Why You Should Think Twice About Moving to Indianapolis

Emily Taylor
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Indy can seem like a perfect place to kick start your life both professionally and personally with its growing economy and culture. The city has plenty going for it, from a rising tech boom to a prime location to raise a family.

It’s no secret either that the Indy housing market, and subsequently near-downtown neighborhoods, are rising in price and popularity. For all of this though Indy, like any other city, is not without fault.

Here is a rundown of the not-so-shiny parts of Indy:

It is overly polluted.

One of the best advantages of Indy is halted by one of the worst things about Indy — the environment. Indy is one of the few cities where a 40 minute drive from downtown can have you standing in the middle of three different beautiful state parks. How long those parks will be around is another question entirely.

Indianapolis (and Indiana as a whole) has terrible regulations when it comes to environmental protection. Local nonprofits have to fight tooth and nail to keep the lack of protections intact and prevent worse ones from coming down the political pipeline.

The Hoosier state was recently ranked fourth in the nation when it came to poor environmental quality. We also landed in 48th place in air quality and 30th in water quality. Part of the reason for this is the state’s huge reliance on coal powered energy. Indiana actually lands in 8th place nationally when comes to coal production.

Despite plenty of data to show it’s detriment to the environment, the dependence remains nearly unchallenged. A tip from an Indy resident: don’t move near the Harding Street plant on the south side, it’s been flagged by several environmental groups.

Indiana is soft on hate crimes.

No matter where you stand on the political spectrum, most people can agree that harming someone just for who they are is not okay. Indiana has wrestled with the issue of hate crimes for years. Despite protections put in place by several of the larger cities (like Indy and Bloomington) which discourage hate crimes, there is little to no legal teeth behind Indiana laws. Indy as a city is extremely welcoming and friendly, but keep all of this in mind before moving here.

The gender wage gap is wider (but getting better).

Indiana is often in the forefront of women’s rights battles. One of those struggles is the gender wage gap. In Indiana women earn about 76 percent of what men do, which puts the state below the national wage gap. This inequality is not going unnoticed. Salesforce, one of Indy’s biggest tech employers, dedicated $6 million to help narrow that gap.

The weather is pretty weird.

There is a famous saying in the Midwest: If you don’t like the weather, wait five minutes. It’s not an exaggeration; one day will be 90 degrees and humid and the next will feel like fall and require a light jacket. Indy is caught between a build up of storms that come from the south and the leftover lake effect off of Lake Michigan.

There is a major drug crisis.

The opioid crisis is nothing new in the US, but what few know is how rampant it is in Indiana. According to a study done by IUPUI in September of 2016, the number of overdose deaths has increased more than 500 percent since 1999. Over a thousand overdose deaths in 2014 landed Indiana at 15th in the country. The rate of prescription addictions are directly related to heroin use and subsequently HIV cases in the state.

Like we said, Indy has it’s struggles like any state, but it’s up to us to make it better. If you are up for the challenges we are happy to have you!

Editor's Note: This article was originally published on August 25, 2017 and has been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.

Emily Taylor

Emily is a freelancer writer based in the Midwest.
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