Waukesha County, Wisconsin

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Waukesha County, Wisconsin
Seal of Waukesha County, Wisconsin
Map of Wisconsin highlighting Waukesha County
Location in the state of Wisconsin
Map of the United States highlighting Wisconsin
Wisconsin's location in the U.S.
Founded 1846
Seat Waukesha
Largest city Waukesha
 • Total 581 sq mi (1,505 km2)
 • Land 550 sq mi (1,424 km2)
 • Water 31 sq mi (80 km2), 5.3%
 • (2010) 389,891
 • Density 709/sq mi (274/km²)
Congressional districts 1st, 5th
Time zone Central: UTC-6/-5
Website www.waukeshacounty.gov
Waukesha County sign on WIS 59

Waukesha County is a county in the U.S. state of Wisconsin. As of the 2010 census, the population was 389,891,[1] making it the third-most populous county in Wisconsin. Its county seat is Waukesha.[2]

Waukesha County is included in the Milwaukee-Waukesha-West Allis, WI Metropolitan Statistical Area.


The part of Wisconsin that Waukesha County now occupies was a part of Michigan when Milwaukee County was organized in September 1834.[3] On July 4, 1836, the Wisconsin Territory was formed, which included land currently in the state of Minnesota.[3] In January 1846, part of Milwaukee County was split off into Waukesha County.[4][5] Curtis Reed was the first county chairman.[4] When voting took place to decide the county seat, Waukesha beat out Pewaukee by two votes.[4]


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 581 square miles (1,500 km2), of which 550 square miles (1,400 km2) is land and 31 square miles (80 km2) (5.3%) is water.[6]

Lake country[edit]

Because of its large number of lakes, the northwestern corner of Waukesha County is referred to as "Lake Country" by local residents. It includes Pewaukee, Delafield, Hartland, Merton, Nashotah, Chenequa, Okauchee Lake, Oconomowoc, Summit, and Lac La Belle.

Major highways[edit]

Adjacent counties[edit]


2000 Census Age Pyramid for Waukesha County
Historical population
Census Pop.
1850 19,258
1860 26,831 39.3%
1870 28,274 5.4%
1880 28,957 2.4%
1890 44,270 52.9%
1900 35,229 −20.4%
1910 37,100 5.3%
1920 42,612 14.9%
1930 52,358 22.9%
1940 62,744 19.8%
1950 85,901 36.9%
1960 158,249 84.2%
1970 231,365 46.2%
1980 280,326 21.2%
1990 304,715 8.7%
2000 360,767 18.4%
2010 389,891 8.1%
Est. 2012 392,292 0.6%
U.S. Decennial Census[7]
1790-1960[8] 1900-1990[9]
1990-2000[10] 2010-2012[1]

As of the census[11] of 2000, there were 360,767 people, 135,229 households, and 100,475 families residing in the county. The population density was 649 people per square mile (251/km²). There were 140,309 housing units at an average density of 252 per square mile (98/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 95.77% White, 0.73% Black or African American, 0.22% Native American, 1.49% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.87% from other races, and 0.90% from two or more races. 2.63% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 44.5% were of German, 9.2% Polish, Italian 7.5%, and 7.7% Irish ancestry according to Census 2000. 94.3% spoke English, 2.2% Spanish and 1.2% German as their first language.

There were 135,229 households out of which 35.40% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 64.80% were married couples living together, 6.80% had a female householder with no husband present, and 25.70% were non-families. 20.90% of all households were made up of individuals and 8.10% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.63 and the average family size was 3.08.

In the county, the population was spread out with 26.30% under the age of 18, 6.80% from 18 to 24, 29.80% from 25 to 44, 25.10% from 45 to 64, and 12.00% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females there were 96.80 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 94.40 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $62,839, and the median income for a family was $71,773 (these figures had risen to $71,907 and $85,116 respectively as of a 2007 estimate[12]). Males had a median income of $49,232 versus $31,643 for females. The per capita income for the county was $29,164. About 1.7% of families and 2.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 2.5% of those under age 18 and 4.0% of those age 65 or over.


Elected officials[edit]


There are 12 departments in Waukesha County, with most located in the Administration Center.

  • Administration

The Department of Administration has five divisions that provide administrative services to the county: the finance division, the human resources division, the information technology division, the purchasing and risk management division, and the administrative services division.

  • Aging and Disability Resource Center

"The Aging and Disability Resource Center of Waukesha County (ADRC) is a single access point for publicly funded long term care in Waukesha County. The ADRC provides information, assistance, counseling and supportive services for older adults age 60 and above; caregivers; adults with physical or developmental disabilities; and adults with mental health or substance abuse concerns."[13]

  • Airport

Waukesha County's airport serves both commercial and private aircraft and is supervised by the Airport Commission.

  • Corporation Counsel
  • Emergency Preparedness
  • Federated Library System

Waukesha County Federated Library System (WCFLS) works in partnership with 16 independent public libraries in Waukesha County to develop and coordinate effective cooperative library services. Examples of WCFLS and member libraries cooperation include purchase of shared electronic databases, summer library programming, and van delivery service allowing residents to borrow and return library materials to any WCFLS member library. WCFLS also oversees Internet access to member libraries.

  • Health and Human Services
  • Medical Examiner

The Medical Examiner investigates suspicious deaths or deaths that result from a homicide, suicide, accident, or are otherwise unexplained. This office works closely with law enforcement and public health officials to resolve current issues as well as to generate statistics for the county.

  • Parks and Land Use

The Department of Parks and Land Use, or PLU, oversees six divisions that design and maintain county parks. The division also works with state and federal agencies. The planning division administers permits for construction and landscaping activities in the county. The land conservation division works to educate on and regulate soil and water issues in the county. Most programs look to control water runoff and soil erosion. The recycling and solid waste division oversees the recycling and disposal programs of the county. They also complete educational outreach on topics like composting and waste reduction as well as tours of the county's Material Recycling Facility. The official mascot of the Recycling division is Recycle Raccoon. The environmental health division inspects animal welfare issues, food safety issues (like inspecting restaurants), and air, water and sewage, and safety issues (such as radon testing, well testing, and septic system monitoring). The land information systems division coordinates databases of information into geographic and visual representations of data for land use and development.

  • Public Works
  • Sheriff
  • University of Wisconsin Extension

Waukesha County UW-Extension serves as an outreach source for residents to attain resources from the University of Wisconsin system. The UW Extension office is located on the ground floor of the county Administration Center.

The UW-Extension office also houses 180° Juvenile Diversion, a non-profit organization that rehabilitates first-time young offenders in Waukesha County. The program also has a strong partnership with the Office of the District Attorney.

  • Veterans


Waukesha County has been one of the Republican Party's most solid suburban strongholds for many years. It has not supported a Democrat for president since 1964. While other non-Southern suburban counties have moved towards Democrats since the 1980s, Waukesha and other Milwaukee suburbs have continued to vote solidly Republican.[14] The county is split between 10 state assembly districts and six state senate districts, all held by Republicans.

In 2008, John McCain carried the county by a 25.7% margin over Barack Obama, when Obama won Wisconsin by 13.9% over McCain.[15]





Unincorporated communities[edit]

Ghost towns[edit]

Mythical place[edit]

Note- due to a zoning issue, a single acre of Waukesha County was annexed by the City of Milwaukee (which otherwise is fully within Milwaukee County) in 2003 to accommodate the Ambrosia Chocolate Factory.[16]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 24, 2014. 
  2. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  3. ^ a b Barquist, Barbara; Barquist, David (1987). "The Beginning". In Haley, Leroy. The Summit of Oconomowoc: 150 Years of Summit Town. Summit History Group. p. 6. 
  4. ^ a b c Barquist, Barbara; Barquist, David (1987). "The Beginning". In Haley, Leroy. The Summit of Oconomowoc: 150 Years of Summit Town. Summit History Group. p. 7. 
  5. ^ Barquist, Barbara; Barquist, David (1987). "The Early Years". In Haley, Leroy. The Summit of Oconomowoc: 150 Years of Summit Town. Summit History Group. p. 37. 
  6. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23. 
  7. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 24, 2014. 
  8. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved January 24, 2014. 
  9. ^ "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 24, 2014. 
  10. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 24, 2014. 
  11. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2011-05-14. 
  12. ^ "Waukesha County, Wisconsin - Fact Sheet - American FactFinder". Factfinder.census.gov. Retrieved 2010-07-22. 
  13. ^ Mission Statement from http://www.waukeshacounty.gov/page.aspx?SetupMetaId=336&id=94
  14. ^ Cohn, Nate (6 May 2014). "The Curious Case of Milwaukee’s Suburban Voters". New York Times. Retrieved 7 May 2014. 
  15. ^ 2008 U.S. Presidential Election Results
  16. ^ [1][dead link]

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 43°01′N 88°19′W / 43.02°N 88.31°W / 43.02; -88.31