Wisconsin (i/wɪsˈkɒnsən/) is a U.S. state located in the Midwestern United States and, in particular, in the Great Lakes region. It is bordered by Minnesota to the west, Iowa to the southwest, Illinois to the south, Lake Michigan to the east, Michigan to the northeast, and Lake Superior to the north. Wisconsin is the 23rd state by total area with 169,469 km2 and the 20th most populous with 5,686,986 inhabitants estimated in 2011. The state capital is Madison, and its largest city is Milwaukee which is located on the western shore of Lake Michigan. The state comprises 72 counties.
Wisconsin's geography is diversified, with the Northern Highland and Western Upland along with a part of the Central Plain occupying the western part of the state and lowlands stretching to the shore of Lake Michigan. Wisconsin is second to Michigan in the length of its Great Lakes coastline.
Wisconsin is known as "America's Dairyland" because of the large quantity of dairy products that are produced in the state. Manufacturing and tourism are also major contributors to the state's economy.
Wisconsin politics has been balanced between the Democratic and the Republican parties. The state has voted for the Democratic presidential candidate since 1988. In 2010 the Republicans gained a U.S. Senatorial seat and two seats in the U.S. House of Representatives. The Wisconsin State Legislature was controlled by Democrats from 1975 to 1993 and since then has shifted power between the two major parties. As a result of the 2012 general election, Republicans will hold a 60-39 seat majority in the Wisconsin State Assembly and an 18-15 seat majority in the Wisconsin State Senate.