Moving to Indiana: Everything You Need to Know

Bordering Lake Michigan, Kentucky, Ohio, and Illinois, Indiana is a centrally located state with plenty of attractive characteristics. It’s also developing quickly—the population has reached 6.73 million people, a 300,000 increase from 2010.

Indiana’s nickname is the Hoosier State, originating from Indiana’s history with corn. Flatboatmen from Indiana would transport corn, or as it was called at the time, “hoosa,” to New Orleans, and the name stuck. Indiana residents today appreciate the quality education, relaxed lifestyle, and low cost of living. 

But before you decide to pack up all your belongings and start moving to Indiana, you should know more about what it’s like to live here. In this article, we’ll go through general information about Indiana, including the climate, taxes, and the best places to live.

The Climate in Indiana

When you move to Indiana, you will have the pleasure of experiencing all four seasons. The state is characterized by a continental climate with hot, humid summers and cold winters.

The northern part of the state is colder, and the weather becomes warmer as you move toward Central Indiana and Southern Indiana. But no matter your location, you will feel all four seasons.

When you live in Indiana, you can expect around 186 sunny days a year, giving you plenty of amazing weather for outdoor activities. The highest average summer temperatures, around 88°F, occur in July, while it’s coldest in January when the temperatures can dip to almost 19°F.

Indiana State Relocation Guide

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The winter in Indiana tends to be cold and cloudy with little rainfall. Depending on where in Indiana you are located, you might see snow. Some areas receive anywhere from 4 to 10 inches a year or more.

The variation in snow depends on your proximity to the Great Lakes, which causes lake effect snow to fall in the northern part of the state.

Spring is the wettest season, and you’ll probably experience a few rainstorms in May and June. Summer is not well-liked by many Indiana residents because of its humidity, but it’s the perfect time for camping and stargazing.

Finally, the fall season is the best time to visit Indiana and witness the changing colors in the state parks. The weather tends to be stable, with little rain and mild temperatures.

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Because Indiana is a very flat state with a low elevation, tornadoes, and flooding can occur. Other natural disasters you could run into while living in Indiana are ice storms, heat waves, and blizzards. On rare occasions, you might also experience earthquakes or wildfires.

Taxes in Indiana

Moving to Indiana from another state means that you have to consider the change in your state taxes. Indiana has a few types of taxes you should think about, but the main ones that will impact your budget are income and sales taxes, as well as property taxes.

The state has a flat income tax of 3.23%, but many counties charge an additional local income tax. To get an idea of what you could owe as an Indiana resident, if you live with your partner or spouse and have the national average income of $56,303, your state income tax will be $1,754.

The sales tax in Indiana is 7%, while property taxes are pretty low compared to the rest of the country. The average effective property tax rate for Indiana is 0.81%, while the national average is 1.07%. If you have a medium home value of $141,700, you can expect your property taxes to be $1,346.

Cost of Living in Indiana

The cost of living for a state is measured by comparing it to the national average. The average cost of living index is 100, and any state below this index has a cheaper cost of living, while states with an index above 100 are more expensive.

At 82.1, the cost of living in Indiana is low. Groceries, healthcare, housing, and public transportation systems are all relatively affordable for an Indiana resident, and the state is ranked as the 6th most affordable state.

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Indiana also has affordable housing. The housing market has attractive prices in major cities and small towns. The median home price in Indiana is $141,700, while the median rent is $826. Some of the cheapest places to live in the state are:

  • Wabash
  • Alexandria
  • Mount Vernon
  • Hartford City
  • Linton

The affordability makes moving to Indiana easy, especially for young professionals and families. Many choose to move to Northwest Indiana, which is exceptionally close to Chicago. Living here gives you access to the city while having the comfort and security of the suburbs.

Employment in Indiana

One of the reasons so many people have been moving to Indiana is the state’s diversified economy and job market. Businesses have sprouted up in all major industries, including agriculture, manufacturing, energy, and healthcare.

Because of this, unemployment has dropped to 4%, and the average salary has increased to $66,665 per year. For those starting with minimum wage jobs, the wage is $7.25 per hour.

The top industries where new residents of Indiana can find jobs are:

  • Aerospace and aviation
  • Advanced manufacturing
  • Agriculture
  • Cybersecurity
  • Defense and National Security

Indiana is also home to many large corporations and employers. These companies are located all around the state, from Indiana’s capital, Indianapolis, to Michigan City and other towns in Northwest Indiana. The top employers of the state are:

  • Cummins
  • Anthem
  • Eli Lilly and Company
  • State of Indiana
  • Indiana University

Indiana Healthcare

For healthcare overall, Indiana ranks at #32 of all 50 states. Healthcare access and quality are good, with respective rankings of #23 and #27. There’s room for improvement in public health—Indiana ranks at #40. This could be partly due to the high rate of obesity in the state, with 35.3% of the state’s population being obese.

In terms of health insurance, Indiana residents have a few options. They can enroll in federal plans such as Medicaid and Medicare, but they can also opt-in for the Healthy Indiana Plan (HIP). This plan covers medical costs for adults aged 19 to 64 and could even allow for vision and dental coverage. Eligible people include:

  • Individuals with an annual income up to $17,780
  • Couples with a joint annual income of up to $24,043
  • Families of four with annual incomes of up to $36,581

Although different types of plans are available for those living in Indiana, approximately 11.6% of the state’s population remains uninsured.

Indiana Education

If you’re moving with children or college-aged students, you also want to know about the state of education in Indiana. In terms of quality, the state ranks in the middle compared to the rest of the country. Indiana is 9th for the quality of pre-K to 12th grade and 34th for higher education.

The population is generally well-educated, with approximately 89% completing high school and 26% with a Bachelor’s degree. Some of the best Indiana colleges include:

  • University of Notre Dame (Notre Dame)
  • Purdue University (West Lafayette)
  • Indiana University – Bloomington (Bloomington)
  • Butler University (Indianapolis)
  • Ball State University (Muncie)

The top 5 school districts in the state are:

  • West Lafayette Community School Corporation
  • Carmel Clay Schools (Carmel)
  • Zionsville Community Schools (Zionsville)
  • Hamilton Southeastern School District (Fishers)
  • Brownsburg Community School Corporation (Brownsburg)

Notable Highlights

Indiana is an exciting and interesting state with many activities. Residents enjoy driving through scenic Southern Indiana, visiting the suburban towns of Northwest Indiana, watching college sports, and more. Here are some of the most notable highlights of the state.

Nature

Indiana has some beautiful sights for residents and tourists to see. You can visit natural parks, go hiking on some of the best hiking trails, enjoy a day at the beach, and more.

As a resident, you’ll enjoy access to the beauty of Lake Michigan. You can also head out to some of Indiana’s state parks, such as:

  • Spring Mill State Park
  • Turkey Run State Park
  • McCormick’s Creek State Park
  • Pokagon State Park
  • Indiana Dunes State Park
  • Brown County State Park

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Museums and History

Indiana is also a state full of history, and you can learn all about it in some of its museums. When you live in the state, you’ll have plenty of time to explore some of the best Indiana museums, including:

  • Auburn Cord Duesenberg Automobile Museum
  • Dream Car Museum
  • Indiana Military Museum
  • USS LST Ship Museum
  • Red Skelton Museum of American Comedy

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Best Places to Live in Indiana

Now that we know a lot more about what it’s like to live in the Hoosier State, we should also discuss the best places to live in Indiana. The state is quite large, and you can choose between living in an urban or suburban area depending on your needs. But in general, here are the top 5 best places to live in Indiana.

Fort Wayne

With a population of 265,000 people, Fort Wayne is located in Northern Indiana. The city is in the top 100 cities to live in America because of its affordable cost of living, excellent schools, and strong economy. It’s known as the “City of Restaurants” and has great food trucks. 

There is something for everyone in this city, whether you’re a millennial looking to live in an exciting place or a family that wants top-notch schools for your children.

South Bend

South Bend is the fourth largest city in Indiana and has a population of 102,000. It has low-cost housing—the median home value is $81,100. South Bend is known as the economic and cultural center of Northern Indiana. The city is diverse and attracts young people and families.

South Bend is a great choice if you want to enjoy all four seasons, proximity to big cities and national parks, and if the cost of living is a priority. 

West Lafayette

A small town with vibrant college life, West Lafayette is home to one of the top Indiana universities, Purdue University. The median age in this town is 22 years old, so the city attracts a lot of young professionals and college students who choose to stay after graduation for job opportunities.

But because of this economic development, the living cost is a bit higher compared to the other places on the list, and homes can be more expensive. If you want to become a homeowner, be prepared to pay around $250,000 or more—the median value is $222,200.

Carmel

Known as one of the best suburbs to live in Indiana, Carmel has a small-town feel with big-city amenities. Most people in Carmel own their homes. The median value of a home in this town is $354,100, but it’s worth it for the low crime rate, clean neighborhoods, and some of the best schools in the country.

This charming town is also extremely close to Indianapolis, and you can commute to the city in less than 20 minutes. So if you want the peace and safety of the suburbs but a job in the city, Carmel is the place to be.

Fishers

Another suburb of Indiana with a population of 92,000 people, Fishers is one of the best places to live in the entire state of Indiana. More than 81% of residents own their homes, and while buying a home can be more expensive than in some areas, the living costs are reasonable.

Fishers is known for its job opportunities and great healthcare institutions. The quality of public schools is also excellent, so Fishers can be a great home for young couples, families, and seniors.

Conclusion

Indiana has quickly become a hub of economic activity in the last 10 years. With an increase in population and job opportunities, the state attracts many young people and families who want a lower cost of living and a small-town feel.

Although Indiana has great college towns and nightlife, most people move to the state for natural beauty and high-quality public education.

But to see everything that Indiana has to offer, you should also think about moving your car there. All in all, moving to a new state can be stressful. However, you can save yourself a lot of hassle if you hire a professional vehicle transportation company such as Guardian Auto Transport.

Guardian Auto Transport is known as the best car shipping company in the country. We can ship your vehicle between cities, states, or even across the country. Our carriers can safely transport your vehicle to Indiana, giving you total peace of mind.

Get a free instant quote now and get ready to explore the beauty of Indiana.

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