5 Worst Places to Live in Indiana

Indiana, the “Crossroads of America,” is known for its friendly Midwestern spirit, rich history, and scenic landscapes. However, like any state, Indiana has its share of communities facing challenges that can affect quality of life. This article explores five places in Indiana that may not be ideal for everyone, considering factors like crime rates, economic opportunities, and overall well-being. It’s important to remember that these are just a few considerations, and every place has its unique character.

The Top 5: A Closer Look

1. Gary, Lake County

Once a booming steel town, Gary, Indiana, has struggled in recent decades. The city’s violent crime rate is significantly higher than the national average, with property crime also a concern [1, 2, 3]. Manufacturing decline has left many residents unemployed, and the poverty rate is high. While Gary has seen some revitalization efforts, significant challenges remain.

2. East Chicago, Lake County

Neighboring Gary, East Chicago shares many of its struggles. The environmental impact of heavy industry lingers, and the city grapples with a high crime rate and limited economic opportunities [1, 2, 3]. While its proximity to Chicago offers some advantages, East Chicago faces an uphill battle in attracting new residents.

3. Anderson, Madison County

Anderson, located northeast of Indianapolis, has seen a decline in its manufacturing base. This has led to job losses, population decrease, and a rise in poverty [1]. Crime rates in Anderson are above the state average, particularly property crime [2, 3]. While the cost of living is relatively low, those seeking strong job markets and a lower crime rate may find Anderson less appealing.

4. Terre Haute, Vigo County

Terre Haute, home to Indiana State University, has a higher crime rate than the state average, particularly violent crime [2, 3]. Economic opportunities can be limited outside of the university and healthcare sectors [1]. Terre Haute may not be the best fit for those seeking a vibrant job market or a particularly safe environment.

5. Hammond, Lake County

Hammond, another Lake County city, has its share of challenges. Crime rates, particularly property crime, are a concern [2, 3]. The city faces economic struggles, with a limited job market and a higher poverty rate than the national average [1]. While its location near Chicago offers some advantages, Hammond may not be the most attractive option for those prioritizing safety and economic opportunity.

Important Considerations

It’s important to remember that these are just a few Indiana locations, and within each city, there can be significant variation. Some neighborhoods may be safer or offer more amenities than others. This article is intended to be a starting point for further research.

Here are some additional factors to consider when evaluating a place to live in Indiana:

  • Specific needs and priorities: What are your priorities in terms of safety, job market, cost of living, and amenities?
  • Quality of schools: If you have children, the quality of the school district is a crucial factor.
  • Access to healthcare: Consider the availability and quality of healthcare facilities in the area.
  • Cultural offerings: Explore the arts, entertainment, and recreational opportunities in the community.


Indiana offers a variety of communities, each with its own unique character. While some areas face challenges, the state also boasts many thriving towns and cities. By carefully considering your priorities and conducting thorough research, you can find the perfect place to call home in Indiana.


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MBS Staff
Articles: 6843

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