Geschlecht Milbradt (Milbrandt, Mildebrath, Milbrath, Milbrod, Mühlbrecht, Mühlbradt). Nachfahrentafeln. Landsberg an der Warthe: Selbstverlag des Verfassers 1934.
- Ulrich Brümmer: Parteien und Wahlen in Sachsen, Wiesbaden 2006, ISBN 3-531-14835-4