Wireless Sensor Networks (WSN) is an increasingly growing field, due to its enormous applications. In WSNs, energy conservation is the most important design challenge. In WSNs, unequal clustering can be classified as the best data transmission method that saves energy, where the size of the cluster changes in proportion to the cluster head’s (CH’s) distance from the base station (BS), so as to prevent energy holes/hot-spots from being formed. We have developed GA-UCR in this paper, a “Genetic Algorithm based Unequal Clustering and Routing Protocol for Wireless Sensor Networks”. For CH election, genetic algorithm (GA) has been utilized with three fitness functions- remaining energy of CH nodes, distance between CH and BS/sink, and inter-cluster separation. For inter-cluster multi-hopping, to route the data towards BS, again GA is utilized due to the NP-Hard nature of the problem, with three fitness functions-residual/remaining energy of next hop nodes, CH to next hop node distance and number of hops. Simulation outcomes and analysis show that with reference to energy consumption, network lifetime and scalability, the proposed algorithm exceeds the existing algorithms such as Direct propagation, LEACH, TL-LEACH, GCA, EAERP and GAECH.