A BLUE-RIBBON COUNTY

If the Wisconsin State Fair had a welfare-caseload reduction contest, rural Marquette County (pop. about 13,000) would walk off with the blue ribbon. In a state that is fast shedding cases, Marquette's drop has been the steepest: down 91% in the past decade. And it's one of a handful of thinly populated counties that have got the number of "work-qualified" households on their welfare rolls down to a notable benchmark: zero.

It isn't that Marquette has no welfare cases. The county is 13 families away from that distinction. But for reasons ranging from disability to care of a child younger than...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!