The history of Janesville is one of expansion, as key companies and industries made a substantial mark on the development of the city that was the home to various native American tribes for centuries. By 1900 Janesville was a small modern city. By 1925, with the emergence of the auto industry as key to the region, Janesville had a population of 22,186. A century later, Janesville is home to companies that embrace new technologies and innovation across sectors to serve customers around the globe. The layout of Janesville, curved along the Rock River and dotted with public parks and space, has allowed the city to cultivate a strong economy and a good quality of life.
As Janesville looks to the future, our community knows that we must be deliberate in our actions to create outcomes that will make Janesville a city that both retains our citizens and attracts newcomers. As we look to a very changing landscape for a future, we recognize we must be diligent in our work to create a vibrant Janesville for all. The Janesville Community Dashboard, supported by Forward Janesville and its private, public, and not for profit members, focuses on providing objective data and measurement that can help develop a plan for moving our community forward.
The largest city in the Rock County region, Janesville has seen considerable growth over the last five years. Since 2016, Janesville's population has grown by 2.5%.
Real GDP is an inflation-adjusted measure of each metropolitan area's gross product that is based on national prices for the goods and services produced within the metropolitan area. Rock County’s GDP has risen by over $800 million since 2017.
Part 1 crimes include all violent crimes as well as property crimes. This metric shows Janesville's number of Part 1 Index Crimes per year per 100,000 of population, which has declined by over 39% since 2017.
In Janesville's 2021 Community Survey, 76% of respondents agreed with the statement “Janesville is a good place to live"
The percentage of 3rd grade students reading at or above grade level has declined to 51% from its 2018 (56%) and 2019 (58%) percentages. The school district’s goal is for 90% of 3rd grade students to read at or above grade level. 2020 data was not available for many educational metrics due to the pandemic.
To meet this criteria, a student must have A.) an identified career cluster and B.) two or more of the following: a 90% attendance rate, an industry credential, a workplace learning experience, dual credit in a career pathway, participation in co-curricular activities, and/or 25 hours of community service.
Janesville’s graduation rate has increased gradually and steadily since 2017, including a 1.4% increase in 2021. The school district’s goal is to increase graduation rates by 1% per year and to reach 92% by the year 2022.
The WI Department of Public Instruction (DPI) produces report cards for every publicly funded school district. A district's score places it into one of five categories: Significantly Exceeds Expectations (score: 100 to 83), Exceeds Expectations (82.9 to 70), Meets Expectations (69.9 to 58), Meets Few Expectations (57.9 to 48), and Fails to Meet Expectations (47.9 and below).
The average unemployment rate in the Janesville Beloit MSA decreased by .5% from 2021. The unemployment rate represents the number of unemployed people as a percentage of the labor force, and is calculated as: (unemployed ÷ labor force) x 100.
The average Civilian Labor Force (the number of people who are either working or actively looking for work) in the Janesville-Beloit MSA decreased by 523 workers from 2021. The labor force includes all people aged 16 and older who are classified as either employed or unemployed.
Rock County employers listed, on average, 2,779 more jobs per month in 2021 than they did in 2020. We list this metric in red because while a thriving community should have jobs for its citizens, it becomes a community negative if those jobs remain unfilled.
This metric represents the average monthly number of unemployed people in the Janesville-Beloit MSA. The monthly average number of unemployed people in the area dropped by 714 from 2021 to 2022.
Cities use the percentage of net new construction (NNC) as a valuation factor in determining the allowable tax levy. To determine the allowable tax levy increase, a city divides the net new construction dollars by its equalized assessed value (EAV) to calculate the percentage the levy may increase.
Rock County’s Median Household Income continues to trend in the right direction, rising by $14,810 since 2016. Household income includes income of the householder and all other people 15 years and older in the household, whether or not they are related to the householder.
Rock County saw the number of business applications jump by 324 from 2020 to 2021. The U.S. Census Bureau measures business initiation activity by applications for an Employer Identification Number (EIN) on IRS Form SS-4.
Janesville saw a 11.9% increase in the number of commercial permits issued in 2021. This metric represents a combination of the two types of commercial permits: addition/remodel permits issued for improvements to existing properties, and commercial permits issued for new construction projects.
This ranking means that Rock County was the 11th unhealthiest WI county in 2022, but we are moving in the right direction. This metric takes dozens of factors into account, including length and quality of life, health behaviors, clinical care, and physical environment.
Rock County’s adult obesity percentage stayed at 37% in 2022. These figures represent the percentage of the adult population (age 20 and older) that reports a body mass index (BMI) greater than or equal to 30.
Life expectancy in Rock County fell by 0.6 years in 2022, but is significantly higher than the national average (76.6 years in 2021).
The percentage of Rock County citizens who self-report being in poor or fair health dropped by 1% in 2022. Self-reported health status is a widely used measure of people’s health-related quality of life.
The median home listing price in the Janesville-Beloit MSA rose by $53,531 from 2021 to 2022, and has risen by a total of $120,034 since 2017. The median price is in the middle of a data set, with half of the houses priced below and half priced above.
The percentage of county households that are considered mortgage or rent burdened, defined as households that spend 30% or more of their income on housing, has decreased steadily and significantly since 2016 (-5.3%).
The city has seen a steady increase in the number of building permits issued since 2018, when 82 permits were issued. This metric represents residential building permits issued for new construction projects.
When Janesville citizens were asked “How would you rate your satisfaction with the performance of the City of Janesville Police Department?” in the 2021 Janesville Community Survey, 78% responded "satisfied."
4X the nat'l avg.
This metric is calculated by dividing the total number of city park acres by the population and multiplying by 1,000. According to the National Park and Recreation Association, the average American city has 9.9 acres of park land for every 1,000 residents. This metric has shrunk over time, as our population has increased while park acreage remains static.
The number of trees planted per year has fluctuated significantly over the last five years. This metric is listed in red to show a decline in the number of trees planted in 2021 vs. 2020, but we believe the fact that the city keeps track of this metric demonstrates their commitment to environmental sustainability.
This metric measures the total number of people participating in the City of Janesville's recreation programs. Although the COVID-19 pandemic greatly impacted recreation programing, participation levels have returned to normal.
Tourism spending was dramatically impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, and rebounded in 2021 and beyond. This metric measures spending on accommodations, food and beverage, retail, entertainment, recreation and local transportation.
Janesville’s voter participation rate in spring elections has fluctuated over the last five years. The five-year average spring election voter turnout percentage is 26.2%.
Janesville saw record-high turnout in the 2020 November election. The five-year fall election voter turnout percentage is 75.4%
The City of Janesville has increased the miles of city streets resurfaced or reconstructed per year since 2014. The City’s goal is to resurface or reconstruct 12 miles of streets annually. The City owns and maintains over 330 miles of paved streets.
The PASER (Pavement Surface Evaluation and Rating) scale is used to rate the condition of road pavement using a rating system ranging from 10 (excellent) to 1 (failed road condition).
This metric contains jobs in 33 different IT/tech sectors; everything from Computer and Information Systems Management (99 jobs) to Avionics Technicians (less than 10 jobs).
This information is culled from earnings data from 23 IT/tech job categories. The highest median earnings were for information security analysts ($141,990), architectural and engineering managers ($126,485), and computer and information systems managers ($119,856).
The KESE Index is an index of four indicators of entrepreneurship activity: 1) the percentage of adults becoming entrepreneurs in a given month; 2) the percentage of new entrepreneurs driven by opportunity rather than necessity; 3) the total number of jobs per capita created by startups in their first year; and 4) the percentage of startups that remain in operation through their first year.
This figure measures the percent of Wisconsin startups that are still active after one year. This figure was stagnant from 2016-2020.
Blackhawk Technical College has seen 5% enrollment growth since 2018, and steady increases each year.
Blackhawk Technical College graduates have seen their starting average wages grow steadily each year since 2018. Graduate wages have risen over 16 percent since 2018 ($44,457 in 2021 vs. $38,219 in 2018).
UW-Whitewater at Rock County’s Fall Enrollment dropped by 50 students from 2021-2022. The campus’s enrollment has declined since 2018, when the fall enrollment was 975 students.
While UW-Whitewater at Rock County’s number of degrees awarded dropped in 2021, it is far above the 2019 figure, when 38 degrees were awarded.