10 Best Places To Live In Indiana For 2019


We used science and data to determine which places in the Hoosier State are the cream of the crop.

Editor’s Note: We updated this article for 2019. This is our fifth time ranking the best places to live in Indiana.

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Back Home Again in Indiana. Where the cities are some of the best in the country and the people are nice. And lucky for you, HomeSnacks is here to break down the top ten best cities in Indiana for Zionsville.

Any good midwesterner knows that 'The Hoosier State' is not just any flyover state. There's a reason their state's motto is 'Crossroads of America' and that the state is constantly inviting people to 'wander' its backroads. Indiana has a lot to offer. You could get lost in its many idyllic towns, plush State Parks, and field after field of corn and soybeans.

Now, it wouldn't be right if we didn't mention Indiana's large cities like Indianapolis and Evansville. Not only are these cities the anchor to Indiana's rank as the 17th most populous state in the USA, they are the fastest growing in the state. And surprisingly folks, they did not make our top ten.

So, how did we determine the top ten best cities in Indiana for 2019?

Grab a fried tenderloin the size of your head, crank some John Mellencamp, and read on to see if your favorite Indiana city made the top ten.

Whether you're a Purdue Boilermaker fan or a Indiana University Hoosier fan, or just a fan of great cities, great weather, and great people, there's a city in Indiana for you.

And if you're into that midwest, middle of nowhere Indiana vibe, you're in luck. Most of Indiana's top ten best cities for 2019 are just that.

What's the best place to live in Indiana? Without further adieu, the best city in Indiana for 2019 is Zionsville. We are not at all surprised. Zionsville is beautiful, quaint, safe, and bursting at the seams with great people.

The competition was fierce to say the least. To see Indiana's other best of the best cities, take a look below.

If you're looking for something more national, check out the best states in America or the best places to live in America.

For more Indiana reading, check out:

The 10 Best Places To Live In Indiana For 2019

Zionsville, IN

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

10
/10

Population: 25,709
Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $343,400 (1st best)
Unemployment Rate: 2.6% (2nd best)
More on Zionsville: Real Estate | Data | Photos

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 highest income in the state, and the 1st lowest crime numbers in Indiana.

Carmel, IN

Overall SnackAbility

10
/10

Population: 86,940
Rank Last Year: 3 (Up 1)
Median Home Value: $306,500 (2nd best)
Unemployment Rate: 3.4% (12th best)
More on Carmel: Real Estate | Data | Photos

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.

St. John, IN

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

10
/10

Population: 15,777
Rank Last Year: 4 (Up 1)
Median Home Value: $257,000 (4th best)
Unemployment Rate: 3.2% (10th best)
More on St. John: Real Estate | Data | Photos

We wouldn't be surprised to see CNN call St. John one of the best places to live in the United States. Not only do the residents all make great livings, there's essentially no crime in the entire city. And the residents are very involved in the community.

They can't build homes fast enough here as it seems everyone wants a piece of St. John.

Dyer, IN

Overall SnackAbility

9.5
/10

Population: 16,133
Rank Last Year: 5 (Up 1)
Median Home Value: $191,400 (10th best)
Unemployment Rate: 7.2% (60th best)
More on Dyer: Real Estate | Data | Photos

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.

Noblesville, IN

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 58,719
Rank Last Year: 8 (Up 3)
Median Home Value: $177,500 (12th best)
Unemployment Rate: 3.2% (10th best)
More on Noblesville: Real Estate | Data | Photos

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.

Westfield, IN

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 34,284
Rank Last Year: 7 (Up 1)
Median Home Value: $226,000 (5th best)
Unemployment Rate: 3.1% (9th best)
More on Westfield: Real Estate | Data | Photos

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.

Munster, IN

Overall SnackAbility

9
/10

Population: 23,103
Rank Last Year: 9 (Up 2)
Median Home Value: $212,900 (6th best)
Unemployment Rate: 7.4% (66th best)
More on Munster: Real Estate | Data | Photos

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.

Review Of Munster by HomeSnacks User

Thank you for recognizing Munster as one of the best places to live in Indiana. We agree and many more agree, also.

We are experiencing substantial growth, primarily as residents of the Chicago area flee the high taxes, high insurance, and corrupt government in Illinois.

Source: Public Domain
Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 5,050
Rank Last Year: -
Median Home Value: $177,400 (13th best)
Unemployment Rate: 2.9% (6th best)
More on White: Real Estate | Data

It's obvious why White ranks 8th in the state for best places to live: they have the 6th lowest unemployment rate and the 13th highest home values.

Plus, they're known for their quality education and relatively low crime, making White a great place to live.

Brownsburg, IN

Overall SnackAbility

9
/10

Population: 24,072
Rank Last Year: 11 (Up 2)
Median Home Value: $153,000 (21st best)
Unemployment Rate: 3.7% (16th best)
More on Brownsburg: Real Estate | Data | Photos

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.

Jasper, IN

Overall SnackAbility

8.5
/10

Population: 15,790
Rank Last Year: 10 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $148,200 (27th best)
Unemployment Rate: 3.9% (18th best)
More on Jasper: Real Estate | Data | Photos

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.

Mapping The Best And Worst 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 301 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'.

Now we also realize that city living might not be your cup of tea, so we ran the following analysis on towns and then again for small towns.

You can see those two top tens at the bottom of the post.

How We Calculated The Best Cities 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
  • Crime
  • Education Levels
  • Health Insurance Coverage
  • Poverty rates

Sources of criteria include the New Census Data and FBI Crime Data.

After the dust settled, what was the best place to live in Indiana? That would be Zionsville.

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.

Wrapping Up The Best Places When It Comes To Living 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 the best place to live in Indiana for 2019.

Best Towns To Live In Indiana

  1. Highland (Pop. 4,256)
  2. Battle Ground (Pop. 1,568)
  3. Haubstadt (Pop. 1,615)
  4. Meridian Hills (Pop. 1,762)
  5. Aberdeen (Pop. 1,771)
  6. Melody Hill (Pop. 3,623)
  7. Leo-Cedarville (Pop. 3,721)
  8. Taylorsville (Pop. 1,058)
  9. Trail Creek (Pop. 2,037)
  10. Georgetown (Pop. 3,152)

Best Small Towns To Live In Indiana

  1. Ulen (Pop. 139)
  2. Buck Creek (Pop. 154)
  3. Pottawattamie Park (Pop. 253)
  4. Woodlawn Heights (Pop. 67)
  5. Williams Creek (Pop. 373)
  6. Homecroft (Pop. 695)
  7. Country Club Heights (Pop. 115)
  8. River Forest (Pop. 29)
  9. New Goshen (Pop. 434)
  10. Spring Hill (Pop. 77)

If you're curious enough, here are the worst places to live in Indiana according to the data:

  1. Connersville (Pop. 13,202)
  2. East Chicago (Pop. 28,961)
  3. Gary (Pop. 77,858)

For more Indiana reading, check out:

Where Are The Best Places To Live In Indiana?

Rank City Population Unemployment Rate Home Value
1 Zionsville 25,709 2.6% $343,400
2 Carmel 86,940 3.4% $306,500
3 St. John 15,777 3.2% $257,000
4 Dyer 16,133 7.2% $191,400
5 Noblesville 58,719 3.2% $177,500
6 Westfield 34,284 3.1% $226,000
7 Munster 23,103 7.4% $212,900
8 White 5,050 2.9% $177,400
9 Brownsburg 24,072 3.7% $153,000
10 Jasper 15,790 3.9% $148,200

About Chris Kolmar

Chris Kolmar has been in the real estate business for almost ten years now. He originally worked for Movoto Real Estate as the director of marketing before founding HomeSnacks.

He believes the key to finding the right place to live comes down to looking at the data, reading about things to do, and, most importantly, checking it out yourself before you move.

If you've been looking for a place to live in the past several years, you've probably stumbled upon his writing already.

You can find out more about him on LinkedIn or his website.

10 thoughts on “10 Best Places To Live In Indiana For 2019

  1. Just an FYI, Munster has a ton of stay at home moms. That may skew the data points. It has top rated schools. Very close drive to Chicago, I’ve never been to gary. Huge hospital which is nationally ranked. Most residents are hospital workers or make the commute to Chicago.

  2. As someone who recently evaluated both Fishers and Carmel in a recent home search, I believe you have some incorrect data when stating that the average home value in Carmel is valued far less than that of Fishers. While both are great areas to live, Fishers is MUCH CHEAPER than Carmel for any comparable homes.

  3. Having lived in NWI all my life, I disagree with Valparaiso ranking lower than Lowell. Valparaiso has a private college, an airport, a new hospital, a high ranking school system, and a downtown with an amphitheater, farmers market and ice skating rink. Also, it’s a short drive to the Indiana Lakeshore and not far from Chicago. So many people from Chicago choose to live here because it’s a great place to raise a family, bring educated people with money to the town. I’m not sure what Lowell has over that.

    1. I agree. I don’t live in valpo but I love to shop there. So close to the beach with greats schools. Definitely should have been higher ranked.

  4. I believe your right about new castle besides it should be in top five worst place to live. I call it the oldest youngest town in the world. Think about it for a sec and you might understand.

  5. Best town to live in Indiana: Hobart. Best town to raise children in Indiana: Hobart. Most progressive and forward-looking town in Indiana: Hobart. Most honest and transparent administration for a town in Indiana: Hobart.

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