Dane County, Wisconsin

Dane County is a county in the U.S. state of Wisconsin. As of the 2020 census, the population was 561,504, making it the second-most populous county in Wisconsin.[1] The county seat is Madison,[2] which is also the state capital.

Dane County
The Dane County Courthouse, 2004
The Dane County Courthouse, 2004
Official seal of Dane County
Map of Wisconsin highlighting Dane County
Location within the U.S. state of Wisconsin
Map of the United States highlighting Wisconsin
Wisconsin's location within the U.S.
Coordinates: 43°04′N 89°25′W / 43.07°N 89.42°W / 43.07; -89.42
Country United States
State Wisconsin
Founded1839
Named forNathan Dane
SeatMadison
Largest cityMadison
Area
 • Total1,238 sq mi (3,210 km2)
 • Land1,197 sq mi (3,100 km2)
 • Water41 sq mi (110 km2)  3.3%
Population
 (2020)
 • Total561,504
 • Density450/sq mi (180/km2)
Time zoneUTC−6 (Central)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−5 (CDT)
Congressional district2nd
Websitewww.countyofdane.com

Dane County is the central county of the Madison, Wisconsin, Metropolitan Statistical Area, as well as the Madison-Janesville-Beloit Combined Statistical Area.

HistoryEdit

Dane County was formed in 1836 as a territorial county and organized in 1839.[3] It was named after Nathan Dane, a Massachusetts delegate to the Congress of the Confederation who helped carve Wisconsin out of the Northwest Territory.[4][5] Dane County was settled in the 1840s by settlers from New England.[6]

GeographyEdit

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has an area of 1,238 square miles (3,210 km2), of which 1,197 square miles (3,100 km2) is land and 41 square miles (110 km2) (3.3%) is water.[7]

 
Soils of Dane County

Major highwaysEdit

RailroadsEdit

BusesEdit

AirportsEdit

Adjacent countiesEdit

DemographicsEdit

Historical population
Census Pop.
1840314
185016,6395,199.0%
186043,922164.0%
187053,09620.9%
188053,2330.3%
189059,57811.9%
190069,43516.5%
191077,43511.5%
192089,43215.5%
1930112,73726.1%
1940130,66015.9%
1950169,35729.6%
1960222,09531.1%
1970290,27230.7%
1980323,54511.5%
1990367,08513.5%
2000426,52616.2%
2010488,07314.4%
2020561,50415.0%
U.S. Decennial Census[8]
1790–1960[9] 1900–1990[10]
1990–2000[11] 2010–2020[12] 2020 census[13]

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.[14]

2010 censusEdit

At the 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 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.[15] 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 Age Pyramid for Dane County.

2000 censusEdit

At the 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 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, 11.5% Norwegian, 8.9% Irish and 6.0% English ancestry.[15] 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.

ReligionEdit

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.[16]

LanguageEdit

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

GovernmentEdit

 
Dane County Courthouse

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.

PoliticsEdit

Like most other counties anchored by an urban population center and a large public university, Dane County is solidly Democratic, with a long history in the progressive movement. They have backed the Democratic presidential nominee in every election since 1960 (and the only Republican president to carry the county since 1932 was Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1952 and 1956), even in the Republican landslide victories of 1972, 1980, 1984, and 1988. In that time, Republicans have only crossed the 35% mark six times. Only the predominantly Native American county of Menominee is more reliably Democratic.

At state level, the county is no less Democratic. The last Republicans the county supported at state level were Governor Tommy Thompson and Treasurer Jack Voight in 1994.[17][18] The last Republican Senator to carry the county was Alexander Wiley in 1956 by less than one percent, 10 years earlier the county was the only one in the state to not vote for notorious Senator Joseph McCarthy.[19][20] In the three-party era of 1930s-1940s, the county backed Progressive Party candidates, such as the La Follette brothers, Orland Steen Loomis and Herman Ekern.[21][22] 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.

United States presidential election results for Dane County, Wisconsin[23]
Year Republican Democratic Third party
No.  % No.  % No.  %
2020 78,794 22.86% 260,121 75.46% 5,813 1.69%
2016 71,275 23.04% 217,697 70.37% 20,382 6.59%
2012 83,644 27.50% 216,071 71.03% 4,466 1.47%
2008 73,065 25.82% 205,984 72.80% 3,890 1.37%
2004 90,369 32.95% 181,052 66.02% 2,828 1.03%
2000 75,790 32.56% 142,317 61.15% 14,632 6.29%
1996 59,487 30.93% 109,347 56.86% 23,468 12.20%
1992 61,957 29.49% 114,724 54.60% 33,441 15.92%
1988 69,143 39.30% 105,414 59.92% 1,377 0.78%
1984 74,823 43.84% 94,659 55.46% 1,203 0.70%
1980 57,545 34.17% 85,609 50.84% 25,251 14.99%
1976 63,466 41.60% 82,321 53.96% 6,765 4.43%
1972 56,020 40.88% 79,567 58.07% 1,439 1.05%
1968 39,917 38.36% 59,951 57.61% 4,193 4.03%
1964 27,124 28.42% 68,118 71.38% 184 0.19%
1960 43,245 47.78% 47,045 51.98% 212 0.23%
1956 38,955 51.11% 36,891 48.41% 367 0.48%
1952 38,724 50.34% 37,987 49.38% 216 0.28%
1948 22,934 37.80% 35,486 58.50% 2,244 3.70%
1944 23,021 37.96% 37,076 61.13% 554 0.91%
1940 21,845 34.79% 40,331 64.23% 611 0.97%
1936 15,233 28.79% 35,856 67.77% 1,819 3.44%
1932 19,083 39.90% 26,841 56.13% 1,899 3.97%
1928 23,680 54.85% 19,126 44.30% 364 0.84%
1924 12,280 31.32% 2,081 5.31% 24,847 63.37%
1920 22,842 77.46% 4,879 16.55% 1,767 5.99%
1916 6,931 40.13% 9,859 57.08% 483 2.80%
1912 5,244 32.27% 9,017 55.49% 1,989 12.24%
1908 9,441 52.42% 7,818 43.41% 750 4.16%
1904 11,041 63.51% 5,679 32.66% 666 3.83%
1900 9,396 58.41% 6,129 38.10% 562 3.49%
1896 9,080 56.10% 6,521 40.29% 585 3.61%
1892 6,445 44.93% 6,833 47.63% 1,068 7.44%


County executivesEdit

RecreationEdit

County parksEdit

  • 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

CommunitiesEdit

CitiesEdit

Cities are incorporated, generally have a mayor (or a administrator/manager), an elected council, and generally provide more services than smaller administrative divisions.

VillagesEdit

Villages are incorporated, are governed by a Village President and Board of Trustees, and provide residential services.

TownsEdit

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.

Unincorporated communitiesEdit

Unincorporated communities are smaller communities that are governed by the town they are located in and often exist as nomenclature in vital records.

NeighborhoodsEdit

Neighborhoods exist mostly for nomenclature purposes; some may have administrative associations with powers that are defined in the property deed covenants of the neighborhood.

Native American communityEdit

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Dane County, Wisconsin Demographics and Housing 2020 Decennial Census".
  2. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Archived from the original on May 31, 2011. Retrieved June 7, 2011.
  3. ^ "Wisconsin: Individual County Chronologies". Wisconsin Atlas of Historical County Boundaries. Newberry Library. 2007. Archived from the original on April 14, 2017. Retrieved August 13, 2015.
  4. ^ "Early Wisconsin". The Milwaukee Journal, September 26, 1896.
  5. ^ Gannett, Henry (1905). The Origin of Certain Place Names in the United States. Government Printing Office. pp. 99.
  6. ^ Starkweather, Charles Marcus, ed. (1898). The Red Book of the Sun Prairie Methodist Episcopal Church. C. M. Starkweather.
  7. ^ "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. Retrieved August 4, 2015.
  8. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". Census Bureau. Retrieved August 4, 2015.
  9. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved August 4, 2015.
  10. ^ Forstall, Richard L., ed. (March 27, 1995). "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". Census Bureau. Retrieved August 4, 2015.
  11. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). Census Bureau. April 2, 2001. Retrieved August 4, 2015.
  12. ^ "Quick Facts: Dane County, Wisconsin". Census Bureau. July 1, 2018.
  13. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on September 24, 2020. Retrieved August 13, 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  14. ^ "Annual Wisconsin Birth and Infant Mortality Report, 2017 P-01161-19 (June 2019): Detailed Tables". Archived from the original on June 19, 2019. Retrieved June 19, 2019.
  15. ^ a b "U.S. Census website". Census Bureau. Retrieved May 14, 2011.
  16. ^ thearda.com County Membership Report: Dane County (Wisconsin)
  17. ^ "1994 Gubernatorial General Election Results - Wisconsin".
  18. ^ "1994 State Treasurer General Election Results - Wisconsin".
  19. ^ "1956 Senatorial General Election Results - Wisconsin".
  20. ^ "1946 Senatorial General Election Results - Wisconsin".
  21. ^ "Our Campaigns - WI US Senate Race - Nov 05, 1940". www.ourcampaigns.com. Retrieved May 11, 2022.
  22. ^ "Our Campaigns - WI Governor Race - Nov 03, 1942". www.ourcampaigns.com. Retrieved May 11, 2022.
  23. ^ Leip, David. "Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections". uselectionatlas.org. Retrieved November 11, 2020.

Further readingEdit

External linksEdit

Coordinates: 43°04′N 89°25′W / 43.07°N 89.42°W / 43.07; -89.42