Ranked by estimated 2014 population, Milwaukee was the 31st largest city in the United States.
Milwaukee is the main cultural and economic center of the Milwaukee metropolitan area.
Early explorers called the Milwaukee River and surrounding lands various names: Melleorki, Milwacky, Mahn-a-waukie, Milwarck, and Milwaucki.
For many years, printed records gave the name as "Milwaukie".
The first Europeans to pass through the area were French Catholic missionaries and fur traders.
In 1818, the French Canadian explorer Solomon Juneau settled in the area, and in 1846, Juneau's town combined with two neighboring towns to incorporate as the city of Milwaukee.
Clockwise from top: Milwaukee skyline from Discovery World, downtown at night along the Milwaukee Riverwalk, inside the Milwaukee Art Museum, Milwaukee City Hall, Burns Commons in the East Side neighborhood, and the historic Mitchell Building53172, 53201, 53202, 53203, 53204, 53205, 53206, 53207, 53208, 53209, 53210, 53211, 53212, 53213, 53214, 53215, 53216, 53218, 53219, 53220, 53221, 53222, 53223, 53224, 53225, 53226, 53227, 53228, 53233, 53234, 53237, 53259, 53263, 53267, 53268, 53274, 53278, 53288, 53290, 53293, 53295 is the largest city in the state of Wisconsin and the fifth-largest city in the Midwestern United States.
The county seat of Milwaukee County, it is on Lake Michigan's western shore.
It is also part of the larger Milwaukee-Racine-Waukesha combined statistical area, which had an estimated population of 2,026,243 in the 2010 census.
Milwaukee is also the second most densely populated metropolitan area in the Midwest, surpassed only by Chicago.
Milwaukee began to grow as a city as high numbers of immigrants, mainly German, made their way to Wisconsin during the 1840s and 1850s.
Scholars classify German immigration to the United States in three major waves, and Wisconsin received a significant number of immigrants from all three.
By 1840, the three towns had grown quite a bit, along with their rivalries.