Living in a "big" city certainly has its advantages - lots of things to see and do, lots of shopping and dining choices, and lots of people - but big city life isn't for everybody. The same things that make a big city attractive to some, also drive others away to live in a smaller city. In fact, some studies show that nearly half of Americans prefer to live in the suburbs, as opposed to urban or rural areas. A couple of reasons for this include smaller populations and a lower cost of living.

Indiana state flag

How to Determine the Best Small Cities in America

The personal-finance website WalletHub released a report showing 2023’s Best Small Cities in America, and I was pleasantly surprised to see three Indiana cities in the top ten, with several other Hoosier cities making the list. I think that's something to be proud of. To get these results, WalletHub compared more than 1,300 U.S. cities with populations between 25,000 and 100,000 based on these five categories:

  1. Affordability
  2. Economic Health
  3. Education & Health
  4. Quality of Life
  5. Safety

Which Indiana Cities Scored the Best?

attachment-Carmel, Westfield, Fishers
  • At the very top of the list, the #1 small city in America, is Carmel, IN. This is a slight improvement for Carmel, which was #2 on the list last year.
  • Moving up six spots from last year to #4 on the list is Westfield, IN.
  • And rounding out the top five at #5 is Fishers, IN.
  • All three cities are in the 99th percentile, meaning they are in the top one percent of small cities in America.
  • Several other Indiana towns made the list, including Zionsville, Noblesville, Brownsburg, Greenwood, Plainfield, Valparaiso, Granger, Crown Point, and Columbus

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You can scroll over this interactive map to see the rest of the results, but your eyes might go crossed looking at all those dots.

Source: WalletHub

The results are a little bit easier to see HERE, along with any other information you might want about the study.

KEEP READING: 40 Real Indiana Towns with Quirky, Weird, and Funny Names

Outside the major cities, the Hoosier state is full of tiny little towns you've probably passed through on your way to one of those cities. Most of them are likely 100 to 150 years old, or older, and have been around far longer than the large metropolitan areas such as Indianapolis, Fort Wayne, South Bend, and Evansville. Typically, they were started by early settlers who found their way to the state and decided to make it home. Eventually, others would join them, and a community was formed. Over time, as the surrounding areas grew, most of them were folded into those areas and governed by the nearest city or county's governing body officially making them "unincorporated," meaning they did not have their own formally organized municipal government.

A scroll through Wikipedia's long list of unincorporated communities in Indiana shows several of them have names that by today's standards would be considered weird, quirky, or just downright right funny. These are my 40 favorities.

Gallery Credit: Ryan O'Bryan

10 Indiana Laws You Don't Know You're Breaking

Gallery Credit: Ryan O'Bryan

10 Indiana Laws You Don't Know You're Breaking

The Most Unique Museums in Indiana

Indiana is home to a whole bunch of museums, several of which house some pretty unique, unusual, and unreal items. Here is a list of 14 such museums from all around the Hoosier state. I decided to list them in alphabetical order. Enjoy!

Gallery Credit: Bobby G.

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