Five Fun Reasons to Consider Wisconsin

Five Fun Reasons to Consider Wisconsin

We all know Madison, Wisconsin, is one of America’s best cities for everything from work-life balance to dog-friendliness. But did you know Wisconsin also has made several top 10 lists?

Here’s a look at five random categories, both practical and oddball, in which Wisconsin ranked high on various lists heading into 2024.

• Best State to Live In: No. 8

Wisconsin is the eighth-best state to live in, according to U.S. News & World Report and based on a variety of factors. Health care and education were weighted most heavily, followed by state economy, infrastructure and the opportunities a state offers residents. Then came fiscal stability, measures of crime and corrections, and the natural environment. (Utah topped the list, with Minnesota and Iowa also landing in the top 10.)

• Most Desirable State: No. 5

Shoreline Immigration, experts in U.S. immigration law, listed Wisconsin at No. 5 on its ranking of the most desirable states in which to live. “This comprehensive analysis delved into various factors such as average home prices, health care quality and more across the United States,” according to Milwaukee’s Shepherd Express. A low average home price ($290,926, compared to the national average of $354,886) was one of the main reasons for the Badger State’s high ranking. New Hampshire was No. 1, and Wisconsin was one of two Upper Midwest states in the top 10 (Minnesota came in ninth.)

• State With the Best Public Golf Courses: No. 1

Each year, Golf Digest ranks “America’s 100 Greatest Public Courses,” and the 2023-24 list includes 10 courses in Wisconsin — more than any other state (although California and Michigan each had nine on the list). The highest-ranked Wisconsin course was the Straits Course at Whistling Straits in Sheboygan County (No. 4), followed by Erin Hills in Washington County (No. 10). Sand Valley in Adams County (No. 17) and the River Course at Blackwolf Run in Kohler (No. 18) also made the Top 25. As BizTimes Milwaukee notes: “Wisconsin’s top golf courses have attracted several major professional golf tournaments, including the 2023 U.S. Senior Open, which was held at SentryWorld [in Stevens Point, No. 52], and the 2025 U.S. Women’s Open, which will be held at Erin Hills. The 2021 Ryder Cup competition was held at Whistling Straits.”

• State With Best Football Fan Base: No. 10

A fan poll originating in Alabama (via and Samford University) asked respondents who watch or attend college football games to identify their favorite team. Wisconsin came in 10th, with more than 2.64 million fans claiming to watch Badger games. Totally unscientific, but at least there were only three Big Ten teams ahead of Bucky: Ohio State (No. 1, with more than 6.15 million fans), Michigan (No. 2, with more than 4.45 million fans) and Penn State (No. 3, with more than 4.02 million fans). For what it’s worth, (which publishes casino reviews) determined that the Green Bay Packers boast the fifth-sexiest fans in the National Football League — ahead of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers but behind the Chicago Bears. Who knew?

• State With Nation’s Best Gas Station: No. 1

Fr the fourth time in a row, USA Today last year named Kwik Trip the best gas station in America: “This Wisconsin-based, family-owned company operates more than 800 stores in Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, Michigan, South Dakota and Illinois. Their bakeries make more than two dozen different items each day, and all milk is sourced from dairy farms within a 100-mile radius of La Crosse, Wisconsin.” Non-fuel factors that went into the decision include restroom cleanliness, coffee freshness and snack options.

Yeah, we know this list won’t make or break anyone’s plans to relocate to Wisconsin (or better yet, the Madison area), and we don’t take these rankings too seriously. But they do offer a fun way to think about our state in different ways.

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