With a few exceptions, our home state of Indiana is mostly made up of small cities and towns. For every Indianapolis, Fort Wayne, Evansville, and South Bend, there's a Bloomington, Jasper, and New Albany. In my opinion, it's those small cities and towns, and the people who call them home, that give the state its personality. Our "Hoosier Hospitality," if you will. Several of those cities were recently recognized as some of the best in the country with one of them taking the top spot.

Indiana Small City Ranked the Best in America

I was born and raised, and still live in the Evansville area. What I like about it, and why I have no desire to move to a big city, is that it's just big enough to have everything I need in terms of food, shopping, and entertainment options, but not so big that I feel like everyone is piled on top of each other. Plus, if I want to get a taste of the "big city," Indy, Nashville, St. Louis, and Cincinnati are at most a three to three-and-a-half-hour drive away.

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While Evansville didn't land on this list of the Best Small Cities in America recently put together by WalletHub due to the size of our population (the study was limited to cities with 25,000 to 100,000 people, Evansville currently has a population of 116,486), several others did make the list. 33 in total to be exact, three of which landed in the top five including the one sitting pretty on the top of the heap.

To determine its rankings, the study looked at several factors within the following categories:

  1. Affordability
  2. Economic Health
  3. Education & Health
  4. Quality of Life
  5. Safety

After the numbers were crunched, Carmel, Indiana, on the outskirts of Indianapolis, claimed the number one spot, just beating Lexington, Massachusettes by a little over a point. Rounding out the top five were Carmel's neighbor to the north, Westfield, home of Indianapolis Colts headquarters, and its neighbor Fishers, Indiana to the east.

For those of us who don't live in Carmel, the town has a reputation of being where all the rich people live. Indianapolis Colts owner, Jim Irsay is one of those who call Carmel home.

Despite that reputation, Living in Indianapolis says the annual cost of living in Carmel is comparable to other Midwestern cities and below the national average, and WalletHub ranks it as one of the safest cities on its list. But like any city, it's not perfect. As Living in Indianapolis notes in the video below, it has its pros and cons.

You can see the complete list of cities and where other small cities in Indiana rank on the WalletHub website.

[Sources: WalletHub / Living in Indianapolis]

Television Shows Set in Indiana

From comedies to dramas to reality television, to arguably one of the most popular science-fiction series ever created, Indiana has had its fair share of Hollywood productions use a location in the state to serve as a "home base," if you will, for its story. Some of these you've likely never heard of, and some you may be a massive fan of.

Gallery Credit: Ryan O'Bryan

LOOK: The 50 best small towns to raise a family in the U.S.

Looking for the best small towns to raise a family? Stacker compiled this list of the top 50 small towns in the United States using 2023 data from Niche.

Gallery Credit: Annalise Mantz

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