According to the 2000 national census, Wisconsin ranked 18th among the states, with a total population of 5,627,967. This figure represented an increase of 9.6 percent over the 1990 census figure. Urban growth has outpaced rural increases, and in 2000 some 68 percent of the people lived in urban areas. However, while most urban areas are growing, the city of Milwaukee proper continued to lose population, a trend that began in the 1970s. This loss occurred even as growth in the city’s surrounding suburban area pushed the total metropolitan population ahead. In 2006 the average population density was 40 persons per sq km (102 per sq mi); most of the northern third of the state, however, has a much lower population density.
Whites represented the largest ethnic group in Wisconsin, with 88.9 percent of the population. Blacks constituted 5.7 percent, Asians were 1.7 percent, Native Americans were 0.9 percent, and those of mixed or not reporting a racial heritage were 2.8 percent of the total. Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders numbered 1,630. Hispanics, which are of any race, represent 3.6 percent of the population. The largest Native American tribes are the Chippewa and Menominee. There are six Native American reservations in northern Wisconsin. The state was known as a recipient of massive European immigration during the 19th and early 20th centuries. Festive culture across the state still reflects the diverse origins of the population.
Milwaukee, a major Great Lakes port and industrial center, is Wisconsin’s largest city, a leading producer of both beer and machinery, and the historic home of large German and Polish populations, which give it a European flavor. The Milwaukee metropolitan area had 1.7 million inhabitants in 2000. Madison, the state capital, as well as a university city, had 543,000 inhabitants in the metropolitan area in 2006. Other major cities include Racine, a Lake Michigan port and industrial city; West Allis, an industrial satellite of Milwaukee; and Kenosha, a port and industrial city on Lake Michigan. Green Bay, on an arm of Lake Michigan, is Wisconsin’s oldest city. Superior shares the great port facilities at the western terminus of Lake Superior with Duluth, Minnesota. A single metropolitan area centers on the two cities. "Wisconsin" © Emmanuel BUCHOT, Encarta, Wikipedia.
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