17 Reasons Not to Move to Madison, Wisconsin

Are you thinking about possibly making the move to Madison, Wisconsin? Are you not sure about all of the downfalls that may come with moving to Madison? Are you wanting to make sure you weigh all the pros and cons before making the final decision? If you are finding yourself in this position, this article can help you learn more about some of the reasons you should not move to Madison, Wisconsin.

To learn more about some of the reasons you should not move to Madison, Wisconsin, keep reading.

1. Madison Is a College Town

The University of Wisconsin can be found in Madison, so naturally, there are lots of studentsOpens in a new tab. that come and go every fall and spring. This can cause a major fluctuation in the city’s population and how busy restaurants and other public areas are. If you are someone who doesn’t like big crowds or someone who likes consistency in the manner of how busy places are throughout the duration of the year and not just 9 months out of the year, then a college town like Madison is probably not the right vibe for you. Because it is busy for 9 months and quiet for 3 months, moving there long-term isn’t super plausible.

2. The West Side Is Student Territory

In addition to the University of Wisconsin being located in Madison, it is important to note that the majority of the campus covers a big portion of the west end of town. That being said, it is not forbidden for residents of Madison to be on that side of town.

However, it is good to know beforehand that the west side of town is frequently busy with college students and college activities. If you want full access to the town and don’t want to have to fight off thousands of college students, then Madison may not be the place for you.

3. Parking Regulations are Strict

If you own a car and are going to live in downtown Madison, you will most likely need to park on the street. The trouble with parking vehicles on the street in Madison is that the parking regulations are very strict, and officers are always on the watch for those cars that are parked illegally.

The allowances in regards to parking include free parking on the street that is indicated by city signage, usually from 8 am-6 pm, but you can only park there for about 2 hours. While many other cities are lenient on the 2-hour limit, usually giving a 15-minute buffer, the city is pretty strict with the 2-hour time limit, so if you are running a few minutes late, you will likely find a parking ticket on your windshield when you get to your car.

4. Construction is Constant

Construction is always happening in Madison. Whether that be road construction or building more college housing, there is always something new being constructed. Not only can this situation make quite a mess of the city streets, but it also creates inconveniences with road traffic and produces lots of loud noises from the machinery.

While there is construction to be found no matter where you live, it is something to consider, as Madison has a large amount of construction going on frequently with few breaks in between projects. This is often a major dealbreaker for people when they are deciding where to move.

5. Winters are Frigid

Not only are the winters in Madison cold, but they are cold and wetOpens in a new tab., which can make for an icy and frigid couple of months. During the winter, temperatures hardly ever get above 20 or 40 degrees Fahrenheit and it is likely they will drop below zero.

There are winters that are colder than others, with the temperatures never rising above below freezing, meaning the snow and ice that has accumulated over the last few snowfalls isn’t leaving anytime soon and could bode for more snow to come soon.

If you are someone who thrives in warmer winter months and doesn’t do well in the cold, Madison, Wisconsin is not the place for you.

6. Little Diversity

If you are looking to live in a town with a wide range of diversity so you can experience various cultures in one place, Madison doesn’t really have those opportunities due to the demographics that make up the population of the state. In Wisconsin, the population is made up of 86% white, 6% Black, 6% Hispanic, and 2% Asian. With over 75% of the population being made up of white residents, there is a lack of cultural diversity, and if that is something you are looking for in a place to live, you won’t find it in Madison.

7. Madison is Not the Place to Get Rich Quick

Madison is not a town that houses extremes on either the poor or rich side of living but is a happy medium of average, modest living. That being said, the average individual’s salary is $31K, with the household average being $54K.

If you are wanting to live in an area with an average lifestyle and salary, this may be a great place for you, but if you are someone who is wanting to live and work with major advancement opportunities both personally and occupation-wise, then you may have better luck with those goals living in a larger city, rather than in Madison.

8. Taxes are High

Wisconsin taxes at 13%, which is the 5th highest local tax percentage in the entirety of the United States. The property tax isn’t much better, coming in 6th place in the property tax rating in the country overall.

Although the state has been working over the last few years to lower this tax rate, both local and property, the rate is still extremely high, much more than people often want to pay without something pulling or keeping them in that area. This is definitely something to consider before moving to Madison, especially if you are paying a much lower tax percentage already.

9. Alcoholism is a Major Problem

You can go to any state in the United States and there will be some level of an issue with alcoholism; it is just inevitably found everywhere you go, and Wisconsin is no different. However, Madison has a significant issueOpens in a new tab. with alcoholism, especially because it is typical for residents to drink and continue drinking while they are stuck indoors during the long, cold winters that happen in Wisconsin. Within the United States ranking system, Wisconsin is put at almost the very top as the 2nd worst state in the country for issues with alcoholism. If this is an aspect of living you want to avoid, don’t move to Madison.

10. Natural Disasters Occur Frequently

By living in Madison, Wisconsin, you are right in the area of the country that is prone to frequent and intense natural disasters. Because of the many lakes and bodies of water that are in that area, flooding is always a possibility and especially in the years that have a significant amount of rainfall, the chances are much higher for floods to occur.

Wisconsin is also located on the end of Tornado Alley, and although it’s on the edge, it still gets around 15-20 tornadoes a year. Most of the geography of Wisconsin is made up of lush forests, which allows forest fires to happen very easily and spread very quickly.

11. Allergies are Intense

If you are someone who suffers from allergies, especially seasonal allergies due to pollen production and other plants, you should be prepared to be absolutely miserable in Madison, Wisconsin. Because of the large amount of forested geography that covers a lot of the Madison area specifically, allergies are ever-present and can cause allergy sufferers to have some uncomfortable reactions and not enjoy their time in the state, especially in the springtime when everything is blooming.

With Madison being ranked in the top 15% worst areas to be in during allergy season, it’s better to stay away.

12. Cows are Everywhere

Wisconsin is well-known for its cheese. In order to make their cheese, they have many, many cows that produce the milk they use to make that cheese. With a large number of cows in the state, there are cow farms that cover a lot of the countryside of Wisconsin, and this can create quite an unpleasant smell with so many cows being housed at such a small distance from the other.

In addition to the cows, many farmers use the manure from the cows to fertilize their crops, which can be quite a deterrent to people living in the area because the bad smell combines with the interesting smell that comes from cows.

13. Wisconsin Water Smells Bad

Now, you may be curious if all of that manure produced from those cows is used as manure. The answer is no, and the manure that isn’t used to fertilize the local farmer’s crops is washed away by the large amount of rainfall the state gets. This leads to the bodies of water, rivers, and lakes in the state having a distinctly unpleasant smell to them.

This mix of manure washing into those bodies of water can contaminate the water, creating toxic algae. While it doesn’t happen often, it has been known in the past, that that toxic algae have gotten into private drinking wells, contaminating people’s water in their homes.

14. Roads are Poorly Kept

With Wisconsin being given high rankings for both high taxes and lack of diversity, it also has a high national ranking of 2nd place for the worst state’s road conditions. This really shouldn’t be an issue if you both live and work in town and could walk to work or don’t have a long commute every day, but that is often not the case for everyone.

Over 50% of the state’s roads are not ideal in conditions, and almost 20% are in stable condition. That leaves less than 50% of the roads in average driving conditions, which is not what you want to hear, especially if you travel a significant amount on a day-to-day basis.

15. Insects, Insects, Insects

Because Wisconsin is one of the states that receive a lot of humidity, particularly in the summer, the bugs and insectsOpens in a new tab. in the area will be present more than what you would like them to be. This includes beetles, ticks, gnats, and biting flies.

The mosquitoes in Madison, Wisconsin are relentless and brutal. They are determined to never leave your side, and it can get quite annoying and inconvenient over time. If bugs and insects in large amounts are a dealbreaker for you, then I would suggest moving somewhere that is not Madison.

16. Poor Public Transportation

If you plan on moving to Madison without a car and solely relying on public transportation to get around the city, you will have a difficult time trying to get from place to place. Although the parking situation in Madison isn’t ideal, it would be much more convenient than having to take the train and wait for the next train, as there aren’t really any buses that run in Madison. While it can be done, it isn’t the most ideal way to travel, especially because the town only has one train system, and it can get crowded extremely quickly.

Most people in Madison own a car because there are no other good options.

17. Obesity is an Issue

Wisconsin ranked 24th out of 51Opens in a new tab. states where obesity is an issue. Wisconsin locals love their food, specifically their cheese, fried foods, and beer. Obviously, what you eat isn’t directly affected by what state or city you live in, however, there is something to be said about having more unhealthy options within fast food restaurants in the city.

If you are someone who likes to stay away from those types of foods and feel that you couldn’t handle the peer pressure that living in this area would bring, then it would be best to not move here.

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