“Chief Executive” magazine recently surveyed more than 500 chief executives and asked them to evaluate states based on a number of business and livability related factors. Indiana ranked as the sixth best state to do business in and its high quality living environment was one reason why.
Indiana’s recent good news has people from across the country contemplating a move to the Hoosier state. If you’re one of them you’ll want to read on as we reveal the 50 safest cities to call home in Indiana.
Here’s how we complied our list. We used FBI Crime Report data from 2012 as the foundation for our report and paired it with our own thorough research. We then trimmed down the list to cities with a population of 5,000 or above. We analyzed the number of Violent Crimes, consisting of aggravated assault, forcible rape, murder, and robbery, as well as Property Crimes, consisting of arson, burglary, larceny-theft, and motor vehicle theft. Then, we calculated the chance of these crimes happening out of one thousand in order to create a level the playing field.
The FBI Crime Report is one of the most well respected sources for comprehensive crime statistics, however not all cities have reported complete data to the FBI and that could be why you don’t see your Indiana city on our list.
If you’d like to learn more about how to keep your family safe in Indiana, you’ll want to check out our Indiana Home Security and Crime Prevention Center.
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Zionsville residents have a lot to boast about. Not only do they call Indiana’s safest city home, they’re also members of one of the state’s most highly educated communities. In fact, 66 percent of Zionsville residents have attained their Bachelor’s Degree or higher.
Zionsville offers an enviable, well rounded lifestyle. Commuters will appreciate that it’s only eight miles northwest of Indianapolis, and convenient to two major highways. And those who want to launch a business of their own will be welcomed with open arms, and a wealth of support. Focus on Zionsville, The Zionsville Economic Development Commission , and Boone County Economic Development Corporation are just three organizations that help boost small business in Zionsville.
Zionsville is also a relatively young community, so those with children will make friends fast. Nearly half of the household’s in this safe city have kids below the age of 18. If you’re thinking about packing your bags for Zionsville you’ll be happy to hear the town puts safety and recreation at the top of its priority list. The Nancy Burton/Dave Brown Trail is the heart of an ever expanding pathway system that safely connects parks, schools, and the local Boys and Girls Club.
We were not the least surprised to discover Zionsville’s population has bloomed over the last decade, growing 61 percent from the 2000 Census to the 2010 Census.
Violent Crimes per 1,000: 0.00
Property Crimes per 1,000: 1.93
The Town of Bargersville measures only 1.1 square miles, but don’t let its diminutive size fool you. This small town boasts loads of character, a bustling economy, and it’s decidedly safe. We were impressed to find no property crimes were reported to law enforcement in 2012.
Located in Johnson County, Indiana, Bargersville is perfectly positioned for those commuting to Indianapolis, Nashville, and Bloomington. When the weekend rolls in you’ll want to explore the treasures in your own backyard, one of which is Bargersville’s infamous Flea Market. Operating for more than four decades, every member of your family is sure to uncover a treat. Tasty fresh food, a farmers’ market, and vendors that range from local artists to those selling plants, antiques, and even cars are just a few of the items you’ll find at this 10 acre family friendly market.
Head to Bargersville and your kids will be rewarded with a great education. Bargersville’s youth are served by the 4-star, Center Grove Community School Corporation. Center Grove’s reputation for educational excellence is one reason why the town is growing at an astonishing rate. Bargersville’s population has nearly tripled since the 2000 Census, proving what locals have known for decades: Bargersville is a beautiful place to raise a family.
Violent Crimes per 1,000: 1.65
Property Crimes per 1,000: 0.00
Dedicated to community prosperity, Decatur’s future looks bright. One organization committed to enhancing citizen’s health and happiness is Greater Decatur, a group formed two years ago under direction of the mayor. Its mission is to “attract, retain and engage citizens though quality of life and economic prosperity” by establishing long-term priorities for the greater community.
Greater Decatur programs and projects are guided by “6 Livability Principles” including promoting equitable, affordable housing and placing greater value on communities and neighborhoods by embracing their individual characteristics and creating safe, walkable streets. Business development, community marketing and recreational opportunities are additional focal points.
Make the move to Decatur and it won’t be long before you discover the River Greenway Trail. Perfect for summer bike rides, and especially popular with active families who appreciate its eye catching terrain and high marks for safety, the four mile trail will delight you time and again.
Violent Crimes per 1,000: .74
Property Crimes per 1,000: 6.99
James Brainard has the honor of being mayor of one of Indiana’s safest and fastest growing communities. Carmel, Indiana has earned copious kudos over the last decade, including being named the Number One Place to Live in America by “Money” magazine and named a Top 10 Best City for Kids, 2014 by Livability.com.
Strong fiscal management, low residential tax rates, superior schools and an unbeatable parks and recreation department make working, living and playing in Carmel an attractive proposition. Carmel’s Center for The Performing Arts, and its fun, funky and community inspired Arts and Design District, will please all of your sense and spark your inner creative genius. The heart of Old Town Carmel is the place to turn for eclectic boutiques, innovative eateries, and a wide variety of specialty programs such as live jazz.
Boasting more than 80,000 residents, Carmel is by far the most populated city on our Safe Cities of Indiana list, which makes its fourth place finish especially impressive.
Violent Crimes per 1,000: .13
Property Crimes per 1,000: 9.85
In addition to being perfectly located to a number of cities and activities, Westville exudes small town charm that isn’t easy to find these days. Plus, it’s safe.
Home to Purdue University North Central, this northern Indiana community is located just 15 minutes from Lake Michigan and only 45 minutes from downtown Chicago. Situated in La Porte County, the unofficial festival capital of northern Indiana, those who call Westville home will never run out of things to do. From the LaPorte Sunflower Fair to the annual Mill Pond Festival in Union Mills, no matter what the season, you’ll discover a festival that puts a smile on every family member’s face.
Thanks to Westville’s semi-rural location, agriculture hasn’t been lost. Pack a picnic and take the kids out for a drive through colorful fall leaves and pick perfect pumpkin at the local pumpkin patch, or head to the famers’ market for the freshest vegetables and fruit. Pairing the best of quiet living with access to any amenity you could want, it’s no wonder those who call Westville home rarely leave.
Violent Crimes per 1,000: 1.87
Property Crimes per 1,000: 6.47
Image: Westville, IN Website
6. St. John
Pair small town ambiance with urban convenience and you’ve created St. John. Located 24 miles southeast of Chicago, the planned community is perfect for commuters. It’s also distinctly family friendly.
St. John is dotted with more than 20 first-class parks, and its Park Program offers an unending supply of recreation programs and activities. It’s extensive bicycle and pedestrian trail is a particularly noteworthy gem. Twisting and turning through a number of peaceful subdivisions, parents needn’t worry about their kids riding bikes and scooters. Plus, St. John’s state-of-the-art public schools are some of the finest in the state. It came as no surprise that in 2013 Businessweek.com honored St. John as “The Best Place to Raise Kids in the State of Indiana” and the 15th best town to raise children nationwide.
St. John is great for kids, but it’s also perfect for moms and dads looking to build a business. The retail sector is blossoming in St. John, and the town enjoyed an impressive 37 percent job growth rate from 2000 to 2010. The St. John community also benefits for an exceptionally high median household income of approximately $104,000; that’s 173 percent above the national average.
If you’re looking for a safe community that offers the best of everything, you’ve just found your new home.
Violent Crimes per 1,000: .53
Property Crimes per 1,000: 9.33
Fishers is a perfect example of government and citizens working together to create a safe, progressive community that benefits every resident.
For example, Fishers offers a number of citizens’ academies that help government leaders and residents build strong bonds. From the 12 week Fishers Police Department Citizens’ Academy that provides police style training in that areas such as criminal law, crime prevention and defensive tactics to the Citizens’ Fire Academy and even the popular Fishers Police Department Explorer Academy, there are several opportunities to get involved in government.
We were also impressed that Fishers’ leaders make every effort to find out what’s on citizens’ minds. An easy to use Request Tracker lets residents report concerns such as vandalism, overgrown properties, and even provide anonymous tips to law enforcement. Town Talk, Fishers’ publication about everything there is to see and do in the safe city is delivered to mailboxes monthly, and the editors are always looking for citizen’s story ideas. Want to participate in your community? Head straight for Fishers.
Violent Crimes per 1,000: .17
Property Crimes per 1,000: 10.34
Jasper knows that community connections are essential to building a city that’s safe and inventive. To that end, the civic minded community offers a downtown district that promotes local ownership, a bustling calendar of events and more than 20 neighborhood parks and extensive trails.
If your journey leads you to Jasper you’ll undoubtedly be impressed with the area known as Riverwalk. This unique redevelopment includes a train depot, and the Spirit of Jasper Luxury Excursion Train that boasts passenger cars designed by local craftsman. If you’re into the arts, you’ll be happy to learn that Jasper is the only community in the state to have received the coveted Governor’s Arts Award on two occasions. Local school children are treated to on-campus arts demonstrations and the annual Chalk Walk lets even the youngest member of your family get creative by painting the town’s sidewalks in colorful chalk.
Jasper is wonderful, but that doesn’t mean its leaders and citizens are resting on their laurels. In fact, Jasper is one of just a few communities chosen to take part in Indiana’s HomeTown Competitiveness program. Volunteers are working with the program to improve six facets of community life: leadership, entrepreneurship, philanthropy, youth activities, families, and inclusiveness.
Violent Crimes per 1,000: .39
Property Crimes per 1,000: 10.53
9. New Whiteland
Located near the center of Indiana, New Whiteland is the kind of place where neighbors help neighbors and generations of families grow up together.
Measuring just slightly more than one square mile, New Whiteland residents take full advantage of their town’s petite size. From family friendly Movies in the Park to recreational events like the beloved Family Fishing Derby, New Whiteland provides safe and healthy activities that attract new residents and give locals a reason to stay. A high quality of life coupled with a cost of living lower than the national average and the community’s proximity to downtown Indianapolis only add to New Whiteland’s appeal.
The Indianapolis Zoo and The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis will please every member of your family, and when it’s time to travel you’ll appreciate that the Indianapolis International Airport is less than 25 miles away. Safe, friendly and convenient, there are plenty of reasons to fall in love with New Whiteland.
Violent Crimes per 1,000: 1.43
Property Crimes per 1,000: 10.05
Greensburg residents benefit from a strong police force that is well received in the community and that could be why this safe city has earned a position near the top of our Safe Cities of Indiana list.
In addition to attending community meetings, visiting with local business owners and working with education leaders, police are more than willing to help launch Neighborhood Watch programs in an effort to further deter crime.
When your family settles in the historical town of Greensburg your kids will enjoy more than a dozen beautiful and safe parks and weekend trips to Lake Santee, a private 250 acre lake. And you’ll appreciate strolling the streets of an up and coming downtown district that’s undergoing major revitalization.
Violent Crimes per 1,000: 2.84
Property Crimes per 1,000: 9.89
Top notch schools, a vibrant history and small town values are just a few perks of making Danville home.
Located just outside of Indianapolis, Danville is also a dynamic place to establish a new business.
Founded in 1827, Danville boasts two prominent historic areas: the Danville’s Courthouse Square Historic District and the primarily residential Main Street Historic District. Danville residents value the community’s rich past, but they are also a forward thinking and inventive group that make living in Danville fun. Enjoy date night listening to the Indianapolis Symphony under moonlight at the Ellis Park Amphitheater, or grab a bite to eat and stroll through Danville’s old-fashioned First Friday Cruise-in. For family fun, you’ll want to head to Mayberry in the Midwest or pack a picnic and enjoy live music on the town square. When your family wants to test their navigational skills, they can take part in a GPS-based scavenger hunt through downtown.
Violent Crimes per 1,000: 2.72
Property Crimes per 1,000: 11.10
The Indianapolis suburb offers a wealth of economic development incentives, such as low interest loans and lease assistance to entice those with an entrepreneurial spirit. Newcomers with children will enjoy exploring the town’s five parks and assortment of camps and athletic programs as well as Brownsburg’s impressive Before and After School Enrichment (B.A.S.E.) program.
Offering affordable housing, a homeowner rate of 81.5 percent and low monthly homeowner costs, Brownsburg is an Indiana gem you’ll want to get to know.
Violent Crimes per 1,000: 1.05
Property Crimes per 1,000: 15.04
Located approximately 60 miles from Chicago and 130 miles from Indianapolis, Lowell, Indiana was named after the founder’s hometown of Lowell, Massachusetts. Today, Lowell, Indiana surely stands on its own.
Listed on the National Registry of Historic Places, Downtown Lowell was awarded designation as “Best of the Midwest” by Rand McNally. It’s the place locals and visitors head to enjoy the oldest Labor Day parade in Indiana, and the much anticipated Labor Day Festival.
We were impressed by the number of community programs this small town of approximately 9,000 residents offers. For example, a Community Development Block Grant helps replace deteriorating sidewalks, and the Lowell Volunteer Fire Department periodically offers free smoke detectors to those who qualify, and provides hearing impaired smoke detectors to those in need. The Lowell Police Department works hand in hand with residents through its comprehensive community policing initiatives that include Cops N’ Kids, excellent home security tips and an easy to use online crime reporting form.
Violent Crimes per 1,000: 1.07
Property Crimes per 1,000: 15.91
Image: Dennis Yerger; CC 3.0
Recognized as part of the Indianapolis Metropolitan Area, there are wonderful things waiting your family in Westfield. In fact, in 2013, “CNN Money Magazine” named Westfield one of the top 50 “Best Places to Live.”
One of the jewels of Westfield is Grand Park, a massive youth and adult recreational sports village that promotes community togetherness and healthy family fun. Another way Westfield looks out its young people is through the Youth Assistance Program which helps provide services such as tutoring and mentoring. Launched in Westfield five years ago, the Youth Assistance Program has expanded to several communities throughout the region.
An important component of any safe community is communication between citizens and leaders. To that end, the Westfield Community Association Network (WeCAN) was created to offer residents a chance to voice concerns about their neighborhood to city officials.
Violent Crimes per 1,000: .90
Property Crimes per 1,000: 16.31
A safe, engaged community offering enormous recreational opportunities, Chesterton will motivate you to order a moving van.
From the Coffee Creek Watershed Preserve to the Prairie-Duneland hiking and biking trail, your family will never run out of things to do when you call the ecologically diverse town of Chesterton home. Plus, you’ll be just a short distance from one of the state’s most popular attractions: the famous Indiana Dunes, where you’ll discover more than 70 miles of trails, 15 miles of coastline, plus a bustling nightlife, scrumptious eateries and of course, pristine beaches.
Chesterton allows residents to improve their experience while using the city’s website and enjoy greater control over how they connect with their community online through the myConnection program. The city’s Notify Me program allows users to subscribe to email or text message updates regarding topics they’re concerned about.
In addition to opportunities for engagement and abundant recreation, economic vitality, small town ambiance and a rich artistic community are more reasons why Chesterton is a prime destination to live, work and play. Bonus: the community is located a mere 45 minutes from Chicago.
Violent Crimes per 1,000: 1.06
Property Crimes per 1,000: 16.20
Founded in 1855 and incorporated in 1910, the town of Dyer is a known as a progressive community that cherishes its colorful past yet has its eye on the future and. We weren’t surprised to learn that this town of roughly 17,000 residents was recognized by “CNN Money Magazine” as one of the “100 Best Places to Live in the U.S.”
Head for Dyer and the family pooch will be thrilled to explore Dyer Dog Park, and every member of the family will find a parks and recreation class or event that sparks their interest. From mother-son scavenger hunts to knitting classes, pizza making for tots, women’s self defense, and programs to help you tune-up your golf swing, Dyer’s “Leisuregram” is packed with boundless opportunities for fun.
A highly rated school system, charming small town atmosphere and variety of housing that ranges from modest to lavish are just a few more reasons why Dyer is attractive to those starting a family.
Violent Crimes per 1,000: .42
Property Crimes per 1,000: 17.71
17. Crown Point
Situated 45 miles south Chicago, Crown Point residents have access to every modern amenity yet enjoy the countless benefits of a safe, close knit community.
Crown Point’s town square is dotted with historic storefronts that allow visitors a peek back in time, and programs that ignite creativity abound. One example is Art in the Park, which gives young art enthusiasts the chance to develop their natural talents.
History and culture are important components of this safe community, but Crown Point hasn’t forgotten about recreation. A municipal pool, skate rink, ice rink and 19 parks ensure kids of all ages can burn off extra energy. And when the weekend rolls in, your family can head out for a bicycling excursion along the Erie-Lackawanna Bike Trail, explore Crown Point’s Sportsplex or take part in a festive city-wide picnic.
We were pleased to learn that Crown Point understands the importance of keeping citizens informed about crime trends. In fact, the Crown Point Police Department earns our kudos for publishing local crime statistics and that may be one reason why the community’s violent crime rate was 81 percent lower than the national average and its property crime rate was nearly 30 percent lower.
Violent Crimes per 1,000: .25
Property Crimes per 1,000: 18.42
Positioned in northwest Indiana, roughly 30 miles southeast of the Chicago Loop you’ll discover Munster.
Although Munster is home to more than 23,000 people, it offers an enviable quality of life where kids create lifelong friendships and neighbors know each other’s names. A touching story about two Munster girls offers insight into this special bedroom community. Colleen Lusk and Dana Handler met as young girls, and developed a special friendship that lasted until Colleen died at 16 years of age from complications from cystic fibrosis. Recently, Dana journeyed to Washington, D.C. to meet with legislators and share her friend’s story in honor of Cystic Fibrosis Teen Advocacy Day.
Formed in 1955, the Munster Police Department delivers a multitude of initiatives that help keep crime at bay, including a powerful community policing unit, Police Explorers program, neighborhood crime watch, and the Munster Business Crime Watch program that boasts more than 100 members. The “Munster Crime Watch Weekly Report” keeps residents in the know about crime activity and arrests, and offers important crime prevention tips.
A proud spirit of community cohesiveness paired with a commitment to planning round out the reasons why Munster is a first-class community.
Violent Crimes per 1,000: 1.2
Property Crimes per 1,000: 17.71
Included in the Indianapolis Metropolitan Area, Greenfield is appropriately branded as a “small city in a big neighborhood.”
The residents of the close knit, family oriented city have reason to brag about the sense of security that comes from safe streets and neighbors who look out for one another. Furthermore, based on the 2010 Quality of Life Index, those lucky enough to call Greenfield home enjoy an exceptionally high quality of life and above average access to amusement and culture when compared to those living in other parts of the country. Greenfield also gets two thumbs up for being environmental conscious and offering residents a free website tool named “My Energy Data” to monitor their daily electric usage and discover ways to save on its cost.
Are you a small business owner looking for a city that aggressively supports locally owned ventures? If so, you’re sure to be pleased with Greenfield. The city’s vast business development resources inspire a diverse mix of ambitious residents to launch small businesses that capitalizes on the community’s low utility and tax rates.
Violent Crimes per 1,000: .91
Property Crimes per 1,000: 19.11
20. West Lafayette
Eye-catching architecture, charming coffee shops and quaint boutiques are just a few of the treats waiting for you in the safe community of West Lafayette. Toss in art festivities and a slew of annual events and you’ll never be left wondering what to do on date night.
When you call West Lafayette home you’ll also be located near a number of the state’s most popular attractions, including the Tippecanoe Battlefield and Museum and Prophetstown State Park. For a truly unique experience, pack up the kids and head to Wolf Park. Wolf Park not only allows visitors to view wolves, but also hear their melodic tones during “Howl Night.”
Move to West Lafayette and it won’t be long before you hear about the diverse events happening in and around three distinct local districts: the Chauncey Village District, Wabash Riverfront District and the Arts and Market District.
Inviting, beautiful and boasting an artistic flare, West Lafayette will tempt you to relocate.
Violent Crimes per 1,000: 2.59
Property Crimes per 1,000: 16.22
Hard work and vitality are the cornerstones of Huntingburg, and have undoubtedly contributed to its growth.
Noted as the second largest municipality in Dubois County, Huntingburg is a hub of entertainment. From the Daffodil Stroll to the Garden Gate Jazz, Art, Wine, and Craft Beer Festival, the streets of downtown are buzzing every season of the year. Huntingburg’s business district was ruined by fire in the late 1800s, but walk the streets today and you’d never know it. The historic district has been carefully restored to an inviting Victorian downtown that offers locals and visitors alike more than 20 antique and specialty shops. Make Huntingburg your home and before long Saturday won’t feel complete without a visit to the popular Huntingburg Farmer’s Market.
If you’re a baseball fan, or just want to celebrate your hometown team, then head to League Stadium at Huntingburg City Park and cheer on the Dubois County Bombers. When you’re looking for an adventure that’s close to home, Huntingburg Lake is the answer. The 178 acre lake is surrounded by nearly 100 wooded acres and 30 acres of open area. Fishing and boating are popular summer pastimes.
Violent Crimes per 1,000: 3.26
Property Crimes per 1,000: 15.52
22. Columbia City
Less than 25 miles from Fort Wayne, Indiana you’ll discover the small community of Columbia City, a place where leaders and residents have worked hard to earn their city a reputation as a great place to do business.
The county seat of Whitley County, Columbia City is small, cordial and situated in northeastern Indiana. It’s home to a blossoming number of manufacturing, technological and service based businesses and an impressive array of new housing communities. If you’re business minded you’ll appreciate Columbia City’s Community Development Department which works in tandem with governmental, not-for-profits, businesses, and community groups to enhance the quality of life in the community. Additionally, the Community Development Department collaborates with the Whitley County Economic Development Corporation to help local business flourish, attract new businesses and coordinate various economic incentives.
When the weekend hits, leave your electronics at home and meet up with neighbors to take in a free outdoor concert. Or, enjoy strolling the Columbia City Farmers Market for fresh treats, then let the kids conquer one of the city’s playgrounds, or explore a museum. If you’re looking for a community that gives you plenty of opportunities to build strong bonds with your neighbors, Mayor Ryan L. Daniel promises you’ve just found it.
Violent Crimes per 1,000: 1.36
Property Crimes per 1,000: 20.56
23. North Manchester
The close community of North Manchester is situated along the Eel River, 35 miles west of Fort Wayne, Indiana.
Hardworking and forward thinking, the residents of this highly regarded town aren’t sitting idle. In fact, North Manchester locals are focused on creating a future that’s even brighter than times gone by. One way they’re doing so is through a handful of community development initiatives. For example, the Tree Advisory Commission recognizes that North Manchester’s tree canopy is a distinctive and critical asset that must be carefully cared for. The plethora of tress not only improves the air quality for residents, it also plays a big role in the town’s aesthetic appeal which attracts visitors and businesses, spurring growth. Manchester’s Main Street Project is focused on streetscape improvements that will allure small business owners to the downtown district, sparking development and keeping more tax dollars at home.
Manchester is big on supporting business, but it’s also focused on healthy fun. The Strauss Peabody Aquatic and Fitness Center is a fully loaded fitness center that’s complemented by a competitive sized swimming pool, waterslide and therapy pool.
Violent Crimes per 1,000: .32
Property Crimes per 1,000: 21.16
24. Tell City
Founded by an ambitious group of Swiss-German immigrants, Tell City celebrates its heritage in a big way with the annual Schweizer Fest, one of the longest running festivals in the state.
Now in its 56th year, Schweizer Fest gives those who grew up in Tell City the perfect reason to return, and it also gives thousands of visitors a reason to come explore the southwest Indiana town. Offering an abundance of food, fellowship and family entertainment, the festival honors the group of Swiss-German immigrants who held a meeting in Cincinnati, Ohio more than 150 years ago and vowed to find affordable homesteads for their countrymen. Tell City was the spot, and there’s little doubt the determined group would be proud of how their vision has materialized.
Those who relocate to the Perry County city will be impressed with its dedication to heritage, and its focus on the arts. Founded in 2005, the Tell City Regional Arts Association goes to great lengths to ensure Tell City residents of every age and background have access to a variety of music, drama and art events. Peruse the streets of downtown and you’ll be dazzled by beautiful murals.
Violent Crimes per 1,000: .82
Property Crimes per 1,000: 22.73
A strong entrepreneurial spirit, good schools and safe streets are just a few reasons why Nappanee offers residents a desirable quality of life.
Amish life is fully embraced in Nappanee, and more than 3,500 Old Order Amish call Nappanee home. Well kept farmhouses and country shops offering hand stitched quilts, woodworks and bounties of the land provide visitors with a fascinating look into a quiet yet rewarding lifestyle. You’ll want to search the booths of hundreds of vendors at the Dutch Village Market, enjoy live musical theater at the fully restored early 20th century barn featured at Amish Acres Round Barn Theatre or take in a movie at the 1930′s era Nappanee Theatre. When it’s time to unwind, sip a variety of fine wines from Indiana and Michigan wineries at Amish Acres Wine Tasting Loft.
Backed by hard-working people and guided by leaders who believe good government serves its people, Nappanee is a comfortable community you’ll enjoy settling in.
Violent Crimes per 1,000: .59
Property Crimes per 1,000: 24.43
A convenient seven miles from Bloomington and close to Indiana University and Ivy Tech State, Ellettsville is noted as one of the fastest developing areas in Monroe County.
Known for its hometown ambiance and communal vibe, Ellettsville is the kind of place generations of families live within walking distance of one another and neighbors help neighbors without hesitation. Its public school system, the Richland-Bean Blossom Community School Corporation has a reputation for excellence and its heritage is deeply rooted in the limestone industry.
For decades craftsmen from the area’s limestone mills have travelled the nation repairing gracious limestone structures. After the terrorist attacks of September 11th, 2001 locally based Bybee Stone Company provided the stone to repair the Pentagon. A panel bearing the following inscription was signed by Ellettsville workers “Terrorist attacks can shake the foundations of our biggest buildings, but they cannot touch the foundation of America.” It’s clear that the town’s motto, “Builders of American History” is quite fitting.
Violent Crimes per 1,000: 4.46
Property Crimes per 1,000: 16.94
Some communities are small in size, but big on pride and Garrett, Indiana is one of them. In fact, you’ll be hard pressed to find another community that embraces togetherness and hometown values like the friendly folks of Garrett.
In addition to safe neighborhoods, quality schools and a proactive police department that’s dedicated to stomping out crime, Garrett offers your family six parks and the vibrant J.A.M. Recreation Center. From an indoor pool and waterslide to an outstanding early education program that provides full time child care as well as a robust before and after school program, the J.A.M. Recreation Center is designed to strengthen families through wellness. The Auburn-Garrett Drive-in Theatre makes Friday night fun again and the fairways at the Garrett Country Club are begging for play.
Events like the ever popular Garrett Heritage Days, and treats like the Summer Sixties Music Festival round out the reasons why families who settle in Garrett don’t regret the move.
Violent Crimes per 1,000: .94
Property Crimes per 1,000: 24.12
Scour the hills of southeastern Indiana and you’ll be captivated by Batesville, a quiet rural city that’s committed to economic growth, education and families.
Its school system is consistently ranked as one of the best in the state, and we were impressed to discover that the city’s investment into youth does end at the classroom doors. In fact, the Batesville Mayor’s Youth Council engages the city’s youngest citizens in civic activities that not only help form the leaders of the future, but also offer youth the chance to voice their opinions and concerns. While youngsters help solve community challenges, Batesville leaders are gain important insight into the issues affecting younger generations.
Positioned along Interstate 74, Batesville is open for business and offers a labor force that’s diverse, committed and aggressive.
Violent Crimes per 1,000: 2.60
Property Crimes per 1,000: 21.44
Home to Valparaiso University, a private Lutheran-affiliated institution of higher learning, Valparaiso is located in northwest Indiana.
One of the most populated cities on our Safe City Indiana list, Valparaiso has more than 31,000 residents, but don’t let that fool you into thinking this is the kind of place where people keep their distance. Quite the contrary. In fact, in June 2011, the Valparaiso Common Council passed an ordinance that established an Advisory Human Relations Council with the goal of removing barriers to equal opportunities and advise the Mayor on matters dealing with discrimination, harassment, and unfair practices based on color, race and gender. It’s the only program of its kind that we’ve uncovered and it serves as a testament to the community’s belief that diversity enhances the Valparaiso community and therefore should be celebrated.
Violent Crimes per 1,000: .87
Property Crimes per 1,000: 26.24
30. Gas City
Once named Harrisburg, Gas City got its current name when natural gas was found in the area in 1887. Today, Gas City is recognized as one of the fastest growing cities in Grant County.
Perched along the Mississinewa River, the small community of Gas City is a dream come true for those who want a relaxed, slow paced lifestyle, low population density and a low cost of living. Gas City residents who want to further their education will be pleased to learn that no less than six institutes of higher learning are located within a 30 mile drive.
Ice cream socials, summer concerts in the parks and a Labor Day festival devoted to bacon add to Gas City’s unique character.
Violent Crimes per 1,000: .16
Property Crimes per 1,000: 27.68
31. Cedar Lake
Cedar Lake has a special appeal that lives up to its charming name. Situated 45 minutes southeast of Chicago, Cedar Lake has been a lively resort destination for more than a century. In fact, the 800 acre lake was once surrounded by more than 50 hotels.
Today Cedar Lake is home to fulltime residents who cherish the leisurely lifestyle it offers. Generations of residents boat and fish together, or sit lakeside and catch up on community happenings while toddlers build sandcastles and teens go for a swim. The Cedar Lake Yacht Club is the hub of waterfront, hosting popular weekly regattas. If you prefer the links, you’ll have three courses available to you when you call Cedar Lake home.
If you’ve been charmed by Cedar Lake you’ll be glad to hear that the community recently received a credit rating of “AA-” from Standard and Poor’s Rating Services, which recognized Cedar Lake as having “very strong budget flexibility.”
Violent Crimes per 1,000: 1.29
Property Crimes per 1,000: 25.55
Diverse and thriving are just a few words that accurately describe the safe city of Lawrenceburg. It’s also conveniently located 15 minutes from Cincinnati, Ohio.
First-rate schools, bountiful shopping and strong industry form the backbone of healthy communities like Lawrenceburg. And whether your family is growing or you’re looking to downsize, you’ll have no trouble finding the perfect home in this cozy Indiana town. Neighborhoods range from modest to luxurious and are scattered from in-town to rural locations. Once you get a Lawrenceburg address it won’t be long before you realize that it values its young people, offering them access to Ivy Tech Community College and an assortment of educational grants and scholarships. Plus, your kids will undoubtedly enjoy Lawrenceburg’s fabulous selection of parks, which include a skate park and splash park.
If you’re looking for a small-town community that’s positioned to enjoy unmeasured growth, Lawrenceburg may be your new hometown.
Violent Crimes per 1,000: .98
Property Crimes per 1,000: 26.65
The largest city in Huntington County, as well as its county seat, Huntington has a diverse population that’s committed to creating a balance between work and pleasure.
If you’ve got an active family, your kids will thank you for naming Huntington as home. Nine parks, numerous hiking and bicycling trails, a splash park, soccer fields and softball diamonds just touch on the recreational opportunities you’ll enjoy as a member of the Huntington community. When summer rolls in, neighborhood kids take part in the community’s popular summer camp and weekend were practically made for a trip to the Memorial Hills Disc Golf Course or to the Huntington Farmers’ Market. All this, and Huntington also boasts an award winning theater. The New Huntington Theater presents a variety of professional, Broadway-style productions that rival any you’ll find in larger cities.
Commuters listen up: Huntington is just minutes from Indiana’s second largest city, Fort Wayne.
Violent Crimes per 1,000: 1.77
Property Crimes per 1,000: 26.70
The third most populated city in northwest Indiana, Portage is friendly, affordable and safe. It’s no wonder that it has blossomed over the last century and continues to move forward at a rapid pace.
Situated at the southern edge of Lake Michigan, more than 35,000 lucky residents call Portage home. In addition to lake related activities, Portage parents are thankful for a generous parks and recreation program that includes creative events like Kids’ Cooking Camp, Daddy, Daughter Dance and a Senior Health Fair plus an accredited preschool.
Girls on the Run is a special program that really caught our eye. A character development course for 3rd through 8th grade girls, Girls on the Run helps young girls develop confidence and leadership through 90 minute lessons that combine running and walking games with lessons about healthy eating, inner beauty, goal setting and other topics that speak to preteens.
Violent Crimes per 1,000: 1.85
Property Crimes per 1,000: 27.49
One of the most desired places to live in Hendricks County, Plainfield residents benefit from Midwestern small town values, steady growth and close proximity to Indianapolis. In stark contrast to its name, Plainfield is anything but dull. It’s known as a vibrant, growing community that boasts an excellent education system and a diverse business sector.
Home to approximately 28,000 residents, Plainfield’s Community of Values Organization puts forth a great effort to help its citizens make positive choices that strengthen the community. With the mission of developing a set of common community values that guide residents, the group solicited the help of the entire community and came up with one for each month. Examples include justice, truth, reliability, and integrity.
Violent Crimes per 1,000: 1.95
Property Crimes per 1,000: 27.48
Roughly 10 minutes north of Louisville, Kentucky is the safe community of Sellersburg. Situated in Silver Creek Township, and part of Clark County, Sellersburg has a low population density and a median income that’s slightly higher than the state average. A cozy town of less than 7,000 residents this southern Indiana community is named in honor of Moses W. Sellers who laid it out in the mid 1800s.
Parents of high achievers will be glad to learn that their kids will be challenged in Sellersburg schools. In fact, local Silver Creek High School offers a “Venture Program” that’s part of the Indiana Department of Education’s Office of High Ability Education. The thematic, interdisciplinary course covers four primary areas of study and helps students develop higher order thinking skills through creative problem solving, hone their research skills and polish their communication skills.
Violent Crimes per 1,000: 6.59
Property Crimes per 1,000: 18.48
Just moments from Lake Michigan’s shores and a mere 20 miles from Chicago, you’ll be happy to discover Highland is a progressive community offering the best of suburban living without sacrificing access to a myriad of amenities. Superior schools, 20 parks and unmatched vistas of the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore are more reasons why moms and dads choose Highland.
Commuting to Chicago is a cinch, but many Highland residents choose to work right in their community. And we can’t blame them. That’s because Highland offers a handful of business boosting initiatives, such as an enticing low cost of business and programs like the Facade Improvement Grant which offers a 30 percent match for facade improvements.
A relatively new program launched by the Highland Main Street organization proves Highland residents are a creative bunch of business minded folks. The program is named “Pop-Up Gallery” and it unites artist with owners of vacant properties that are for sale or for lease. The artists temporarily set up shop and show off their talents while business people view the space, network, and enjoy refreshments. It’s a win-win that has a lot of potential.
Violent Crimes per 1,000: 1.05
Property Crimes per 1,000: 29.98
Auburn is known for its famous Auburn Cord Duesenberg Automobile Museum that welcomes thousands of people through its doors annually and has a reputation with locals for hosting a variety of fun events like “Trunk or Treat.”
But there are even more reasons to adore Auburn, especially if you’re looking for one of the state’s top business climates. Auburn offers some of the lowest electricity, water and sewer rates in state, it has a well developed transportation network, and it is less than 200 miles from major U.S. cities including Indianapolis, Chicago and Detroit. If you’re a small business owner or considering launching a startup, you’ll be thrilled with the opportunities found in downtown Auburn and presence of the Downtown Revitalization Sustainable Guiding Principles that are helping build a sustainable and economically viable future. Principles include promoting adaptive reuse and the use of natural light, encouraging community gardening and developing parks within walking distance of downtown.
Violent Crimes per 1,000: 1.01
Property Crimes per 1,000: 31.84
39. New Haven
Nestled along the banks of the Maumee River, New Haven is located in Allen County and spans three townships: Adams, Jefferson, and St. Joseph.
From the Whispering Creek Golf Course to the New Haven Farmers’ Market, and a refreshing public pool to community events like Family Fun Fest, New Haven offers a quintessential Midwestern lifestyle that your family will have no trouble getting adjusted to. Bonus: Its parks and recreation department offers affordable and impressively diverse programming, such as motor coach excursions, senior activities and nature programs.
If you have a civic mined young adult, he or she might want to join the Mayor’s Youth Advisory Council which provides a way for youth to get involved with local government, develop their leadership skills, and offer insight into the challenges local teens face.
Superb countryside and citizenry that values community service are a few more reasons why those who make the move to New Haven rarely leave.
Violent Crimes per 1,000: 2.13
Property Crimes per 1,000: 29.79
When you put down roots in Brazil, it will take you slightly less than an hour to get to Indianapolis, and major cities such as St. Louis, Chicago, Louisville, and Cincinnati make for easy weekend excursions. But don’t be gone long or you’ll miss one of the fantastic festivals taking place right in your own backyard.
If you’re looking for a reason to celebrate, Brazil is sure to please you. The Brazil Rotary puts on a 4th of July Festival that residents of much larger cities would be jealous of, and when fall arrives your kids will beg you to take them to the Clay County Popcorn Festival and the much anticipated Parke County Covered Bridge Festival. Wintertime is rich with activities such as the month long Christmas in the Park Celebration that starts the day after Thanksgiving and runs full force until the day after Christmas.
Located in Clay County, Brazil was founded in 1866 and measures just three square miles.
Violent Crimes per 1,000: 1.85
Property Crimes per 1,000: 31.24
41. Hartford City
The residents of Hartford City have plenty of reasons to brag. Situated in the northeast central portion of Indiana, this quaint community is a history buff’s dream and Civil War enthusiasts will go crazy for the annual Hartford City Civil War Days.
Positioned near Interstates 75 and 69, citizens of Hartford City enjoy access to several institutes of higher learning, including Ball State University, Taylor University, Indiana Wesleyan and two IVY Tech locations. Those who call Hartford City home also benefit from a modern and efficient police force which includes more than a dozen full-time officers and a K-9 unit. The Hartford City Police Department is also actively involved with several organizations that help protect the community, including Drug Abuse Resistance Education (D.A.R.E.), Neighborhood Watch groups and Triad, a community-based effort to reduce criminal victimization of the elderly.
Violent Crimes per 1,000: 1.46
Property Crimes per 1,000: 32.33
Perfectly situated in southwestern Indiana, those who live in Linton enjoy spacious yards where kids and pets roam free, low crime and a tranquil community vibe.
Linton residents also tend to love the outdoors, and there’s plenty of it to explore. In fact, the area offers several thousand acres where you family can hunt, fish, hike and bike. Goose Pond Wildlife Area is perfect for wildlife watching and several rare birds call its wetlands home. If you want to kick your outdoor activity up a notch, then head to Redbird State Recreational Area where you can get dirty riding dirt bikes and ATVs.
If community gatherings are your family’s idea of fun, you’re in luck. Every member of your family will look forward to Linton’s Freedom Festival which is recognized as the largest Fourth of July party in the state. The annual Linton Music Festival is another much anticipated event that draws thousands to Linton. High quality health care, top-notch schools and affordable housing only add to Linton’s appeal.
Violent Crimes per 1,000: 0.00
Property Crimes per 1,000: 35.46
Charleston offers abundant outdoor space and the ever popular Charlestown State Park, but the Charlestown Library truly impressed us with its array of creative programs. More than just a place to check out books, this library stands out as one that goes above and beyond to serve community youth. Weekly children’s art classes and story hour serve Charlestown’s youngest citizens, and tweens and teens enjoy special programming such as Teen Summer Movie Matinees and CSI at the Library.
Hosted by a Clark County Sheriff’s Department detective, CSI at the Library shows 12 to 18 year olds how police really handle investigations and includes the science and techniques of crime scene processing. As summer comes to a close, the library helps families kick off another school year with an entertaining Charlie Brown Back to School Party.
Need more reasons to call Charlestown home? It’s close to the cultural opportunities of the Louisville, Kentucky metropolitan area, but retains an addictive small town charm that you’ll quickly become accustomed to.
Violent Crimes per 1,000: .51
Property Crimes per 1,000: 35.57
Safe, hospitable and packed with opportunities for the whole family, it’s not uncommon for those who visit Monticello to return as full time residents.
Lakes Shafer and Freeman are community gathering places where neighborhood kids grow up fishing and boating and make life long memories cooling off in fresh waters or frolicking on the beach. Tippecanoe Country Club has a reputation for providing golfers with some of the most outstanding greens in the state and Monticello’s historical drive-in movie theater and Whyte Horse Winery make date night fun again for moms and dads.
Monticello leaders and its citizens enjoy recreation, but they’re also known for “getting things done.” The Monticello City Parks and Recreation Department’s “Fifty Trees of Indiana” is just one example of how this community works together for the betterment of all. The Fifty Trees program lets citizens donate a tree in honor of someone special and in return they receive a copy of the “Fifty Trees of Indiana” book plus the pleasure of knowing that the tree will be enjoyed for generations to come.
Violent Crimes per 1,000: 4.80
Property Crimes per 1,000: 28.11
Goshen’s spirit of community is contagious. From neighbors who watch out for each other’s children to those that check in on the elderly, this diverse safe city truly understand the meaning of community. Rest assured, when you make Goshen your new home you won’t feel like an outsider for long.
Goshen’s downtown is one place that you’ll surely frequent. Whether you’re shopping for a unique handmade gift, tempting your taste buds at a distinctive eatery or immersing yourself in its booming cultural arts scene, downtown Goshen won’t disappoint you. Monthly “First Friday” events range from a sand volleyball tournament to a traditional fall homecoming extravaganza, giving your family even more excuses to head downtown. Robust, progressive and safe, you can bet that Goshen is going places.
Violent Crimes per 1,000: 1.46
Property Crimes per 1,000: 35.68
Located near the geographical center of Indiana, in the heart of Hoosierland, you’ll find the safe community of Elwood. Home to two prominent glass factories, The House of Glass and Prestige Art Glass, the Elwood Glass Festival celebrates the art of glass every August.
Elwood is the kind of place you may have thought no longer existed. But make Elwood home and you’ll be pleasantly surprised to find neighbors chatting on porches and gathering for weekend cookouts, and kids riding bikes and playing tag. You’ll also appreciate that Elwood residents look out for those less fortunate. One way they do so is through the Summer Servings program. A fun and nutritious meal program, Summer Servings provides meals to kids at no cost throughout the summer season.
One of Madison County’s most charming small towns, Elwood is sure to entice you.
Violent Crimes per 1,000: 3.25
Property Crimes per 1,000: 32.97
Approximately 6,000 Hoosiers choose to call Tipton home. That’s because Tipton is a progressive, forward thinking community that’s also decidedly warm, relaxing and charming.
One of Tipton’s greatest gems is the Tipton Community Theater. Formed in 1993 by a local group of theater lovers who wanted to give residents that chance to experience and participate in live theatre, this hardworking theater group delights the regional community with a variety of shows. In fact, over the last two decades, the Tipton Community Theater has presented more than 70 productions including musicals, comedies, dramas, and impressive youth productions.
Violent Crimes per 1,000: .0
Property Crimes per 1,000: 39.80
The 5,000 member community of Whiting is attractively situated on the southern shore of Lake Michigan and is a mere 20 minutes from Chicago.
Explore Whiting are you’ll realize its leaders and citizens are committed to caring for their picturesque environment. The community boasts a number of green Initiatives that range from energy conservation to exploring alternative energy options and it has been honored as a Tree City U.S.A. for 19 consecutive years.
In addition to unbridled beauty, Whiting offers residents grandiose old homes, locally owned and operated shops, and a flurry of festivals. This summer’s most anticipated festival honors the town’s 125th anniversary, and there is a lot to celebrate, including a new lakefront area and a burgeoning downtown district.
Violent Crimes per 1,000: .79
Property Crimes per 1,000: 38.93
Mooresville residents have every reason to hold their heads high. Not only did this heartland community make it on our coveted Safe Cities of Indiana list, but it’s also home of the Indiana State Flag.
Located only 10 miles southwest of Indianapolis, Mooresville offers residents of all ages a comfortable small town atmosphere with the benefits of big city living. Two of the community’s most popular locations, the Mooresville Family Aquatic Center and the Soaring Eagle Zip Line Ride, prove that this petite community is serious about fun. The Aquatic Center provides kids of all ages a safe, enjoyable way to cool off during the sizzling days of summer and the Soaring Eagle Zip Line Ride will put a big smile on every family member’s face!
Violent Crimes per 1,000: 1.48
Property Crimes per 1,000: 37.84
Crawfordsville is the county seat of Montgomery County and home to no less than 15,000 residents. Noted for greeting newcomers with open arms, your family will find this safe community to be full of welcoming surprises.
You’ll also appreciate that the city has consistently been ranked as one of the Top 100 Best Small Towns in America, and offers your graduating senior the chance to attend one of two local institutes of higher learning. Well respected Ivy Tech Community College provides an affordable, first-rate education and offers six degrees/certificates. Crawfordsville is also home to Wabash College. Founded in 1832, Wabash College is a private four-year college for men.
Situated less than 50 miles northwest of Indianapolis and only 150 miles southeast of Chicago, when Crawfordsville is home you can expect plenty of visitors. When house guests arrive, give them a tour of the downtown and then head for the Strawberry Festival. Held at historic Lane Place, the Strawberry Festival entertains you and your guests with pageants, tasty treats, car shows, arts and crafts and a variety of live music.
Violent Crimes per 1,000: 2.54
Property Crimes per 1,000: 36.60
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