University of Wisconsin–Madison

Wisconsin Geography Trivia


General Statistics

  • Based on the 2010 census, the population of Wisconsin is 5,686,986 compared to the 2000 population of 5,363,675 (6.0% change.)
  • The area of Wisconsin is 54,375 square miles or 34.8 million acres. The area extent includes the inland water bodies but excludes parts of the Great Lakes and the Mississippi River that fall within the state boundary.
  • Wisconsin is 26th of the 50 states in land area.
  • Wisconsin has 72 counties.
  • Wisconsin has 66 state parks with a total area of over 60,570 acres.
  • The largest county in Wisconsin is Marathon County with an area of 1545 square miles, and the smallest county is Pepin County covering 232 square miles.
  • The geographic center of Wisconsin (weighted center) is nine miles southeast of Marshfield in Wood county.
  • The center of the north-western hemisphere in terms of 45 degrees north and 90 degrees west falls in Wisconsin near Poniatowski.
  • FYI: The geographic center of the conterminous United States (48 states) is near Lebanon in Smith County, Kansas.

Wisconsin Lakes and Rivers

  • Wisconsin has over 15,000 lakes of which over 6,000 are named. Many larger lakes have been mapped for their depths.
  • Wisconsin has 1,449 square miles or 982,155 acres of water. This represents 2.6% of the total area of the state.
    The largest inland lake is Lake Winnebago which covers an area of 215.17 square miles or 137,708 acres.
  • Wisconsin’s deepest natural inland lake is Green Lake with a maximum depth of 236 feet. The deepest artificial lake is Wazee Lake near Black River Falls in Jackson County with a maximum depth of 350 feet.
  • Our longest river is the Wisconsin River which flows 430 miles from Lac Vieux Desert in northern Wisconsin to the Mississippi River near the town of Prairie du Chien on the Wisconsin-Iowa border. Over that course, the river drops approximately 1072 feet.
  • One estimate of the length of Wisconsin’s Great Lakes shoreline is 1017 miles. This number can vary significantly depending on several factors

Elevations of Note

  • The highest natural point in Wisconsin is Timms Hill in Price County at 1,951.5 feet.
  • The lowest elevations in the state are found along the shore of Lake Michigan, which has an average elevation of 579 feet.
  • The elevation at the top of our state Capitol building is 1,213.5 feet.
  • The elevation of Madison’s Lake Mendota is 849 feet.
  • You can also view a table of each county’s high elevation point.
Last updated: December 3, 2018