These Are The 10 Best Places To Live In Indiana For 2018


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

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This article is an opinion based on facts and is meant as infotainment. Don’t freak out that we updated it for 2018.

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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:

  1. Zionsville
  2. Carmel (Photos)
  3. St. John (Photos)
  4. Dyer (Photos)
  5. Noblesville (Photos)
  6. Westfield (Photos)
  7. Munster (Photos)
  8. White
  9. Brownsburg (Photos)
  10. Jasper (Photos)

Follow along as we provide more insight into how we reached our overall best places to live in Indiana.

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

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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’.

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.

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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
  • Crime
  • Education Levels
  • Health Insurance Coverage
  • Poverty rates

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

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.

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1. Zionsville


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.

2. Carmel

Carmel, Indiana

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 86,940
Rank 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

St. John, Indiana

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 15,777
Rank 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!

4. Dyer


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.

5. Noblesville

Noblesville, Indiana

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 58,719
Rank 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.

6. Westfield

Westfield, Indiana

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 34,284
Rank 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.

7. Munster

Munster, Indiana

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 23,103
Rank 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.

8. White

Source: Public Domain

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.

9. Brownsburg

Brownsburg, Indiana

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 24,072
Rank 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.

10. Jasper

Jasper, Indiana

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 15,790
Rank 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

  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. Kent (Pop. 90)
  4. Mier (Pop. 167)
  5. Woodlawn Heights (Pop. 67)
  6. Pottawattamie Park (Pop. 253)
  7. Williams Creek (Pop. 373)
  8. Homecroft (Pop. 695)
  9. Country Club Heights (Pop. 115)
  10. River Forest (Pop. 29)

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

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

For more Indiana reading , check out:

Detailed List Of The Best Cities In Indiana

City Rank Previous Rank Population Unemployment Rate Home Value
Zionsville 1 1 25,709 2.6% $343,400
Carmel 2 3 86,940 3.4% $306,500
St. John 3 4 15,777 3.2% $257,000
Dyer 4 5 16,133 7.2% $191,400
Noblesville 5 8 58,719 3.2% $177,500
Westfield 6 7 34,284 3.1% $226,000
Munster 7 9 23,103 7.4% $212,900
White 8 5,050 2.9% $177,400
Brownsburg 9 11 24,072 3.7% $153,000
Jasper 10 10 15,790 3.9% $148,200
Crown Point 11 36 28,743 6.5% $173,100
Auburn 12 23 12,758 3.9% $104,500
West Lafayette 13 6 44,543 5.2% $192,100
Chesterton 14 14 13,912 7.8% $171,500
Valparaiso 15 13 32,271 6.4% $170,500
Bargersville 16 18 6,824 2.6% $159,000
Winona Lake 17 5,129 3.8% $148,800
Batesville 18 12 6,417 3.7% $170,200
Sellersburg 19 17 8,722 5.9% $152,900
Columbus 20 15 46,474 4.8% $146,000
New Whiteland 21 16 5,814 7.0% $95,900
Lowell 22 22 9,423 7.3% $150,600
Plainfield 23 23 30,318 6.6% $147,200
Cumberland 24 31 5,422 6.5% $152,100
Griffith 25 20 16,583 8.4% $133,700
Tipton 26 39 5,217 2.8% $83,500
Schererville 27 28 28,899 5.1% $208,000
Winfield 28 32 5,233 4.4% $267,700
Danville 29 19 9,482 6.4% $149,100
Greenfield 30 27 21,380 6.5% $125,600
Mccordsville 31 26 5,924 4.8% $196,500
Lebanon 32 29 15,846 2.9% $113,400
Mount Vernon 33 33 6,579 6.1% $92,200
Decatur 34 37 9,384 7.2% $91,200
Avon 35 25 15,712 4.8% $182,800
Greenwood 36 40 54,564 6.5% $138,900
Ellettsville 37 30 6,501 5.8% $120,900
Nappanee 38 42 6,767 4.8% $119,500
Jeffersonville 39 38 46,415 6.8% $126,500
Portage 40 48 37,054 7.5% $136,000
Cedar Lake 41 44 11,872 10.2% $162,300
New Haven 42 52 15,677 6.9% $96,000
Scottsburg 43 71 6,671 4.7% $98,900
Mooresville 44 34 9,553 7.0% $124,300
Greencastle 45 47 10,413 5.7% $99,200
Bloomington 46 35 83,093 8.0% $172,100
Franklin 47 43 24,021 4.9% $114,500
Greensburg 48 61 12,107 5.2% $113,000
Warsaw 49 40 14,640 5.9% $118,500
Huntingburg 50 65 6,414 2.5% $98,900
Rensselaer 51 50 5,359 4.6% $115,600
Fort Wayne 52 51 260,954 7.9% $103,100
Garrett 53 57 6,620 7.5% $84,100
North Manchester 54 20 6,346 8.6% $91,700
Monticello 55 60 5,312 6.2% $90,600
Seymour 56 59 18,996 4.5% $108,400
Bluffton 57 46 9,702 4.3% $92,100
Hobart 58 58 28,693 8.1% $136,200
Merrillville 59 49 35,268 7.7% $127,400
Vincennes 60 67 18,098 6.2% $74,500
Beech Grove 61 64 14,319 9.1% $94,300
Bedford 62 80 13,341 5.1% $87,800
Madison 63 62 12,045 7.6% $119,600
Boonville 64 45 6,186 2.9% $86,400
Frankfort 65 77 16,447 7.2% $79,900
Speedway 66 82 12,145 8.0% $116,200
Lafayette 67 68 71,249 8.0% $103,900
Clarksville 68 63 21,812 5.3% $112,000
Angola 69 56 8,624 7.4% $118,900
Princeton 70 53 8,617 6.9% $79,800
Huntington 71 75 17,340 6.7% $77,300
Kokomo 72 72 58,075 8.5% $83,000
Mishawaka 73 73 48,234 7.0% $92,000
Alexandria 74 79 5,060 8.2% $72,200
Goshen 75 68 33,385 7.5% $111,500
Westville 76 78 6,862 6.5% $90,200
New Albany 77 74 36,622 8.0% $110,500
Charlestown 78 90 7,990 4.9% $100,500
Wabash 79 54 10,414 7.2% $76,300
Evansville 80 70 120,156 7.0% $89,600
Crawfordsville 81 65 15,996 7.3% $87,600
Portland 82 94 6,225 11.0% $69,300
Martinsville 83 87 11,714 8.5% $93,900
La Porte 84 81 21,876 8.6% $93,000
Lawrence 85 86 47,415 8.9% $129,700
Rochester 86 83 6,110 3.0% $87,200
North Vernon 87 104 7,134 3.4% $85,100
Peru 88 84 11,415 12.5% $61,300
Indianapolis 89 89 846,674 9.1% $120,400
Washington 90 55 11,941 10.2% $84,900
Logansport 91 99 17,924 9.3% $66,000
Rushville 92 93 6,267 3.6% $81,800
Muncie 93 91 69,583 11.4% $70,000
Kendallville 94 76 9,980 9.5% $90,800
Plymouth 95 92 10,012 12.8% $89,700
Elwood 96 88 8,489 10.1% $68,800
Shelbyville 97 85 19,083 8.8% $96,900
Linton 98 95 5,305 8.3% $63,800
Brazil 99 100 8,105 10.2% $70,500
Terre Haute 100 96 61,021 10.2% $76,000

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4 thoughts on “These Are The 10 Best Places To Live In Indiana For 2018

  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.

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