The Best Places to Live in Indiana

From family-friendly Carmel to affordable Elwood to Indiana’s state capitol, these are the best places to live in Indiana.
Written by Kathryn Mae Kurlychek
Reviewed by Melanie Reiff
Below-average costs of living, top-rated school districts, and vibrant communities make cities like Carmel, Elwood, and Indianapolis among the best places to live in
Indiana
.
As “The Crossroads of America,” Indiana has a lot to offer newcomers and long-time residents alike. Between acres of rolling farmland and picturesque homes, you’ll find a growing economy, lively communities, and lots to do—but with almost 700 incorporated townships across the state, even knowing where to start your search can get confusing!
That’s why
Jerry
, the
auto
and
homeowners
insurance
super app
, has compiled this list to help simplify your home search. In this article, we’ll cover the eight best places to live in Indiana based on factors like family-friendliness, cost of living, and affordability. Read on for help finding your future Indiana home!

What makes a good place to live? 

When you think about moving someplace new, you may picture a spectacular view or the two-car garage you’ve always wanted. But there’s a lot more that factors into the livability of an area. From grocery stores and gas prices to local climate, school districts, and the cost of living, locating your new (and maybe forever) home can get complicated.
To help you narrow down your options, we’ve rounded up the facts on eight Indiana towns:
Carmel
,
Fishers
, New Whiteland, North Manchester,
Elwood
,
Indianapolis
,
Granger
, and Geist. These eight towns span the state and preferred lifestyles, but we’ve categorized the following basics to make things easier for you to compare:
  • Median household income
  • Median home price
  • Cost of living
  • Quality of schools 
  • Crime rates
  • Healthcare
  • Average commute times
  • FEMA risk index ratings 
Using these metrics, we’ve narrowed down the best places to live in Indiana and divided them by categories: the best places for families, the most affordable places, and the best places to buy a forever house.

The best places for families to live in Indiana

School districts, crime rates, and community life are at the top of the list of factors for families to consider when finding a place to settle down.

Carmel

Location: Hamilton County
Population: 99,757
Median household income: $115,109
Median home price: $304,400
Declared the No. 1 best place to live in the state of Indiana,
Carmel
is a quaint suburban city only 16 miles outside of Indianapolis. With the White River to the east and some of the best public schools in the country, Carmel is a charming and picturesque place to raise a family.
Carmel’s crime rate is incredibly low—just over 10% per 1,000 citizens—making it the safest and most populous city in the state. Although the median home price is one of the highest in Indiana, you can find spacious single-family homes starting at $200,000—which gives families some wiggle room in their budget to find the place that’s right for them. 

Fishers

Location: Hamilton County
Population: 95,310
Median household income: $109,454
Median home price: $264,200
The neighboring suburb of
Fishers
offers a similar appeal to families—with some of the highest-rated public schools, vibrant community life, and proximity to the state’s capital. Most Fisher residents own their own home, although a healthy amount opt to rent instead as the community’s median rent is $1,250 a month
The crime rate in Fishers is almost 70% lower than in other cities in the state, making it a safe community for those relocating with young children or planning to start families. 

The most affordable places to live in Indiana

For many, the cost of living in an area can be a big draw—or drawback. Indiana’s overall cost of living is relatively low compared to other states, but as you get closer to the capital, prices tend to start going up. 
To help you find affordable homes in Indiana, we’ve singled out the following three towns as the best affordable places to live in Indiana. 

New Whiteland

Location: Johnson County
Population: $6,051
Median household income: $70,975
Median home price: $97,100
As one of the cheapest suburbs to live in Indiana, New
Whiteland
offers a rural hometown feel without sacrificing your proximity to activities and suburban living. With Indianapolis less than 30 minutes away, you can still hit the town on Friday night or catch a Colts game on the weekend. 
The public schools in New Whiteland are highly rated, and the majority of residents are young working professionals and families. With its quintessential country atmosphere, low crime rates, and nearness to the city, living in New Whiteland can feel like the best of both worlds.

North Manchester

Location: Chester Township, Wabash County
Population: 5,612
Median household income: $59,189
Median home price: $103,400
Just about 35 miles west of
Fort Wayne
is the town of North Manchester. As the third most affordable city in the state, the home price to income ratio is one of Indiana’s lowest, with a cost of living index of 85—lower than the state and national average. 
Although it's not exactly a suburb, North Manchester still offers a comfortable blend of modern and rural living. The city is also home to Manchester University,a private liberal arts school with a fairly low tuition rate. As a college town, you can expect to find a vibrant community with lots of events to attend in North Manchester.

Elwood

Location: Madison and Tipton Counties
Population: 8,441
Median household income: $44,752
Median home price: $68,300
The town of
Elwood
spans the Madison and Tipton County lines, just an hour shy of Indianapolis. Despite its distance from Indy, Elwood boasts the fifth-cheapest cost of living in the state and a lower cost of living index than any other city on this list—so it’s a trade-off!
Affordable doesn’t have to mean you’re sacrificing fun, either. The community of Elwood hosts an annual
Glass Festival
every third week of August, where local artwork, food, and culture are on full display. At any other time of the year, you can enjoy the town’s spacious parks and feel safe doing so: the crime rate in Elwood is 1.31% below the national average. 
Jerry
has amazing communication! And even better deals! Thanks to Jerry, I went from $327 to $182 on my payments. I’m so grateful!” —Kim T. 

Best places to buy a house in Indiana

If you’re looking for a place to plant yourself long-term, you’ll want to pay attention to the housing market and climate of your future city. To better explore those factors in Indiana, we’ve used
Realtor.com
’s summaries of housing markets and the FEMA Risk Index.  

Indianapolis

Location: Marion County
Population: 977,642
Median household income: $62,502
Median home price: $251,000
State capital
Indianapolis
is (perhaps unsurprisingly) one of the best places to buy a house in Indiana—especially if you’re in it for the long haul. As of 2019, the city has been ranked among the top 20 investment markets, according to
Forbes
. It also has been ranked the fourth-best housing market positioned for growth in 2022 by
Realtor.com
Despite being the most populous city in Indiana, Indianapolis’s home values are still relatively low—Zillow’s home value index for the city is $199,900, and the market has seen incredible growth over the last five years. Renting, too, is a great alternative in this city—the average 3-bedroom home rents for less than $1,500 a month
And, of course, there’s no shortage of economic opportunities, community events, nightlife, organizations, and activities to do here. The cost of living in Indianapolis is comparatively lower than in other state capitals, and has over 200 public schools and six local universities to choose from if you’re thinking about pursuing education for yourself or your family. Indianapolis’s FEMA risk index is relatively moderate, particularly for flooding, strong winds, and heat and cold waves. Overall, Indianapolis is a buzzing community full of opportunities for those looking to put down roots somewhere new. 

Granger

Location: St. Joseph County
Population: 30,776
Median household income: $101,904
Median home price: $219,900
Indiana’s top suburb is
Granger
, a neighborhood just outside
South Bend
. With a comparatively lower cost of living than other Indiana suburbs, excellent school districts, and low crime rates, it’s no surprise Granger has been rated the third-best city to raise a family in Indiana. 
In recent years, Granger’s housing market has seen a downward trend. The median listing price for homes as of March 2022 hovers around $309,900. Additionally, Granger’s FEMA risk index is relatively moderate, although the most pressing natural occurrences you’re likely to experience in this area are cold waves and winter storms
For those looking to put down long-time roots in a community, Granger offers no shortage of amenities. From its dozens of grocery stores to hundreds of cafes and restaurants and a community rich with activity and family-centric values—Granger could easily become the place you find your forever home in Indiana.  

Geist

Location: Marion County
Population: 9,871
Median household income: $148,747
Median home price: $353,971
Last (but certainly not least) on our list is Geist, an Indianapolis neighborhood that blends peaceful suburban living and urban access. With above-average school districts, several local parks, and a nearby reservoir open to public boating and recreation, this city offers a smaller community feel without sacrificing your proximity to Indy’s nightlife and amenities.
Geist’s housing market has been trending steadily upwards—as of March 2022, the median home listing price was $449,900, but you can find spacious family homes starting at around $230,000. And if you hope to put down roots, buying a house here is worth the investment—Geist is ranked as the No. 1 best neighborhood to buy a house in Indianapolis. 

How to find affordable homeowners and car insurance in Indiana 

No matter where you’re moving,
Jerry
can keep you covered and find you savings on your
auto
and
homeowners
insurance. As a licensed insurance broker and comparison app, Jerry lets you quickly and easily shop dozens of cheap and affordable insurance quotes from top providers. 
Once you download the app and answer a few questions (which takes less than a minute), Jerry pulls quotes that fit your coverage needs. Compare rates right in the app, and when you’re ready to make a switch, let Jerry take care of the rest. We handle the phone calls and paperwork, automatically check for cheaper rates upon renewal, and can even help you cancel your old policy!
Best of all, Jerry saves users an average of $800+ a year on insurance! 
“I felt like I was paying too much for my insurance policy, so I downloaded
Jerry
. I literally only typed in three pieces of info and Jerry found my current insurance. In two minutes, they pulled me two Progressive policies that showed $900 in savings over six months!” —Maeve J.
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