The 10 Most Expensive Places To Live In Indiana For 2021


We used science and data to determine which cities in Indiana that will put a big dent in your wallet.

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Editor’s Note: We updated this article for 2021. This is our seventh time ranking the most expensive places to live in Indiana.

Everyone wants a home that mixes affordability with comfort and Indiana does this very well. Families love the Hoosier State's beaches, midlands, and mountains as tourists before moving here and calling it home.

But before you decide to relocate, you have to do some research into the exact cost of living around the state -- and that's how we're going to help you.

These are the places in Indiana that cost a pretty penny -- the most expensive cities in the state.

After we saved up for months and could finally afford it, we landed on this list of the ten most expensive cities in Indiana for 2021.

So where is the most expensive place to live in Indiana? That would be West Lafayette.
the 2015-2019 American Community Survey for the 117 places in Indiana with more than 5,000 people.

Here are the 10 most expensive places to live in Indiana for 2021:

  1. West Lafayette
  2. Bloomington
  3. Indianapolis
  4. Madison
  5. Speedway
  6. Plainfield
  7. Valparaiso
  8. Whitestown
  9. Charlestown
  10. Dyer

What's the most expensive place to live in Indiana? Well, HomeSnacks crunched the numbers and discovered that West Lafayette is the most expensive place to live in Indiana.

So hopefully New Whiteland (the cheapest place to live in Indiana) can show these guys how to live on a budget in the coming years. Read on for how these places had costs rise faster than inflation.

And if you already knew these places were expensive, check out some more reading about Indiana and the most expensive cities in the country:

The 10 Most Expensive Places To Live In Indiana For 2021

1. West LafayetteWest Lafayette, IN

Overall SnackAbility

8.5
/10

Population: 48,551
Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 6.5x (most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 38.0x (most expensive)
More on West Lafayette: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The median income in West Lafayette comes in at $34,650 and the median home value is $224,000 for 2021.

2. BloomingtonBloomington, IN

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 84,116
Rank Last Year: 2 (No Change)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 5.4x (2nd most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 40.4x (2nd most expensive)
More on Bloomington: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The median income in Bloomington comes in at $37,077 and the median home value is $200,700 for 2021.

3. IndianapolisIndianapolis, IN

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 864,447
Rank Last Year: 5 (Up 2)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 2.9x (10th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 53.7x (18th most expensive)
More on Indianapolis: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The median income in Indianapolis comes in at $47,873 and the median home value is $137,000 for 2021.

4. MadisonMadison, IN

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 11,813
Rank Last Year: 7 (Up 3)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 3.3x (3rd most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 55.9x (25th most expensive)
More on Madison: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The median income in Madison comes in at $40,231 and the median home value is $133,000 for 2021.

5. SpeedwaySpeedway, IN

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 12,266
Rank Last Year: 5 (No Change)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 2.9x (9th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 51.1x (12th most expensive)
More on Speedway: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The median income in Speedway comes in at $42,188 and the median home value is $122,000 for 2021.

6. PlainfieldPlainfield, IN

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 32,879
Rank Last Year: 16 (Up 10)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 2.8x (13th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 61.0x (45th most expensive)
More on Plainfield: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The median income in Plainfield comes in at $61,046 and the median home value is $170,400 for 2021.

7. ValparaisoValparaiso, IN

Overall SnackAbility

8.5
/10

Population: 33,355
Rank Last Year: 4 (Down 3)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 3.1x (4th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 64.4x (59th most expensive)
More on Valparaiso: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The median income in Valparaiso comes in at $59,533 and the median home value is $185,800 for 2021.

8. WhitestownWhitestown, IN

Overall SnackAbility

9
/10

Population: 8,312
Rank Last Year: 3 (Down 5)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 2.6x (2most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 64.5x (60th most expensive)
More on Whitestown: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The median income in Whitestown comes in at $85,000 and the median home value is $225,000 for 2021.

9. CharlestownCharlestown, IN

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 8,199
Rank Last Year: 37 (Up 28)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 3.0x (6th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 59.7x (42nd most expensive)
More on Charlestown: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The median income in Charlestown comes in at $45,278 and the median home value is $136,500 for 2021.

10. DyerDyer, IN

Overall SnackAbility

9.5
/10

Population: 15,953
Rank Last Year: 11 (Up 1)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 2.5x (33rd most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 64.2x (56th most expensive)
More on Dyer: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The median income in Dyer comes in at $84,202 and the median home value is $212,400 for 2021.

How We Determined The Most Expensive Places To Live In The Hoosier State For 2021

Map Of The Cheapest Places To Live In Indiana
The two most important things to think about when it comes to being able to afford if you can live comes down to:

  1. How much do money do I make?
  2. How much do I have spend to live there?

You need to understand your costs in the context of how much money you make.

For example, if the median household earns $100,000 and spends $40,000 on housing it's actually cheaper to live there than a place with a median income of $50,000 and housing costs of $21,000. You might spend more on housing, but you have more money overall to play with.

With that example in mind, we derived several statistics from the latest Census American Community Survey 2015-2019 around incomes and costs. They are:

  • Median Home Price / Median Income (lower is better)
  • Median Income / Median Rent (Higher is better)
  • Median Home Price

We added simply median home price because high home prices generally correlate with higher expenses for all costs related to homes (heating, electricity, etc).

You can then compare these metrics in each of the places in Indiana to figure out which is the most expensive.

What you are left with is a "Cost of Living Index" by taking the average rank of each of these metrics for each city.

So we used that cost of living index in order to rank all of the 117 places in Indiana that have more than 5,000 people.

The place with the highest cost of living in Indiana according to the data is West Lafayette. You can download the data here.

Taking A Chunk Out Of Your Paycheck In Indiana For 2021

Well there you have it, the places in Indiana that have the highest cost of living, with West Lafayette ranking as the most expensive city in the Hoosier State.

Here's a look at the most affordable cities in Indiana according to the data:

  1. New Whiteland
  2. Wabash
  3. Rushville

For more Indiana reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Most Expensive Cities In Indiana

Rank City ExpensiveScore Population Home/Income Ratio Income/Rent Ratio
1 West Lafayette 3.67 48,551 6.5x 38.0x
2 Bloomington 6.33 84,116 5.4x 40.4x
3 Indianapolis 22.67 864,447 2.9x 53.7x
4 Madison 24.33 11,813 3.3x 55.9x
5 Speedway 25.0 12,266 2.9x 51.1x
6 Plainfield 26.33 32,879 2.8x 61.0x
7 Valparaiso 27.33 33,355 3.1x 64.4x
8 Whitestown 29.67 8,312 2.6x 64.5x
9 Charlestown 30.0 8,199 3.0x 59.7x
10 Dyer 33.67 15,953 2.5x 64.2x
11 Lowell 34.33 9,659 2.5x 59.7x
12 Winfield 34.33 5,705 2.7x 69.1x
13 Clarksville 35.0 21,548 2.6x 55.3x
14 Seymour 35.67 19,623 2.7x 57.8x
15 Greenfield 36.33 22,160 2.6x 61.4x
16 Schererville 36.33 28,590 3.1x 74.0x
17 Lawrence 36.67 48,699 2.6x 62.9x
18 Angola 38.33 8,660 2.7x 63.2x
19 Munster 38.67 22,689 2.7x 73.3x
20 Cedar Lake 39.0 12,491 2.8x 70.5x
21 Columbus 40.67 48,150 2.6x 66.7x
22 Highland 40.67 22,581 2.4x 60.8x
23 Sellersburg 41.0 9,066 2.5x 62.7x
24 Portage 41.0 36,648 2.6x 64.8x
25 Carmel 41.67 97,464 3.0x 93.4x
26 Hobart 42.33 28,049 2.4x 61.7x
27 Zionsville 42.67 27,463 2.8x 105.3x
28 Lafayette 43.33 72,581 2.5x 56.8x
29 Batesville 44.67 6,651 3.0x 80.8x
30 St. John 44.67 17,426 2.7x 116.6x
31 Greenwood 44.83 57,764 2.4x 64.6x
32 Scottsburg 45.0 6,702 2.4x 51.7x
33 New Albany 45.33 36,647 2.5x 62.2x
34 Brownsburg 45.67 26,046 2.5x 69.5x
35 Merrillville 45.67 34,889 2.2x 56.2x
36 Westfield 46.33 39,610 2.6x 81.5x
37 Goshen 46.33 34,108 2.5x 62.0x
38 Crown Point 47.33 29,850 2.5x 73.5x
39 Mishawaka 48.0 49,245 2.4x 55.4x
40 Plymouth 48.0 10,054 2.5x 54.0x
41 Noblesville 48.67 63,071 2.5x 79.1x
42 Mooresville 50.0 9,661 2.5x 66.4x
43 Chesterton 50.0 14,119 2.6x 79.3x
44 Elkhart 50.17 52,257 2.4x 51.6x
45 Jeffersonville 50.67 47,673 2.4x 65.7x
46 Beech Grove 52.0 14,990 2.3x 56.2x
47 Jasper 52.5 15,827 2.7x 85.9x
48 Bargersville 53.0 7,085 2.5x 89.3x
49 Evansville 53.0 118,588 2.3x 51.9x
50 Ellettsville 53.33 6,642 2.6x 75.9x
51 La Porte 53.67 21,577 2.4x 59.3x
52 Columbia City 55.33 9,116 2.7x 75.6x
53 Warsaw 55.67 15,458 2.4x 67.7x
54 Mccordsville 57.67 6,857 2.3x 81.0x
55 East Chicago 58.33 28,201 2.3x 47.9x
56 Rensselaer 59.0 6,324 2.4x 65.7x
57 Lebanon 60.33 15,932 2.3x 67.4x
58 Michigan City 61.0 31,118 2.2x 54.0x
59 Fort Wayne 61.0 265,752 2.3x 64.7x
60 Crawfordsville 62.0 16,090 2.4x 68.1x
61 Martinsville 62.33 11,635 2.2x 59.2x
62 Westville 62.67 5,848 2.6x 85.8x
63 Avon 62.67 17,453 2.2x 82.0x
64 Greencastle 62.67 10,296 2.2x 63.0x
65 Muncie 63.0 68,750 2.2x 47.0x
66 Nappanee 63.83 7,033 2.2x 66.5x
67 South Bend 64.0 102,037 2.1x 51.0x
68 Hunte 64.0 6,789 2.1x 70.6x
69 Terre Haute 64.67 60,673 2.2x 49.8x
70 Gas City 65.0 5,802 2.1x 51.4x
71 Kendallville 65.0 9,347 2.3x 64.6x
72 Auburn 65.67 13,056 2.4x 71.0x
73 Mount Vernon 66.83 6,584 2.4x 74.5x
74 Richmond 67.0 35,539 2.2x 58.5x
75 Cumberland 67.67 5,718 2.2x 83.5x
76 Griffith 68.33 16,228 2.2x 71.3x
77 Hammond 68.33 76,547 2.0x 52.8x
78 Connersville 68.33 13,165 2.1x 49.4x
79 Franklin 69.33 25,106 2.2x 68.1x
80 Gary 69.67 76,010 2.1x 40.7x
81 Greensburg 70.0 11,228 2.2x 69.9x
82 Monticello 70.5 5,262 2.2x 64.4x
83 New Haven 70.67 16,279 2.0x 62.4x
84 Marion 71.0 27,956 2.1x 49.0x
85 Anderson 71.33 54,513 2.0x 48.9x
86 Lake Station 73.33 12,002 1.8x 50.2x
87 Bedford 73.33 13,272 2.2x 64.4x
88 Yor 74.0 11,143 2.2x 84.1x
89 Huntingburg 74.33 6,522 2.3x 71.5x
90 Frankfort 75.0 15,634 2.0x 57.8x
91 Washington 75.0 12,412 2.1x 59.2x
92 Salem 76.0 6,172 2.3x 65.2x
93 Vincennes 76.33 17,304 2.0x 57.4x
94 Danville 76.67 9,923 2.1x 89.9x
95 Boonville 77.0 6,292 2.2x 66.3x
96 New Castle 77.67 17,287 1.9x 54.5x
97 Tell City 80.33 7,256 2.3x 82.4x
98 Brazil 81.0 8,380 1.9x 59.5x
99 Shelbyville 81.0 18,951 1.9x 66.5x
100 Garrett 81.33 6,651 2.1x 68.4x

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About Chris Kolmar

Chris Kolmar has been in the real estate business for almost ten years now. He originally worked for Movoto Real Estate as the director of marketing before founding HomeSnacks.

He believes the key to finding the right place to live comes down to looking at the data, reading about things to do, and, most importantly, checking it out yourself before you move.

If you've been looking for a place to live in the past several years, you've probably stumbled upon his writing already.

You can find out more about him on LinkedIn or his website.