Where are the best places in the state of Indiana?
To the untrained eye they are the places that have awesome economies. They’re the places in Hoosier State where people have the best jobs, residents are all above average, and the sun shines the most.
However, here at HomeSnacks, we don’t trust the untrained eye and instead look to data to understand the best places to call home in Indiana.
There might be some surprises on this list, but when you look at the unbiased data, it’s hard to argue against.
After analyzing 112 places in Indiana, we came up with this list of the best places:
- Carmel (Photos)
- St. John (Photos)
- Dyer (Photos)
- Noblesville (Photos)
- Westfield (Photos)
- Munster (Photos)
- Brownsburg (Photos)
- Jasper (Photos)
Follow along as we provide more insight into how we reached our overall best places to live in Indiana.
The Pressing Question: Size
Before we even started to collect data, we had to answer a tough question: Is it fair to pit Indianapolis with a population of 846,674 against places with a population of 18?
We firmly decided no, that just isn’t fair.
So to create our ranking, we broke places to live into three tiers:
- Cities — Populations over 5,000
- Towns — Populations between 1,000 and 5,000
- Small Towns — Populations below 1,000
This left us with 112 cities, 213 towns, and 338 small towns.
We then decided, no matter how much anyone loves their town, the best places have more of everything and therefore you need to have over 5,000 people to truly be ‘the best’.
You can see those two top tens at the bottom of the post.
How We Calculated The Best Place To Live In Indiana
Now that we had our set of cities, it was time to rank them.
We ranked each place in Indiana across a number of criteria from one to 112, with one being the best.
We then took the average rank across all criteria, with the city posting the lowest overall score being crowned the winner of the title “Best Place To Live In Indiana”.
The criteria we looked at were:
- Median Home Values
- Median Income
- Population Density (Higher better)
- Unemployment Rate
- Commute Time
- Education Levels
- Health Insurance Coverage
- Poverty rates
If your city or town isn’t among the top 10, jump down to the bottom of the post to see a detailed chart of the best places in Indiana.
Otherwise, buckle up for a ride down good living lane with Zionsville at the end of the cul-de-sac.
Population: 25,709 Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Home Values: $343,400 (1st best)
Unemployment Rate: 2.6% (2nd best)
The Town of Zionsville consistently ranks as one of the best places to live not only in Indiana, but in the nation. There aren’t any surprises here. Which probably adds credibility to our data, right?
Let’s see why Zionsville ranks so high. First of all, the homes in Zionsville are the most expensive in the state of Indiana, with the average home worth a whopping $343,400. We’re not elitists, nor are we saying that big homes means a better place to live. But price reflects demand, and simply put, a lot of people want to live in Zionsville if they can afford it.
Other numbers that stand out: Zionsville residents have the 1st highest income in the state, and the 1st lowest crime numbers in Indiana.
Population: 86,940Rank Last Year: 3 (Up 1)
Home Values: $306,500 (2nd best)
Unemployment Rate: 3.4% (12th best)
The only real difference between Carmel and those above is that Carmel residents earn the most money out of anyone in the Hoosier State. Households pull in $106,546 a year in combined incomes.
That’s lots of front row tickets to Colts games.
But Carmel homes are valued far less than those in Zionsville and Fishers. Average homes are worth $306,500.
Carmel has a 3.4% unemployment rate.
3. St. John
Population: 15,777Rank Last Year: 4 (Up 1)
Home Values: $257,000 (4th best)
Unemployment Rate: 3.2% (10th best)
With the unemployment rate being the 10th lowest in Indiana and very stable household median incomes, it’s easy to see why someone would want to live in St. John.
Plus, the crime rate is the 4th lowest in the state!
Population: 16,133 Rank Last Year: 5 (Up 1)
Home Values: $191,400 (10th best)
Unemployment Rate: 7.2% (60th best)
The Town of Dyer was recently called one of the best 100 places to live in the U.S. by CNN and Money Magazine 10 years ago, and it doesn’t look like much has changed.
Just south of Munster, Dyer has some of the highest property values in the state ($191,400), and residents earn nearly $78,043 a year, which is 8th highest in the state. Crime is far below average. Dyer is the 10th safest place in the state.
Population: 58,719Rank Last Year: 8 (Up 3)
Home Values: $177,500 (12th best)
Unemployment Rate: 3.2% (10th best)
No surprises here. Another north Indianapolis suburb, Noblesville has a lot going on. The city ranks in the top 10 when it comes to income levels, home prices and unemployment rates.
Plus, there’s a ton of stuff to do to keep you entertained and cultured if you live here. Meaning people in Noblesville don’t have to go all the way into downtown to have a great time with the family.
Population: 34,284Rank Last Year: 7 (Up 1)
Home Values: $226,000 (5th best)
Unemployment Rate: 3.1% (9th best)
You might not believe it, but Westfield has the 5th most expensive homes in Indiana. The average home is valued at $226,000. Residents command high salaries, and almost all of them are employed. The crime is some of the lowest in the state here.
Westfield is another northern Indy suburb.
Population: 23,103Rank Last Year: 9 (Up 2)
Home Values: $212,900 (6th best)
Unemployment Rate: 7.4% (65th best)
The Town of Munster might be a bit of a surprise to some in terms of how well it ranks according to science. The mid-sized city straddles the Illinois state line, and is a short drive from Gary. Obviously, none of the issues from Gary are impacting Munster.
The crime rate in Munster isn’t amazing, but it’s far below the state average. The homes are valued at $212,900 here, and the schools get some of the most funding in Indiana.
If Munster can get some more of their residents to work, things will look even rosier here. The unemployment rate (7.4% is the 66th highest in the state.
Population: 5,050 Rank Last Year: N/A
Home Values: $177,400 (13th best)
Unemployment Rate: 2.9% (6th best)
White’s unemployment rates are some of the lowest in the state and the median income is the 9th highest, making White a great place to work and settle down if you’re look for a stable job with a stable income.
Additionally, White has above average education and low crime, making this place a safe place to live.
Population: 24,072Rank Last Year: 11 (Up 2)
Home Values: $153,000 (21st best)
Unemployment Rate: 3.7% (15th best)
You might be surprised to see the Town of Brownsburg so high on the list. Unless you live in Brownsburg.
The unemployment rate here is really low, and at3.7%, Brownsburg residents are some of the hardest working in the state of Indiana. When you factor in high home prices, high incomes and low crime, Brownsburg is doing quite well.
Plus, Brownsburg is close enough to downtown Indy to enjoy lots of entertainment with a short drive.
Population: 15,790Rank Last Year: 10 (No Change)
Home Values: $148,200 (27th best)
Unemployment Rate: 3.9% (18th best)
Jasper has been called one of the best small towns in America. If you live here, you’re most likely already aware of how great it is to live there.
Just about everyone who wants a job in Jasper has one; the unemployment rate is hovering at about 3.9% and lowering. And the Jasper police department is doing a solid job, as crime is the 16th lowest in the state here.
Jasper is way down on Route 231 by the Hoosier National Forest. Which means lots of outdoor entertainment, too.
Wrapping Up The Best Of The Best In Indiana
If you’re looking at areas in Indiana with the best economic situations, where there’s lower than average crime, and a lot to do, this is an accurate list.
Zionsville made a strong showing to take in the overall number one spot for 2018.
Best Towns To Live In Indiana
- Highland (Pop. 4,256)
- Battle Ground (Pop. 1,568)
- Haubstadt (Pop. 1,615)
- Meridian Hills (Pop. 1,762)
- Aberdeen (Pop. 1,771)
- Melody Hill (Pop. 3,623)
- Leo-Cedarville (Pop. 3,721)
- Taylorsville (Pop. 1,058)
- Trail Creek (Pop. 2,037)
- Georgetown (Pop. 3,152)
Best Small Towns To Live In Indiana
- Ulen (Pop. 139)
- Buck Creek (Pop. 154)
- Kent (Pop. 90)
- Mier (Pop. 167)
- Woodlawn Heights (Pop. 67)
- Pottawattamie Park (Pop. 253)
- Williams Creek (Pop. 373)
- Homecroft (Pop. 695)
- Country Club Heights (Pop. 115)
- River Forest (Pop. 29)
If you’re curious enough, here are the worst places to live in Indiana:
- Gary (Pop. 77,858)
- East Chicago (Pop. 28,961)
- Connersville (Pop. 13,202)
For more Indiana reading , check out:
- These Are The 10 Most Ghetto Cities In Indiana
- These Are The 10 Most Dangerous Cities In Indiana
- These Are The 10 Dumbest Cities In Indiana
Detailed List Of The Best Cities In Indiana