Why Middleton

Middleton by the Numbers

  • Population: 17,000
  • 17,000+ jobs
  • 45 high-tech businesses
  • 60 restaurants
  • 25% of the city’s land mass is green space

CNN’s Money Magazine named the Middleton America’s 2007 “Best Place to Live” for cities with populations of 50,000 and under. In 2009 we are ranked #4! Middleton facilitates a diverse and strong business climate that features several major manufacturers and a thriving cluster of 45 high-tech businesses. In 2009, those businesses employed over 3,600 people.

With a population of 17,000, Middleton is located a few miles west of the University of Wisconsin and adjacent to Madison—the state capital. Through a superb collaborative partnership with its School District and Chamber of Commerce, and in concert with regional partners in Thrive, Middleton aspires to further its appeal for research and sustainable development.


Middleton is the corporate headquarters and home base for American Girl, Capital Brewery (America’s #1 Rated Brewery), Electronic Theatre Controls (ETC), Standard Imaging (2007 Winner of Wisconsin’s Best Small Manufacturer Award), Gilson Medical Instruments and Springs Window Fashions, among many other great businesses in a dynamic regional economy.


A regional employment center, we are a net importer of jobs—1,300 according to the 2000 Census and probably in excess of 5,000 in 2009. The City, Middleton Chamber of Commerce and Middleton Area Development Corporation have forged a sustainable and strong partnership in economic development.

Total All Jobs
Count Share
Total All Jobs 17,265 100.0%

Jobs by Worker Age
Count Share
Age 29 or younger 4,895 28.4%
Age 30 to 54 9,986 57.8%
Age 55 or older 2,384 13.8%

Jobs by Earnings Paid
Count Share
$1,250 per month or less 4,202 24.3%
$1,251 to $3,333 per month 6,555 38.0%
More than $3,333 per month 6,508 37.7%

Jobs by Industry Type (2-digit NAICS)
Count Share
Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing and Hunting 26 0.2%
Mining, Quarrying, and Oil and Gas Extraction 0 0.0%
Utilities 31 0.2%
Construction 686 4.0%
Manufacturing 3,156 18.3%
Wholesale Trade 1,074 6.2%
Retail Trade 2,410 14.0%
Transportation and Warehousing 143 0.8%
Information 372 2.2%
Finance and Insurance 759 4.4%
Real Estate and Rental and Leasing 412 2.4%
Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services 1,673 9.7%
Management of Companies and Enterprises 430 2.5%
Administration & Support, Waste Management and Remediation 1,113 6.4%
Educational Services 1,133 6.6%
Health Care and Social Assistance 1,209 7.0%
Arts, Entertainment, and Recreation 419 2.4%
Accommodation and Food Services 1,486 8.6%
Other Services (excluding Public Administration) 392 2.3%
Public Administration 341 2.0%

Source: US Census Bureau, LED OnTheMap Origin-Destination Database


The “Good Neighbor City,” host of Good Neighbor Fest for the past 45 years and Middleton’s “Big Event” in 2009, is pleased to partner in economic development with our neighboring Dane County communities, the City of Madison, and the University of Wisconsin through the regional economic development organization “Thrive.”

Public amenities include a nationally recognized library that was named the “Library of the Year” for 2007 by the Wisconsin Library Association; a nationally-accredited senior center; the scenic Pleasant View Golf Course; Middleton Municipal Airport—Morey Field; diverse and charming parks; Capitol Ice Arena; historical museum; extensive and cost-effective public services, and an Aa2 bond rating.

For those in our larger community encountering challenges in life, we exhibit Good Neighborliness through our local churches and service clubs, Middleton Outreach Ministry, Restoring Hope Transplant House, Gilda’s Club, the City’s Down Payment Assistance Program and many other individual and group philanthropic efforts.


The Middleton-Cross Plains Area School District, with its high level of academic and co-curricular achievements, outstanding staff and quality facilities such as the Performing Arts Center, are keys to the community’s success.

The Middleton-Cross Plains Area School District encompasses 68 square miles and includes all or part of the municipalities of the City of Middleton, Village of Cross Plains, Town of Middleton, Town of Cross Plains, Town of Westport, City of Madison, Town of Springfield and the Town of Berry. There are an estimated 31,000 residents within the District boundaries.

The District provides quality education for approximately 5,600 students. Schools in the District:

  • 6 elementary schools (K-5). The District provides all day kindergarten in all elementary schools.
  • 2 middle schools (6-8)
  • 1 high school (9-12)
  • 1 alternative high school

Middleton-Cross Plains students exceed state and national averages in ACT, SAT and state tests. In fact, District students perform in the top 1% of the state in proficiency tests.

Visit the School District's web site. Run Dane County-wide public school comparisons at www.GreatSchools.net.

Sustainable Environment

Over 25% of the City’s land mass is “green space,” including the pristine Pheasant Branch Conservancy and an extensive 15-mile trail system.

It is also home to the acclaimed Middleton Hills, the first “new urbanism” subdivision in the Midwest built in 2004. The community consists of approximately 400 single family homes, townhouses, apartments and live/work units. The qualities of small town life include friendly streets, houses with front porches, generous parks and open space, and a pedestrian oriented commercial center with shops and offices. Small shops and businesses are an integral part of sustaining the daily needs and work opportunities for the neighborhood. www.middletonhills.com

Tourism & Attractions

Visitors are welcomed by our historic Middleton Depot Visitors Center, over 60 eclectic dining establishments, and nearly 1,000 hotel rooms in eight hotels. Middleton Tourism Commission: www.visitmiddleton.com

Downtown Middleton is now home to the National Mustard Museum. The famous Wisconsin attraction relocated from Mount Horeb in 2009. On August 7, 2010, the National Mustard Museum hosted its annual mustard festival in Downtown Middleton. mustardmuseum.com

Middleton celebrated its Sesquicentennial (150th birthday) in 2006. We are proud of our heritage which started with the advent of the railroad between Madison and the Mississippi River in 1856. Middleton’s Historic Train Depot brought immediate changes to residents, such as allowing farmers a means of transporting their crops to distant markets. In 1895, the station burned to the ground, and Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Paul Railroad rebuilt the structure as a late Victorian-style depot. The station remained active as a passenger station until 1960 and a freight depot until 1975. Today, the building is on the National Registry and houses the visitor welcome center of the Middleton Tourism Commission.