THE 10 BEST Places To Live In Indiana For 2020


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 2020. This is our sixth time ranking the best places to live in Indiana.

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 Carmel.

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 2020?

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 2020 are just that.

What's the best place to live in Indiana? Without further adieu, the best city in Indiana for 2020 is Carmel. We are not at all surprised. Carmel 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 2020

Carmel, IN

Overall SnackAbility

10
/10

Population: 90,163
Rank Last Year: 2 (Up 1)
Median Home Value: $330,600 (2nd best)
Unemployment Rate: 2.3% (9th 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 $116,867 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 $330,600.

Carmel has a 2.3% unemployment rate.

Westfield, IN

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 37,769
Rank Last Year: 1 (Down 1)
Median Home Value: $242,500 (5th best)
Unemployment Rate: 2.7% (11th 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 $242,500. 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.

Zionsville, IN

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

10
/10

Population: 26,209
Rank Last Year: 8 (Up 5)
Median Home Value: $369,600 (1st best)
Unemployment Rate: 3.1% (15th 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 $369,600. 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 lowest crime numbers in Indiana.

Munster, IN

Overall SnackAbility

9
/10

Population: 22,840
Rank Last Year: 6 (Up 2)
Median Home Value: $222,700 (7th best)
Unemployment Rate: 4.6% (38th 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 $222,700 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 (4.6%) is the 38th highest in the state.

Dyer, IN

Overall SnackAbility

9.5
/10

Population: 16,006
Rank Last Year: 4 (Down 1)
Median Home Value: $208,400 (11th best)
Unemployment Rate: 6.5% (75th 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 ($208,400), and residents earn nearly $84,375 a year, which is 8th highest in the state. Crime is far below average. Dyer is the 8th safest place in the state.

St. John, IN

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

10
/10

Population: 16,839
Rank Last Year: 3 (Down 3)
Median Home Value: $283,000 (3rd best)
Unemployment Rate: 3.7% (25th best)
More on St. John: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Who doesn't want to live in St. John? Because, according to the data, most everyone should want to.

Crime is lower than the state average, and the unemployment rate sits at only 3.7%. The school systems are generally well funded, meaning lots of personal attention for area kids.

Expect to see more of St. John in the news in the coming months.

Whitestown, IN

Overall SnackAbility

9
/10

Population: 7,220
Rank Last Year: 19 (Up 12)
Median Home Value: $217,300 (8th best)
Unemployment Rate: 2.9% (13th best)
More on Whitestown: Real Estate | Data

The Town of Whitestown might be a bit of a surprise to some in terms of how well it ranks according to science.

The crime rate in Whitestown isn't amazing, but it's far below the state average. The homes are valued at $217,300 here, and the schools get some of the most funding in Indiana.

If Whitestown can get some more of their residents to work, things will look even rosier here. The unemployment rate (2.9%) is the 13th highest in the state.

Crown Point, IN

Overall SnackAbility

9
/10

Population: 29,368
Rank Last Year: 9 (Up 1)
Median Home Value: $185,200 (15th best)
Unemployment Rate: 3.5% (23rd best)
More on Crown Point: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Crime is something that doesn't happen very often in Crown Point. Statistically the 15th safest place in the state, there were only 6 violent crimes in the entire city last year.

It's really beautiful in Crown Point, and new homes continue to replace older homes. Resident earn $77,537 a year, and homes are valued at more than $185,200.

What else could you possibly want if you're someone who likes the good things in life?

Noblesville, IN

Overall SnackAbility

9
/10

Population: 61,558
Rank Last Year: 5 (Down 4)
Median Home Value: $194,800 (14th best)
Unemployment Rate: 3.5% (19th 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.

Overall SnackAbility

9
/10

Population: 5,955
Rank Last Year: 7 (Down 3)
Median Home Value: $95,500 (68th best)
Unemployment Rate: 2.8% (12th best)
More on New Whiteland: Real Estate | Data

New Whiteland takes 10th place on our list of best places in Indiana for 2020 thanks to a strong showing in unemployment rate (12th overall) and things to do.

New Whiteland is no stranger to top ten lists, being named one of the best places to live in the country by multiple outlets over the past ten years. And that tends to happen when home prices hit $95,500 at the median.

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 857,637 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 111 cities, 213 towns, and 301 small towns.

We then decided, no matter how much anyone loves their town, the best cities to live in Indiana 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 111, 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. You can download the data here.

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

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 Carmel 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.

Carmel made a strong showing to take in the overall number one spot for the best place to live in Indiana for 2020.

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. Anderson (Pop. 54,788)
  2. East Chicago (Pop. 28,448)
  3. Gary (Pop. 76,677)

For more Indiana reading, check out:

Where Are The Best Places To Live In Indiana?

Rank City Population Unemployment Rate Home Value
1 Carmel 90,163 2.3% $330,600
2 Westfield 37,769 2.7% $242,500
3 Zionsville 26,209 3.1% $369,600
4 Munster 22,840 4.6% $222,700
5 Dyer 16,006 6.5% $208,400
6 St. John 16,839 3.7% $283,000
7 Whitestown 7,220 2.9% $217,300
8 Crown Point 29,368 3.5% $185,200
9 Noblesville 61,558 3.5% $194,800
10 New Whiteland 5,955 2.8% $95,500

How Is Your Town In ?

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.

11 thoughts on “THE 10 BEST Places To Live In Indiana For 2020

  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.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *