Wisconsin Dells is a city located in south-central Wisconsin, in the United States. As of the 2000 census, the city population was 2,418. Together with nearby Lake Delton, the city forms an area known as "the Dells," a popular Midwestern tourist destination boasting an estimated 5 million annual visitors. Wisconsin Dells is located partially within four counties: Adams County, Columbia County, Juneau County, Sauk County. The city takes its name from the Dells of the Wisconsin River, a spectacular glacially-formed gorge that features striking sandstone rock formations along the banks of the Wisconsin River.
With 18 indoor and 3 outdoor water parks in "the Dells" region, Wisconsin Dells proclaims itself as the "Water Park Capital of the World," and it boasts the largest outdoor water park in the U.S. (see Noah's Ark), as well as the nation's largest indoor water park resort (see Kalahari Resort). Other attractions in "the Dells" include the Dells Boat Tours, golf, mini golf, go-karts, water sports, horseback riding, the Tommy Bartlett Thrill Show, the Ho-Chunk Casino and many other places of interest. Accommodations range from economical motels to RV parks to extravagant themed resorts.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 11.4 km2 (4.4 mi2). 10.7 km2 (4.2 mi2) of it is land and 0.6 km2 (0.2 mi2) of it (5.68%) is water. According to the Wisconsin Department of Administration, on January 19, 2004 the city annexed land from the Town of Lyndon in Juneau County, thus expanding the city to include area in four counties.
As of the censusGR2 of 2000, there were 2,418 people, 1,019 households, and 609 families residing in the city. The population density was 225.0/km2 (583.1/mi2). There were 1,178 housing units at an average density of 109.6/km2 (284.1/mi2). The racial makeup of the city was 97.56% White, 0.37% African American, 0.87% Native American, 0.25% Asian, 0.33% from other races, and 0.62% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.70% of the population.
There were 1,019 households out of which 26.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 45.5% were married couples living together, 10.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 40.2% were non-families. 34.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 15.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.28 and the average family size was 2.93.
In the city the population was spread out with 22.0% under the age of 18, 7.8% from 18 to 24, 27.3% from 25 to 44, 23.6% from 45 to 64, and 19.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 41 years. For every 100 females there were 87.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 86.7 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $35,699, and the median income for a family was $46,304. Males had a median income of $29,830 versus $22,553 for females. The per capita income for the city was $23,447. About 4.0% of families and 7.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 9.7% of those under age 18 and 3.0% of those age 65 or over.