- Where to Go
- The Best of Milwaukee and Madison
- The Best Wisconsin Weekends
- A Perfect Week in Door County
- Wisconsin for Recreationists
- Rustic Road Tripping
- Made in Milwaukee
- Madison Weekend
- Sports: The Packers and Beyond
- Out on the Town in Milwaukee
- Say Cheese!
- Four Days in the Mad City
- A Wisconsin Family Road Trip
- Wisconsin’s Best Brews
Wisconsin may be “America’s Dairyland,” but it isn’t only America’s Dairyland. The economic triumvirate of the state is agriculture, manufacturing, and tourism. Wisconsin is an international exporter, tallying $6 billion in receipts in 15–20 foreign markets. Leading exports include computers, industrial machinery, and transportation equipment (crops come fifth).
Since 1990, the state has had one of the country’s fastest-growing per capita income levels, topping $18,000. It’s been one of the top 10 nationally for fastest-growing economies. This is tempered somewhat by the state’s high income tax.
The state is tops in the United States for percentage of the workforce in manufacturing (16 percent); manufacturing accounts for up to 30 percent of Wisconsin’s income—$37.1 billion. Wisconsin leads the nation in the fabrication of small engines, metals, paper products, printing, food processing, mineral extraction equipment, electrical machinery, and transportation equipment. The paper product industry is particularly strong, number one in the nation since 1953, accounting for 12 percent of the national total, to the tune of $12.4 billion. One of every 11 jobs in the state is tied to paper.
The new kid on the block, economically speaking, is tourism, which really got its start after World War II. The state now rakes in more than $12 billion annually.
Agriculture is the linchpin: 41 percent of the state remains devoted to agricultural products. The industry is worth more than $80 billion, with 25 percent of that from dairying. Wisconsin ranks first to third in the United States for dairy and a lengthy list of vegetables. Interestingly, it’s the fastest-growing state in organic farming (a 91 percent increase 1997–2010): first in organic dairy farms and second in organic farms (that’s total, not
© Thomas Huhti from Moon Wisconsin, 5th Edition