• Population- 5,363,675
  • Capital- Madison
  • Largest cities– Milwaukee, Madison, Green Bay
  • Time zone- Central
  • Date of Admission to the Union- May 29, 1848
  • Slogan- “Stay just a little bit longer”
  • State website URL- www.wisconsin.gov

Wisconsin is located in the Great Lakes region of north central United States. Bordered by Lake Superior to the north, Lake Michigan on the east, Illinois on the south, and Iowa and Minnesota on the west, the state has some 15,000 lakes. Much of the state was at one time covered by glaciers, and is marked by five geographical regions: the Lake Superior Lowland, Northern Highland, Central Plain, Eastern Ridges and Lowlands, and the Western Upland.

Paleo-Indians first inhabited Wisconsin during the last Ice Age, or about 11,000 BC. The Plano culture dominated as glaciers diminished in 7000 BC, until warming of climatic conditions and emergence of the Archaic stage in 6,000 BC. Wisconsin was next inhabited by Mound Builders--indigenous groups that built large earthen mounds as ceremonial or burial grounds, remnants of which can be seen today when visiting Butte des Morts and Aztalan Mound Park.

Jean Nicolet was the first European explorer known to the region, landing in 1634 at Red Banks (near Green Bay) in search of a water route that traveled from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean. Fur trapping and trading created tensions between France, Britain, and Native Americans. The French ceded Wisconsin to the British in the Treaty of Paris (ending the French and Indian War in 1763), who later ceded the land to United States in the Treaty of Paris (ending the American Revolution in 1783). Wisconsin was created as a territory on July 3, 1836 and was named the 30 th state May 29, 1848.

Historically an important mining state, settlers migrated to Wisconsin in the 1830s attracted by rich farmland. Dairy farming was popularized by settlers from New York and New England in 1830-60. Dominant industries today include pulp, paper and paper products (40 percent of the state being forested), transportation and equipment manufacturing, dairy farming and food processing.