La Crosse is a city in and the county seat of La Crosse County, Wisconsin, United States. The city lies alongside the Mississippi River. The population of La Crosse was 51,818 at the 2000 census. Its 2009 final population estimate was 51,900. The city forms the core of, and is the principal city in the La Crosse Metropolitan Statistical Area, which includes all of La Crosse County and Houston County, Minnesota, with a combined population of 126,838.