People Are Fleeing Milwaukee. Here’s Where They’re Plotting to Move to

Estimated read time 3 min read

The largest city in Wisconsin, Milwaukee, is seeing a considerable exodus of its citizenry, especially from the millennial generation. Milwaukee saw a net loss of 9,000 millennials between 2010 and 2015, according to a Brookings Institution research, placing it 46th out of 53 large American cities. Why, therefore, are individuals leaving Milwaukee, and what is their destination?

Factors Driving Migration

Various factors contribute to the exodus from Milwaukee:

Economic Opportunities: With a lower median family income, a greater poverty rate, and a higher unemployment rate than the national average, the city’s economy lags behind those of its regional peers, such as Minneapolis and Chicago. Many people are moving to other states in search of better job opportunities and greater salaries as a result.

Climate Preferences: Not everyone is a fan of Milwaukee’s weather, which is distinguished by chilly, snowy winters with an average annual temperature of 46.3 F and roughly 46 inches of annual precipitation. People who are becoming older or about to retire in particular frequently look for warmer, sunnier climates.

Quality of Life Concerns: Milwaukee has poor life expectancy, a high crime rate, and low levels of educational attainment, among other unfavorable ratings in quality of life measures. Inadequate water, bridge, and road infrastructure in the city also calls for immediate maintenance and improvements. A number of residents relocate in search of better living conditions because they are dissatisfied with the public services, healthcare, and education systems.

Preferred Destinations

According to USPS data, the top 10 states that Milwaukee residents are moving are as follows:

  • Florida
  • Texas
  • Arizona
  • North Carolina
  • Georgia
  • Tennessee
  • South Carolina
  • California
  • Colorado
  • Ohio

These states share common characteristics that attract Milwaukee residents:

Warmer Climates: Compared to Milwaukee, the majority of these states have warmer winters and higher average temperatures. For example, Florida has fewer snowfall and an average yearly temperature of 70.7 F, which gives its citizens more chances to engage in outdoor activities.

Lower Taxes: Many of these states boast lower taxes, notably in terms of income and property taxes, compared to Wisconsin. Texas becomes a desirable option for people looking to cut their tax burden because it has no state income tax and a lower effective property tax rate.

Improved Opportunities: The economies of these states are more promising, especially in the fields of technology, healthcare, and tourism. For instance, Texas has a lower unemployment rate and a higher median household income than Wisconsin, which draws people looking for better work prospects and higher salaries.


There is a demographic loss in Milwaukee; more people are moving out than moving in. This trend’s primary motivators include worries about the general quality of life in the city, climate preferences, and economic difficulties. States with better economic prospects, less taxes, and warmer temperatures are the most sought-after locations for individuals looking to relocate. Milwaukee needs to address its current problems and work to improve its allure in order to recruit and keep inhabitants in the coming years.


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