(The Center Square) – Three cities in Indiana — Indianapolis, Fort Wayne and South Bend — are ranked in U.S. News and World Report’s “150 Best Places to Live” for 2021.
The news outlet ranked the country’s 150 most populous metro areas using criteria such as affordability, job market and quality of life. Boulder, Colo., took first overall.
Indianapolis is the highest ranked Hoosier city, coming in at No. 66. Fort Wayne ranked No. 73 and South Bend is No. 88.
The weighted metrics used to measure a city’s job market included the unemployment rate and average salary.
Affordability looked at median household income compared to mortgage and rent payments. Quality of life scores took into account crime rates, school performance, population growth and average commute times.
On a scale of 1-10, Indianapolis scored an overall 6.6, with an 8.1 for affordability and 5.8 for quality of life.
“Indianapolis is a great place to visit, but what makes Indy such a splendid place to stop over makes it an even better place to live,” according to U.S. News and World Report.
Its features include the world’s largest children’s museum, professional and college athletic teams, the annual Indianapolis 500 and the Indianapolis Cultural Trail, an 8-mile pedestrian and bike pathway that connects neighborhoods, entertainment venues, shops and restaurants.
Fort Wayne also scored a 6.6 overall, with an 8.6 for affordability and 6 for quality of life.
“With its low cost of living and quiet neighborhoods, Fort Wayne is an excellent place to buy a house, start a career, launch a business and raise children,” notes U.S. News and World Report.
The news outlet also notes the city has fared better than many of its “rust belt” counterparts that also lost manufacturing jobs in the 1980s, with big investments from the likes of General Motors.
Its older neighborhoods are also seeing a revitalization due to younger residents wanting to live closer to the shops, restaurants and breweries that are starting to pop up in the downtown area.
Home to the University of Notre Dame, South Bend scored 6.5 overall, including 8.2 for affordability and 6.2 for quality of life.
In addition to the Fighting Irish and several other colleges, the area plenty of outdoor activities, including the sand dunes along the southern shore of Lake Michigan, salmon and bass fishing on the St. Joseph River and the East Race Waterway, the first artificial whitewater kayaking course in North America.