Portage, Wisconsin

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Portage is a city in and the county seat of Columbia County, Wisconsin, United States.[3] The population was 9,728 at the 2000 census[2] making it the largest city in Columbia County. The city is part of the Madison Metropolitan Statistical Area.

Portage was named for the Fox-Wisconsin Waterway, a portage between the Fox River and the Wisconsin River, which was recognized by Jacques Marquette and Louis Joliet during their discovery of a route to the Mississippi River in 1673. The city's slogan is "Where the North Begins".

Portage is the largest city outside of Dane County in the Madison Metropolitan Area.



Portage is located at 43°32′45″N 89°27′48″W / 43.54583°N 89.46333°W / 43.54583; -89.46333 (43.545704, -89.463199)[4]. Portage lies in the Wisconsin River valley. The city is surrounded by prairies and grasslands. Approximately three miles (5 km) west of the city are the Baraboo bluffs. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 9.0 square miles (23.4 km²), of which, 8.3 square miles (21.5 km²) of it is land and 0.7 square miles (1.9 km²) of it (8.09%) is water.


As of the census[2] of 2000, there were 9,728 people, 3,770 households, and 2,228 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,172.9 people per square mile (453.1/km²). There were 3,970 housing units at an average density of 478.7/sq mi (184.9/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 92.76% White, 3.90% African American, 0.51% Native American, 0.71% Asian, 0.05% Pacific Islander, 0.85% from other races, and 1.21% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3.39% of the population.

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