Madison is the county seat of Dane County and the capital city of the U.S. state of Wisconsin. As of the 2020 census the population was 269,840, making it the second-largest city in Wisconsin by population, after Milwaukee, and the 80th-largest in the U.S. The city forms the core of the Madison Metropolitan Area which includes Dane County and neighboring Iowa, Green, and Columbia counties for a population of 680,796. Madison is named for American Founding Father and President James Madison. The city is located on the traditional land of the Ho-Chunk, and the Madison area is known as Dejope, meaning "four lakes", or Taychopera, meaning "land of the four lakes", in the Ho-Chunk language.
Located on an isthmus and lands surrounding four lakesLake Mendota, Lake Monona, Lake Kegonsa and Lake Waubesathe city is home to the University of WisconsinMadison, the Wisconsin State Capitol, the Overture Center for the Arts, and the Henry Vilas Zoo. Madison is home to an extensive network of parks and bike trails; it has the most parks and playgrounds per capita of any of the 100 largest U.S. cities and is one of five communities to have received a "Platinum Bicycle Friendly Community" rating from the League of American Bicyclists. Madison is also home to nine National Historic Landmarks, including several buildings designed by architect Frank Lloyd Wright, such as his 1937 Jacobs I House, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Residents of Madison are known as Madisonians. Madison has long been a center for progressive political activity, protests, and demonstrations, and contemporary Madison is considered the most politically liberal city in Wisconsin. The presence of the University of WisconsinMadison (the largest employer in the state) as well as other educational institutions has a significant impact on the economy, culture, and demographics of Madison.
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