Quality of Life

Iron County offers your business and your family a unique relocation or expansion opportunity -- a quality of life among the best in the country.

Iron County is “just north enough” to escape the crowds. Yet we are close enough to offer exceptional four-season recreation fun plus exciting business and living opportunities.

Here you’ll find a variety of natural surroundings that other areas can only envy. Fifteen pristine waterfalls cascade through our forests. The rugged Penokee Range rises teton-like over historic iron mining communities.

Blue gems of 214 peaceful lakes, the wild shores of the Turtle-Flambeau and Gile Flowages, are home to majestic loons and bald eagles. Lake Superior, the world’s mightiest freshwater lake, laps our northern shores.

A Cost of Living you can LIVE with.

The cost of living is substantially lower here than the national average and much lower than most large metropolitan areas.

  • State Sales Tax 5%
  • County Sales Tax 0.5%
  • Personal Income Tax 4.90% to 6.93%

A high value is placed on education.


  • The two school districts of Iron County, Hurley K-12 and Mercer School District, offer modern schools that are responsive to the student’s needs.
  • A small teacher/student ration provides ample opportunity for individualized” attention and quality learning.
  • Hurley School technologically advanced including smart boards
  • Drop-out rates are among the lowest in Wisconsin.

Post Secondary

  • Gogebic Community College, enrollment 1500, in neighboring Ironwood, Michigan offers two-year associate degrees in pre-professional transfer programs as well as technical career programs. The college offers one of only two Ski Area Management programs in the nation and has a full-service ski hill right on campus!

Vocational, Technical & Adult Education

  • Nicolet Technical College, Rhinelander.
  • Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College, Ashland


  • Northland College, Ashland: a 4-year bachelor degree college; internationally known for its outstanding environmental degree programs.
    The University of Wisconsin-Superior: less than 2 hours away; offers bachelor's and master's degree programs in a variety of majors.

Health Care

Modern health care facilities and medical professionals are readily available in the Greater Iron County area.

  • Aspirus Ironwood Hospital: A 72 bed, full-service acute care hospital in Ironwood, linked with regional medical centers by medical helicopter service.


  • Aspirus Hurley Clinic-Hurley, WI
  • Mercer Clinic, an affiliate of the Marshfield Clinic, Mercer
  • Aspirus Ironwood Clinic-Ironwood, MI

Nursing Homes

  • Two nursing home centers with 100 bed capacity offer full service and in-home care.

Medical Professionals

  • The area offers a full complement of medical services including several dental practices, 2 optometrists, and 4 chiropractic clinics.

Crime Rate... Among the lowest in Wisconsin

Serious Crimes per 1000 Population

  • Iron County - 26.4
  • Wisconsin - 43.8

No Culture “Up North”?

The Greater Iron County Area boasts the greatest concentration of fine arts and cultural events of any northern Wisconsin community—to participate in or to just enjoy.


  • Historic Ironwood Theater: a “Lively Arts” series of symphony, drama and ballet performances. Gogebic Range Players: an 80 member community theater group; 2 major musicals, other plays performed at the Ironwood Theater yearly.
  • Theater North: a 100 member community theater group; a major musical and children’s theater yearly on the Theater North Stage.

Historical Societies

  • Iron County Historical Society - Old Iron County Courthouse, Hurley
  • Mercer Area Historic Society – Old Depot, Mercer
  • Ironwood Historical Society – Old Depot, Ironwood


  • Hurley City Library, Hurley
  • Mercer Town Library, Mercer
  • Carnegie Library, Ironwood
  • Gogebic Community College Library, Ironwood