Welcome to Wisconsin
Wisconsin, upper midwestern state of the United States. It is bounded by Lake Superior and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, from which it is divided by the Menominee R. (N); Lake Michigan (E); Illinois (S); and Iowa and Minnesota (W), with the Mississippi R. forming much of that border.
Area, 56,154 sq mi (145,439 sq km).
Pop. (2000) 5,363,675, a 9.6% increase since the 1990 census.
Largest city, Milwaukee.
State bird, robin.
State flower, wood violet.
State tree, sugar maple.
Wisconsin’s frontage on lakes Superior and Michigan as well as its many beautiful lakes and streams and its northern woodlands have made it a haven for hunters, fishermen, and water and winter sports enthusiasts. There are numerous state parks, forests, and two national forests.
One of the nation’s largest dairy herds grazes here, and Wisconsin is the leading state in the production of cheese as well as the second largest milk producer (after California). After dairy products and cattle, the state’s most valuable farm commodities are corn and soybeans. Other important crops are hay, oats, potatoes, alfalfa, and a great variety of fruits and vegetables. Food processing, predictably, is one of the state’s foremost industries, along with the manufacture of machinery, which is centered in Milwaukee, Madison, and Racine.
Other important manufactures are vehicles and transportation equipment, metal products, medical instruments and equipment, farm implements, and lumber. Almost all Wisconsin’s major industries are to be found within metropolitan Milwaukee, where the traditional brewing and meatpacking are rivaled by the manufacture of heavy machinery and diesel and gasoline engines. Wisconsin has numerous ports on the Great Lakes capable of accommodating oceangoing vessels. The superb harbor at Superior (shared with Duluth, Minn.) has sizable shipyards and coal and ore docks that are among the nation’s largest. Tourism and outdoor recreation are burgeoning, and several Native American groups operate gambling casinos in the state; through casino enterprises the Winnebago tribe has become one of the state’s larger employers.