There are certain events that are forever burned in America’s collective memory: the moon landing, September 11, that time at the VMAs when Axl Rose got into it with Kurt Cobain. Provided you were actually alive for these events, you’ll always remember where you were when they happened. Add to that list Tuesday, September 18, 2018, for that is the day that personal finance website WalletHub named Milwaukee, Wisconsin—yes, our Milwaukee, Wisconsin!—the 32nd “most fun” city in America. Well, make that Monday, September 17, because that’s when the list was first released. Whatever.

This is it. This is really it. We’re the 32nd “most fun” city in the country. Not quite as fun as Nashville, Tennessee (#31), but just a touch more fun than Jacksonville, Florida (#33). Want to have fun in Madison, Wisconsin? Good luck, Bucky—our neighbor to the west ranks a paltry #68. Also, have fun finding anything to do in Des Moines, Iowa (#103); Warwick, Rhode Island (#161); or Pearl City, Hawaii (dead last at #182). Vegas, Orlando, and New York City seem cool, though (#1-3, respectively).

How did WalletHub come up with its rankings? What was the site’s methodology? Who in their right mind thinks Philadelphia (#17) is more fun than Milwaukee? Good god, they put a lot of work into these things:

In order to determine the most fun cities in the U.S., WalletHub compared 182 cities—including the 150 most populated U.S. cities, plus at least two of the most populated cities in each state—across three key dimensions: 1) Entertainment & Recreation, 2) Nightlife & Parties and 3) Costs.

We evaluated those dimensions using 65 relevant metrics, which are listed below with their corresponding weights. Each metric was graded on a 100-point scale, with a score of 100 representing the greatest number and variety of fun and cost-effective activities. For metrics marked with an asterisk (*), the square root of the population was used to calculate the population size in order to avoid overcompensating for minor differences across cities.

Finally, we determined each city’s weighted average across all metrics to calculate its overall score and used the resulting scores to rank-order our sample. Our sample considers only the city proper in each case and excludes the surrounding metro area.

Okay then. Great job, Milwaukee. Never forget.

About The Author

Matt Wild
Co-Founder and Editor

Matt Wild weighs between 140 and 145 pounds. He lives on Milwaukee's east side.

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