The US state of Wisconsin is situated in the north-central region or Mid-west part of the United States. The state of Wisconsin shares its borders along with Minnesota towards the west, Iowa to the southwest, Illinois towards the south, Lake Michigan to the east, the state of Michigan towards the northeast, and Lake Superior to the north. Wisconsin's capital is Madison, and Milwaukee is its largest city. As of the year 2010, the state's 72 counties have a total of 5,686,986 residents.
The state of Wisconsin had a 2010 gross state product of $248.3 billion, 21st best of all US states. During 2008, the per capita personal income was $35,239. The economy of the state of Wisconsin is driven by agriculture, health care and manufacturing. Even if manufacturing accounts for a far greater part of the state's income as opposed to farming, Wisconsin is commonly perceived as a farming state.
In the month of October the year 2010, the biggest employers in the state of Wisconsin were: University of Wisconsin-Madison, Milwaukee Public Schools, Wal-Mart, U.S. Postal Service, Wisconsin Department of Corrections, Menards, Marshfield Clinic, Aurora Health Care Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs and City of Milwaukee.
The state is the leader in cheese production, producing around 25% of the country's cheese. The state of Wisconsin ranks 2nd after California in production of milk, and third behind Vermont and Idaho in per-capita milk production. The state of Wisconsin is second in production of butter, producing around 25% of the nation's butter. The state places first nationally in corn production for silage, snap beans for processing and cranberries ginseng. It grows over half the national crop of cranberries and 97% of the country's ginseng. The state of Wisconsin is also a top producer of potatoes, oats, carrots, tart cherries, sweet corn for processing and maple syrup. The significance of Wisconsin's agricultural production is exemplified by the depiction of a wheel of cheese, a Holstein cow and an ear of corn on Wisconsin's 50 State Quarters design.
Commercial food processing is a huge part of Wisconsin's manufacturing sectors, including brands like for example Oscar Mayer, Tombstone frozen pizza, Johnsonville brats, and Usinger's sausage. Kraft Foods alone employs more than 5,000 individuals within the state. Milwaukee is a key producer of beer and was formerly headquarters for Miller Brewing Company, the 2nd largest brewer in the country, until it merged together with Coors Brewing Company. Formerly, Blatz, Pabst and Schlitz were cornerstone breweries within Milwaukee.
Tourism is also a main trade in the state of Wisconsin, with many tourist destinations like the Circus World Museum in Baraboo, the House on the Rock near Spring Green and The Wisconsin Dells also draw thousands of visitors annually, and festivals comprising Summerfest and the EAA Oshkosh Airshow draw worldwide attention, along with hundreds of thousands of visitors. Moreover, the large number of lakes and rivers within the state has allowed water recreation to become extremely popular.
The distinctive Door Peninsula, that extends off the eastern coast of the state of Wisconsin, contains one of the state's tourist destinations, Door County. Door County is a famous destination for boaters because of the huge number of natural ports, harbors and bays on the Green Bay and Lake Michigan side of the peninsula which forms the county.