Q:

How do you find information on the county lines in Wisconsin?

A:

Quick Answer

The website for the Wisconsin Department of Transportation provides information on all the Wisconsin county lines. The website includes a detailed map that the user may click on to see more info regarding individual counties, including locations of local roads and interstates, schools, hospitals and airports.

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Full Answer

While the Wisconsin Department of Transportation gives information on modern county lines, some people may be interested in historical information on the counties. The Newberry Library hosts such information, including a brief chronology of Wisconsin state and county boundaries. This chronology begins as far back as 1609, when the Virginia Company of London gained jurisdiction over a huge portion of North America, including what is now Wisconsin.

The county lines can still change going forward. The Applied Population Laboratory of the University of Wisconsin-Madison explains that Wisconsin, like every other state in the nation, takes into consideration new census data every ten years. The data reveals how the state's population has grown and shifted over the last decade; county lines often grow or shift in response. Unlike many other states, Wisconsin uses a "bottom-up" process to redraw county lines.

First the county board creates tentative district plans that try to ensure each county is roughly equal in population. After the county board submits the plan to the public through a hearing, and once the plan is approved, the board submits the plan to the individual municipal governments in each county. The county board and municipalities work back and forth with each other until they have a plan ready to submit to the state legislature, and the state legislature uses this information to then redraw state legislative districts and federal congressional districts.

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