What's it like to live in Green Bay, WI?


Profile written by local expert:

Kristin Bouchard

Home to one of the most storied football franchises in the NFL, the Green Bay Packers, Green Bay has the perfect mix of big-city amenities complemented with a Midwestern, small-town feel. This city boasts a thriving entertainment and arts scene, revitalized downtown, and two college campuses, creating an energy that may appeal to young families as well as retirees.

Green Bay is located in the heart of northeast Wisconsin and is the state's oldest settlement. The city’s heart is at the mouth of the Fox River, and its access to the Great Lakes allowed early settlers to use the area’s waterways to become successful entrepreneurs. 

While the city continues to be a major shipping center, summertime on the Fox River is alive with water skiing, riverfront dining and sunset cruises. The Fox River State Trail, a wooded walking and biking trail that runs parallel with the river, is a prominent section of the Cellcom Green Bay Marathon.  

You can find boutique shopping and numerous museums throughout the city and surrounding areas. Downtown Green Bay, the Broadway District, downtown De Pere and Vickery Village just north of Green Bay feature shops with antiques, home decor and trendy clothing. 

A thriving craft beer industry, an array of restaurant options and its proximity to weekend getaway destination Door County make Green Bay a good place to settle down and stay. 

Rankings

U.S. News analyzed 150 metro areas in the United States to find the best places to live based on quality of life and the job market in each metro area, as well as the value of living there and people's desire to live there.

Green Bay, Wisconsin is ranked:

#25 in Best Places to Live

#54 in Best Places to Retire

#1 in Safest Places to Live

#6 in Best Places to Live for Quality of Life

#12 in Cheapest Places to Live

7.0

Overall

Scorecard

Best Places to Live

  • Desirability
    6.0
  • Value
    8.1
  • Job Market
    6.5
  • Quality of Life
    7.7
  • Net Migration
    6.1

Read how we rank places

Green Bay, WI Quick Stats

  • 317,702

    Metro Population

  • $45,570

    Average Annual Salary

  • N/A

    Avg High/Low Temps

  • 38.7

    Median Age

  • $175,117

    Median Home Price

  • N/A

    AVG Annual Rainfall

  • 3.2%

    Unemployment Rate

  • $760

    Median Monthly Rent

  • 20.0 minutes

    Avg Commute Time

What is there to do in Green Bay, WI?

Green Bay hosts a variety of activities. Lambeau Field offers regular stadium tours, the Packers Hall of Fame and Pro Shop, and excellent dining options. Walk across the street to visit the Titletown district, which provides family fun all year with a full-size football field and park, along with a tubing hill and ice skating rink in the winter months.

Outdoor enthusiasts can walk, run, bike, snowshoe or cross-country ski on the area’s trails. In the summer, locals and visitors take advantage of the Fox River by boating, kayaking or cruising north, to the bay of Green Bay. 

Music lovers can catch talented local musicians live at venues throughout the city or see national headliners at the Resch Center. Outside of football, sports fans can enjoy the Green Bay Booyah of the Northwoods League, a summer college baseball league. There’s also Green Bay Gamblers hockey and local college athletics. For cultural entertainment, locals can take advantage of the historic Meyer Theatre and the Weidner Center for the Performing Arts.  

Green Bay is home to museums and art galleries. Just north of Green Bay is The National Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help, the only Catholic shrine in America with a church-approved Marian Apparition Site, denoting a location where Mary, the mother of Jesus, is said to have appeared. 

The restaurant scene features fine dining, farm-to-table and traditional Midwestern supper club options. The Green Bay area also has many craft beer and winery establishments.

What's the cost of living in Green Bay, WI?

A low cost of living in Green Bay is one of its advantages. 

However, Wisconsin does have high property tax rates. Residents here also pay sales tax and state income tax.

Looking for financial advice? Find a local financial advisor in Green Bay, Wisconsin.

Value Index

Index Score: 8.1 /10

How we calculate this.


Green Bay offers a better value than similarly sized metro areas when you compare housing costs to median household income.

Housing Costs 2019


Green Bay
$175,117

USA
$232,933

Housing Costs Over Time

Data sourced from Zillow median home sale price data series. Additional data provided by the Austin Board of Realtors, Houston Association of Realtors, Intermountain MLS, Omaha Area Board of Realtors, San Antonio Board of Realtors, and the Salt Lake Board of Realtors.

Buying or selling a home? Find top real estate agents in Green Bay, WI.

What's the weather like in Green Bay, WI?

Green Bay experiences all four seasons, with winter lasting from November through the beginning of March. Winter months are cold and snowy. But crisp, sunny springs lead to hot and humid summers.

What's the best way to get around Green Bay, WI?

Most people rely on their own transportation to get around the city and suburbs, and parking is easy to find throughout the city. The Fox River State Trail connects downtown Green Bay to De Pere and Bellevue and winds as far south as Greenleaf. Travelers can get anywhere within the greater Green Bay area in about 20 minutes, and Madison and Milwaukee are a two-hour drive from Green Bay. 

Green Bay is home to Austin Straubel International Airport, with direct flights to Chicago, Minneapolis, Atlanta and Detroit. The Greyhound bus station is located in the heart of the city, along with the Green Bay Metro city bus system. The city bus provides access to major attractions, including downtown Green Bay, the University of Wisconsin--Green Bay, St. Norbert College, Bay Beach, Lambeau Field and the Titletown district. Taxis and ride-hailing services are also available.

Commuting in Green Bay, WI

Means of Transportation
Driving
92%
Above national average

Bicycling
0%
Equal to national average

Walking
2%
Equal to national average

Public Transit
1%
Below national average
Average Commute Time

20.0 minutes

6.6 minutes less than national average

Average Commute Times by Zip Code

Data sourced from the U.S. Census Bureau's American Community Survey.

Who lives in Green Bay, WI?

There’s a family feel to Green Bay. The city is known for its excellent public school system and is home to the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, St. Norbert College and Northeast Wisconsin Technical College. Access to several health care systems, a walkable downtown that connects to the Fox River State Trail, and a thriving arts and culture scene also make it attractive to retirees.

Age Distribution

Marital Status Breakdown


Fewer single people in Green Bay than
national average

Data sourced from the U.S. Census Bureau's American Community Survey.