According to a 2023 study by RoadSnacks, the worst city to live in Indiana is Terre Haute. It has a population of 60,604 and a violent crime rate of 1,381 per 100,000 people. The property crime rate is also high, at 4,762 per 100,000 people. Terre Haute also has a high poverty rate and a low median income.
Other Cities Facing Similar Challenges
While Terre Haute tops the list of Indiana’s most challenging places to live, it is important to recognize that several other cities in the state face similar difficulties. Here are some notable mentions from the RoadSnacks study:
- Gary, the second most dangerous city in Indiana, has a violent crime rate of 1,728 per 100,000 people. The city has been grappling with economic struggles for many years, leading to a significant population decline.
- East Chicago ranks third in the study, with a violent crime rate of 1,597 per 100,000 people. Additionally, it is one of the most polluted cities in the United States, further complicating the lives of its residents.
- South Bend, the fourth most dangerous city in Indiana, shares Terre Haute’s economic challenges, with a high poverty rate and low median income.
- Evansville, the third-largest city in Indiana, also struggles with a high poverty rate and low median income, despite being home to several correctional facilities.
- Anderson and Richmond, both suffering from declining industrial sectors, have high crime rates, poverty levels, and low median incomes.
- Marion, a city with a high crime rate, is known for its large population of inmates due to housing the Indiana State Prison.
- Lafayette, home to Purdue University, has a high crime rate and a declining downtown area.
- New Albany, located across the Ohio River from Louisville, Kentucky, is known for its high crime rate and large population of low-income residents.
- Boonville, a small city in southern Indiana, unfortunately, claims the highest violent crime rate in the state.
Perceptions and Realities
It’s essential to recognize that city rankings are based on a combination of factors, and individual perceptions and experiences may vary widely. While these rankings highlight the challenges facing these communities, they do not define the entirety of their identities. Indiana, like many states, offers a mix of cities, each with its unique strengths and weaknesses.
Terre Haute’s designation as the “Crime Capital” of Indiana, based on the 2023 RoadSnacks study, underscores the significant challenges the city faces in terms of crime, poverty, and economic opportunity. However, it’s important to remember that the well-being of a community is not solely determined by statistics. These rankings serve as a call to action for local governments, organizations, and residents to come together and address the issues faced by these cities, working towards a brighter and safer future for all.