Carmel, Indiana

Sunset at Coxhall Gardens in Carmel, Indiana. (Photo by Steven Van Elk on Unsplash)

Midwest living in the United States is an appealing choice and the Hooiser state offers many different ways to go about it. Nestled in the heart of the Midwest, Indiana is a state known for its rich history, friendly communities, and vibrant culture. Indiana has every type of environment people seek — bustling cities, charming towns, and scenic countryside. Whether you’re a young professional looking for career opportunities, a family seeking a safe and welcoming community, or a retiree in search of a peaceful place to settle, the best places to live in Indiana showcase the best of the Midwest.

Livability notes a few good reasons to live in the Midwest in general. “The Midwest is known for its impressive list of colleges and universities, including Northwest University in Chicago, the University of Minnesota, the University of Wisconsin, Ohio State University, the University of Michigan, the University of Notre Dame, the University of Chicago and more.” If you’re a foodie, you’ll find the Midwest is a paradise. “So much food, so little time. If you think top notch chefs flock to the east and west coasts, think again. The Midwest has some seriously delicious and prestigious restaurants. Wisconsin is home to Viroqua, a world-class restaurant with a James Beard-nominated chef. There is the Urbana Market in Illinois, which has top of the line produce. Seriously – the list goes on and on. ”

Another reason many people choose to live in the Midwest is for affordability. With inflation rising, the cost of living has only increased. Living on the West or East coasts has become too expensive for many. In fact, a recent poll of 2,000 Americans found 57 percent of Americans say inflation has affected their rental decisions. 63 percent have considered downsizing their current place to save money due to the current cost of living. States in the Midwest offer more “bang for your buck” in terms of space and value.

If you’re looking to move to the Hooiser state, StudyFinds set out to do the research for you, visiting 10 ten expert websites. We put together this list of the best places to live in Indiana based on the top recommendations across each source. If you’ve got your own suggestions, please leave them in the comments below!

Fort Wayne is named one of the Best Places To Live in Indiana
Fort Wayne, Indiana (Photo by Javier Bailey on Unsplash)

The List: Best Places to Live in Indiana, According To Experts

1. Carmel


“Carmel makes for a great choice for anyone scouting for the best places in Indiana to live. The town provides a welcoming community feel and has high-performing schools and safe streets for anyone wishing to settle down or launch a career here,” says The Nomad Lawyer. Carmel is one of the best places to live in Indiana if you’re looking to start a family.

“Carmel is one of the best places to live in Indiana, and in the nation. It is a bright spot in Indiana due to its economic stability and tight knit community. Their unemployment rate speaks volumes, sitting at a low 2.5%. Education is important to the residents of Carmel. The city takes great pride in their educators. Grade Schools have some of the highest academic test scoring as well as impressive sports and fine arts programs for youth,” writes UpNest.

“It’s routinely listed among America’s best places to live by respected publications. The safety here is off the charts. Crime rates are nearly 80% lower than the national average overall! Young adults who wish to settle in a place that’s ideal for starting families should look at Carmel,” states HomeIA.

2. Fishers

This city belongs to Hamilton County, Indiana with a population of almost 100,000. It’s located close to Carmel, Fortville and Noblesville.

HomeIA says, “Another suburban gem is Fishers, known for its modern homes and rapid population growth in recent years. 97,020 people call Fishers home, and it’s easy to see why. It’s relatively diverse compared to some of the other Indianapolis suburbs. The people here prioritize keeping the small-town feeling, as they have rejected resolutions to be reorganized as a city multiple times.”

“Fishers, Indiana, is among the three towns in the state that made the top 100 list of “Best Places to Live” by Money Magazine. In fact, Fishers came up third in the list. The town was judged on aspects like cost of living, economic health, ease of living, as well as amenities and public education. Money Magazine had set out to discover communities where affordability met with a high quality of life. Fishers is considered to be a vibrant, smart and entrepreneurial city. The town is also considered to be the fifth safest city in the state. Fishers has a number of attractions, including Conner Prairie Interactive History Park, Geist Reservoir, and Fishers Train Station,” explains Trip101.

“Fishers has a very friendly small-town feel with nice houses and well-kept gardens defining its quiet and calm neighborhoods. Over the last few decades, the city has developed at an astronomic rate due to its growing economy and proximity to both Indianapolis and Interstate 69. Thankfully, its superb public schools and local services have kept pace while its numerous cafes and restaurants mean you never need to leave your district if you don’t want to,” remarks Touropia.

3. Fort Wayne

This northeastern town ranks 3rd on the list due to a great housing market, art scene, and even a Conservatory.

“Some of the most popular things to do in the city include visiting the Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo, catching a baseball game at Parkview Field, or finding a good read at the Allen County Public Library. Nature lovers can stroll through the Foellinger-Freimann Botanical Conservatory, which showcases various indoor exhibits, including tropical, desert, and seasonal plants,” writes Apartment Lists. “The city is home to a handful of fun and quirky events like the annual bed race during the Three Rivers Festival or the yearly BuskerFest devoted entirely to street performers.”

Livability notes that Fort Wayne is well equipped in all types of amenities. “Fort Wayne is known as the “City of Churches” with 360 places of worship. The economy is strong in distribution and finance, and the defense industry employs thousands. Also prominent are 85 parks, six hospitals and many college campuses.”

4. Zionsville

This suburban town is situated in Boone County, Indiana and is a central location for tourists or travelers through the state. HomeIA says, “With a quaint little brick-lined downtown area, Zionsville projects a welcoming atmosphere and a relatively successful tourism industry. It’s a small town, with a population of just 25,709,” and then has a note about the safety of the area, “…crime is relatively nonexistent, so young professionals who prioritize safety may want to take a look here.”

“Zionsville offers a high standard of living to its residents, and this is evident from its safe streets, plenty of high-quality restaurants and cafes, and top-class educational institutes,” writes Nomad Lawyer. “The town provides just about everything to its inhabitants so they don’t have to venture out regularly. Zionsville offers a high standard of living to its residents, and this is evident from its safe streets, plenty of high-quality restaurants and cafes, and top-class educational institutes.”

Despite the slightly higher cost of living, habitants still reap the benefits of livng here. “While it is actually the most expensive postcode in all Indiana – and this is reflected in its property prices – residents benefit from safe streets, top-class schools and its friendly small-town feel. Lining its quaint, village-style downtown are lots of local shops and restaurants so you don’t need to brave the hustle and bustle of Circle City whenever you want to dine out,” explains Touropia.

5. Westfield

Rounding off the list is Westfield, Indiana. Considered to be part of the Indianapolis metropolis area, it has a population of around 50,000. Home Snacks describes the safety and viability of this city. “Westfield’s low crime rate tells us a couple of things: one, this city in Hamilton County has the 11th lowest crime rate: it’s over 60% below the state and national average. To put this in perspective, there were only 400 crimes committed here last year, and a majority of them were property related. And, two, the lack of crime inside “The Crossroads of Indiana” has allowed this city to focus their funds and attention on jobs and education, and it shows: Westfield has the 9th best unemployment rate in Indiana and the poverty rate here is well below the national average at 5.8%. In terms of education, Westfield spends close to $11,000/student and it shows as they have the 12th lowest high school dropout rate in the state.”

One expert from Niche talks about all the opportunities for fun.”Westfield is a great place. For families or older generations. Things to do around town, like mini golf, restaurants and walking paths. The schools are great academically and athletically. The people are really nice and there are great neighborhoods around.”

Trip101 notes, “Westfield is a city in Hamilton County, Indiana, and it is on’s 2020 list as one of the best places to live in America. The choice was based on the cost of living, employment opportunities and diversity in the city. Westfield has been ranked seventh among the Top 10 Safest Places in Indiana by Attractions in the city include the Monon Trail, a paved pathway following a former rail line. Visitors and residents enjoy visiting the Urban Vines Winery and Brewery. Fresh air fun can be enjoyed in the Cool Creek Park Nature Center, a science centre focusing on nature.”

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Note: This article was not paid for nor sponsored. StudyFinds is not connected to nor partnered with any of the brands mentioned and receives no compensation for its recommendations.


About Winston McDaniel

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  1. Gary Brown says:

    The writer has obviously never visited or lived in Columbus, Indiana. Less crime, less people and traffic than Carmel and Fishers and just as pretty. Home of Cummins world headquarters and some of the best architecture in the U.S.

    1. Rosey says:

      I agree, if you like living in SUPER CROWED cookie cutter round a- about ..around EVERY SINGLE corner then by all means move to one of those places. I live in Morgantown myself just a ways from you and about 8 minutes from BEAUTIFUL Brown County State Park. We have No crime over crowding and nothing but fresh air, TONS of beautiful wildlife just out my back deck! Step into the country, raise your kids where they may learn MORE than video games.🐕🐴🐇🐦🐓🪿🐈‍⬛🐈🦮🐾🦋🌳🪺🌼🦆🦃🐖🦊🌄

  2. Resident says:

    Fishers is 100% a city (a simple check of their website shows this) and has been for years. Clearly these types of articles are not written by people in their respective states, and just cherry pick data to write these articles to get viewers.

  3. Cat Heiby says:

    I think most of Indiana is gorgeous and some of the small burgs are especially gorgeous, like Columbus, Berne, Geneva, Little Nashville, Bloomington, Madison, Vincennes, Auburn, Winchester, and so many others which are also worth mentioning but all are usually not mentioned by traveling journalists. They are all worth mentioning and well worth a visit and at least worth a slow drive through. All of Indiana is a state that is well-worth mentioning and not only for it’s beautiful little cities and big cities, such as Indianapolis, South Bend, Mishawaka & others but there is low crime here compared to other states, low cost of living, good real estate deals on homes and lots of really friendly people who talk and wave to anybody, even strangers! Indiana is a great place to visit but an even better place to live it! You should come wander through here but go slowly so you can enjoy the laid back pace of Hoosiers and also their great food, like Sugar Cream pies, Fish Fries everywhere, gianormous pork tenderloin sandwiches, tasty Skyline Chili, generous portions of home beef/chicken’n noodles on generous mounds of homemade buttery mashed potatoes at small diner and cafés here! Once you come for a slow visit, you’ll love it here and maybe you’ll want to stay!

  4. Charles Marcinko says:

    I have live near or in all of them except Fort Wayne and while they are very nice. They are not affordable to those in the middle and lower class. They are all turning into an elite type of town with only doctors, lawyers and professional athletes and others like them can afford to live there. Rethink your list. In the northwest part of the state both Crown Point and Valparaiso are affordable and great places to live in.