Renter's Guide to Milwaukee
Milwaukee is known for a multitude of things: Its Great Lake Michigan access and boating, brewing traditions, and rich historical and artistic cultures. The city boasts of beautiful, towering architecture (both modern and historical) and gorgeous city parks.
Milwaukee is the largest city in the state of Wisconsin and, impressively, is the fifth largest city in the Midwest. It spans 96.8 square miles along the coast of the Great Lake Michigan. The city and its suburbs are home to a vast number of children under the age of 20 and young professionals aged up to 34, who round the numbers that make Milwaukee the 31st most populous city in the U.S.
The average commute time from one part of the city to the other is ten to twenty minutes. By car, Milwaukee is approximately a one-and-a-half-hour commute to Chicago, IL (93 miles); one hour and twenty minutes to Madison, WI (79 miles); and five hours to Minneapolis, MN (337 miles).
Milwaukee’s location as a port city brings about rapidly changing, extreme weather. Winters here are cold, windy, and feature blizzards. The highest average winter temperature is only 28 degrees Fahrenheit with an average low temperature of 13 degrees Fahrenheit. Summers are hot and humid. The average summer high temperature is 81 degrees Fahrenheit with an average low of 62 degrees Fahrenheit.
Milwaukee has been named one of the 10 Most Exciting Cities for millennials. Simultaneously, it also made the list of 10 Most Dangerous Cities and that of America’s Drunkest Cities.
Milwaukee, WI Demographics
- Total Population599,498
Female 288,242Male 311,256
- Median Age31.1
Cost of Living in Milwaukee, WI
Typical bus fare in Milwaukee varies depending on payment method. A cash fare is $2.25 per ride for adults and $1.10 per ride for children. If you buy the city’s bus pass and load money onto it, you’ll lower your fare to $1.75 per ride (for adults).
Milwaukee’s Original Yellow Cab has been in the service of the public for 30 years now, operating 24/7. They charge $2.75 for the first 10th of a mile and then $0.25 for each additional 10th of a mile. Additional fees apply.
A large fast food meal will cost you $6. A meal for one at an inexpensive, nice restaurant such as Chile’s or Red Robin will average $14.50. A meal for two at a mid-range, nice restaurant will average $50. Entering a coffee shop, expect to see an average of $4 per cappuccino or exquisite latte.
The average monthly utilities cost – including electricity, water, and garbage – for a 1-bedroom apartment in Milwaukee is $127. Television and Internet services add about another $50 to this.
Average Rent in Milwaukee, WI
- Milwaukee, WI Average Rental Price, July, 2018$1,120/mo
- 1 Bedroom$1,008
- 2 Bedrooms$1,205
Milwaukee, WI Apartment Rent Ranges
- < $5001%
- > $2,0005%
Milwaukee, WI Rent Trends
|All rentals||Studio||1 Bed||2 Beds||3 Beds|
|Jul / 2018||$1,120||$824||$1,008||$1,205|
|Sept / 2017||$1,114||$862||$999||$1,198|
|May / 2017||$1,112||$857||$991||$1,201|
|Jan / 2017||$1,092||$792||$970||$1,183|
|Sept / 2016||$1,083||$798||$963||$1,170|
|May / 2016||$1,087||$818||$958||$1,180|
|Jan / 2016||$1,067||$805||$943||$1,156|
|Sept / 2015||$1,058||$782||$927||$1,151|
|May / 2015||$1,052||$764||$923||$1,144|
|Jan / 2015||$1,059||$783||$921||$1,125|
Average rent is projected to grow by 3% in 2018 compared to 2017.
Please note that projected rent growth is calculated at city level.
Average rent values on this page are aggregated from data from the following zip codes: 532025320353204532055320653207532085320953210532115321253213532145321553216532185321953220532215322253223532245322553226532285323353295
Living in Milwaukee
All city living comes with its highs and lows.
When it comes to the best that money can buy, residents will never go without quality beer, divine cheeses, and supply of coffee. Nor will they ever run out of things to do. The city has numerous parks and bike paths, sporting events, small music venues featuring local artists, museums, and clubs.
Locals rave about the city’s ethnic diversity, as the intercultural landscape brings many foreign, authentic cuisine restaurants to the area.
The city also has a history of high crime rates and unsafe neighborhoods. Year-to-year, there are reports of burglaries and street robberies, and even some more serious incidents.
Things to do in Milwaukee
Attending a sporting event is a great family activity and three of Wisconsin’s major national sports teams are situated in Milwaukee. The city is also home to the Milwaukee Brewers (Baseball), the Milwaukee Bucks (Basketball), and the Milwaukee Admirals (Ice Hockey). Purchase tickets to a Brewers game and chow down on bratwursts at Miller Park. For basketball and ice hockey games, head on over to the Bradley Center.
Milwaukee has quite a few history and art museums. See the famous Milwaukee Art Museum or visit the Milwaukee Public Museum of natural history and science (this one even has an IMAX theater!). The Discovery World Museum is also great for your science hankering. Alternative museums include the Harley-Davidson Museum and the Pabst Mansion.
Milwaukee is also known for its hip music scene. Milwaukee's Summerfest claims to be “The World’s Largest Music Festival." Summerfest is held at the 75-acre Henry Maier Festival Park. These same grounds continually host the Vans Warped Tour, with smaller events taking place at The Rave/Eagles Club. The Pabst Theater is also a must-see.
Employment & Economy in Milwaukee
Milwaukee’s economy relies largely on manufacturing, and high-end technology research and developments. It ranks 5th by number of Fortune 500 companies, being home to companies like Harley-Davidson, Northwestern Mutual, Manpower, Johnson Controls, Rockwell Automation, and Joy Global. The fastest growing fields are those in servicing, managerial, and health care.
Milwaukee, WI Households
- Total Number of Households230,807
Family 128,717Non-family 102,090
Children 76,254No Children 154,553
- Average People Per Household2.52
- Median Household Income$35,958
- Median Housing Costs Per Month$856
Top Colleges in Milwaukee
Milwaukee, WI Education Statistics
- No High School6%
- Some High School41%
- Some College26%
- Associate Degree6%
- Bachelor Degree14%
- Graduate Degree7%
Tips for Renting in Milwaukee
If you’re moving to the city to pursue higher education, a good option for you are the apartments lying east of the Milwaukee River. The neighborhoods in this region are more suited for young professionals and academics.
It’s important to familiarize yourself with Wisconsin’s laws regarding tenants’ rights and responsibilities.
Know that if you live in an apartment complex which rents by the month, the landlord must give you a termination notice of at least 28 days prior to your next rent’s due date. If you wish to terminate your lease, you must give your landlord this same notification.
If signing for a six-month or one-year lease, know that landlords are not mandated to automatically renew the lease. In fact, they can sign somebody else to the sequential lease period without notifying you.
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