University of Wisconsin–Madison

Wisconsin Geospatial News

Who has more lakes: Minnesota or Wisconsin?

I recently came across an interesting article on Politifact Wisconsin that delves into the all-important issue of who has more lakes: Wisconsin or Minnesota? The debate was apparently kicked off by a statement made by Wisconsin Tourism Secretary Sara Meaney on a radio program earlier this month: “Wisconsin, many people may not be aware, actually has 15,000 freshwater lakes. … More than Minnesota.”

The story goes something like this: according to the Wisconsin DNR, Wisconsin has 15,074 lakes.  Minnesota, by comparison, has 11,842 based on stats available from the Minnesota DNR.

A clear “winner” right?  Nope.

Turns out each state uses vastly different criteria to call a lake, well, a lake.  Head over to the article on Politifact Wisconsin for all the gory details… it really is an interesting read for you geography buffs.  Spoiler alert: if you a hoping for a Wisconsin win, you may be disappointed!