|Named for||Nathan Dane|
|• Executive||Joe Parisi|
|• Total||1,238 sq mi (3,210 km2)|
|• Land||1,197 sq mi (3,100 km2)|
|• Water||41 sq mi (110 km2) 3.3%|
|• Density||450/sq mi (180/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC−6 (Central)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC−5 (CDT)|
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 (after Milwaukee). The county seat is Madison, which is also the state capital.
Dane County was formed in 1836 as a territorial county and organized in 1839. It was named after Nathan Dane, a Massachusetts delegate to the Congress of the Confederation who helped carve Wisconsin out of the Northwest Territory. Dane County was settled in the 1840s by settlers from New England.
- Interstate 39
- Interstate 90
- Interstate 94
- U.S. Highway 12
- U.S. Highway 14
- U.S. Highway 18
- U.S. Highway 51
- U.S. Highway 151
- Highway 19 (Wisconsin)
- Highway 30 (Wisconsin)
- Highway 69 (Wisconsin)
- Highway 73 (Wisconsin)
- Highway 78 (Wisconsin)
- Highway 89 (Wisconsin)
- Highway 92 (Wisconsin)
- Highway 104 (Wisconsin)
- Highway 106 (Wisconsin)
- Highway 113 (Wisconsin)
- Highway 134 (Wisconsin)
- Highway 138 (Wisconsin)
- Highway 188 (Wisconsin)
- Blackhawk Airfield (87Y)
- Dane County Regional Airport (MSN) provides commercial airline service.
- Middleton Municipal Airport (C29)
- Verona Airport (W19)
- Waunakee Airport (6P3)
- Columbia County (north)
- Dodge County (northeast)
- Green County (south)
- Iowa County (west)
- Jefferson County (east)
- Rock County (southeast)
- Sauk County (northwest)
|U.S. Decennial Census|
1990–2000 2010–2020 2020 census
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.
As of the census of 2020, the population was 561,504. The population density was 469.3 inhabitants per square mile (181.2/km2). There were 248,795 housing units at an average density of 207.9 units per square mile (80.3 units/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 77.6% White, 6.4% Asian, 5.4% Black or African American, 0.4% Native American, 3.2% from other races, and 6.9% from two or more races. Ethnically, the population was 7.5% Hispanic or Latino of any race.
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 people/km2). There were 216,022 housing units at an average density of 174 units per square mile (67 units/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. 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.
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 people/km2). There were 180,398 housing units at an average density of 150 units per square mile (58 units/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. 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.
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.
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.
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. It has 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. 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. 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.
Dane County is one of the only counties in the United States to have elected a member of the Green Party (Leland Pan) into county-level office.
- George Reinke, 1973-1981
- Jonathan B. Barry, 1981-1988
- Richard J. Phelps, 1988-1997
- Kathleen Falk, 1997-2011
- Joe Parisi, 2011–present
- 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
- Cities are incorporated, generally have a mayor (or a administrator/manager), an elected council, and generally provide more services than smaller administrative divisions.
- Villages are incorporated, are governed by a Village President and Board of Trustees, and provide residential services.
- 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.
- Black Earth (town)
- Blooming Grove
- Blue Mounds (town)
- Cottage Grove (town)
- Cross Plains
- Deerfield (town)
- Mazomanie (town)
- Middleton (town)
- Oregon (town)
- Pleasant Springs
- Sun Prairie (town)
- Unincorporated communities are smaller communities that are governed by the town they are located in and often exist as nomenclature in vital records.
- Aldens Corners
- Ashton Corners
- Bakers Corners
- Door Creek
- East Bristol
- Five Points
- Hoffman Corners
- Indian Heights
- Kingsley Corners
- London (partial)
- Lutheran Hill
- Mt. Vernon
- North Bristol
- Norway Grove
- Old Deerfield
- Pine Bluff
- Seminary Springs
- Schey Acres
- Springfield Corners
- Token Creek
- West Middleton
- York Center
- Neighborhoods exist mostly for nomenclature purposes; some may have administrative associations with powers that are defined in the property deed covenants of the neighborhood. This is a partial list that primarily consists of former unincorporated communities that are now within the boundaries of an incorporated city or village.
Native American community
School districts (all K-12) include:
- Barneveld School District
- Belleville School District
- Cambridge School District
- Columbus School District
- DeForest Area School District
- Deerfield Community School District
- Edgerton School District
- Evansville Community School District
- Fort Atkinson School District
- Lodi School District
- Madison Metropolitan School District
- Marshall School District
- McFarland School District
- Middleton-Cross Plains School District
- Monona Grove School District
- Mount Horeb Area School District
- Oregon School District
- Pecatonica Area School District
- Poynette School District
- River Valley School District
- Sauk Prairie School District
- Stoughton Area School District
- Sun Prairie Area School District
- Verona Area School District
- Waterloo School District
- Waunakee Community School District
- Wisconsin Heights School District
- "Dane County, Wisconsin Demographics and Housing 2020 Decennial Census".
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- "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.
- "Early Wisconsin". The Milwaukee Journal, September 26, 1896.
- Gannett, Henry (1905). The Origin of Certain Place Names in the United States. Government Printing Office. pp. 99.
- Starkweather, Charles Marcus, ed. (1898). The Red Book of the Sun Prairie Methodist Episcopal Church. C. M. Starkweather.
- "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. Retrieved August 4, 2015.
- "U.S. Decennial Census". Census Bureau. Retrieved August 4, 2015.
- "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved August 4, 2015.
- Forstall, Richard L., ed. (March 27, 1995). "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". Census Bureau. Retrieved August 4, 2015.
- "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). Census Bureau. April 2, 2001. Archived (PDF) from the original on October 9, 2022. Retrieved August 4, 2015.
- "Quick Facts: Dane County, Wisconsin". Census Bureau. July 1, 2018.
- "U.S. Census Bureau QuickFacts: Dane County, Wisconsin; United States". Archived from the original on September 24, 2020. Retrieved August 13, 2021.
- "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.
- "2020 Decennial Census: Dane County, Wisconsin". data.census.gov. U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved July 2, 2022.
- "U.S. Census website". Census Bureau. Retrieved May 14, 2011.
- thearda.com County Membership Report: Dane County (Wisconsin)
- "1994 Gubernatorial General Election Results - Wisconsin".
- "1994 State Treasurer General Election Results - Wisconsin".
- "1956 Senatorial General Election Results - Wisconsin".
- "1946 Senatorial General Election Results - Wisconsin".
- "Our Campaigns - WI US Senate Race - Nov 05, 1940". www.ourcampaigns.com. Retrieved May 11, 2022.
- "Our Campaigns - WI Governor Race - Nov 03, 1942". www.ourcampaigns.com. Retrieved May 11, 2022.
- Leip, David. "Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections". uselectionatlas.org. Retrieved November 11, 2020.
- "2020 CENSUS - SCHOOL DISTRICT REFERENCE MAP: Dane County, WI" (PDF). U.S. Census Bureau. Archived (PDF) from the original on October 9, 2022. Retrieved July 22, 2022. - Text list
- Biographical Review of Dane County, Wisconsin. Chicago: Biographical Review Publishing Company, 1893.
- Cassidy, Frederic G. Dane County Place-Names. 2nd ed. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 2009.
- Durrie, Daniel S. A History of Madison, the Capital of Wisconsin; Including the Four Lake Country. Madison: Atwood & Culver, 1874.
- History of Dane County, Wisconsin. Chicago: Western Historical Company, 1880.
- History of Dane County, Biographical and Genealogical. Madison: Western Historical Association, 1906.
- Madison, Dane County and Surrounding Towns. Madison: W. J. Park, 1877.
- Ruff, Allen and Tracy Will. Forward!: A History of Dane, the Capital County. Cambridge, Wis: Woodhenge Press, 2000.
- Official Dane County government website
- Dane County map from the Wisconsin Department of Transportation