2019’s Best Places to Live in Indiana for Families

Posted by: Adam McCann

Hoosiers might be known for their obsession with sports, but these Midwesterners have also upped their game in the arena of family-friendliness. In the past several years, Indiana has drawn bigger crowds into its borders, especially from abroad and neighboring Illinois, thanks in part to its stellar economic record.

Indiana currently boasts the 19th biggest state economy by GDP. That’s about the size of Singapore’s. Combined with an unemployment rate below the national average, the state offers a strong market for job seekers. Plus, earnings go a long way here, where cost of living is lower than in 41 other states.

But that’s not all that working families in Indiana have to cheer about. In a WalletHub analysis, Indiana outranked 30 states in socio-economics and 38 in affordability when it comes to raising a family. And when it comes to health care openness and access, Indiana’s is one of the better states for parents and their kids.

Unfortunately, not every city in the Hoosier State wins the “family-friendly” title. To determine the places in Indiana that are most conducive to family life, WalletHub compared more than 70 cities in the state across 21 key livability indicators. Our data set ranges from housing affordability to quality of school system to unemployment rate. Read on for the full ranking, experts’ take on certain family matters and our detailed methodology.

  1. Main Findings
  2. Ask the Experts
  3. Methodology

Main Findings

Embed on your website<iframe src="//d2e70e9yced57e.cloudfront.net/wallethub/embed/37635/geochart-indiana-families.html" width="556" height="347" frameBorder="0" scrolling="no"></iframe> <div style="width:556px;font-size:12px;color:#888;">Source: <a href="https://ift.tt/2lCWQHd>  

Best Places to Live in Indiana for Families

Overall Rank (1 = Best)


Total Score

‘Family Life & Fun’ Rank

‘Education, Health & Safety’ Rank

‘Affordability’ Rank

‘Socio-economics’ Rank

1Fishers, IN75.0011613
2Zionsville, IN73.6924122
3Carmel, IN73.197634
4Westfield, IN66.90111445
5Noblesville, IN66.54518512
6Brownsburg, IN62.6939896
7Jasper, IN60.824441121
8Avon, IN60.313826610
9West Lafayette, IN59.1028151316
10Granger, IN58.71631078
11Plainfield, IN58.4225231714
12St. John, IN57.80762311
13Auburn, IN57.3832171227
14Chesterton, IN56.704871826
15Columbus, IN54.9415482118
16Frankfort, IN54.8921251533
17Greenwood, IN53.9519472717
18Greensburg, IN53.896133737
19Munster, IN52.88753499
20Yorktown, IN52.865612836
21Dyer, IN52.437853411
22Crown Point, IN52.417194513
23Crawfordsville, IN51.8713372839
24Franklin, IN50.6836601620
25Fort Wayne, IN50.5716563329
26Valparaiso, IN50.4040205335
27Greenfield, IN50.0049342624
28Lafayette, IN49.254584138
29Bedford, IN49.1642113954
30Logansport, IN49.0626462548
31New Haven, IN49.0458303023
32Jeffersonville, IN48.9660384419
33Goshen, IN48.8037336525
34Warsaw, IN48.742625032
35Seymour, IN48.4910524745
36Lebanon, IN48.0762641031
37Huntington, IN48.0651492041
38Kokomo, IN48.0418631447
39Washington, IN47.3755222465
40Peru, IN46.8534271973
41Vincennes, IN46.1420393864
42Wabash, IN46.1366442344
43Plymouth, IN45.7812285670
44Portage, IN45.2465214350
45Marion, IN45.248436357
46Schererville, IN45.057766527
47Greencastle, IN44.5845454246
48Highland, IN44.3874405115
49Cedar Lake, IN44.2769196442
50New Albany, IN44.2352513649
51Merrillville, IN44.0967365843
52Shelbyville, IN43.8514653256
53Hobart, IN43.6470574822
54Mishawaka, IN43.5553596030
55Terre Haute, IN42.993617155
56Muncie, IN42.9731542971
57Griffith, IN42.8573294640
58Richmond, IN42.2427783559
59Madison, IN42.2343245562
60Bloomington, IN41.329557563
61La Porte, IN40.5133536858
62Beech Grove, IN39.6947357453
63Clarksville, IN39.5668704028
64Lawrence, IN39.2557756734
65New Castle, IN39.1659312277
66Lake Station, IN38.9761417052
67Martinsville, IN38.9250426167
68South Bend, IN38.4122725966
69Elkhart, IN37.9817687269
70Speedway, IN37.4746507361
71Anderson, IN36.6041716660
72Evansville, IN36.3830765468
73Michigan City, IN35.3529696274
74Indianapolis, IN35.2523777651
75Connersville, IN35.1064325775
76Hammond, IN31.1754746972
77East Chicago, IN27.5535737876
78Gary, IN22.2972677778


Ask the Experts

Families share a number of common priorities when choosing a new place to call home. With that in mind, we asked a panel of experts in fields such as family studies and public health to share their insight regarding the process of evaluating prospective Indiana cities on a family’s shortlist. Click on the experts’ profiles below to read their bios and their thoughts on the following key questions:

  1. What are some tips for young families looking for quality public schools and affordable housing in Indiana?
  2. How can local officials in Indiana make their cities more attractive to young families?
  3. Looking just within Indiana, to what degree is child development and a family’s quality of life influenced by the city in which they live?
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To help families find the best Indiana cities in which to put down roots, WalletHub compared a sample of 78 cities in the state across four key dimensions: 1) Family Life & Fun, 2) Education, Health & Safety, 3) Affordability and 4) Socio-economics. Our sample considers only the city proper in each case and excludes cities in the surrounding metro area.

We evaluated the four dimensions using 21 relevant metrics, which are listed below with their corresponding weights. Each metric was graded on a 100-point scale, with a score of 100 representing the most suitable conditions for family life.

Finally, we determined each city’s weighted average across all metrics to calculate its overall score and used the resulting scores to rank-order the cities in our sample.

Family Life & Fun – Total Points: 25
  • Playgrounds per Capita: Full Weight (~4.17 Points)
  • Number of Attractions: Full Weight (~4.17 Points)Note: “Attractions” includes, for instance, museums, theaters and zoos.
  • Share of Families with Children Aged 0 to 17 Years: Double Weight (~8.33 Points)
  • Weather: Full Weight (~4.17 Points)Note: Based on WalletHub’s Cities with the Best & Worst Weather ranking.
  • Average Commute Time: Full Weight (~4.17 Points)
Education, Health & Safety – Total Points: 25
  • Quality of School System: Full Weight (~2.94 Points)
  • High School Graduation Rate: Half Weight (~1.47 Points)
  • Air Quality: Full Weight (~2.94 Points)
  • Pediatricians per Capita: Full Weight (~2.94 Points)
  • Share of Uninsured Children: Full Weight (~2.94 Points)Note: “Children” include the population aged 0 to 18 years.
  • Violent-Crime Rate per Capita: Double Weight (~5.88 Points)
  • Property-Crime Rate per Capita: Double Weight (~5.88 Points)
Affordability – Total Points: 25
  • Housing Affordability: Full Weight (~12.50 Points)Note: This metric was calculated as follows: Housing Costs (accounts for both rental and sale prices) / Median Annual Family Income.
  • General Affordability: Full Weight (~12.50 Points)Note: This metric was calculated as follows: Median Annual Family Income / Cost-of-Living Index.
Socio-economics – Total Points: 25
  • Separation & Divorce Rate: Full Weight (~3.57 Points)
  • Share of Two-Parent Families: Full Weight (~3.57 Points)
  • Share of Families Living in Poverty: Full Weight (~3.57 Points)
  • Share of Households Receiving Food Stamps: Full Weight (~3.57 Points)
  • Unemployment Rate: Full Weight (~3.57 Points)
  • Wealth Gap: Full Weight (~3.57 Points)
  • Foreclosure Rate: Full Weight (~3.57 Points)


Sources: Data used to create this ranking were collected from the U.S. Census Bureau, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Environmental Protection Agency, County Health Rankings, Department of Housing and Urban Development, Renwood RealtyTrac, SchoolDigger.com, Yelp, TripAdvisor, Areavibes and WalletHub research.

Image: Karramba Production / Shutterstock.com

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