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Best Places to Live in Indiana

If you’re looking for an affordable place to live in the Midwest, look no further than the Hoosier State. Indiana’s charm is in its small towns and friendly people.

There’s a lot more to Indiana than basketball and corn. Yes, Indiana has lots of farmland and basketball goals hung on barns, but it has its share of great cities—both large and small.

Indiana’s moto is the “Crossroads of America” because of the major highways crisscrossing the state. And its capital, Indianapolis, is home to the Indianapolis 500, one of the largest sporting events in the world.

Here’s our list of the 10 best places to live in Indiana.

Carmel

Just 10–15 miles from downtown Indianapolis, Carmel has a small-town vibe with great schools and safe neighborhoods. Even though Carmel is part of the Indianapolis metro area, it isn’t just a commuter town for people who work in Indy. The city is home to more than 125 corporate headquarters (including Delta Faucet and CNO Financial Group).1

The walkable city center has been revitalized in the last 25 years to create the Carmel Arts & Design District, an area with art galleries, shops and restaurants (A2Z Café is a local favorite). Throughout the year, Carmel offers more than 100 free events—from concerts to art festivals.

And if being outdoors is more your speed, Carmel has a top-notch parks system with more than 200 miles of trails for biking, walking or running.2

Population

101,2863

Median Household Income

$130,3324

Average Monthly Rent

$1,6235

Median Home Value

$465,9006

Average Annual Rainfall

43.3 inches7

Indianapolis Metro

Indianapolis is the capital of Indiana and its largest city by far. Being a big city comes with advantages, like professional sports teams (the NBA’s Indiana Pacers and NFL’s Indianapolis Colts), easy health care access, and a first-class airport. (Indianapolis International Airport has been named the best airport in the country for 11 years running.)8

Indianapolis is also home of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, which hosts one of the largest sporting events in the world, the Indy 500. And the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis is the world’s largest children’s museum.

Manufacturing (Cummins), pharmaceuticals (Eli Lilly), and tech (Salesforce) are key players in the local economy.9 But Indy also is one of the best places for small businesses.

While some parts of Indy have high crime rates, it’s not hard to find suburbs that are safe. Westfield, Noblesville, Greenwood and Anderson are popular options.

Population

2,142,19310

Median Household Income

$75,82411

Average Monthly Rent

$1,19312

Median Home Value

$255,90013

Average Annual Rainfall

44.1 inches14

 

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Fishers

Fishers is among the most popular Indianapolis suburbs. Located north of Indy, it’s one of the fastest growing cities in the United States, with its population recently topping 100,000.15

Fishers has top-rated schools and low crime, making it a great place to raise a family. And it has tons to do: parks galore with 130 miles of multiuse and nature trails, fishing and boating at Geist Reservoir, and community gatherings, like the annual Boo Bash.16

A paved pedestrian path called the Nickel Plate Trail runs through downtown and connects the many local shops and restaurants (Sahm’s Restaurant is known for its pork tenderloin sandwich).

Many Fishers residents work in Indianapolis, but entrepreneurship is important to the city. It’s home to Launch Fishers, the largest coworking space in the Midwest, which was created to help small businesses and start-ups thrive.

Population

102,15217

Median Household Income

$125,15918

Average Monthly Rent

$1,51319

Median Home Value

$368,60020

Average Annual Rainfall

43.3 inches21

Zionsville

You’ll find Zionsville just about 20 minutes north of Indy. It’s a quiet escape for people who work in Indianapolis. And in the last 15 years, its population has doubled!22

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An upscale suburb, Zionsville is kind of like Stars Hollow from the show Gilmore Girls. But instead of Luke’s Diner, Zionsville has The Friendly Tavern.

Zionsville’s village-style downtown has brick-paved streets and plenty of art galleries, boutiques and restaurants. It also has a farmers market every Saturday.

Zionsville has more than 20 parks and 500 acres of parkland.23 It’s a great place to raise a family and receives top marks for its school system and its overall safety.24

Population

30,83225

Median Household Income

$152,78826

Average Monthly Rent

$1,61327

Median Home Value

$493,90028

Average Annual Rainfall

43.9 inches29

Crown Point

Crown Point is in Northern Indiana near the Illinois border. It’s sometimes called a suburb of Chicago because many residents commute back and forth to the Windy City.

Crown Point has tons of small-town charm with good schools and a historic downtown square with shops, breweries (Crown Brewing serves award-wining craft beer) and restaurants.

This town’s defining feature is the Old Lake Country Courthouse, an ornate redbrick Georgian-style building built in 1879. The city center holds several festivals throughout the year, including the annual Corn Roast.

For outdoor enthusiasts, nearby Indiana Dunes National Park has miles of sandy beaches along Lake Michigan’s south shore.

Population

33,73530

Median Household Income

$92,81031

Average Monthly Rent

$1,35832

Median Home Value

$250,80033

Average Annual Rainfall

41.8 inches34

Jeffersonville

Jeffersonville is in Southern Indiana—right across the Ohio River from Louisville, Kentucky. The city has scenic views of Louisville and a pedestrian bridge that connects parks on both sides of the river.

While many Jeffersonville residents commute to Louisville for their jobs, Jeffersonville isn’t just a bedroom community anymore. The enormous River Ridge Commerce Center has brought major employers to the city, including one of the biggest Amazon fulfillment centers in the country.35 Jeffersonville also is one of the fastest growing cities in Indiana.36

Downtown Jeffersonville has a small-town feel with local restaurants, shops and bakeries (the cake at Adrienne & Co. Bakery & Café is legendary). And music lovers will delight in free concerts at the Jeffersonville RiverStage, a floating stage anchored along the river.

Population

49,77137

Median Household Income

$67,56638

Average Monthly Rent

$1,14139

Median Home Value

$187,70040

Average Annual Rainfall

47.6 inches41

South Bend

Home to the University of Notre Dame, South Bend is a college town just a few miles from Michigan. As you might have guessed, college sports (especially football) are big in South Bend. The university is one of the city’s biggest employers, but manufacturing and health care also employ lots of residents.42

The St. Joseph River runs through the city, and it’s a great spot for fishing and rafting. A bend in the river is the city’s namesake. South Bend is 30 miles from Lake Michigan, and it gets lake-effect snow in the winter, so you’ll want to invest in a warm coat (or maybe two) if you decide to move there.

Downtown South Bend has been revitalized and now includes shops, restaurants (Fiddler’s Hearth Public House is great spot to drink a pint), apartments and condos. And if you enjoy a taste of big-city life, you’re just a two-hour train ride away from Chicago.

Population

105,98443

Median Household Income

   $51,61044

Average Monthly Rent

$1,22745

Median Home Value

$142,30046 

Average Annual Rainfall

42.4 inches47

Fort Wayne

Fort Wayne is in the heart of the Midwest, and it combines big-city features with a warm, small-town feel. The city’s low cost of living makes the dream of owning your own home a reality. And Fort Wayne has been ranked among the best cities to raise a family because of its strong school system.

With lots of shops, restaurants and breweries, downtown Fort Wayne is a popular place to live for young adults.

The area has more than 400 lakes, so there’s no shortage of outdoor fun. And each May, the city holds Kickstart, a monthlong celebration of bikes, art and music.

Manufacturing is big in Fort Wayne (it’s the Rust Belt after all), with General Motors leading the way. But tech (BAE Systems) and health care (Parkview Health) also provide job opportunities.48

Population

267,43649

Median Household Income

$58,43950 

Average Monthly Rent

$1,10651

Median Home Value

$174,00052 

Average Annual Rainfall

40.5 inches53

Evansville

Evansville is on a scenic bend in the Ohio River along the Indiana-Kentucky border. It’s the third-largest city in Indiana, and it has many of the cultural attractions you’d expect in a larger city, like the Evansville Museum of Arts, History & Science, the Mesker Park Zoo, the Evansville Philharmonic, and the Children’s Museum of Evansville. But Evansville also is close enough to Louisville, St. Louis and Indianapolis to make day trips to those cities.

Evansville’s riverfront is a picturesque setting for a walk or a picnic. And the downtown area has plenty of local eateries (ramen from 2nd Language is a favorite). Evansville’s low cost of living makes it an ideal place for families.54 And the job market is strong, with manufacturing (Toyota) and health care (Deaconess Health System) leading the way.55

Population

118,52156

Median Household Income

$48,12757

Average Monthly Rent

$1,62858

Median Home Value

$129,10059

Average Annual Rainfall

47.5 inches60

Lafayette-West Lafayette

Lafayette-West Lafayette are sister cities separated by the Wabash River. West Lafayette is home to Purdue University and that gives both cities a college-town vibe.

The walkable downtown area (that spans both cities and is connected by a pedestrian bridge) has a good mix of boutiques, art galleries, coffee shops, breweries and restaurants, including Triple XXX Family Restaurant, the oldest drive-in restaurant in Indiana. The cities also have plenty of green space, but Celery Bog Nature Area is a local favorite.

While Purdue is a major employer in Lafayette-West Lafayette, manufacturing also is big. The Subaru automotive and Wabash truck trailer plants employ thousands of residents.

Population

226,25061

Median Household Income

$56,17662

Average Monthly Rent

$1,01863

Median Home Value

$208,70064

Average Annual Rainfall

41.2 inches65

Work With a Pro if You’re Planning to Relocate

If you think Indiana sounds like your kind of place, don’t start packing yet. If you’re serious about making it Indiana your new home, you need a local real estate agent who can help you find the part of the state that’s just right for you.

 

Next Steps

  • Decide where in Indiana you want to live.
  • Interview at least three local RamseyTrusted agents.
  • Choose one who’s right for you and start your moving journey.
Find Indiana Agents

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Ramsey Solutions has been committed to helping people regain control of their money, build wealth, grow their leadership skills, and enhance their lives through personal development since 1992. Millions of people have used our financial advice through 22 books (including 12 national bestsellers) published by Ramsey Press, as well as two syndicated radio shows and 10 podcasts, which have over 17 million weekly listeners. Learn More.

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