Dane County, Wisconsin


Dane County is a
county A county is a geographical region In geography, regions are areas that are broadly divided by physical characteristics (physical geography), human impact characteristics (human geography), and the interaction of humanity and the environment ...
in the U.S. state of Wisconsin. As of the 2020 United States Census, 2020 census, the population was 561,504, making it the second-most populous county in Wisconsin. The county seat is Madison, Wisconsin, Madison, which is also the state capital. Dane County is the central county of the Madison, Wisconsin, metropolitan statistical area, Madison, Wisconsin, Metropolitan Statistical Area, as well as the Madison-Janesville, Wisconsin, Janesville-Beloit, Wisconsin, Beloit Combined Statistical Area.


Dane County was formed in 1836 as a territorial county and organized in 1839. It was named after Nathan Dane, a Massachusetts delegate to the Congress of the Confederation who helped carve Wisconsin out of the Northwest Territory. Dane County was settled in the 1840s by settlers from New England.


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has an area of , of which is land and (3.3%) is water.

Major highways

* Interstate 39 * Interstate 90 * Interstate 94 * U.S. Highway 12 * U.S. Highway 14 * U.S. Highway 18 * U.S. Highway 51 * U.S. Highway 151 * Highway 19 (Wisconsin) * Highway 30 (Wisconsin) * Highway 69 (Wisconsin) * Highway 73 (Wisconsin) * Highway 78 (Wisconsin) * Highway 89 (Wisconsin) * Highway 92 (Wisconsin) * Highway 104 (Wisconsin) * Highway 106 (Wisconsin) * Highway 113 (Wisconsin) * Highway 134 (Wisconsin) * Highway 138 (Wisconsin) * Highway 188 (Wisconsin)


* Blackhawk Airfield (87Y) * Dane County Regional Airport (MSN) provides commercial airline service. * Middleton Municipal Airport (C29) * Verona Airport (Wisconsin), Verona Airport (W19) * Waunakee Airport (6P3)

Adjacent counties

* Columbia County, Wisconsin, Columbia County (north) * Dodge County, Wisconsin, Dodge County (northeast) * Green County, Wisconsin, Green County (south) * Iowa County, Wisconsin, Iowa County (west) * Jefferson County, Wisconsin, Jefferson County (east) * Rock County, Wisconsin, Rock County (southeast) * Sauk County, Wisconsin, Sauk County (northwest)


In 2017, there were 5,891 births, giving a general fertility rate of 51.7 births per 1000 women aged 15–44, the eighth lowest rate out of all 72 Wisconsin counties. Of these, 73 of the births occurred at home, the fifth highest number of home births for Wisconsin counties. 428 of the births were to mothers who held doctorate or professional degrees, more than any other Wisconsin county. These accounted for 7.3% of total births for the county, a higher percent than any other Wisconsin county and more than Ozaukee County which had 5.8% of births to mothers who held doctorate or professional degrees and ranked second.

2010 census

At the 2010 United States Census, 2010 census there were 488,073 people, 203,750 households, and 116,752 families living in the county. The population density was 394 people per square mile (152/km2). There were 216,022 housing units at an average density of 174 per square mile (67/km2). The Race and ethnicity in the United States Census#2010 census, racial makeup of the county was 84.7% White, 5.2% Black or African American, 0.4% Native American, 4.7% Asian, 0.003% Pacific Islander, 2.5% from other races, and 2.5% from two or more races. 5.9% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. Of the 203,750 households 27.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 45.1% were married couples living together, 8.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 42.7% were non-families. 30.5% of households were one person and 7.7% were one person aged 65 or older. The average household size was 2.33 and the average family size was 2.95. The age distribution was 21.7% under the age of 18, 12.8% from 18 to 24, 29.5% from 25 to 44, 25.7% from 45 to 64, and 10.3% 65 or older. The median age was 34.4 years. For every 100 females, there were 97.80 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 96.00 males.

2000 census

At the 2000 United States Census, 2000 census there were 426,526 people, 173,484 households, and 100,794 families living in the county. The population density was 355 people per square mile (137/km2). There were 180,398 housing units at an average density of 150 per square mile (58/km2). The Race and ethnicity in the United States Census#2000 census, racial makeup of the county was 88.96% White, 4.00% Black or African American, 0.33% Native American, 3.45% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 1.43% from other races, and 1.79% from two or more races. 3.37% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 34.4% were of German people, German, 11.5% Norwegian people, Norwegian, 8.9% Irish people, Irish and 6.0% English people, English ancestry. Of the 173,484 households 29.00% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 47.10% were married couples living together, 7.90% had a female householder with no husband present, and 41.90% were non-families. 29.40% of households were one person and 7.00% were one person aged 65 or older. The average household size was 2.37 and the average family size was 2.97. The age distribution was 22.60% under the age of 18, 14.30% from 18 to 24, 32.50% from 25 to 44, 21.30% from 45 to 64, and 9.30% 65 or older. The median age was 33 years. For every 100 females, there were 97.90 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 96.00 males.


In 2010, the largest religious groups in Dane County by number of adherents were Catholic at 106,036 adherents, ELCA Lutheran at 48,620 adherents, United Methodist at 9,753 adherents, non-denominational Christian at 7,448 adherents, Evangelical Free at 6,075 adherents, United Church of Christ at 5,035 adherents, Wisconsin Synod Lutheran at 4,214 adherents, Missouri Synod Lutheran at 3,921 adherents, American Baptist at 3,755 adherents, and PC-USA Presbyterian at 3,664 adherents.thearda.com County Membership Report: Dane County (Wisconsin)


As of 2020, the majority of people in Dane County speak American English language, English with sizable Spanish language, Spanish and Hmong language, Hmong speaking minorities. A small community is known to speak Kölsch (dialect), Kölsch or Colognian, a minority language from the German city of Cologne.


Dane County is governed by a county executive and a county board of supervisors. The county executive is elected in a countywide vote. The county executive is Joe Parisi. The board of supervisors consists of 37 members, each elected from single member districts. As the policy-making body of the county government, the board of supervisors enacts county ordinances, levies taxes, and appropriates money for services.


Like most other counties anchored by an urban population center and a large public university, Dane County is solidly Democratic, having backed the Democratic presidential nominee in every election since 1960 United States presidential election, 1960, even in the Republican landslide victories of 1972 United States Presidential Election, 1972, 1980 United States Presidential Election, 1980, 1984 United States Presidential Election, 1984, and 1988 United States Presidential Election, 1988. In that time, Republicans have only crossed the 35% mark six times. Only the predominantly Native American county of Menominee County, Wisconsin, Menominee is more reliably Democratic. Dane County was one of the few counties in the United States to elect a member of the Green Party into county-level office; that official was Leland Pan.

County executives

* George Reinke, 1973-1981 * Jonathan B. Barry, 1981-1988 * Richard J. Phelps, 1988-1997 * Kathleen Falk, 1997-2011 * Joe Parisi, 2011–present


County parks

* Babcock County Park * Badger Prairie County Park * Blooming Grove Drumlins * Blue Mounds Natural Resource Area * Brigham County Park * CamRock County Park * Cherokee Marsh * Donald County Park * Festge County Park * Fish Camp County Park * Fish Lake County Park * Goodland County Park * Halfway Prairie School * Indian Lake County Park * Jenni & Kyle Preserve * La Follette County Park * Lake Farm County Park * Lake View Hill Park * Lussier County Park * McCarthy County Park * Mendota County Park * Phil's Woods County Park * Prairie Moraine County Park * Riley-Deppe County Park * Salmo Pond County Park * Scheidegger Forest * Schumacher Farm * Stewart Lake County Park * Token Creek County Park * Viking County Park * Walking Iron County Park * Yahara Heights County Park



: Cities are incorporated, generally have a mayor (or a administrator/manager), an elected council, and generally provide more services than smaller administrative divisions. * Edgerton, Wisconsin, Edgerton (mostly in Rock County, Wisconsin, Rock County) * Fitchburg, Wisconsin, Fitchburg * Madison, Wisconsin, Madison (county seat) * Middleton, Wisconsin, Middleton * Monona, Wisconsin, Monona * Stoughton, Wisconsin, Stoughton * Sun Prairie, Wisconsin, Sun Prairie (city) * Verona, Wisconsin, Verona


: Villages are incorporated, are governed by a Village President and Board of Trustees, and provide residential services. * Belleville, Wisconsin, Belleville (partly in Green County, Wisconsin, Green County) * Black Earth, Wisconsin, Black Earth * Blue Mounds, Wisconsin, Blue Mounds * Brooklyn, Dane County, Wisconsin, Brooklyn (partly in Green County, Wisconsin, Green County) * Cambridge, Wisconsin, Cambridge (partly in Jefferson County, Wisconsin, Jefferson County) * Cottage Grove, Wisconsin, Cottage Grove * Cross Plains, Wisconsin, Cross Plains * Dane, Wisconsin, Dane * Deerfield, Wisconsin, Deerfield * DeForest, Wisconsin, DeForest * Maple Bluff, Wisconsin, Maple Bluff * Marshall, Dane County, Wisconsin, Marshall * Mazomanie, Wisconsin, Mazomanie * McFarland, Wisconsin, McFarland * Mount Horeb, Wisconsin, Mount Horeb * Oregon, Wisconsin, Oregon * Rockdale, Wisconsin, Rockdale * Shorewood Hills, Wisconsin, Shorewood Hills * Waunakee, Wisconsin, Waunakee * Windsor, Wisconsin, Windsor


: Towns may have the same name as a city or village associated with it, but it is a separate municipality. Towns are not incorporated, are governed by a town board, and only provide limited services to residents. * Albion, Dane County, Wisconsin, Albion * Berry, Wisconsin, Berry * Black Earth (town), Wisconsin, Black Earth (town) * Blooming Grove, Wisconsin, Blooming Grove * Blue Mounds (town), Wisconsin, Blue Mounds (town) * Bristol, Dane County, Wisconsin, Bristol * Burke, Wisconsin, Burke * Christiana, Dane County, Wisconsin, Christiana * Cottage Grove (town), Wisconsin, Cottage Grove (town) * Cross Plains (town), Wisconsin, Cross Plains * Dane (town), Wisconsin, Dane * Deerfield (town), Dane County, Wisconsin, Deerfield (town) * Dunkirk, Wisconsin, Dunkirk * Dunn, Dane County, Wisconsin, Dunn * Madison (town), Wisconsin, Madison (town) * Mazomanie (town), Wisconsin, Mazomanie (town) * Medina, Wisconsin, Medina * Middleton (town), Wisconsin, Middleton (town) * Montrose, Wisconsin, Montrose * Oregon (town), Wisconsin, Oregon (town) * Perry, Wisconsin, Perry * Pleasant Springs, Wisconsin, Pleasant Springs * Primrose, Wisconsin, Primrose * Roxbury, Wisconsin, Roxbury * Rutland, Wisconsin, Rutland * Springdale, Wisconsin, Springdale * Springfield, Dane County, Wisconsin, Springfield * Sun Prairie (town), Wisconsin, Sun Prairie (town) * Vermont, Wisconsin, Vermont * Verona (town), Wisconsin, Verona * Vienna, Wisconsin, Vienna * Westport, Wisconsin, Westport * York, Dane County, Wisconsin, York

Unincorporated communities

: Unincorporated communities are smaller communities that are governed by the town they are located in and often exist as nomenclature in vital records. * Albion (community), Wisconsin, Albion * Aldens Corners, Wisconsin, Aldens Corners * Ashton, Wisconsin, Ashton * Ashton Corners, Wisconsin, Ashton Corners * Bakers Corners, Wisconsin, Bakers Corners * Basco, Wisconsin, Basco * Burke (community), Wisconsin, Burke * Daleyville, Wisconsin, Daleyville * Deansville, Wisconsin, Deansville * Door Creek, Wisconsin, Door Creek * Dunkirk (community), Wisconsin, Dunkirk * East Bristol, Wisconsin, East Bristol * Elvers, Wisconsin, Elvers * Five Points, Dane County, Wisconsin, Five Points * Forward, Wisconsin, Forward * Hanerville, Wisconsin, Hanerville * Highwood, Wisconsin, Highwood * Hillside, Wisconsin, Hillside * Hoffman Corners, Wisconsin, Hoffman Corners * Hope, Dane County, Wisconsin, Hope * Indian Heights, Dane County, Wisconsin, Indian Heights * Kegonsa, Wisconsin, Kegonsa * Kingsley Corners, Wisconsin, Kingsley Corners * Klevenville, Wisconsin, Klevenville * London, Wisconsin, London (partial) * Lutheran Hill, Wisconsin, Lutheran Hill * Martinsville, Wisconsin, Martinsville * Marxville, Wisconsin, Marxville * Middleton Junction, Wisconsin, Middleton Junction * Montrose (community), Wisconsin, Montrose * Morrisonville, Wisconsin, Morrisonville * Mount Vernon, Wisconsin, Mt. Vernon * Nora, Wisconsin, Nora * North Bristol, Wisconsin, North Bristol * Norway Grove, Wisconsin, Norway Grove * Old Deerfield, Wisconsin, Old Deerfield * Paoli, Wisconsin, Paoli * Pierceville, Wisconsin, Pierceville * Pine Bluff, Wisconsin, Pine Bluff * Primrose (community), Wisconsin, Primrose * Riley, Wisconsin, Riley * Roxbury (community), Wisconsin, Roxbury * Rutland (community), Wisconsin, Rutland * Seminary Springs, Wisconsin, Seminary Springs * Schey Acres, Wisconsin, Schey Acres * Springfield Corners, Wisconsin, Springfield Corners * Stone, Wisconsin, Stone * Token Creek, Wisconsin, Token Creek * Utica, Dane County, Wisconsin, Utica * Vermont (community), Wisconsin, Vermont * Vilas (community), Dane County, Wisconsin, Vilas * West Middleton, Wisconsin, West Middleton * York Center, Wisconsin, York Center


: Neighborhoods exist mostly for nomenclature purposes; some may have administrative associations with powers that are defined in the property deed covenants of the neighborhood. * Lake Windsor, Wisconsin, Lake Windsor * Fitchburg Center, Fitchburg, Wisconsin, Fitchburg Center * Oak Hall, Fitchburg, Wisconsin, Oak Hall

Native American community

* Ho-Chunk Nation of Wisconsin, Ho-Chunk Indian Reservation

See also

* National Register of Historic Places listings in Dane County, Wisconsin


Further reading

Biographical Review of Dane County, Wisconsin
'. Chicago: Biographical Review Publishing Company, 1893. * Cassidy, Frederic G. ''Dane County Place-Names''. 2nd ed. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 2009. * Durrie, Daniel S
''A History of Madison, the Capital of Wisconsin; Including the Four Lake Country''
Madison: Atwood & Culver, 1874. *
History of Dane County, Wisconsin
'. Chicago: Western Historical Company, 1880. *
History of Dane County, Biographical and Genealogical
'. Madison: Western Historical Association, 1906.
''Madison, Dane County and Surrounding Towns''
Madison: W. J. Park, 1877. * Ruff, Allen and Tracy Will. ''Forward!: A History of Dane, the Capital County''. Cambridge, Wis: Woodhenge Press, 2000.

External links

Official Dane County government website

Dane County map
from the Wisconsin Department of Transportation {{Coord, 43.07, -89.42, display=title, type:adm2nd_region:US-WI_source:UScensus1990 Dane County, Wisconsin, 1839 establishments in Wisconsin Territory Populated places established in 1839 Madison, Wisconsin, metropolitan statistical area