Madison is the capital of the U.S. state of Wisconsin and the seat of Dane County. As of the 2020 census the population was 269,840 which made it the second-largest city in Wisconsin by population, after Milwaukee, and the 80th-largest in the United States. The city forms the core of the Madison Metropolitan Area which includes Dane County and neighboring Iowa, Green, and Columbia counties for a population of 680,796. Madison is named for American Founding Father and President James Madison. The city is located on the traditional land of the Ho-Chunk, and the Madison area is known as Dejope, meaning "four lakes", or Taychopera, meaning "land of the four lakes", in the Ho-Chunk language.
Located on an isthmus and lands surrounding four lakes—Lake Mendota, Lake Monona, Lake Kegonsa and Lake Waubesa—the city is home to the University of Wisconsin–Madison, the Wisconsin State Capitol, the Overture Center for the Arts, and the Henry Vilas Zoo.