Waukesha County, Wisconsin facts for kids
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Waukesha County, Wisconsin
Waukesha County Courthouse
Map of Wisconsin showing Waukesha County
Wisconsin's location in the United States
|Metro area||Metro Milwaukee|
|County seat||Waukesha, Wisconsin|
|Largest city||Waukesha, Wisconsin|
|• Total||581 sq mi (1,500 km2)|
|• Land||550 sq mi (1,400 km2)|
|• Water||31 sq mi (80 km2)|
|Area rank||53rd largest county in Wisconsin|
|• Rank||3rd largest county in Wisconsin|
|• Density||709/sq mi (274/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC-6 (Central)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC-5 (Central)|
|Area codes||262, 414|
|Congressional districts||1st, 5th|
|Airports||Waukesha County Airport Capitol Airport|
|Website||Waukesha County Official Website|
The part of Wisconsin that Waukesha County occupies was a part of Michigan Territory when Milwaukee County was organized in September 1834. On July 4, 1836, the Wisconsin Territory was formed, which included land that is now in the state of Minnesota. In January 1846, part of Milwaukee County was split off into Waukesha County. Curtis Reed was the first county chairman. When a vote decided the county seat, Waukesha defeated Pewaukee by two votes. The name is derived from the Potawatomi word for 'fox' because the streams in the lower part of the county drain into the Fox River.
Waukesha was a New England settlement, and Waukesha's founders were settlers from New England, particularly Connecticut, rural Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine, as well as from upstate New York who were born to parents who had migrated there from New England shortly after the American Revolution. These people were "Yankees" descended from the English Puritans who settled New England in the 1600s. They were part of a wave of New England farmers who headed west into what was the wilds of the Northwest Territory during the early 1800s. Most arrived as a result of the completion of the Erie Canal as well as the end of the Black Hawk War.
When they arrived in what is now Waukesha County, there was nothing but dense virgin forest and wild prairie. The New Englanders built farms, roads, government buildings and established post routes. They brought many of their Yankee New England values, such as a passion for education that led to the establishment of many schools as well as staunch support for abolitionism. They were mostly members of the Congregationalist Church, though some were Episcopalian. Due to the second Great Awakening some converted to Methodism, and others became Baptists before moving to what is now Waukesha County. Waukesha, like much of Wisconsin, would be culturally very continuous with early New England culture for most of its early history.
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.
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.
- Washington County – north
- Ozaukee County – northeast
- Milwaukee County – east
- Racine County – southeast
- Walworth County – southwest
- Jefferson County – west
- Dodge County – northwest
|U.S. Decennial Census
As of the census of 2010, there were 389,891 people, 152,663 households, and 108,810 families residing in the county. The population density was 672 people per square mile (260/km²). There were 160,864 housing units at an average density of 277 per square mile (107/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 93.3% White, 1.3% Black or African American, 0.3% Native American, 2.7% Asian, 0.0003% Pacific Islander, 1.0% from other races, and 1.3% from two or more races. 4.1% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 152,663 households out of which 30.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 60.7% were married couples living together, 7.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 28.7% were non-families. 23.8% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.52 and the average family size was 3.00.
In the county, the population was spread out with 24.1% under the age of 18, 6.8% from 18 to 24, 23.6% from 25 to 44, 31.2% from 45 to 64, and 14.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 42 years. For every 100 females there were 96.30 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 93.90 males.
- 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.
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