Wisconsin leads the nation in benefits offered to veterans and their families, and that is one of many reasons that the state’s capitol—Madison—recently garnered recognition from WalletHub as a Top-15 city for veterans to live.

To veterans re-entering civilian life, choosing where to live can make a big difference when it comes to having the best possible access to resources and programs designed to promote post-military success. WalletHub compared the 100 largest U.S. cities across several categories, resulting in Madison being named the 13th best city in the U.S. for veterans to live.


When it comes to jobs, Madison’s ranking is in part a result of Wisconsin employers being known for offering apprenticeships and on-the-job training opportunities to veterans because they value the skills these individuals bring. Moreover, the state’s Veteran’s Employment Grants help businesses connect veterans with rewarding jobs. Wisconsin’s industry concentrations align with the skills veterans obtain in the military, and the state has thousands of jobs earmarked for them. WiscJobsForVets.com lists more than 100,000 jobs currently available in Wisconsin and allows service members and veterans to enter their military occupation specialty code to find a civilian career that matches their skillset.

Quality of life

Madison also earns high marks when it came to quality of life. The city that plays host to Wisconsin Badgers athletics also offers a wealth of outdoor activities, four-season living, concerts, great food and beer. Wisconsin’s housing costs are 12 percent lower than the national average, and state and local taxes are the lowest they’ve been in 50 years. The cost of living in the state is 6.5 percent less than the national average, according to the Council for Community and Economic Research, and its average commute time of 22 minutes means more time to spend with loved ones.


WalletHub highlights Madison’s thriving economy, also noting that it is a top city for offering the highest percentage of military skills-related jobs and for having the lowest veteran unemployment rate. Underscoring the state’s healthy job market are recently released Bureau of Labor Statistics data showing Wisconsin’s unemployment rate of less than 3 percent, and a labor force participation rate of 68.4 percent, more than five percentage points higher than the national rate. From October 2017 to October 2018, Wisconsin added 32,000 private sector jobs and 20,000 manufacturing jobs. Since 2010, Wisconsin has added 53,700 manufacturing jobs and 32,400 construction jobs.

To discover even more ways Madison and Wisconsin are working to make veterans feel at home,  visit InWisconsin.com/Veterans.