Dubbed “the crossroads of America” given several major highways cut through the Hoosier State, clean-cut Indiana exudes a wholesome air, from its of-another-era Amish country to its crop-swathed fields. That said, there’s plenty to get your heart pumping, too, from its ever-shifting Indiana Dunes to its mysterious caves.
Planning to make a long-distance move to Indiana? There are a wide variety of reasons to consider calling it your new home.
Fun facts about Indiana
The state of Indiana is home to notable sports teams; has a rich political history; offers plenty of appetite-inducing fare; and boasts no shortage of fascinating folklore.
From the high school level to the pros, Hoosiers love their basketball. Considered the “Basketball Capital of the World,” Indiana’s hoops history runs deep. Ases in point include the Indiana Hoosiers and Bob Knight; the Indiana Pacers and Reggie Miller; and so-called Hoosier Hysteria surrounding the state’s famous high school tournament.
Auto racing is very popular in the state, too, with 300,000+ spectators attending the annual Indianapolis 500 — a.k.a. Indy 500 — held at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Speedway, Indiana.
Also known as “the Mother of Vice Presidents,” the state of Indiana birthed six vice presidents in its history, meaning it has had more supporting residents than any other U.S. state.
When it comes to culinary traditions, Indiana has plenty of options to call its own, from its giant pork tenderloin sandwiches to persimmon pudding, fried bluegill and prized morel mushrooms, the choicest of which appear at the bases of dead American elms. Of course, the tantilizing tidbits don’t stop there — Indiana produces 20% of the country’s popcorn supply (Orville Redenbacher was from Indiana after all!)
Plus, let’s not forget Indiana is also home to the town of Santa Claus, receiving over half a million letters addressed to the “jolly old elf” each year. Meanwhile, holiday enthusiasts celebrate the year-round at Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari amusement park, its oldest and most festive section — complete with children’s sleigh ride — dating back to 1946.
Appealing to people of all ages and persuasions, Indiana brims with Midwest charm. Planning a move to the Hoosier State soon? Learn the basics before you go with help from Mayflower.
What is Cost of Living in Indiana?
Watching your budget? Or just love getting a bang for your buck? There’s good news since Indiana is the 11th most affordable state* in the country according to cost-of-living metrics.
On a national index of 100, the overall cost of living comes in lower than the national average at 91, with average grocery, housing, utilities and transportation costs. Indiana residents enjoy health care costs that are below the national average.
What are Fastest-Growing Metro Areas in Indiana?
According to the 2020 US Census, Indiana’s population has grown by 4.7% in the past decade.
Most of this growth occurred in the 11-county Indianapolis-Carmel-Anderson metro area. In fact, 74% of the state’s total population growth from 2010 to 2020 occurred within the Indianapolis area alone.
Hamilton County continues to be a very popular place to move, too. For the past five decades, this Central Indiana county has led the state in growth and has consistently been considered one of the top places in the country to live, raise a family and start a career. That may be why it has seen its population grow 26.5% just since 2010 alone!
Given the county seat of Hamilton County is Noblesville, which is about 30 minutes north of downtown Indianapolis, that is a great community for those seeking the convenience of a major U.S. city, coupled with a calm, family-friendly suburban setting. According to the census, since 2010, Hamilton County has seen a 13.7% growth in its population below the age of 18 and has the fifth smallest population percentage over the age of 18 in the state.
Meanwhile, by numerical growth, Marion County, home of Indianapolis, has seen the largest increase in new residents compared to 2010, with over 73,000 more residents compared to the previous census.
Elsewhere in the Hoosier State, the population has grown in Fort Wayne (up 7.6%), Columbus (7%) and Lafayette (6.7%) compared to 2010 census numbers. Parts of Indiana also border Louisville, Kentucky. The Indiana side of the Louisville Metro has seen growth of 6.2% since 2010.
While urban areas have seen tremendous growth, most rural towns in Indiana have seen fewer people move in over the past decade.
What Time is It in Indiana? It Depends!
Indiana is home to two time zones, which demands some added attention to detail.
Most of the state is set in the Eastern Standard Time (EST), but there are 18 counties throughout the northwest and southwest portions of the state that follow Central Standard Time (CST). This is important to keep in mind during a move or when scheduling appointments. After all, no one wants to be an hour early — or late.
Evansville and Gary, Indiana, for example, are two towns on CST. The Indianapolis area, Terre Haute, Bloomington and much of the rest of the state are set to EST.
How’s the Weather in the Hoosier State?
Like much of the Midwest, Indiana is a four-season state with a wide variety of weather and — as a result — an abundance of natural beauty.
When considering a move to Indiana, count on needing a wardrobe to match. The fall and spring offer the most comfortable temperatures, with a threat of thunderstorms in the spring and beautiful colors in the fall. By contrast, summers are hot and humid, though temperatures start to break in September and October. The harshest winter months are December and January, where temperatures can fall to 0 degrees or below. Heavy snowfall is not uncommon this time of year.
Geographically speaking, the northeastern part of the state sits below Lake Michigan, south of Chicago. Given its proximity to Lake Michigan, winds and winter weather are more intense, commonly producing “lake effect snow” and accumulation that can exceed Indiana’s “across the pond” counterparts.
Like playing in the snow? You’ll find plenty of outdoorsy activities during the winter months, from cross-country skiing at Indiana Dunes National Park to sledding and tubing at the toboggan run at Pokagon State Park. Prefer lakeside living? Indiana may be the state for you, with lively waterfront cabin communities like Michigan City, which come alive and attracts tourists when it’s warm.
Exploring College Towns in Indiana
Indiana houses several esteemed colleges and universities. Naturally, they play an important role in the state’s history, vibe and culture. A majority of Indiana’s popular cities are home to universities, in fact, giving them energy and intellect perhaps overlooked by some out-of-towners.
Many of the college towns in Indiana are also popular places to raise a family. According to Visit Indiana, you don’t have to be an alumnus to enjoy living in these nine family-friendly college towns:
- Bloomington (home to Indiana University)
- West Lafayette (home to Purdue University)
- South Bend (home to the University of Notre Dame)
- Muncie (home to Ball State University)
- Terre Haute (home to Indiana State University)
- Indianapolis (home to Butler University, Indianapolis University and IUPUI)
What is Hoosier Hysteria?
Basketball and Indiana go together like baseball and mitts.
It’s such a big deal here, in fact, that the term “Hoosier Hysteria” is a household name and refers to the excitement surrounding Indiana basketball — and, specifically, the Indiana high school basketball tournament. It stemmed from the one-class tournament, when a small town’s David could level a large city’s Goliath. One such event inspired the beloved movie, “Hoosiers,” in fact.
It’s this very enthusiasm that led Indiana high schools to cultivate the most NBA players per capita of any state, among them Oscar Robertson and Larry Bird. Plus, Indiana is home to Hall of Fame basketball coach Tony Hinkle.
Life as a Hoosier
There are several theories behind why Indiana residents are affectionately referred to as “Hoosiers.” One suggests early settlers who knocked on a door were asked, “Who’s here?” To be fair, it does sound a bit like “Hoose-ier.”
Wherever you land as a Hoosier, there’s no doubt a community that’s right for you. Small towns throughout Indiana offer quaint main streets, quiet bedside communities and beautiful state parks waiting to be explored.
Outdoor enthusiasts will also appreciate Indiana Dunes National Park, which resides along the sandy shores of Lake Michigan. The park features 15 miles of coastline and over 50 miles of trails situated on 15,000 acres, taking hikes through and atop sand dunes, past rivers and through forests of old-growth trees.
Granted, you may find yourself looking for something revved-up to do. The Indianapolis Motor Speedway is most popular for hosting the Indy 500, but it also welcomes plenty of other racing events throughout the season.
Needless to say, food enthusiasts won’t be left out of the run since the restaurant scenes in Indianapolis, Fort Wayne and Evansville offer options galore.
Moving to Indiana Soon? Mayflower is Here to Guide You Every Step of the Way®
No matter the reason for your move to Indiana or where you move from, our long-distance Indiana movers can help you get settled into your new home in Indianapolis, Evansville, Terre Haute or anywhere else in the Hoosier State.
Let Mayflower take you to the crossroads of America. Request your professional moving quote today!
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