Where do I want to live? In Wisconsin

By: Karli Hinkley

Ever since I was a young child I have loved to research and dream about where I want to live when I grow up. My interests have ranged from my current home town of Fond du Lac, Wisconsin to exotic places such as Italy or Switzerland. As I have gotten older and had the chance to travel I’ve discovered that certain areas appeal to me more than others. At 19 years old I have decided that the Midwest has my heart and that I am completely content to stay in Wisconsin. However, Wisconsin, while not overly large, has a large range of places to live. In my human geography class, I recently learned that migration can be described as a permanent relocation across significant distances. Where people choose to relocate to is caused by a set of push and pull factors. Push factors are the factors that push one away from a location while pull factors are the factors that pull one towards a location. I determined the top five places I would like to live by considering which factors existed that pulled me to those areas. I used online resources such as Niche and Road Snacks Top 10 Worst Places to Live in Wisconsin and the Top Ten Most Dangerous Cities in Wisconsin to help me discover information about the various cities. So after much consideration the top five places I would like to live are…

  1. Green Bay, Wisconsin
Source: Wikipedia

After moving from Fond du Lac to De Pere for college I have come to enjoy living in the city of Green Bay. My time spent in De Pere during college has made me very familiar with the Green Bay area and I love that I feel far away from home when in reality I am only an hour away. as a future educator going to school at St.Norbert College gives me many connections within the Green Bay and De Pere school districts and living in Green Bay is a great way to take advantage of those connections.

2. Thiensville, Wisconsin

Source: Village Thiensville

My second choice city is Thiensville, Wisconsin, while it is certainly much smaller than Green Bay Thiensville, is only a short commute to Milwaukee. Thiensville provides a thoroughly authentic small-town feel, but Milwaukee is close enough that you can easily enjoy all of the fun activities that it has to offer. This past summer I taught summer school in Milwaukee and made many connections within the Milwaukee school district. Living in Thiensville would allow me to take advantage of those connections in my professional life. With good schools and low crime rates Thiensville is somewhere I would love to settle permanently.

3. Appleton, Wisconsin

Source: Livability

Another City that I would like to live in is Appleton, Wisconsin. Living in Appleton would allow me to be independent but still see my family frequently, something that is very important to me. As a young adult living in Appleton, I am drawn to the growing entertainment and restaurant scene. I grew up visiting Appleton frequently but I like that there are new things to discover and explore there. For me, the main draw to living in Appleton is that it is less an hour from my hometown but still feels like I’m living in a much more exciting city than what I grew up in.

4. Middleton, Wisconsin

Source: T Wall Enterprises

Middleton, Wisconsin is very similar to Thiensville in the way that it is a small town that is only a short commute from a larger town. Which again is something that appeals to me. Middleton being close to Madison offers the same types of employment opportunities for educators that Thiensville does. Although I do not have the same connections within the Madison school district as the I do in Milwaukee the Madison school district is large and there are many job opportunities. Although the crime rate of Middleton is higher than I would like the excellent schools and family-friendly atmosphere make up for that setback.

5. Hudson, Wisconsin

Source: MPR News

The last city on my top 5 list is Hudson, Wisconsin. Hudson is much further from my current location than some of the other cities on my list but I would like to live there regardless. One of my main draws to Hudson is the beautiful St.Croix River and downtown area. I also enjoy that Hudson is only 15 minutes from the twin cities so it would be easy to enjoy all that they have to offer there. While all the cities on my list are different and offer unique opportunities the pull factors that draw me to them are all very similar. When it comes to picking a city that I would like to live in things that are important to me are atmosphere, safety, and job opportunities. To go along with my list of 5 cities that I would like to live in I also have a list of 5 cities that I would not want to live in.

  1. Ashland, Wisconsin
Source: Wikipedia

The first city on my list is Ashland, Wisconsin. Mainly due to its high crime rate per capita. Ashland is located on Lake Superior and is near a major port so the high volume of traffic yields a high crime rate. As a single woman and someone who wants to raise a family a city with a high crime rate does not appeal to me. The atmosphere in Ashland while appealing to some does not appeal to me. Ashland has many opportunities for fishing due to its location on Lake Superior, but it lacks good restaurants and quality shopping options.

2. Beloit, Wisconsin

Source: Wikipedia

Beloit, Wisconsin also has a high crime rate. With an average of 243 violent crimes a year per 1,000 residents. Additionally, there seems to be a lack of job opportunities in Beloit and many families that live there struggle to make ends meet. As a future educator, I believe that every child deserves the right to an excellent education, and I want to be able to provide that type of excellence for kids in my own classroom. However, as someone who wants to settle down and have kids of my own, I want to be able to provide my children with excellent educational opportunities. The schools in Beloit are struggling and while I would be willing to work in Beloit school and fight for a better education for those students I would not want to live in Beloit long term because I would want my children to have access to better opportunities.

3. Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin

Source: Wikipedia

Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin is very similar to where I grew up but slightly smaller. There is nothing in particular that sticks out about Wisconsin Rapids that makes me not want to live there but there is nothing that pulls me there either. Across the board, Wisconsin Rapids does not excel or struggl in any specific categories, but nothing sticks out the pulls me to there either. I grew up in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin and I see many similarities between Fond du Lac and Wisconsin Rapids. Mainly of the similarities that I see are due to a lack of larger cities nearby which causes a there to be a deficient amount of shopping and entertainment opportunities.

4. Rhinelander, Wisconsin

Source: Star Journal Now

Rhinelander, Wisconsin is another city that is very small without much to offer within the actual city and is additionally quite far from any larger cities. I found the same struggling public schools in Rhinelander that I found in Beloit. The condition of the schools and the lack of access to larger cities makes Rhinelander an unideal city to live in.

5. Portage, Wisconsin

Source: Wikipedia

Portage, Wisconsin is another city that appears to have a high crime rate. When the news and social media are constantly being flooded with reports of kidnapping and assaults living in a city with a high crime rate seems very intimidating. My hometown is currently experiencing an influx of crime which is driving many people out of the city. When choosing a place I want to permanently settle and raise a family I want to be able to feel safe when doing day to day tasks such as getting gas and buying groceries. Portage with its high crime rate does not allow me to feel that way. Because there is nothing else that would pull me to live in Portage the high crime rate is enough to push me away. In all of my bottom 5 cities, I found similarities between the types of things that push me away from a city. Just as I found similiarities between the things what pull me to a city when constructing my top 5 list.


Hybrid/Digital Component:

  • 2.2 Digital writing and publishing – we will be publishing our work in the open.  We will have multiple digital assignments, and students will have some agency in choosing which item they’d like to blog about in each module.

Course Components:

  • Connecting geographic concepts and processes to real-life scenarios


Fouberg, E. H., Murphy, A. B., Jan, D. B. H., Jan, D. B. H., & Jan, D. B. H. (2012). Human geography: people, place, and culture. Hoboken, N.J: Wiley.

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