Expats and Americans from elsewhere in the US are increasingly moving to Indianapolis, as the city offers new arrivals many attractive prospects. Those averse to big-city living will be glad to hear that, even with the influx of newcomers and steady population growth, Indiana's capital still retains its famous small-town feel. Ironically, this continues to attract more and more people.
Living in Indianapolis as an expat
Young professionals, in particular, seem to be flocking to Indianapolis to take up jobs in the city’s thriving healthcare, insurance, tourism and sport-related industries. With the city also boasting three Fortune 500 companies, new arrivals certainly shouldn't struggle to find a job.
Accommodation is easy to come by and pretty affordable. From ritzy and culturally diverse inner-city apartments in the downtown suburbs to bigger bungalows and four-squares towards the city's lush – and quieter – outskirts, new arrivals won’t struggle to find a home suited to their taste and budget.
Indy's residents, or 'Hoosiers', as they refer to themselves, certainly know how to have a good time, and fun-loving newcomers, particularly those partial to sport, will fit right in. The city has a brimming sports calendar of just about every variety, but the highlight of the year is undoubtedly the renowned Indianapolis 500, the world’s oldest operational automobile race and the biggest single-day sporting event in the world. The weeks leading up to the big race see Indy come alive when downtown explodes with festivals and parties, while race day itself attracts more than 250,000 people to the famous old speedway.
Not just for petrol heads, though, the city has worked hard to increase the cultural value beyond the racetrack. The Indianapolis Cultural Trail, an 8-mile urban-planned pedestrian and bike pathway, connects neighbourhoods and cultural districts. It also offers access to multiple attractions, including museums, galleries, public art, eateries and shops along the route. In fact, Indy has become something of a Midwest foodie hotspot and has been named one of the most underrated food destinations in the country.
Cost of living in Indianapolis
Relative to its neighbouring cities, the cost of living in Indianapolis is low, particularly when compared to metros such as New York. The overall cost of living in Indianapolis is 7 percent lower than the national average but 2 percent higher than the state average.
Accommodation is remarkably affordable, sitting much lower than the national average. Transport is also quite cheap in Indianapolis, whether using public buses or a vehicle. The city also offers many of its attractions for free, such as museums, galleries and monuments, and many bars and restaurants offer specials, so new arrivals can eat out on a budget too.
Families and children in Indianapolis
Newcomers and expats will have a considerable range of schools to pick from, with 11 school districts available in Indianapolis. Not all public schools in Indianapolis are of the same standard though, and some expats may opt for private schooling or even the city’s only international school, but should be aware that these charge high fees.
The city’s healthcare is also superb but, even though slightly more affordable than the national average, is rather expensive. Health insurance will therefore have to be factored in when prospective residents aiming to work in Indianapolis apply for jobs and negotiate their salary packages.
Indianapolis is incredibly child-friendly, boasting the world's largest children's museum, Indianapolis Zoo and Eagle Creek Park, which are all packed with fun and thrilling things for kids to do. Prospective residents who like a bit of greenery will also be happy to know that the city has plenty of leafy parks and fields. Many of these parks have playgrounds perfect for running, dog walking or a family picnic in the sun.
Climate in Indianapolis
New arrivals moving to Indianapolis will love the four distinct weather seasons the city offers. Indianapolis boasts hot, humid and wet summers, frosty winters and pleasant springs and autumns. Temperatures range from 56°F (13°C) to 85°F (29°C) in the warmer months, allowing plenty of opportunities for residents to get out and about. Winter temperatures can drop to 20°F (-7°C) in January and are often accompanied by snow. Rainfall is spread throughout the year but is heaviest during late spring and summer.
All in all, newcomers moving to Indianapolis find it a charming city to call home, and residents are friendly and welcoming. Expats will be pleased to know that it’s not uncommon to hear a profusion of foreign languages on the streets and that foreigners are received warmly and treated kindly.
Combine that with the city’s vibrant economy, its multitude of things to see, do and eat and low cost of living, and it's easy to see why so many people are choosing to make the Circle City their new home.
►For more about what's on offer in Indy, see Lifestyle in Indianapolis
Are you an expat living in Indianapolis?
Expat Arrivals is looking for locals to contribute to this guide, and answer forum questions from others planning their move to Indianapolis. Please contact us if you'd like to contribute.
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