17 Reasons Not to Move to Indianapolis, Indiana (Voted by the Locals!)

When you talk to the residents of Indianapolis, Indiana, many will tell you that they love living there and don’t plan on moving out of the city anytime soon. However, living in Indianapolis is not entirely full of sunshine and rainbows. To help you realize the pros and cons of living in Indianapolis, Indiana, I have listed 17 reasons why you shouldn’t move to Indianapolis, Indiana below.

1. Crime

Indianapolis, Indiana is not the safe city that many residents think that it is. In fact, it has a ranking of 5 out of 100, 100 being the safest, and 1 being the most dangerous, by Neighborhood ScoutOpens in a new tab.. The most common crimes are violent or property crimes, which isn’t extremely comforting to homeowners.

If you move to Indianapolis, Indiana, there is a chance that you will be murdered. About 40-50 murders happen in Indianapolis every year, which may not seem like a lot, but there are many cities in the United States that only have up to 10 murders every year, so 40-50 is quite a lot. Luckily, the issue seems to be getting better rather than worse, but that can always change.

There is a massive drug problemOpens in a new tab. in Indianapolis, Indiana. In fact, about 1,809 people died from drug overdoses in 2017. This is partially because of how many drugs are available and how easy it is to become addicted to them, but it is also because there aren’t many programs in Indianapolis designed to help people with drug additions. If you do choose to move to Indianapolis, Indiana, make sure your family members know how dangerous drugs are and how they can avoid them.

2. Weather

The weather in Indianapolis, Indiana is quite temperamental and can’t seem to make up its mind sometimes, which can be extremely frustrating. If you like the snow or enjoy constant sunshine, you don’t want to move to Indianapolis, Indiana. It only snows about 20 inches per year, if that, and only a few inches fall at a time. This means that you won’t easily be able to participate in your favorite winter activities like sledding and skiing.

During the winter, the temperature in Indianapolis, Indiana rarely drops below 20 degrees Fahrenheit, but it also doesn’t typically rise above 40 degrees Fahrenheit.

During the summer, the humidity is absolutely awful in Indianapolis, Indiana. It will feel like it is nearly 100 degrees Fahrenheit, even though it is only about 80 degrees Fahrenheit. During the spring, the weather is typically rather warm and sunny, but there are many days that are cloudy and rainy. Even if there isn’t a cloud in the sky, be prepared for the rain to start pouring down later in the day.

During the fall, the weather is relatively mild in Indianapolis. It is typically rainy and cloudy, but it isn’t extremely cold. If you enjoy cool fall weather, you will enjoy the fall season while living in Indianapolis, but the weather during the other three seasons may make you want to move away as soon as possible.

3. Lack of Public Transport

Indianapolis, Indiana only has about two public transportation systems, and they are quite limited and not always clean and reliable. If you move to this city, you will either need to bring your car with you or purchase one once you move there, as the city is extremely spread out. If you don’t have a car and can’t afford one, you will be extremely limited in where you can go.

There is a Greyhound bus system and train system called the Red Line in Indianapolis, Indiana, but the Red Line only reaches a few neighborhoods and travels to the downtown area, so its route is extremely limited, as will your access. The Greyhound busses are sometimes unreliable and oftentimes dirty, so you will likely want to avoid using the Indianapolis bus system.

The public transportation system is so limited in Indianapolis, Indiana that only about 5% of the people that live there use public transportation to get to work or the downtown area.

4. There is a Bug Problem

If you don’t like mosquitos or bed bugs, you absolutely do not want to move to Indianapolis, Indiana. I would advise that you either purchase new furniture or clean used furniture thoroughly before you use it if you move to Indianapolis, as bed bugs are found nearly everywhere in this city. Once bed bugs enter your home, it is hard to get rid of them, so you will need to find a really good exterminator if you want to sleep well in the future.

Indianapolis, Indiana has been ranked as the 3rd worst state when it comes to the infestation of bed bugs. However, bed bugs are not the only buggy pests that you will have to deal with while living there.

You will also have to deal with mosquitos. In 2022, Indianapolis was ranked #19 out of 50 on Orkin’s Top Mosquito Cities list, so although it is not the worst city to live in when it comes to mosquitos, it is still pretty bad.

5. Public Schools are Bad

The public schools in Indianapolis, Indiana are quite bad, so if you have children and do choose to move there, you will likely want to have them go to a charter school, even though charter schools can be extremely expensive. The schools in Indianapolis aren’t very good because about 10%-15% of children that attend them don’t graduate high school. That may seem like a low number, but it is still worrisome.

6. Racism

Racism in Indianapolis, Indiana is rampant, which makes many people extremely uncomfortable. However, many people that see blatant racism in Indianapolis don’t speak up to defend people that are being heckled on the street.

Luckily, city officials seem to be taking steps to prevent racism from spreading, as programs are being created to create awareness about racism and why it is harmful and hurts others. Whether or not these programs will be effective is yet to be seen, but there is hope for Indianapolis’ non-caucasian residents.

7. Pollution

Indianapolis, Indiana is quite polluted, which poses a danger to its residents and wildlife. The city of Indianapolis still uses coal to power many facilities and provide power to its residents, which is one of the reasons why the pollution is so bad in this city.

The air quality in Indianapolis, Indiana is quite bad and seems to be getting worse with time. Out of 1,517 cities in the United States, Indianapolis has been ranked 53rd when it comes to the worst particle pollution. In fact, Los Angeles, a city that is widely known in the United States for the amount of pollution, is less polluted than Indianapolis, Indiana, and has better air quality.

8. Water Smells Bad

Although the air in Indianapolis, Indiana is quite polluted, the water quality and pollution are worse. The water pollution in Indianapolis is so bad that the water smells bad, so if you do choose to move to this city, you will want to invest in multiple high-quality water filters to put in your home so you don’t have to worry about potentially harmful water.

If you choose to move to Indianapolis, Indiana, you will notice that the water looks extremely dirty. Sometimes, it doesn’t even look like water and instead looks like extremely watery mud or something completely different than water.

Even though city officials say that the water in Indianapolis, Indiana is still safe to drink, many locals don’t completely trust the water and choose to drink bottled or filtered water instead. The precautions that residents of Indianapolis take are likely necessary, especially when you keep in mind that it was found that the state of Indiana released the most toxic chemicals into their waterways in 2007 out of all 50 states.

9. Increasing Population

If you enjoy living in small towns that don’t have a lot of new people moving to the area, you definitely don’t want to move to Indianapolis, Indiana. People are constantly moving to this city, and even though the population is currently about 890,000 people, many people that live in other cities work in the city, making the population seem bigger than it actually is.

10. There Isn’t Much to Do

If you enjoy being extremely busy and doing many things when you have free time, you will be out of luck if you choose to move to Indianapolis, Indiana, as there isn’t much that you can do. Sure, there are sporting events held periodically, which are always fun for sports fans, but other than that, there aren’t many fun activities to do.

The city is filled with bars and restaurants but doesn’t have many activity centers. There aren’t very many parks or hiking trails, so you won’t be able to go to the park or go hiking, even if you enjoy these pastimes. Also, there aren’t many bodies of water that you can or will want to swim in, so you won’t even be able to go swimming. Be ready to be bored often or discover new TV shows and movies if you choose to move to Indianapolis, Indiana.

11. Traffic

Although the amount of traffic in Indianapolis, Indiana isn’t as bad as it is in large cities like New York or California, it is still quite bad for the size of the city. This is partly because of how many people own cars and drive from other cities to Indianapolis for work, as well as the lack of public transportation.

If traffic wasn’t bad enough, if you visit or choose to live in Indianapolis, you will likely have to dodge cars that run through red lights, which is dangerous and never fun to do. You will always have to be hyper-aware of the cars around you while driving in this city because of bad drivers, as there are many bad drivers that live and drive in this city.

12. The Roads are Horrible

The roads in Indianapolis, Indiana are absolutely horrible. They are littered with large potholes that will definitely damage your car if you drive over them too fast. Although you can report these potholes in the hope that they will be fixed by the city relatively soon, they likely won’t get fixed and you will be stuck dodging potholes on your commute to work.

13. No Oceans

If you enjoy sitting by the ocean, enjoying the sand, sea, and wind, you don’t want to move to Indianapolis, Indiana. There are no beaches or anything that has anything remotely close to sand anywhere nearby. Even if there are a few lakes or rivers that are deep and large enough to swim in and have sand surrounding them, you likely won’t want to visit them because of how dirty and polluted they will likely be.

Also, if you choose to move to Indianapolis, Indiana and you love eating seafood, you will be out of luck because all of the seafood that you will find will be frozen, so it likely won’t taste amazing.

14. Tourists

About 29.2 million people visit Indianapolis, Indiana every year, and tourism is a massive industry that brings in billions of dollars every year for the city. These tourists add to the traffic and don’t know where they are going, so they are difficult to deal with.

Worst of all, most of these tourists come to Indianapolis to see various sporting events in person, so most of them come all at once, making it impossible to avoid them.

15. Not as Cheap to Live in as You May Think

Indianapolis, Indiana is partially known for its cheap housing. However, it may not be as cheap to live here as you may expect. Even though you can find a house for $200,000 in a relatively decent neighborhood, if you only want to live in an apartment, you will spend about $1,055 every month on rent. That doesn’t include utilities and various fees your landlord can charge you.

16. Almost Completely Flat

If you enjoy looking at mountains and going over hills, you definitely want to avoid living in Indianapolis, Indiana. Most of the state is completely flat, including Indianapolis. This makes it hard to go skiing or snowboarding in the mountains, especially because of the lack of snow that the city gets yearly.

17. Sports are Everything in Indianapolis

If you are not a fan of any sports, you won’t enjoy living in Indianapolis, Indiana, as sports are very important to its residents. Many different important sporting events are held in Indianapolis, including the Indy 500 and Men’s and Women’s NCAA Final Fours.

When important sporting events are held, you will want to avoid bars and restaurants that show sporting events, as they will be full to the brim and full of enthusiastic, loud, and drunk fans. This will leave you with nothing to do but sit at home and try to avoid sports fans, which will be hard to do.

Related Topics:

If you like the article above, here are some other similar articles you should check out!

Is Indianapolis, IN a Liberal City?Opens in a new tab.

Is There Public Transportation in Indianapolis, Indiana?Opens in a new tab.

17 Reasons Not to Move to Fort Wayne, IndianaOpens in a new tab.

Nathan Aydelotte

Hello! I'm Nathan, the lead editor for Suggested by locals. I grew up in the Boise, Idaho area and have lived here most of my life. I enjoy being close to the mountains where I can go hiking, camping, and mountain biking.

Recent Posts