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The 20 Worst Places to Live in Indiana


Safety levels, educational opportunities, leisure activities, the job market, and income levels are all factors that determine whether somewhere is a good place to live or not. Based on these factors, people can decide which are the best places to live in a state and which are best to avoid.

Of course, everyone has their own preferences and will prioritize the factors in different ways. However, places that rank poorly in multiple areas are those that will appeal least to most people.

Indiana has some amazing locations, and it also has some places to live that are considered undesirable. Using data relating to the factors listed, here are the 20 worst places to live in Indiana.

La Porte

20. La Porte

La Porte has many positive features, which is why it does not rank higher up on the list. Some of the plus points include the above-average schools and the variety of leisure activities to enjoy in the area. However, it is still worth noting that safety is a significant concern in this city, as it ranks as the 14th most dangerous place to live in Indiana overall. Another negative feature of this city is the lack of job opportunities.


19. Seymour

There are both pros and cons to living in Seymour. One of its major downfalls is safety, as it is the 13th most dangerous place to live in the state. Another issue is the poorly rated schools in the area. In contrast, there are plenty of things for people of all ages to enjoy, and there are decent employment opportunities.


18. Marion

Safety is a concern for those who live in Marion, as it is the 12th most dangerous place to live in the state. It is also not a great place to live for families as the schools are significantly below par and there are few family-oriented activities to enjoy in the area. Furthermore, there is a lack of employment opportunities in the city.


17. Shelbyville

Shelbyville is a city in Shelby County with a population of just under 19,000 people. It is one of the locations that make it onto the list of the worst places to live in Indiana predominantly because of the crime rates.

It has the second-most violent crimes and the 25th most property crimes per capita in Indiana. However, there are many plus points to this location that prevent it from ranking higher on this list. According to Niche, it has above-average public schools and a variety of leisure activities and entertainment options.


16. Lafayette

Lafayette has a population of 72,585 people, and it is in Tippecanoe County. It is the 10th-most dangerous place to live in Indiana, hence its inclusion on this list. However, other than the crime rates, there is nothing too bad about Lafayette, which is why it is not further up the list. The public schools are decent, there are reasonable job opportunities, and the community is diverse.


15. Kokomo

Kokomo is another location that makes it into the top ten most dangerous places to live in Indiana, ranked in the eighth position. Violent crime is a greater issue than property crime, as it has the fourth-most violent crimes in the state, while Kokomo only ranks in the 18th position for property crimes.


14. Speedway

According to FBI data, Speedway is the eighth-most dangerous place to live in Indiana, so the crime rates are the main reason this city is considered undesirable. The public schools are also a significant issue in Speedway. On the other hand, the transport links are good, there is a reasonably strong job market, and there is a variety of activities to enjoy in the area.


13. Hammond

As it is the seventh-most dangerous place to live in Indiana, it is no wonder that Hammond makes it onto the list. Hammond is the fifth-largest city in Indiana, and it has a population of 75,795 people. It is in Lake County and is part of the Chicago metropolitan area.

In addition to the high crime rates, Hammond also has poorly rated schools. However, those who are not interested in safety and do not have children may enjoy living in this city, as it has a vibrant nightlife, a diverse community, and plenty of leisure options.


12. Evansville

The primary reason Evansville is on the list is the lack of safety in the area. Crime statistics show that it has the fourth-most property crimes and the fifth-most violent crimes in Indiana. Therefore, it is the fourth-most dangerous place to live in the state overall.

The job market is also weak in this city, so many people find it hard to find work in their preferred industry. Evansville has some positive features that have prevented it from being included in the top ten of this list. The schools are above average, there is a lively night scene, and there are leisure activities to suit a variety of interests.


11. Clarksville

It is only thanks to Clarksville’s plus points that this city does not rank higher up the list as it is the second most dangerous place to live in Indiana. Property crime is the biggest issue, as it has more property crimes per capita than any other Indiana location. The positive elements of this location that have helped prevent the city from ranking higher are leisure activities, good amenities, job opportunities in a variety of industries, and decent public schools.


10. Logansport

Logansport is a city in Indiana that is located where the Eel and Wabash Rivers meet. Although Logansport is not one of the most dangerous places to live in Indiana, there are other issues that make it an undesirable location.

These are predominantly factors relating to the city’s economy. The median home value is the third-lowest in the state, it has the 24th worst unemployment rate and the 14th lowest median household income. A further problem in the area is the lack of outdoor and fitness-related activities to enjoy.


9. Linton

A variety of economic factors put Linton in the top ten worst places to live in the state. It has the fourth-worst median home value, the 13th lowest median household income, and the 20th worst unemployment rate.

Another point to note is that the public schools are poorly rated in this city. On the other hand, there is a diverse community, and there are decent entertainment options.

South Bend

8. South Bend

The only surprise here is that South Bend does not rank higher on the list of the worst places to live in Indiana as the statistics show it is the most dangerous place to live in Indiana, says Road Snacks.

It has more violent crimes per capita than any other city in the state, and it also has the third-most property crimes. The only factor that has shoved this location down the rankings is the public schools. K-12 education in South Ben receives more support than anywhere else in the state.


7. Connersville

The lack of amenities and leisure options is the main reason that Connersville ranks as a bad location option if you want to live in Indiana. Even if there were more things to do in this area, the low median income would mean that options for Connersville residents are limited.

Furthermore, the median home value is the ninth-worst in the state. However, life is not all bad for the residents of Connersville, as there are good entertainment and leisure options for them to enjoy. Connersville is a town in Fayette County with a population of 13,069.


6. Salem

The crime in Salem is the 38th highest in Indiana, which may not seem that high and may lead you to question its position on the list. However, Salem has additional issues that have forced it up the rankings, not least the lack of leisure and entertainment options in the area, including the lack of nightlife.

Another significant issue is the underfunded schools, as schools in this city receive less support than anywhere else in Indiana. Therefore, the lack of leisure options and poor schools means it is one of the worst places for families to live in the state. Further issues in the area include poor commutability and a lack of community diversity.


5. Elkhart

As crime is not a major issue in Elkhart, which is home to 52,308 people, it may surprise some people that it ranks so highly in the worst places to live in Indiana. It has landed in this position due to the poor economy in the area.

The median household income is the lowest in Indiana, 7.8 percent of people are unemployed, and 23.5 percent of the residents are living below the poverty line.

Education is another issue, as the public schools are below average, which is something that deters many families from living in this area. Therefore, this Elkhart County city has some real problems, so it is unsurprising that it is on the list, despite not having high crime rates.

Lake Station

4. Lake Station

Lake Station is a suburb of Chicago with a population of 12,059 residents. Although Lake Station does not rank in the top 20 most dangerous places in the state, it has other problems that make this an undesirable location.

The main reason Lake station has landed in the fourth position on this list is the local economy, which is poor. Not only does Lake Station have the third-highest unemployment rate in Indiana, but both the median household income and the median home value are some of the lowest in the state.

A further problem is schooling, as the public schools in Lake Station are ranked below average. On the plus side, residents can enjoy outdoor activities, and there are decent transport links.


3. Anderson

Anderson is in Madison County, and it is home to 54,788 people. This city is the sixth most dangerous place to live in the state, so safety is clearly a concern amongst the residents.

Anderson ranks as the 10th worst location for both its unemployment rate and its median home value. Other issues are a low median household income and a lack of entertainment options in the area.

Another negative against this location is that it is not a great place for families. Not only are the schools underfunded and poorly rated, but there is also a lack of family-oriented activities to enjoy in Anderson. Like any area, Anderson also has some plus points, including community diversity and a lively night scene.

East Chicago

2. East Chicago

East Chicago is the third most dangerous place to live in Indiana, so it is no surprise that it ranks so highly on the list of the worst places to live in Indiana. Unfortunately, crime is not the only issue in this area.

It also has the second-highest unemployment rate at 12.3 percent and the 12th worst median home value. East Chicago also has some of the worst public schools in the state, despite receiving a high level of funding for education compared to other areas in Indiana. Despite all the problems in the area, it must have something going for it as it is home to 28,448 people.


1. Gary

According to Road Snacks, the worst place to live in Indiana is Gary, which has a population of 76,677. One reason it ranks in the top position is that the crime rates are high, and it is the fifth most dangerous place to live overall in Indiana.

However, a greater issue is the high unemployment rate, which is the highest in the state at 13.8 percent. Furthermore, the median household income is the lowest in Indiana, and the city has the sixth-lowest median home value. The only positive feature of Gary worth mentioning is that the public schools are ranked above-average.

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Liz Flynn

Written by Liz Flynn

Liz Flynn has worked as a full-time writer since 2010 after leaving a career in education. She finds almost all topics she writes about interesting, but her favorite subjects are travel and food. Liz loves the process of researching information, learning new things, and putting into words what others who share her interests might like to read. Although she spends most of her time writing, she also enjoys spending time with her husband and four children, watching films, cooking, dining out, reading, motorsports, gaming, and walking along the beach next to her house with her dog.

Read more posts by Liz Flynn

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