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Middleton, Wisconsin facts for kids

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The City of Middleton
Wisconsin Trade Center in Middleton at sunset
Wisconsin Trade Center in Middleton at sunset
The Good Neighbor City
Location of Middleton in Dane County, Wisconsin.
Location of Middleton in Dane County, Wisconsin.
Country  United States
State  Wisconsin
County Dane
 • Type City Council/Mayor
 • City 9.07 sq mi (23.49 km2)
 • Land 8.94 sq mi (23.14 km2)
 • Water 0.14 sq mi (0.35 km2)
 • City 21,827
 • Estimate 
 • Density 2,242.19/sq mi (865.73/km2)
 • Metro
561,505 (88th)
Time zone UTC−6 (Central (CST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC−5 (CDT)
ZIP codes
Area code(s) 608
FIPS code 55-51575

Middleton is a city in Dane County, Wisconsin, United States, and a suburb of the state capital, Madison. Middleton's motto is "The Good Neighbor City." The population was 21,827 at the 2020 census.

In 2007, Middleton was chosen as the best place to live by CNN Money magazine. CNN Money magazine praised Middleton's "small-town charm, booming economy, extensive parks and bike trails." In 2009, Middleton was placed 4th, and 8th in 2011, on CNN Money magazine's list of best small towns to live in the United States. In 2021, Middleton was chosen as the "Best Suburbs to Raise a Family in Dane County" by ranking and review website Niche.


According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 9.12 square miles (23.62 km2), of which 8.98 square miles (23.26 km2) is land and 0.14 square miles (0.36 km2) is water.


Climate data for Middleton, Wisconsin
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °F (°C) 23
Average low °F (°C) 6
Average precipitation inches (mm) 1.14
Source: The Weather Channel


Historical population
Census Pop.
1870 285
1880 295 3.5%
1910 679
1920 791 16.5%
1930 983 24.3%
1940 1,358 38.1%
1950 2,110 55.4%
1960 4,410 109.0%
1970 8,246 87.0%
1980 11,851 43.7%
1990 13,289 12.1%
2000 15,770 18.7%
2010 17,442 10.6%
2020 21,827 25.1%
U.S. Decennial Census

Since 1990 there has been a population increase of over 20% in the Madison metropolitan area. This has led to Middleton being considered as the western hub of a proposed, albeit controversial, 13-mile (21 km) railroad corridor connecting Middleton's Greenway Station, the University of Wisconsin–Madison campus, downtown Madison, and Madison's far east side.

2010 census

As of the census of 2010, there were 17,442 people, 8,037 households, and 4,453 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,942.3 inhabitants per square mile (749.9/km2). There were 8,565 housing units at an average density of 953.8 per square mile (368.3/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 87.1% White, 3.5% African American, 0.3% Native American, 4.2% Asian, 2.3% from other races, and 2.5% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 5.6% of the population.

There were 8,037 households, of which 26.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 43.6% were married couples living together, 8.7% had a female householder with no husband present, 3.0% had a male householder with no wife present, and 44.6% were non-families. 36.0% of all households were made up of individuals, and 9.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.16 and the average family size was 2.86.

The median age in the city was 39.1 years. 21.8% of residents were under the age of 18; 7.5% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 29.1% were from 25 to 44; 29.3% were from 45 to 64; and 12.3% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 48.3% male and 51.7% female.


Middleton Municipal Airport (C29) serves Middleton and the surrounding communities.

A free trolley service called Middleton Trolley runs through Middleton and has 13 stops at landmarks around Middleton.

Madison's bus service Madison Metro's routes 70, 71, 72, 73, 78 and 15 all have stops throughout Middleton.


Middleton is the home of the National Mustard Museum. It was originally located in the nearby town of Mount Horeb, Wisconsin, but moved to Middleton. The museum and its curator were featured on National Public Radio's Morning Edition broadcast of July 29, 2010, and Weekend Edition Saturday on February 18, 1995 (when it was located in Mount Horeb).

The Imperial Garden restaurant, founded in 1981, has been voted the Best of Madison: Best Chinese Restaurant for 28 consecutive years.

The Stamm House restaurant was built circa 1850 originally as a store to serve travelers on the Old Sauk Trail, which ran from Milwaukee to Minneapolis.

The Pheasant Branch Creek Conservancy is a nature preserve of green space and wetland with prairie hills, natural springs, and Native American burial mounds. The creek drains on the east into Lake Mendota, and a hiking trail follows beside it through a forest, passing beside Parisi Park.



The largest industry sector in Middleton is manufacturing. Other major job sectors are retail trade, technology, educational services, health care, management of companies, finance and accommodations. In 2019, 17% of workers were employed in the manufacturing sector with 3,037 jobs. As of 2016, over 65% of Middleton residents have associate, bachelors or advanced degrees and 44.7% of residents are employed in positions which earn more than $75,000 per year. Over 2,000 companies are located in Middleton, including American Girl's corporate headquarters and one of Electronic Theater Controls' worldwide offices.

Top employers

As of 2019 the top employers in the city are:

# Employer Full-time employees Part-time employees
1 PPD, Inc 1,400 N/A
2 Electronic Theatre Controls 938 16
3 UW Medical Foundation 800 0
4 Middleton-Cross Plains Area School District 924 280
5 Spectrum Brands 448 3
6 Springs Window Fashions 550 0
7 American Girl 294 87
8 North Central Group 348 197
9 Humana 285 0
10 Fiskars 280 6
Greenway Station - panoramio (2)
Greenway Station
Nitty Gritty-Middleton - panoramio
The Nitty Gritty restaurant in Middleton

Tourism and retail

Greenway Station is a shopping mall and an upscale lifestyle center, one of Middleton's tourist destinations, opened in 2003. There are over 25 retail stores, such as Marshalls, Michael's, DSW, Bath & Body Works, HomeGoods, Chico's, Guitar Center, J.Jill, Loft, Maurices, Sally Beauty and restaurants such as Jersey Mike’s Subs, Cold Stone Creamery, McDonald's, Starbucks, Noodles World Kitchen, Johnny's Italian Steakhouse, Ancho & Agave and Fuji Sushi & Hibachi. Middleton has eight hotels, including Hilton Garden Inn and Residence Inn by Marriott which are located near the mall. Greenway Station Farmers’ Market features locally grown flowers, fruits, vegetables, baked goods, cheese, jam and meats from May to October.

Downtown Middleton also has several shops and restaurants. In 2015, Livability wrote that Middleton has "more than 60 independent restaurants and a large collection of downtown specialty shops provide lots of entertainment options." The Nitty Gritty is a restaurant in Middleton founded in 1968. During the 60’s and early 70’s the Nitty Gritty featured live blues music every night, and B.B. King, Muddy Waters, Charlie Musselwhite, and Cheap Trick are some of the famous musicians who performed there. In 1985, the Nitty Gritty was re-branded as a birthday destination, and as of 2018, over 725,000 birthdays have been celebrated in the restaurant.

Middleton has a golf course, Pleasant View Golf Course, located near Lake Mendota. Skiing, biking and hiking trails are also available in the area. Pleasant View Golf Course has been named the "Best Golf Course in Madison Area" four times (2016, 2018, 2019 and 2020) by Madison magazine. Walter. R. Bauman Aquatic Center is an outdoor facility that offers pools, waterslides, playground and water equipment.

Lake Mendota is a popular attraction among tourists and residents as it offers a variety of outdoor activities such as fishing, swimming, and other aquatic pursuits. Middleton has a skate park, Quarry Skate Park and board and boats rental company, Marshall Boats. Lake Mendota County Park offers a campground, picnic area, volleyball courts, and swimming.


Middleton belongs to the Middleton-Cross Plains School District. There are seven elementary schools, two middle schools, one high school and one alternative senior high school in the district. Recently, students in Blackhawk Middleton have been moved from Glacier Creek to Kromery.

Students attend either Middleton High School or Clark Street Community School. In 2021, in a report by U.S. News & World Report, Middleton High School was named as the best high school in Dane County and it was also named 11th best high school out of around 540 in the state of Wisconsin. The report indicated that the graduation rate at Middleton High School was 96%, and more than half of students took at least one Advanced Placement exam.

Elementary schools

  • Elm Lawn Elementary School
  • Park Elementary School
  • Pope Farm Elementary School
  • Northside Elementary School
  • Sauk Trail Elementary School
  • Sunset Ridge Elementary School
  • West Middleton Elementary School

Middle schools

  • Glacier Creek Middle School
  • Kromrey Middle School

High schools

  • Middleton High School
  • Clark Street Community School

Notable people

  • Gary Close, basketball coach
  • Casey Cramer, football player
  • Tracey DeKeyser, ice hockey coach
  • Jon Erpenbach, Wisconsin State Senator
  • Russ Feingold, Former United States Senator from Wisconsin
  • Frank Gault, Wisconsin State Representative
  • Pauline Kruger Hamilton, photographer
  • Aaron Hohlbein, MLS player
  • Ed Janus, journalist
  • Jill Karofsky, Justice of the Wisconsin Supreme Court
  • Jerry Kleczka, politician
  • Paul Kowert, double bassist
  • Josh Lambo, football player
  • Joe Parisi, Dane County executive
  • Rose Schuster Taylor, writer and naturalist at Yosemite
  • Bob Skoronski, professional football player
  • Otto F. Toepfer, Wisconsin State Representative
  • Al Toon, football player
  • Nick Toon, football player
  • Edo de Waart, conductor and music director

Images for kids

See also

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