2010: 233,209, #82 in U.S., #2 in Wisconsin

1950: 95,594, #116 in U.S.

2010 Metropolitan Area: 568,593, #89 in U.S.

1950 Metropolitan Area: 169,357, #104 in U.S.


Madison is on an isthmus between Lake Mendota and Lake Monona. It was established in 1836 as the state capital because of its location between the eastern and western population centers of Wisconsin. The University of Wisconsin is on the west side of downtown.


Tallest building: State Capitol, 284 feet (1917)

List of tallest buildings

The Capitol has an observation deck at a level 92 feet above the ground.


Madison has no downtown department stores. The State Street pedestrian mall (1974) is six blocks long.


Amtrak has no service to Madison.



Madison and Lake Monona


The Wisconsin Historical Museum, the Madison Children's Museum, and the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art are near the Capitol. The Chazen Museum of Art is on the campus of the University of Wisconsin.


Madison has two restored movie theaters: the Orpheum (1927) has movies and concerts, and the Capitol (1928) has concerts and special events.

The Overture Center for the Arts (2004) hosts the Madison Symphony Orchestra, the Madison Opera, and touring Broadway shows. The Majestic Theatre (1906) and the Bartell Theatre are also downtown.


The Kohl Center (1998), at the University of Wisconsin, and the Alliant Energy Center (1967), south of downtown, have sporting events and concerts.

Map of Downtown Madison

Convention and Visitors Bureau