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Milwaukee is the largest city within the state of Wisconsin and 22nd-largest in the United States. The city is the county seat of Milwaukee County and is located on the southwestern shore of Lake Michigan. As of the 2005 U.S. Census estimate, Milwaukee had a population of 578,887. The city is the main cultural and economic center of the Milwaukee-Racine-Waukesha metropolitan area with a population of 1,753,355.

Milwaukee residents are known as Milwaukeeans. Milwaukee is known as "The City of Festivals" for its great number of ethnic and musical festivals, the largest of which is Summerfest. It has also been called "Brew City," due to Milwaukee having been home to several major breweries throughout its history.

Milwaukee's location in the Midwest means that it often has rapidly changing weather, and the city experiences the full range of the seasons throughout the year. The warmest month of the year is July, when the average high temperature is 79 degrees F, with overnight low temperatures averaging 62 degrees F. January is the coldest month, with high temperatures averaging 26 degrees F, with the overnight low temperatures around 11 degrees F. Of the 50 largest cities in the United States, Milwaukee has the second-coldest average annual temperature, next to that of Minneapolis.

Most people associate Milwaukee with beer, seeing as it was once the home to four of the world's largest breweries (Schlitz, Blatz, Pabst, and Miller), and was also the number one beer producing city in the world for many years. Despite the decline in its position as the world's leading beer producer after the loss of three of those breweries, its one remaining major brewery, Miller Brewing Company, remains a key employer by employing over 1,700 of the city's workers. Due to Miller's solid position as the second-largest beer-maker in the U.S., as well as basing its world headquarters in Milwaukee, the city remains known as a beer town despite now only representing a fraction of its economy.

Milwaukee is headquarters to six Fortune 1000 manufacturers and six Fortune 1000 service companies. Among these are Briggs & Stratton, Harley-Davidson, Johnson Controls, Manpower Inc., Marshall & Ilsley, Northwestern Mutual, Rockwell Automation, Roundy's Supermarkets, Metavante, Kohl's, and Wisconsin Energy. The Milwaukee area ranked number five in the nation when measuring the number of Fortune 500 companies as a share of the population, just behind the number four Minneapolis-St. Paul region. Milwaukee also has a large number of financial service firms, particularly those specializing in mutual funds and transaction processing systems, and a disproportionate number of publishing and printing companies, including Quad/Graphics. Milwaukee is also the headquarters of the Koss Corporation and Master Lock.

The Green Bay Packers played a portion of their home schedule in Milwaukee on a regular basis from the 1930's until 1994 in the following locations:
  • Borchert Field, 1933
  • Wisconsin State Fair Park, 1934-51
  • Marquette Stadium, 1952
  • Milwaukee County Stadium, 1953-1994


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