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About Monroe
Situated in the rolling hills of Green County in southwestern Wisconsin, Monroe is a city with many of the amenities of a large metropolitan area coupled with the comforts and familiarity of a small town. This scenic city provides a high-quality of life for people of all ages, with community resources that include a historic downtown Square, attractive parks, and an active arts center. Additionally, there is a strong sense of community and volunteerism in Monroe; people work together to better the lives of their friends, family, and the community as a whole. In all, Monroe is a truly livable community that works to promote the health, education, and overall well-being of its residents and visitors.

Monroe’s Swiss heritage and award winning cheesemaking has earned it’s recognition as being a must-visit for dairy connoisseurs. Though being known for cheese, businesses in Monroe provide a diverse range of services and products ranging from truck body manufacturing to mail-order gift production and distribution. Furthermore, Monroe is situated in close proximity to many larger cities, creating easy access to additional products, services, and atmospheres – it’s an hour drive to Madison, a two hour drive to Milwaukee, and a two and a half hour drive to Chicago.

When one thinks of Monroe, often cheese and Swiss heritage comes to mind. While it is true that Monroe offers a wide supply of delicious dairy products, Monroe has a diverse portfolio of businesses and industries that are critical to its success and vibrancy. In fact, public meeting participants during the 2015-16 Comprehensive Plan process often referred to Monroe as an ‘employment magnet’ due to the number of workers it attracts from the region for far-ranging occupations. 

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Industry Clusters and Employment

The importance of dairy on Monroe’s economy is clear in Monroe’s high concentration of dairy product sales and cheese manufacturing, compared to the nation – shown in the 2025 predicted location quotients below. Location quotients are determined by comparing the industry’s share of regional employment with its share of national employment. This cluster of dairy production and sales may be expected given the large agricultural presence in Green County, which, in turn, impacts the work opportunities in Monroe. In 2014, agriculture provided jobs for 6,979 Green County residents and contributed $484 million to the county’s total income.

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Many other industries flourish in Monroe beyond dairy product manufacturing and sales. In fact, the second and third largest employers in Monroe are Colony Brands, Inc. (in production and distribution of mail-order gifts, with over 900 employees) and Monroe Truck Equipment (in manufacturing, with over 700 employees). Other major employers in Monroe are in similar industries including: Orchid Monroe LLC., Klondike Cheese Factory, and I Pacesetters13. Small businesses (1-4 employees) are also critical to the success of Monroe and comprise 64% of establishments in Green County.

Health care also has a large presence in Monroe. Out of the ten highest paying occupations in Monroe, seven are in the health care industry including: family and general practitioners, physicians and surgeons, pharmacists, physicians’ assistants, nurse practitioners, and medical and health services managers. Jobs in the health care industry are also on the rise, with registered nurses being the fastest predicted growing occupation between 2014 and 2024 in Monroe. This emphasis on health care is likely due to the Monroe Clinic, which is the largest employer in Monroe with over 1,000 employees.

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Demographics

The total population of Monroe has increased 25% between 1970 (8,654) and 2010 (10,827), but has remained stagnant between 2000 (10,843) and 2010 with 0.3% decrease. It is expected that the total population will increase 2.5% between 2010 and 2040 – a low rate of growth compared to Wisconsin overall, which is expected to grow by 16%.

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Though there is little change in the total population count, the racial/ethnic composition of Monroe is becoming increasingly diverse. Between 2000 and 2010, there was a 233% increase in the Hispanic or Latino population (from 158 to 526 people), a 63% increase in the Black population (from 38 to 62 people), a 124% increase in the Asian population (from 34 to 76 people), and a 56% increase in the population of people with two or more races (from 79 to 123 people)

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Additionally, the age distribution is changing in Monroe – becoming an increasingly older community. In 1970, 8% of the total population was 75 years and over. In 2010, that same age group encompassed 11% of the total population. Conversely, in 1970, 34% of the total population was under 19 years old. In 2010, it had decreased to 25%.

As with much of the United States, Monroe’s population is more educated than in the past. When examining the highest level of educational attainment in the city of Monroe the population with a Bachelor’s degree between 1970 and 2013 doubled, with an increase from 6.3% to 12.7%. The amount of those with Graduate or Professional degrees also increased from 4.2% to 6.7%, during the same time period. The most significant change was the amount of people with less than a high school diploma, which plummeted from 43.6% (1970) to 3.8% (2013).

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