Indianapolis is becoming an increasingly attractive proposition not just for Americans relocating from elsewhere in the US, but also for expats.
Young professionals, in particular, seem to be flocking to Indiana’s capital to take up jobs in the city’s thriving healthcare, insurance, tourism and sport-related industries. The influx of young job seekers can also be attributed to the city’s low cost of living – especially its remarkably affordable housing – and competitive salaries.
The good news for those averse to big city living is that, even with the influx of newcomers and a steady population growth, Indy still retains its famous small-town feel, which, ironically, is another driver in attracting more and more people.
Indy 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 currently operational automobile race, the biggest single-day sporting event in the world, and the pride of Indiana. 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 race track. The Indianapolis Cultural Trail, an 8-mile urban-planned pedestrian and bike pathway, connects neighborhoods and cultural districts, and offers access to multiple attractions including museums, galleries, public art, eateries, and shops along the route. In fact, Indy has become something of a foodie hotspot in the Midwest, and has been mooted as one of the most underrated food destinations in the country.
Those prospective residents who like a bit of greenery will be happy to know that the city abounds with leafy parks and fields perfect for running or a bit of dog walking.
Accommodation is easy to come by and, as mentioned, rather affordable. From ritzy inner-city apartments and condos in downtown neighbourhoods bursting with cultural and culinary hotspots, to bigger bungalows and four-squares towards the lush – and quieter – outskirts of the city, new arrivals won’t struggle to find a home suited to their taste and budget.
Newcomers and expats will have a huge range of schools to pick from. Not all public schools 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 pretty exorbitant fees. The city’s healthcare is also superb but, even though slightly more affordable than the national average, is rather expensive, so health insurance will have to be factored in when prospective residents aiming to work in Indianapolis apply for jobs and negotiate for salaries.
All in all, Indy is 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 spoken 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, its cosmopolitan vibe, 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 a comprehensive guide to Indy's accommodation, check out Accommodation in Indianapolis.
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