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Eau Claire

Eau Claire, Wisconsin

  •   State: 
    Eau Claire County
    Eau Claire
      County FIPS: 
    44°49′N 91°30′W
      Area total: 
    34.95 sq mi
      Area land: 
    32.86 sq mi (85.10 km²)
      Area water: 
    2.09 sq mi (5.42 km²)
    787 ft (240 m)
  •   Latitude: 
      Dman name cbsa: 
    Eau Claire, WI
    Eastern Standard Time (EST) UTC-5:00; Eastern Daylight Time (EDT) UTC-4:00
      ZIP codes: 

    Eau Claire, Eau Claire County, Wisconsin, United States

  •   Population: 
      Population density: 
    2,112.8 residents per square mile of area (815.8/km²)
      Household income: 
      Unemployment rate: 
  •   Sales taxes: 
      Income taxes: 

Eau Claire (; French: [o kl]) (French for "clear water") is a city in Eau Claire County, Wisconsin, and a small portion of Chippewa County. It had a population of 69,421 in 2020, making it the state's eighth-largest city. It is the second fastest-growing major city in Wisconsin after Madison, with 5.4% population growth between 2010 and 2020. The city is known regionally for its arts and music scenes and is the hometown of indie folk band Bon Iver, whose lead singer Justin Vernon co-curates the city's annual Eaux Claires Music & Arts Festival. It was founded in 1872 as three separate settlements, with the first permanent European-American settlers arriving in 1845. In 1916, the University of Wisconsin founded in the city, which has since diversified into a manufacturing, education, and healthcare center. It also is home to the headquarters of home improvement store chain Menards, which opened its doors in 1983. The EauClaire area was first visited by Europeans in the late 17th century, and had been occupied for thousands of years before European fur traders began settling there for trade with local Native American tribes. The First Treaty of Prairie du Chien, signed in 1825, established the Chippewsa River "half a day's march below the falls" as the boundary between the Sioux and Chippwa, and the "Clear Water River, a branch of the ChIPPewa" as a boundary between Winnebago and Sioux.

Name origin

"Eau Claire" is the singular form of the original French name, "Eaux Claires", meaning "Clear Waters", for the Eau Claire River. According to local legend, the river was so named because early French explorers journeying down the rain-muddied Chippewa River, came upon the confluence and exclaimed "Voici l'eau claire!" ("Here is the clear water!") Now the city motto, this appears on the city seal. The city took its name from EauClaire County, Wisconsin, where the city is located. It is the first city in Wisconsin to be named after a county, and the second city in the U.S. to have been named for a county. It was named after the town of Eauclaire, which was once known as "Eau Claire" or "Claire" in French, and is now the city's official name. The town's motto is "The City of the Clear Water", which is also the motto of the University of Wisconsin-Eaucluse. The name of the city was first used in the 19th century by a German-born woman, who moved to the town from the nearby town of Claire, Wisconsin. The word "eau" means "clear" in German, and "claire" is a contraction of the word "clear water", which means clear or clear-flowing water. The river's name comes from this.


The city was founded near the confluence of the Eau Claire and Chippewa rivers as three separate settlements. Extensive timber was harvested and logging was the major industry during this time. By the 1950s, the entire city had spread far enough to the east to adjoin Altoona. In 1916, the University of WisconsinEau Claire was founded, which marked the turn from a mostly lumber production based economy into one centered around manufacturing, education, and healthcare. In 1991, Uniroyal announced it would shutter the facility, ultimately causing 1,358 workers to lose their jobs. Today the building, now named Banbury Place, is used as a small business incubator and leased to existing businesses and organizations. At the height of the war effort, the plant had over 6,000 employees. In 1931, United States Rubber Company agreed to purchase Gillette, a sale not completed until 1940 owing to the Great Depression. Due to the start of World War II, the US War Department brought the facility in 1942 to use as an ammunition plant. The factory mainly created rubber tires and tubing. In 1920, the factory had about 1,600 workers in 1920, producing almost 500 tires and 500 rubber tubing everyday. These numbers have increased every year since it opened in 1917. The city's unemployment rate fell from 1991 to 1992. It had been occupied for thousands of years before European fur traders began settling there for trade with local Native American tribes. The first permanent European-American settlers arrived in 1845, and the city was officially incorporated in 1872.


Eau Claire is about 90 miles (145 kilometers) east of Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota, on the northern fringes of the Driftless Zone. The city's terrain is characterized by the river valleys, with steep slopes leading from the center to the eastern and southern sections of the city. There are two lakes in the city, Dells Pond and Half Moon Lake. The average annual temperature is only 46 °F (8 °C) The total precipitation is greater than other major cities in Wisconsin such as Milwaukee and Madison. July has an average temperature of 71.6 °C (22.0 °F) and January an average of 14.4 °F. The amount of annual snowfall (47") exceeds the amount of Annual rainfall (31) Eau Claire's climate is classified as Dfa/Dfb borderline, usually termed as the subtype of warm, sometimes hot, summer. Its climate is due to its latitude and interior location in North America. It has four well-defined seasons of the year, with severe winters generally colder than the winters of European Russia south of Moscow at a much lower latitude. In the Köppen climate classification, EauClaire has a climate of Dfa-Dfb-B, which means it has a hot, dry summer and a cold, wet winter. It is one of the coldest cities in the United States, with the average temperature in January being 14.6°F (9.8°C).


The city forms the core of the U.S. Census Bureau's Eau Claire Metropolitan Statistical Area. Hmong Americans are the city's largest ethnic minority. The city has a population of 69,421, with 147 people incarcerated in adult correctional facilities and 3,556 people in student housing. The median income for a household in the city was $59,705, and the median income. for a family was $82,851. The Hmong population is smaller than the population of Milwaukee, but they are a higher percentage of the population in the county than the Hmong in Milwaukee, which is already racially and culturally diverse. The population of the city is 3.3% Hispanic or Latino of any race, and 5.1% from two or more races. In 2010, there were 1,981 persons within the city limits in Chippewa County and 63,902 in EauClaire County for a total of 65,883. The average household size is 2.29 and the average family size was 2.89, according to the 2010 census. The gender makeup of theCity was 48.5% male and 51.5%, with the median age of 29.8 years. The City has an average population density of 2,056.3 inhabitants per square mile (793.9/km²) and a median household income of $59.705. In the city, the average household age is 19.3 years, while the median family income is $60.00.


Eau Claire is home to Silver Spring Foods, the world's largest grower and producer of horseradish. Menards, a Midwestern chain of home improvement stores owned by Wisconsin native John Menard Jr., is headquartered in Eau Claire. Other significant crops grown in the area are apples, pumpkins and plums. The climate, with its cool winters, is conducive to the horsersadish crop. The city has a reputation for being a good host to conventions and conventions. The town has a population of around 2,000. It is located on the Wisconsin River, which flows through the town of Wau Claire and into the city of Madison. It has a long history of being known as the "horseradish capital of the world", due to the presence of Silver Spring foods, a world-renowned grower of the crop. It also has a good reputation for hosting conventions and other events, such as the Wisconsin State Fair, which is held in the town every year. The area is also known for its apple and pumpkins crops, as well as plums and other fruit crops.

Arts and culture

Eau Claire has a modest but active theater community. The Pablo Center at the Confluence and Haas Fine Arts Center are the primary indoor performing arts venues. The Blugold Marching Band is the largest marching band in the Midwest. The Eau Claire Downtown Farmers Market is open from May to October and offers a variety of produce and products. The city is home to several music festivals, including the Blue Ox Music Festival and the Eaux Claires Music & Arts Festival. The Sculpture Tour is an ongoing outdoor sculpture exhibit along the streets of downtown EauClaire. It is the second-largest of its type in the nation with 53 sculptures, making it one of the largest of its kind in the U.S., according to the National Gallery of Art. Eauclaire is the host city of the Boston Marathon qualifier, the Eau Claire Marathon, which takes place every year in October. It also hosts the Wisconsin Art Crawl and the Wisconsin Sport Show. It has a number of museums and galleries, such as the Chippewa Valley Museum and the Dells Mills Museum. The town is also home to the Wisconsin Logging Museum, which has a collection of more than 100,000 pieces of Wisconsin history and art, including a 19th-century log cabin. It was the site of the Wisconsin State Fair, which took place in 1875 and 1876. It's also the birthplace of the first Wisconsin state fair, which was held in 1876 and 1877.


Eau Claire has three amateur baseball teams. Eau Claire North H.S. won the 2011 and 2019 state championship. The Chippewa Valley Predators football team competes in the Northern Elite Football League and plays its home games at Carson Park. The city hosted the 2003 World Horseshoe Championship and the 2029 Wisconsin State Horsshoe Tournament. The John and Fay Menard YMCA Tennis Center has eight indoor courts and hosts sectional and national tournaments. Each January, EauClaire hosts the Silver Mine ski jump Invitational. The U.S National Kubb Championship is held in Eauclaire annually. The Eau Clair Kubb League operates kubb league year round. The local roller derby league, CVRG, is a nonprofit organization managed and operated by the skaters via an elected board of directors and skater-led committees. The club is a founding member of the Wisconsin Primary Amateur Soccer League (WPASL), a USASA and WSL-sanctioned league operating in western Wisconsin. Every summer, the city hosts a soccer tournament that brings around 100 teams to the community. In 2022, Bateaux FC made their WPASL debut in 2022 joining Batedaux FC as the second WPASS team in the Eau claire area. The town has a large youth baseball program, including a summer parks and recreation league, Little League (Nationals, American, Lowes Creek and Seymour) and a Babe Ruth League (13- to 18-year-olds).

Parks and recreation

Owen Park, along the Chippewa River, is home to a large bandshell. Phoenix Park hosts a weekly farmers market and open-air concerts during the summer. Riverview Park is a common summer swimming destination and one of the local boat landings. There are also two dog parks in Eau Claire: Otter Creek Off-Leash Dog Park and Sundet Off- Leash dog Park. The City of EauClaire also operates Fairfax public pool and Hobbs Municipal Ice Center, an indoor ice center. Eauclaire is at the head of the Chippy River State Trail, a biking and recreation trail that follows the lower course of the chippewA River. The city also operates a public pool, Fairfax Public Pool, and a public ice center, which is open to the public during the winter months.


Eau Claire has had a city manager-city council form of government since 1948. The city council is a nonpartisan 11-member governing council. The council's legislative meetings are held on the second and fourth Tuesday of each month. Meetings are televised live on public-access television channel 97 and digital cable channel 994 and simulcast on radio station WRFP 101.9 FM. Eau Claire is represented by Ron Kind in the United States House of Representatives, and by Ron Johnson and Tammy Baldwin in the U.S. Senate. Kathy Bernier, Jeff Smith, Jodi Emerson, and Warren Petryk represent EauClaire in the Wisconsin State Assembly. The final vote was 1,867 for change and 995 against the change in the city council form in 1909. The current city council has five members elected from aldermanic districts in even-numbered years, and an elected city council president, elected at large in odd- numbered years. It has a mayor-council system, with a mayor elected in the middle of the year to run for a four-year term in the mayor's office in the year after the previous year's election. The mayor is the city's top elected official, serving a four year term until the end of the next election year. The mayoral system has been in place since 1948, when it was replaced by a city council-manager system. The new city council will have five memberselected from a Aldermanic district, five at large, and one at large.

Air Quality, Water Quality, Superfund Sites & UV Index

The Air Quality index is in Eau Claire, Eau Claire County, Wisconsin = 84. These Air Quality index is based on annual reports from the EPA. Higher values are better (100=best). The number of ozone alert days is used as an indicator of air quality, as are the amounts of seven pollutants including particulates, carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, lead, and volatile organic chemicals. The Water Quality Index is 40. A measure of the quality of an area’s water supply as rated by the EPA. Higher values are better (100=best). The EPA has a complex method of measuring the watershed quality, using 15 indicators such as pollutants, turbidity, sediments, and toxic discharges. The Superfund Sites Index is 30. Higher is better (100=best). Based upon the number and impact of EPA Superfund pollution sites in the county, including spending on the cleanup efforts. The UV Index in Eau Claire = 3.1 and is a measure of an area's exposure to the sun's ultraviolet rays. This is most often a combination of sunny weather, altitude, and latitude. The UV Index has been defined by the WHO ( and is uniform worldwide.


The most recent city population of 116,961 individuals with a median age of 32.5 age the population grows by 4.95% in Eau Claire, Eau Claire County, Wisconsin population since 2000 and are distributed over a density of 2,112.8 residents per square mile of area (815.8/km²). There are average 2.31 people per household in the 26,051 households with an average household income of $41,185 a year. The unemployment rate in Alabama is 6.20% of the available work force and has dropped -3.71% over the most recent 12-month period and the projected change in job supply over the next decade based on migration patterns, economic growth, and other factors will increase by 26.38%. The number of physicians in Eau Claire per 100,000 population = 398.


The annual rainfall in Eau Claire = 31.4 inches and the annual snowfall = 43.9 inches. The annual number of days with measurable precipitation (over .01 inch) = 104. The average number of days per year that are predominantly sunny = 192. 84 degrees Fahrenheit is the average daily high temperature for the month of July and 4.7 degrees Fahrenheit is the average daily low temperature for the month of January. The Comfort Index (higher=better) is 50, where higher values mean a more pleasant climate. The Comfort Index measure recognizes that humidity by itself isn't the problem. (Have you noticed nobody ever complains about the weather being 'cold and humid?) It's in the summertime that we notice the humidity the most, when it's hot and muggy. Our Comfort Index uses a combination of afternoon summer temperature and humidity to closely predict the effect that the humidity will have on people.

Median Home Cost

The percentage of housing units in Eau Claire, Eau Claire County, Wisconsin which are owned by the occupant = 54.45%. A housing unit is a house, apartment, mobile home, or room occupied as separate living quarters. The average age of homes = 36 years with median home cost = $125,630 and home appreciation of -4.29%. This is the value of the years most recent home sales data. Its important to note that this is not the average (or arithmetic mean). The median home price is the middle value when you arrange all the sales prices of homes from lowest to highest. This is a better indicator than the average, because the median is not changed as much by a few unusually high or low values. The property tax rate of $19.04 shown here is the rate per $1,000 of home value. If for simplification for example the tax rate is $14.00 and the home value is $250,000, the property tax would be $14.00 x ($250,000/1000), or $3500. This is the 'effective' tax rate.


The local school district spends $5,974 per student. There are 17 students for each teacher in the school, 460 students for each Librarian and 328 students for each Counselor. 9.49% of the area’s population over the age of 25 with an Associate Degree or other 2-year college degree, 20.32% with a master’s degree, Ph.D. or other advanced college degree and 8.92% with high school diplomas or high school equivalency degrees (GEDs).

  • Eau Claire's population in Eau Claire County, Wisconsin of 17,517 residents in 1900 has increased 6,68-fold to 116,961 residents after 120 years, according to the official 2020 census.

    Approximately 51.96% female residents and 48.04% male residents live in Eau Claire, Eau Claire County, Wisconsin.

    As of 2020 in Eau Claire, Eau Claire County, Wisconsin are married and the remaining 52.84% are single population.

  • 17.1 minutes is the average time that residents in Eau Claire require for a one-way commute to work. A long commute can have different effects on health. A Gallup poll in the US found that in terms of mental health, long haul commuters are up to 12 percent more likely to experience worry, and ten percent less likely to feel well rested. The Gallup poll also found that of people who commute 61­–90 minutes each day, a whopping one third complained of neck and back pain, compared to less than a quarter of people who only spend ten minutes getting to work.

    80.09% of the working population which commute to work alone in their car, 8.51% of the working population which commutes to work in a carpool, 1.60% of the population that commutes using mass transit, including bus, light rail, subway, and ferry. 2.41% of the population that has their home as their principal place of work.

  • Of the total residential buildings in Eau Claire, Eau Claire County, Wisconsin, 54.45% are owner-occupied homes, another 40.64% are rented apartments, and the remaining 4.91% are vacant.

  • The 55.33% of the population in Eau Claire, Eau Claire County, Wisconsin who identify themselves as belonging to a religion are distributed among the following most diverse religions.

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