The Greater Milwaukee Foundation is pleased to present this third iteration of Vital Signs, a study benchmarking the four-county metro Milwaukee region against fifteen other regions, including many considered competitors in economic development and talent retention.

Benchmarking reports like Vital Signs provide greater context for residents and decision-makers, helping identify where the region excels and where it needs targeted attention. Vital Signs puts the region in perspective with some of its peers across more than 50 different indicators. The latest version of Vital Signs includes several new features, each designed to provide deeper analysis of matters related to racial equity and inclusion. A new section provides educational attainment data for each of the sixteen regions, newly disaggregated by race and ethnicity. Similarly, some income and housing data is now presented by race and ethnicity to allow better analysis.

What kind of region is Milwaukee?

As the Foundation has deepened its commitment to improving racial equity and inclusion, data like that captured in Vital Signs make it clear that the racial disparities in this region are not only significant, they are far more pronounced than in otherwise similar regions. This report continues to provide empirical evidence, reinforcing other studies revealing sharp racial and ethnic disparities. Increasing understanding of the region’s realities helps all members of the community – including planners, policymakers, researchers and residents – focus attention where it is needed most.

The Foundation is committed to partnering in a range of ways to promote racial equity and inclusion in this region. Metro Milwaukee has the potential to be a globally-competitive, 21st century region. The key to unlocking that potential lies in developing the approaches, building the partnerships and maintaining the focus that will foster a more fair and just region that allows each person to reach their innate potential.


Past Reports

Vital Signs: Benchmarking Metro Milwaukee 2015 (PDF)

Vital Signs: Benchmarking Metro Milwaukee 2013 (PDF)