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Stevens Point, Wisconsin
—  City  —
Nickname(s): Gateway to the Pineries
Location of Stevens Point, Wisconsin
Coordinates: 44°31′23″N 89°33′37″W / 44.52306°N 89.56028°W / 44.52306; -89.56028
Country United States
State Wisconsin
County Portage
 - Mayor Andrew Halverson
 - City 16.2 sq mi (42.0 km2)
 - Land 15.3 sq mi (39.7 km2)
 - Water 0.9 sq mi (2.4 km2)
Elevation 1,089 ft (332 m)
Population (2000)
 - City 24,551
 Density 1,603.7/sq mi (619.2/km2)
 Metro 48,123
Time zone CST (UTC−6)
 - Summer (DST) CDT (UTC−5)
FIPS code 55-77200[1]
GNIS feature ID 1574878[2]

Stevens Point is a city in and the county seat of Portage County, Wisconsin, United States.[3] Located in the central part of the state, it is the largest city in the county, with a population of 24,551 at the 2000 census. Its estimated 2008 population was 25,327.[4]

The city was incorporated in 1858.

The city forms the core of the United States Census Bureau's Stevens Point Micropolitan Statistical Area, which includes all of Portage County (2000 population: 67,182). Together with surrounding communities, the Stevens Point micropolitan area was, according to the 2000 census, home to 48,123 people, and was the 481st most populous area in the United States.

Stevens Point is home to the University of Wisconsin–Stevens Point and a campus of Mid-State Technical College.



Stevens Point was named after its founder, George Stevens, who operated a grocery and supply business on the river. Loggers on the Wisconsin River found this a convenient stopping point, as the river bends slightly and one could tell from far upstream whether Stevens' point was open for business.[5]


According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 42.1 km² (16.2 mi²). 39.7 km² (15.3 mi²) of it is land and 2.4 km² (0.9 mi²) of it (5.61%) is water.

It is surrounded by several smaller villages and towns, including Plover, Whiting, Custer, Park Ridge, Stockton, and the Town of Hull.

The average temperature ranges from about 20° to 80° Fahrenheit (-10 to 25 °C). All four seasons can be distinctly observed, with snow falling most heavily in December and January and temperatures rising to their average summer levels of about 70 °F (20 °C) in July and August.


As of the census[1] of 2000, there were 24,551 people, 9,305 households, and 4,652 families residing in the city. The population density was 619.2/km² (1,603.2/mi²). There were 9,749 housing units at an average density of 245.9/km² (636.6/mi²). The racial makeup of the city was 92.53% White, 0.47% African American, 0.46% Native American, 4.78% Asian, 0.09% Pacific Islander, 0.48% from other races, and 1.19% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.61% of the population.

There were 9,305 households out of which 23.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 37.8% were married couples living together, 8.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 50.0% were non-families. 33.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.29 and the average family size was 2.95.

In the city, the population was spread out, with 18.2% under the age of 18, 30.8% from 18 to 24, 23.8% from 25 to 44, 15.0% from 45 to 64, and 12.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 26 years. For every 100 females there were 92.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 90.1 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $38,178, and the median income for a family was $53,176. Males had a median income of $37,894 versus $28,114 for females. The per capita income for the city was $23,510. About 6.3% of families and 17.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 11.8% of those under the age of 18 and 8.0% of those 65 and older.



Stevens Point is home to the University of Wisconsin–Stevens Point, established in 1894 as the Stevens Point Normal School. The university enrolls approximately 8700 students in both undergraduate and graduate degree programs. Mid-State Technical College (MSTC), a technical college, is also located in the city.

The Stevens Point Area School District serves the city, [6] as does the Stevens Point Area Catholic Schools system. Public elementary schools include Bannach, Jefferson School for the Arts, Kennedy, Madison, McDill, McKinley, Roosevelt, Plover-Whiting, and Washington Service-Learning Center. There are two junior high schools, Ben Franklin and P. J. Jacobs, and two high schools, Stevens Point Area Senior High (SPASH) and Charles F. Fernandez Center for Alternative Learning. Parochial schools in Stevens Point include St. Paul Lutheran School (PreK-8), St. Joseph Early Childhood Center, St. Stanislaus (K-2) and St. Stephen Elementary (3-5) Schools, St. Peter Middle School, and Pacelli High School.[7][8]


US 51.svg
U.S. 51 Northbound US 51 to Hurley. Southbound, US 51 New Orleans, Louisiana.
I-39 Northbound to Wausau Southbound, routes to Chicago, Illinois.
US 10.svg
US 10 travels east to Detroit and west to Fargo.
WIS 66.svg
WIS 66 travels east to Rosholt, and west toWisconsin Rapids.
WIS 54.svg
WIS 54 travels east to New London and west to Onalaska.

The city is served by two airports. Commercial service is available through Central Wisconsin Airport (CWA), located midway between Stevens Point and Wausau. CWA is served by three major airlines. General aviation, air cargo, and charter flights use the Stevens Point Municipal Airport (STE).

Stevens Point Transit system is a public transportation service serving the city.


The Sisters of St. Joseph of the Third Order of St. Francis have their mother house in Stevens Point. Catholic parishes in the city include St. Stanislaus Kostka, the Newman University Parish, St. Stephen, St. Casimir, St. Peter, and St. Joseph. There are also a few Lutheran and other Protestant churches in the area. There are also members of the Bahá'í Faith in the city and county.[9][10][11]



Business and industry

Major employers in the area include NewPage Corporation paper mill, Sentry Insurance, the Noel Group (travel and insurance), Copps Corporation, the Donaldson Company, Skyward (software design), Joerns Medical, Lands' End, Canadian National Railway, Delta Dental of Wisconsin, Worzalla Publishing, and the Stevens Point Brewery.

A number of companies have corporate headquarters in the city, including AIG Travel Guard, Sentry Insurance, Delta Dental of Wisconsin. Associated Bank, Furniture and Appliancemart, and the Donaldson Company operate regional headquarters in Stevens Point.

Stevens Point is located in the geographic center of Wisconsin, making it a convenient destination for state conventions and youth sporting events, including soccer and hockey.

Business developments in the area include Crossroads Commons located along I-39 and County Road HH; Portage County Business Park, located north of Crossroads Commons; Venture Drive and Corporate Center, adjacent to both the Crossroads Commons and the Portage County Business park; Stevens Point Industrial Park, located along I-39; the Eastridge and Parkdale Plazas, and Stevens Points East Side, all on the city's east side; and CenterPoint Marketplace and downtown Stevens Point.


Stevens Point is home to a community theater group (cwACT), a children's museum, and a group of museums run by the Portage County Historical Society, including the Beth Israel Congregation Museum, located in the former synagogue. (The synagogue has been defunct since 1985.)[12]

The Central Wisconsin Symphony Orchestra (CWSO) presents four concerts each season.[13]

City-wide events range from the Fourth of July Riverfront Rendezvous to the Portage County Cultural Festival.[14]

The downtown area was designated a "Wisconsin Main Street Community" and offers specialty shops, restaurants, an enclosed shopping mall, and offices. The city and county offices are located downtown, as well as a major bank regional headquarters and two major insurance companies. The downtown also offers a night life on "the Square" that is popular with college students.

Stevens Point hosts the world's largest trivia contest, run by UWSP's radio station, WWSP-FM. The contest, which typically involves over 12,000 contestants in more than 400 teams, is usually held the last weekend of April every year and lasts for 54 straight hours.


The area has 20 developed parks, a 26-mile (42 km) bicycle and jogging trail (the Green Circle Trail) that surrounds and winds through the city, and the Ice Age National Scenic Trail, which runs through the city. The city also has an 18-hole Robert Trent Jones-designed golf course and a country club. The Schmeeckle Reserve, a nature reserve, is located on the University of Wisconsin–Stevens Point campus.


Stevens Point was listed in Relocate-America's Top 10 Best Places to Live in 2007 and 2008 for the United States and listed in the Top 100 for 2009.[citation needed] It was also listed as Number 9 on the Top Ten DreamTowns of America website, stating "This is easily the most affordable of America's 10 dreamtowns. The cost of a typical home is $28,500 lower in Stevens Point than in Mankato, the second-cheapest place on this elite list. Other pluses in the Point are short commutes, strong schools and a sizable stock of big houses." [15] ranked Stevens Point as the 18th best place to retire.[16] The magazine stated that there was "plenty for retirees to do in the summertime" as well as the winter, including hiking, biking, and skiing the Green Circle Trail.

Notable people associated with Stevens Point

See also


External links

Coordinates: 44°31′23″N 89°33′37″W / 44.523036°N 89.560321°W / 44.523036; -89.560321


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