Wisconsin Rapids

Wisconsin Rapids

Wisconsin Rapids, city (1990 pop. 18,245), seat of Wood co., central Wis., on the Wisconsin River; inc. 1869. Paper, heating equipment, and steel castings are produced. Dairy farms, agriculture, and a large cranberry industry also contribute to the city's economy. Two towns on the river there, Grand Rapids (east bank) and Centralia (west bank), were consolidated in 1900, and the name was changed in 1920 to Wisconsin Rapids.

Wisconsin Rapids is a city in Wood County, Wisconsin, United States. The population was 18,435 at the 2000 census. It is the county seat of Wood County.

Together with surrounding communities, the Wisconsin Rapids micropolitan area was, according to the 2000 census, home to 48,123 people. The city forms one of the core areas (the other is at Marshfield) of the United States Census Bureau's Marshfield-Wisconsin Rapids Micropolitan Statistical Area, which includes all of Wood County (2000 population: 75,555).


Wisconsin Rapids is located at (44.386805, -89.823078).

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 14.1 square miles (36.5 km²), of which, 13.3 square miles (34.3 km²) of it is land and 0.9 square miles (2.2 km²) of it (6.02%) is water.


Although Europeans began to settle in this area in the 1830s, Wisconsin Rapids has been known by this name only since 1920. Prior thereto, the community was divided by the Wisconsin River, with the west side incorporated as Centralia and the east side as Grand Rapids. The two cities merged in 1900, with the entire community taking the name Grand Rapids. The name was changed in 1920 to avoid mail and other goods from being misdirected to the much better known Grand Rapids, Michigan.


As of the census of 2000, there were 18,435 people, 7,970 households, and 4,782 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,390.0 people per square mile (536.8/km²). There were 8,426 housing units at an average density of 635.3/sq mi (245.3/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 94.04% White, 0.34% African American, 0.80% Native American, 3.46% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.37% from other races, and 0.97% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.31% of the population.

There were 7,970 households out of which 28.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 46.0% were married couples living together, 10.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 40.0% were non-families. 34.8% of all households were made up of individuals and 16.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.26 and the average family size was 2.93.

In the city the population was spread out with 24.7% under the age of 18, 8.5% from 18 to 24, 27.5% from 25 to 44, 19.8% from 45 to 64, and 19.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females there were 90.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 86.2 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $34,956, and the median income for a family was $43,594. Males had a median income of $36,098 versus $22,466 for females. The per capita income for the city was $17,723. About 7.0% of families and 9.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 12.5% of those under age 18 and 7.2% of those age 65 or over. Wisconsin rapids.


Known for its papermaking manufacturing history, Wisconsin Rapids is also an important locale for the cranberry industry. Additionally, Wisconsin Rapids is the corporate home of the international educational software company, Renaissance Learning, Inc. as well as many other global and national companies.

Notable residents


A digital collection of books, pamphlets and photographs from Wisconsin Rapids, Wood County and central Wisconsin. Titles include: 100 years of pictorial & descriptive history of Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin by T. A. [Theodore Asa] Taylor (1939); History of Wood County, Wisconsin compiled by George O. Jones (1923); Grand Rapids : descriptive of Grand Rapids, Wood County, and the Wisconsin River by A. Decker (1907); Along the Wisconsin River : descriptive of the Wisconsin River Valley, its resources, industries and opportunities by A. Decker (1907); Art work of the Wisconsin River Valley (1901); Central Wisconsin's railroads : past and future by Ray Specht (1981); and Wood County place names by Robert S. Rudolph.


External links

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