Eau Claire Awards and Recognitions

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Top 5 - Best College Towns in the U.S. ranks Eau Claire #5 on its list of the Top 20 Best College Towns in the U.S. citing a 16-point improvement in the local unemployment rate, short commute times and "a young adult population that consists of around 30 percent of all residents, and more than half of people in the city are enrolled in college or graduate school" for our Top 5 ranking in its 2019-2020 list.   October 2019

10 Best College Towns in the U.S. ranks Eau Claire in the top ten based on quality of life metrics including performing arts, reasonable rents, safety, quality of resident schools, nightlife/restaurants, and more, and called it one of "the most dynamic college towns in the midwest."  January 2020

Top 5 Most Affordable Homes in the U.S.
Eau Claire ranks #5 on's list of Most Affordable Homes in the United States using data from the U.S. Census Bureau and the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies.  December 2019

Top 100 Places To Live
From “Eau Claire is great city to live in. There's always something exciting going on from live music, to shows and performances, to hiking, biking, kayaking, and much more. The overwhelming sense of community and good-natured people make it feel like home to both locals and visitors while the emphasis on arts and culture keep it fun and interesting.” October 2019

Rubber, art, music and a collective transformation in Eau Claire
"More than $200 million in commercial, private and public projects over the last six years have transformed the city center with new housing, office buildings, restaurants and boutique hotels."   From the Destination Wisconsin: Plan your next trip in your own backyard series. Written by Barry Adams, Wisconsin State Journal    July 2019

Best Small Cities to Live in Wisconsin
Eau Claire ranked 12th on the list of Best Small Cities to Live in Wisconsin by  They ranked a total of 2,509 qualified cities by five factors: employment, housing, quality of life, education (percentage with a bachelor’s degree or higher); and health.  June 2019

Work Less and Earn More
Once a hub for both the manufacturing and lumber industries, Eau Claire has successfully evolved into a thriving center of tech manufacturing and health care.  MarketWatch reports that RewardExpert ranks Eau Claire fifth on its list "due to the fact that it has the fourth-shortest workweek out of the 387 studied metropolitan areas. The average hourly wage for its residents clocks in slightly above the national average".  June 2019

Best Small Cities for Small Businesses bases their ranking off six metrics: education level of the local workforce, in-city commute times, income per capita, broadband access, availability of SBA loans, and overall tax friendliness.   April 2019.

Eau Claire featured on Around the Corner with John McGivern on Wisconsin Public Television
"Eau Claire really IS the definition of renaissance."  Join Emmy Winning actor John McGivern as he looks at all facets of life in Eau Claire.  "The new Pablo Center for the Arts, lighted bridges and public art, many company headquarters and Phoenix Park have transformed downtown EC. Old foundational places that could never be replaced, like the Court’n House and the Paul Bunyan Logging Camp Museum, retain the roots of this city. And new things in old spaces, like the Lismore and Oxbow hotels, Banbury Place in the old Uniroyal plant, and tons of renovation on the UW-EC Campus prove a commitment to reinvestment and renovation. This is a city infused with music, youthful energy, Kubb and tons of activity, all supported by investment and commitment."  Season 8 Episode 13 - Premiered: April 2019

Eau Claire included in America's Best Small Cities to Move to Before They Get Too Popular list
"If you want to make friends in this life -- real friends, the sort you'll hang with for the rest of  your days -- then spend a few winters..." in Eau Claire. Thrillist - August 2018.

Music Leads a Revival in Eau Claire, Wisconsin with a little help from a hometown icon - Midwest Living Magazine
After a run of international tours and collaborations with artists like Kanye West, the indie-rock hero has doubled down on the city that raised him. “Some people feel they were born in the wrong place. I feel I was born in the right one,” Justin says. He still lives in Eau Claire. And his success has added fuel to the creative fire in this outdoor gateway 90 miles east of Minneapolis.  May/June 2018

Eau Claire featured on Wisconsin Public Television program Wisconsin Hometown Stories

"It was so good I didn't get up to get dinner; didn't want to miss any of it!"  Eau Claire's rich history captivated viewers of Wisconsin Public Television's "Wisconsin Hometown Stories" program when it premiered in July 2018, becoming one of the most highly viewed programs on WPT that month.  The program tells the story of how the city was shaped by the confluence of the Eau Claire and Chippewa rivers and its role as an innovator in global manufacturing, winter sports, arts, and the fight for civil rights in baseball.  Wisconsin Hometown Stories: Eau Claire can be viewed online Click Here 

Eau Claire - Top 10 of Wisconsin's Most Underrated Towns/Hidden Gems (by Discover Wisconsin's The Bobber)
Beautiful rivers, wonderful music and one-of-a-kind attractions are just part of what makes the city of Eau Claire so amazing. The local pride in Eau Claire is strong and it’s easy to see why. For starters, it’s located at the confluence of the Eau Claire and Chippewa rivers, meaning stunning riverfront views and water activities abound here. But perhaps it’s Eau Claire’s music scene that truly sets this northwest Wisconsin town apart. Home of bigtime music festivals such as Country Jam, Blue Ox Music Festival and Eaux Claires—the latter of which was created by Bon Iver, frontman and Eau Claire native, Justin Vernon—Eau Claire thrives on all styles and varieties of music. The city is also full of interesting trivia: It’s the Horseradish Capital of the World and the place where Hank Aaron started his professional baseball career.

Eau Claire - An All-America City Award Winner
Out of 25 cities nominated nationwide, Eau Claire was selected as one of ten All-America City Award winners for 2014, the country’s most prestigious award for outstanding, community based civic accomplishments. This year the National Civic League focused on the theme ‘Healthy Communities.’ Winners were selected for having demonstrated “innovation, civic engagement, and cross-sector collaboration” in meeting the challenges facing their community.

Eau Claire Ranks #4 in Work-Life Balance
According to a Forbes report, the national, personal finance site NerdWallet has ranked Eau Claire as the fourth-best city for Work-Life Balance in 2014. Weekly hours worked by full-time, year-round workers in the 536 largest cities across the country, along with commute time, income, and cost of living were used to determine the cities that offer employees the best chance to achieve healthy work-life balance.

US News Ranks UW-Eau Claire among Top Five Public Universities in the Midwest
The 2012 edition of "America's Best Colleges" ranks UW-Eau Claire #5 among the top regional public universities in the Midwest and 32nd among all private and public institutions in the Midwest. The U.S. News and World Report have ranked UW-Eau Claire among the top public institutions in the Midwest every year since 1995. 

Eau Claire Recognized as a Leading Location for Economic and Job Growth
Area Development, an executive publication covering site-selection, facility planning, and relocation, recently ranked Eau Claire 61st out of 365 Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSA) in the United States for Economic and Job Growth.

Eau Claire Named one of the Best Places to Retire
In a recent article by Yahoo Finance, Eau Claire was named in the top ten cities to retire on $100 a day. The list, compiled by AARP Magazine, focused on areas where retirees could live comfortably and affordably on a budget. Eau Claire's low cost of living, easy access to high-quality healthcare, recreational opportunities and cultural events make Eau Claire one of the Best Places to Retire.

Forbes Recognizes Eau Claire as one of the Best Small Places for Business and Careers
Forbes recently released its annual Best Places for Business and Careers, naming Eau Claire 66th out of 184 "Small Places" with a population under 250,000. In the "Small Place" category, Eau Claire ranked 101st in Cost of Business, 93rd in Job Growth, and 48th in Education.

Eau Claire ranks 23rd of America’s Brainiest Cities.
A study used a new metric developed by Lumos Labs, and is based on brain performance and cognitive capacity. To measure the smartest cities, scientists tracked over a million individuals and rated them in five areas: memory, processing speed, flexibility, attention, and problem solving. The information was then linked with education attainment, knowledge, and creative work. names Eau Claire 7th Best City for Cheapskates!
This means your dollar will stretch a lot further in Eau Claire compared to other cities. The study looked at metropolitan areas where the cost of living is low, but incomes levels are high relative to those costs. Kiplinger also considered the amount of free (or almost free) things to do that the area has to offer, siting the Chippewa River Trail System and Lake Wissota specifically.

Eau Claire Well Above Average in State Comparison
Eau Claire County ranked 19th overall for 2012 Wisconsin County health rankings according to the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Eau Claire performed particularly well in its clinical care and socioeconomic factors, ranking 5th and 12th respectively, among 72 total counties.