Moving to Milwaukee discussion

Negative reviews

Jeff Terasek

It's like this, growing up in the suburbs (Born 1978)… you grow up, thinking it's a great place. You go to cool things and places in Milwaukee, and it's all really good. Then you get a little older, and maybe into high school, and then one or two people you know either overdoses on drugs or gets shot. You keep getting older, and more and more and more people suffer one of those two fates. It's still a great place, but it has a SEVERE (always getting worse, too) problem with gangs, heroin, and violent gun crime. Also, making things worse, it's the most segregated city in the U.S. (something I didn't notice until I was 12-14). I had to move away 2 years ago after my pregnant fiancee got killed, it was the last straw, I couldn't keep telling myself it is a good place.

If you wear rose-tinted glasses, don't go out at night, and know the neighborhoods you can't go to, I guess it still can seem amazing, but there is so much bad going on in that city.


Milwaukee is one of the most violent cities in America. I should know, I have lived here for over 50 years. Everyday the news is filled with the violence that takes place in this crime infested city. Little kids get shot and killed on a daily basis. Car jackings and accidents from car jackers occurs everyday. My neighbor was shot and killed by four "house jackers". If you report anything, your house will get burned to the ground. It happens everyday. I pray to god everyday that I will have the power to leave this miserable excuse of a city. Living in Milwaukee is pure hell, and that is the best I can say about this place. 


As someone who grew up here my whole life - we tell you that it’s bad because most people will turn a blind eye to what is happening directly west of them.

after decades of living here you can’t not see it anymore and it seeps into every aspect of your life. there is a lot of hope here but the people constantly stating that there’s a “negativity bias” are probably the same people who think the streetcar was executed properly - only talking about the good parts of the city is honestly just circlejerking, there’s no benefit


Please don't! Milwaukee is actually more dangerous than Chicago, with far fewer amenities and no culture. You might as well move into a safer Chicago neighborhood or leave the Midwest altogether. 

Teach in TX. They actually pay their teachers a living wage!

Neutral reviews

Odyssey Xiong

To be real with you, the city has issues. Especially for African Americans and minorities. Money that could be used to for education, city management, and other programs are being put into building a basketball arena for a team that people don't really follow. Sorry Bucks. We're mainly a Badger Packer state.

That's not to say Milwaukee is a bad city. I'm proud to be Milwaukeean. It may have issues and be the number one segregated city in the United States but, things can be worst. If you focus on outside parts of the greater Milwaukee area than things are all fine. Friendly people, good decent schools, nice local businesses, etc.      

Winters are okay with days of huge snow fall. Summers are great because we're constantly busy with festivals, fairs, and summerfest.  The city isn't that busy compare to bigger well known cities, so that could be a good or bad thing depending on what you want to do. It's not a city with a lot of attention so it's pretty melo. 

All in all Milwaukee can be great, if you're not living in certain areas of it that is.


I lived here for 22 years, and have a love and dislike of the place at the same time. In the like category are the city size as it has most of what you want from a city, folks are proud and friendly in their somewhat defensive way, there is the uniqueness of the city dialect, nice museums, good suburbs, a pace of life that is not too fast and not too slow. It's Teutonic history means it has great outdoors events with music like Summerfest, and yes given the German heritage, drinking beer goes without saying. It has 2 professional sports teams which is rare for a city metro area of only 1.5 million. The local colleges are good, University of Wisconsin Milwaukee is a gem too for getting a college degree either as a full time or part time working student, and the vocational tech college MATC is top knotch. Work ethic and accountability are strong here. Being on Lake Michigan is a god send for this city. 

Views looking over the lake remind you that you may be at the ocean on a summer day. Milwaukee represents in many ways the American Spirit of getting it done and made with pride. Areas on the city's east side are really nice. In the dislike category is you are no longer sure just what the City stands for. Made in Milwaukee used to mean just about everything manufacturing built extremely well and at good solid wages, but that base has gone downhill big time hurting blue collar high school folks the most, probably due to the big free trade agreements. In its place is a mixed economy with nothing that really stands out. It is just a city that keeps going like the energizer bunny but what is at its core, you just do not know. The city dynamic seems in a stasis, neither getting bigger nor declining completely, just hanging in there is the sense, and you want more than that from a city. The City schools, high property and income taxes, and the god awful everlasting winter weather are the major deterrents to wanting to move here. Why they put the baseball stadium in the middle of a freeway hell and not downtown like St. Louis did is a mistake of Epic proportions, although Miller Park with its enclosed top does allow you to see professional baseball in any kind of weather which does show up in Milwaukee. The suburbs are just like suburbs everywhere, and unfortunately the inner city has really declined sadly. It is too bad they did not site the new Chinese FoxConn high tech company in the middle of Milwaukee as that would have brought many needed jobs to those in the city that need them, and added a real ZAP putting Milwaukee on the map nationwide as on the cutting edge and in a trans formative positive way, instead of having to rely on its historic past of Harleys, brats, beer, metal bending, and car parts, and now a mottled mixed economy. Standard of living is average here. I am glad I grew up there in its heyday, but today am averse to moving back there. 


The bad parts of Milwaukee are probably some of the worst places to live in the country. The nice parts of Milwaukee are probably some of the best places to live in the country. The lines between these areas are clear and shameful so depending on how you slice it Milwaukee could be anywhere between a fantastic place and a terrible place, or, if you take an average of the two - an average place.

Milwaukee is lacking a strong tech scene although I will say it has improved a lot in the past few years.


Uhhh I have to say I live in this god forsaking city and I have my whole life. I live in the middle/upper class area of the southside where it's mostly diverse where you see Whites, Blacks, Asians, Latinos, and Indians (I call them middle easterns just separate them from the native americans but hey that's just me.) The restaurants are good it just depends on what you like. But what Chicago has in high end stores we definitely lack, you have more of a variety the main high end store we have is Nordstroms( how ever you spell it.) And they just built a Sak's fifth avenue but it's small in the Mayfair Collection. Although Bayshore mall has pretty interesting stores there, I haven't been there in a while though oh and there's Summerfest and The State Fair every summer. I could go on and on about Milwaukee but I don't want to take up to much of your time. I take it like this for a person such as myself who's been living here their whole life I find it pretty damn boring, but for a person who is thinking of moving or just moved here and settled in then you might like it and have fun, it all about who you ask so if you're moving here then I say welcome to Milwaukee and have fun.

Positive reviews

Andrea Tritschler

Historical architecture stands as a tribute to Milwaukee's past, while the metro area vibrates from the construction of a changing skyline and with the energy of its near 600,000 residents. Cranes, which have become common fixtures on the skyline, are a picture of Milwaukee's modernization. Millennials are drawn to Milwaukee's blue-collar roots, relatively low cost of living and exciting, new development.

It's no surprise the residents are passionate about having fun. Milwaukee has a bustling nightlife, award-winning restaurants, lakefront museums and a thriving music and arts scene. History and tradition are embraced, celebrated with German fare, craft beer, Friday fish fries and an array of cultural events. Milwaukee hosts dozens of festivals each year. Summerfest, the city's biggest, spans a week and a half and welcomes hundreds of bands.

Sarah Smith

For those considering a move to Milwaukee, I'll highlight a few things you might notice that are fairly unique to the Milwaukee area.

German & Polish influence: The result of major German, Polish, and Scandinavian immigration to the area means you'll find a lot of culinary influence in the form of beers, sausage, sauerkraut, cheese, and generally carb-heavy and fried foods. By 1880, native Germans made up 27% of the city’s population, the highest concentration of a single immigrant group in any American city.

Most of the people you grew up with are still around: People tend to stay put in the area. It's common for people to live within a few miles of their parents.  Some move away but you'll find a lot of people in their 30s and 40s who still hang out socially with a lot of their high school friends. This is unique compared to a number of other major cities.

Long, tough, (sometimes beautiful) winters: It snows a lot from November to April so you have to be ready to scrape ice off your windshield, shovel your sidewalk, and even dig your car out of snowdrifts at times. Some people run to their car and turn it on to "warm up" for 20 minutes before driving to work. You'll get used to salt on your boots and basically everything outside.  Dirty snow in March really makes you appreciate the...

...Fantastic and lively summers: When the temperature gauge ticks up to 60 degrees, you'll see Milwaukeeans break out their shorts in revelry. The summer is packed full of water sports on Lake Michigan or at lake houses elsewhere in the state. People flock to Summerfest, the biggest music festival in the world in late June/early July as well as other festivals that run through the whole season. One of the biggest fireworks companies, Bartolottas, is based near Milwaukee so the 4th of July fireworks are incredible.

Good music and food scene: Milwaukee has really upped it's game in the last 20 years. The downtown area and Third Ward have very hip bars, music venues, galleries, shopping, and restaurants to boot.

Sports are a religion: Wisconsinites take sports very, very seriously. If you go to a grocery store during a Packer game, you will find it generally deserted with all of the workers in the break room watching the game. People wear Packer and Badger gear daily during football season. Hunting is also a religion and in the fall/winter, you'll easily spot people running around in "hunter orange" jackets.

City pride for big brands: Milwaukeeans are quite proud to be home to Miller Brewing, Pabst Blue Ribbon, Sprecher Brewing, Harley Davidson, Alice Chalmers, Usingers Sausages, and the Milwaukee Brewers.

People are painfully kind and humble: The adage "these people are the salt of the earth" applies 100% to people in Milwaukee and Wisconsin in general. It may be a result of the cultural influence mentioned above but people work incredibly hard (perhaps because there was a lot of heavy industry in Milwaukee 50+ years ago). People show up when they say they will. Strangers will pull over to help you with your car if your battery is dead or you have a flat tire. The grocery store clerk has a genuine conversation with you (if you're not already gabbing away with other people in line.) People are not overly fashionable but instead very practical. Many are church-goers (Lutheran, Catholic, Presbyterian, Methodist are common) and would bring you homemade chicken noodle soup and fresh baked bread if you were sick.

Overall, Milwaukee is a place with very grounded people who are willing to tough out the terrible winters for the reward of incredible summers with live music by the lake. People eat a lot of German food, drink beer, and generally stay put because they know they are among other nice, humble people who take care of each other.

Manali Banerjee

I started living in Milwaukee since mid 2015 due to my job. Before that only US city I lived was city in Connecticut. As soon I reached here people started to warn me about the cold winter. Coming from a tropical country I was pretty scared. But soon started finding warmth of some new and old friendships. I moved to Downtown Milwaukee area before winter as I didn’t have a car initially.

First thing I noticed that people are quite friendly and very down to earth. Liked that part of Milwaukee initially. If you live in Downtown everything will be in your reach and you can easily manage without car. The lakeside was awesome escape from daily work. Next best thing would be pubs and crowd over there. We could find very nice places to hangout. New place every week to explore. Although I never been to Harley Davidson museum but always referred my friends to visit. I was lucky to find bunch of friends and every weekend we would drive to nearby places like Holy Hill, Lake Geneva or unnumbered lakes around Milwaukee. Though I had to walk few blocks in biting cold during winter but it was fun I would say.

In summary I would say Milwaukee has it’s own charm due to it’s people, culture and places. I am surely in love with this place. My uncle used to live here almost 10 years back and now he is so nostalgic about this place that he doesn’t want to come back here. It makes him sad that he is not able to live here right now. I feel maybe after few years I will feel the same.

Nick Ruiz

Living in Milwaukee is affordable for most families. It is much safer than other counties. You can visit the market even at night. It is also famous for frozen custard ice-creams.

It is known as the Brew City, so you are never away from grabbing a drink. It offers a variety of coastal activities like kayaking, sailing, fishing, or jet skiing.

People spend time playing golf, beach volleyball in Lake Park which is also known as the North Point Lighthouse. It has gorgeous views of Lake Michigan.

Milwaukee Art Museum is a more prominent art museum, and it has exhibits that open and close every day.

If you’ve lived in Milwaukee for too long though and are now looking to sell your house in Milwaukee and want a great deal, it shouldn’t take long! Prices aren’t too bad here.


Milwaukee, an underrated but consistently pleasantly surprising place to visitors is experience a renaissance like never before. The amount of new projects and developments is exploding. The city is mid size but has the amenities and features of a city double its size, from the thriving theatre and arts scene, to live music venues and events, a booming and emerging restaurant scene, shopping, affordable housing, and an easily accessible sprawling lakefront with an unexpected beach painted with tiki huts and volleyball nets, this city has something for everyone. 


I've lived here my whole life, that's 23 years of Milwaukee experience and let me just's changed. But that's what's great about living here, you are constantly having to adapt to different living conditions. So let me break down our areas. You've got the north side, not as racially diverse, a majority of African American and Caucasian population. The only jobs you'll find up there are scattered fast food chains and factory buildings. People are generally friendly, some areas are shady but if you stay on the main streets you'll be fine. Then you've got downtown/upper-lower eastside/lakeside. It's hippie nation in that area. Great food, diversity, depending on what you're looking for reasonably priced for the view and easy access to public transportation, Water Street (google it), business and college oriented, museums, during the summer the lakeside has plenty of outdoor activities. I'd say one thing that you've got to have is a hefty wallet for anything besides a pizza and Netflix but always be aware of the awesome deals the attractions have like free days or discount admissions and eats. And you have the south/west/east side. You've got west allis which is a bit more suburbian, family oriented, not a lot of diversity going on there, location for our state fair grounds. General south side which hosts a large Hispanic/latino population which you'll find more of the office or small business jobs. Check out 27th street, it's just one long road that connects all of the areas and has a ton of businesses to explore. Then the lower east side, that's a artsy side of town, pretty dull. Very health oriented, you've got the Alchemist theatre, nice people very family oriented as well. Good schools (not great you've got to do some research), great food, transportation not bad, historical sites, invested in sports (mainly football [green bay packers], baseball[brewers], and basketball[bucks]),SUMMERFEST!!! Largest music festival in the country, music booze, funny people, overall good time that is the place. Hope you like my review and i'll answer any questions. 


For me, Milwaukee ends up being the best "bang for buck." I've lived in a bunch of places--small cities and large cities, including Chicago.

There are a lot of urban amenities you can enjoy here, and the cost of living is extremely low compared to other large cities (people complaining about high rents here are clueless or are not comparing apples to apples elsewhere). There are very few places where I can afford to work my low-key, low-stress job and still afford to live alone in a very nice neighborhood and have plenty of money left over for entertainment and leisure.

We've got NBA/MLB. We've got a symphony, opera, ballet. We've got an art museum that is way better than our peer cities. We may not have an ocean, but we have a Great Lake and a great lakefront and park system. We've got a lot of foodie spots. We have excellent coffee. We have a fairly impressive public library with great (and mostly renovated) branches. We've got some good bookstores, though not as many as I wish. We do not have the kind of public transport I'd like, but I live without a car and find the bus system to be pretty good and am looking forward to our new streetcar. We have fast and reliable Amtrak to Chicago for getaways and anything that MKE doesn't offer. We have (like a lot of rust belt cities) a keen history. We have a lot of good architecture. We do get four seasons even though you'll see people here erroneously claim that we don't have fall or spring.

Would I prefer to live in Seattle or Portland or Boston if I could have the same lifestyle there? Sure. But I can't have the same lifestyle in those places. It would be so expensive that I'd have to work extremely hard at some corporate shill job that would make me want to jump off a bridge. So I am here because it is livable.

The crime is not something that has personally affected me, but that's because Milwaukee is pretty segregated. Occasionally it will spill over from the ghetto into the nicer areas, but even then it's mostly property crime.


Right now the big thing Milwaukee lacks is quick public transport, buses are great but they are underfunded. There is a streetcar system being put in now (and everyone here either loves it or hates it, but MKE had street cars a long time ago and they were all taken down because the wires didn't look nice, but that's either here nor there) and it will take a while for it to be fully realized. I live in a suburb of Milwaukee, I'm about 15 minutes away, so I can't speak on crime rate affecting livability.

Other than that, most things are walkable. There's plenty of stuff to do in the spring, summer, fall (and even Winter...cold won't stop us from doing things). Right now it's Festival season, where there is literally a different festival at the park where summerfest is every week.


I love so much about living here. Crime doesnt affect me really. its (sadly) highly concentrated in a few areas, and otherwise we get normal sorts of city crime. The city is very affordable, even in nice areas rent is pretty cheap compared to larger cities I have lived in. Food and drink is pretty good as well! Tons of festivals and events, and friendly, progressive people.

I will say our job market is incredibly boring. We do not seem to be a place of exciting companies. Lots of sales and insurance type stuff, and if youre in STEM you might find stuff, but going through job boards is incredibly depressing, especially if (like me) you dont really know what to do with your life.

Also, on that note, there are a number of jobs located in the burbs, which is a bummer for those of us who dont live there.


I have lived in Milwaukee my whole life. I travel a lot but this is home (for better or worse lol). Milwaukee is getting bad now as far as crime goes but still waaaaaaayyyyyyyy safer than Chicago. It is a very segregated city--- blacks on the lower north side, Hispanics on the lower south side and whites on the upper north and south sides. Asians usually live in the same area and the Jewish community is pretty tight knit in one area. For the most part people are very friendly but Milwaukee is a big little city. Liquor stores close at 9p bars and clubs stay open until 2a. We have your main food options and stores. The city is a big grid so very easy to navigate toy way around. I too work in the education field and i think there are plenty of teaching jobs available...when you do decide to move go to and it shows you all education jobs available and you can apply to those that interest you. We have plenty of churches, hair salons and nail shops just have to look around until you find one you like. Most places cater to the population around them (black shops on the north side etc)i think there is a lot to do but that depends on what you are into. Weather typically the same as Chicago-- sorry so long tryna think what i would want to know about a new place lol