These Are The 10 Most Miserable Cities In Indiana

We used science and data to determine which places in Indiana are the unhappiest of all.

Join RoadSnacks

Swipe left for slideshow. Article continues below.

Do you live in one of the most miserable places in Indiana?

According to a Harris Poll taken in October of 2015, only a third of Americans say they are truly happy. That’s too bad, considering that Americans – especially folks in Indiana – don’t really have it too bad, in the grand scheme of things.

But, we were curious – which Indiana cities might be the most miserable? We’re about to find out, using science and data.

After analyzing the largest cities, we sadly present the most miserable cities in the Hoosier State:

  1. Gary (Photos)
  2. East Chicago (Photos)
  3. Anderson (Photos)
  4. Connersville (Photos)
  5. Hammond (Photos)
  6. Dunkirk
  7. Union City (Photos)
  8. North Vernon
  9. Elkhart (Photos)
  10. New Castle (Photos)

Read on below to see how we crunched the numbers and how your town ranked. If you have a smile on your face, you probably don’t live in one of these cities.

Oh, and by the way, Highland is the happiest place in Indiana.

Or check out the Most Miserable Cities In America.

If you’re looking for something more positive, check out the best states in America or the best places to live in America.


How We Measured The Most Miserable Cities In Indiana

In order to rank the unhappiest places in Indiana, we had to determine what criteria makes people happy. It isn’t a stretch to assume that happy people earn great salaries, are relatively stress free, and have a stable home life.

So we went to the Census’s American Community Survey 2010-2014 report for the criteria, flipped the list, and it spit out the answer. Like magic.

We threw a lot of criteria at this one in order to get the best, most complete results possible:

  • Percentage of residents with a college degree
  • Average commute times
  • Unemployment rates
  • Cost of living
  • % of married couples
  • % of home owners
  • Poverty rate

After we decided on the criteria, we gathered the data for the 108 places in Indiana with over 2,000 people.

We then ranked each place from one to 161 for each of the seven criteria with a score of one being the most miserable (Any ties were given to the larger place).

Next, we averaged the seven rankings into a Miserable Index for each place with the lowest overall Miserable Index ‘earning’ the title ‘Most Miserable City In Indiana’.

If you’d like to see the complete list of states, most miserable to happiest, scroll to the bottom of this post to see the unabridged chart.


1. Gary

Gary, Indiana

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 79,165
People Who Own Their Home: 37.94%
Married Adults: 28.41%

2. East Chicago

East Chicago, Indiana

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 29,387
People Who Own Their Home: 32.4%
Married Adults: 29.7%

3. Anderson

Anderson, Indiana

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 55,789
People Who Own Their Home: 47.43%
Married Adults: 39.23%

4. Connersville

Connersville, Indiana

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 13,267
People Who Own Their Home: 48.78%
Married Adults: 40.69%

5. Hammond

Hammond, Indiana

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 79,585
People Who Own Their Home: 53.77%
Married Adults: 39.97%

6. Dunkirk

Population: 2,365
People Who Own Their Home: 51.99%
Married Adults: 41.01%

7. Union City

Union City, Indiana

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 3,606
People Who Own Their Home: 51.16%
Married Adults: 41.2%

8. North Vernon

Population: 6,736
People Who Own Their Home: 48.62%
Married Adults: 40.18%

9. Elkhart

Elkhart, Indiana

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 51,539
People Who Own Their Home: 42.54%
Married Adults: 40.22%

10. New Castle

New Castle, Indiana

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 17,859
People Who Own Their Home: 47.69%
Married Adults: 41.48%

There You Have It

Like we said earlier, trying to determine the most miserable cities in {state} is usually a subjective matter. But if you’re analyzing cities where people are not stable, where you’re stuck in traffic, and no one spent the time to go to college, then this is an accurate list.

If you’re curious enough, here are the happiest cities in {state}, according to science:
For more Indiana reading , check out:

Detailed List Of Miserable Places In Indiana

City Rank People Who Own Their Home
Gary 1 37.94%
East Chicago 2 32.4%
Anderson 3 47.43%
Connersville 4 48.78%
Hammond 5 53.77%
Dunkirk 6 51.99%
Union City 7 51.16%
North Vernon 8 48.62%
Elkhart 9 42.54%
New Castle 10 47.69%
Michigan City 11 46.58%
Brazil 12 52.5%
Indianapolis 13 47.01%
Muncie 14 43.51%
Lake Station 15 63.77%
Terre Haute 16 45.51%
Spencer 17 48.71%
Lagrange 18 55.32%
Richmond 19 48.6%
Elwood 20 49.49%
Mishawaka 21 43.63%
Logansport 22 55.27%
Salem 23 55.79%
Martinsville 24 51.84%
Westville 25 67.03%
Mitchell 26 61.69%
Butler 27 62.52%
Lawrenceburg 28 47.69%
Hanover 29 52.89%
New Albany 30 48.32%
Plymouth 31 54.14%
Marion 32 50.13%
Crawfordsville 33 48.84%
Peru 34 53.41%
Bloomfield 35 55.28%
Shelbyville 36 50.19%
Austin 37 53.91%
Kendallville 38 55.51%
Cloverdale 39 57.1%
Hebron 40 61.34%
Frankfort 41 52.23%
Sullivan 42 45.86%
Vincennes 43 47.39%
Syracuse 44 51.8%
Lafayette 45 44.1%
Sheridan 46 57.34%
Merrillville 47 58.45%
Evansville 48 46.6%
Kokomo 49 54.13%
Bloomington 50 31.0%
Charlestown 51 55.42%
Hartford City 52 59.37%
Petersburg 53 56.67%
Paoli 54 61.16%
Bedford 55 53.16%
Winchester 56 60.19%
La Porte 57 53.61%
Lawrence 58 61.09%
Aurora 59 48.6%
Gas City 60 62.03%
Goshen 61 52.55%
Angola 62 48.54%
Beech Grove 63 51.97%
Clinton 64 54.57%
Brookville 65 49.96%
Fort Wayne 66 56.55%
Rockport 67 46.49%
Rockville 68 54.12%
Rochester 69 50.5%
Alexandria 70 49.24%
West Lafayette 71 28.58%
Clarksville 72 53.72%
Valparaiso 73 53.33%
Centerville 74 61.83%
Madison 75 50.21%
Versailles 76 56.48%
Waterloo 77 64.48%
Greensburg 78 54.11%
Portage 79 66.8%
Huntington 80 57.75%
Flora 81 57.21%
Linton 82 55.96%
Seymour 83 56.5%
Greencastle 84 46.04%
Albion 85 58.25%
Cedar Lake 86 69.75%
Portland 87 58.1%
Chandler 88 63.76%
Griffith 89 61.65%
Bremen 90 53.16%
Columbia City 91 61.07%
Jeffersonville 92 60.24%
Greenwood 93 56.39%
Franklin 94 55.05%
Cicero 95 72.74%
Garrett 96 62.16%
Lowell 97 71.54%
Fowler 98 61.33%
Cumberland 99 56.85%
Fremont 100 71.56%
Hobart 101 68.09%
Warsaw 102 55.85%
Chesterfield 103 65.4%
Lebanon 104 56.89%
Pendleton 105 61.34%
Wabash 106 58.62%
Monticello 107 54.35%
Greenfield 108 57.69%
New Whiteland 109 75.56%
Washington 110 57.19%
Princeton 111 55.93%
Upland 112 61.86%
Liberty 113 60.45%
Huntingburg 114 61.21%
Williamsport 115 65.89%
Fairmount 116 66.53%
North Manchester 117 55.51%
Bluffton 118 60.89%
Hope 119 69.82%
Greendale 120 76.86%
Plainfield 121 67.65%
Crown Point 122 71.9%
Mooresville 123 61.91%
Chesterton 124 66.74%
Decatur 125 62.48%
Nappanee 126 61.39%
Mount Vernon 127 64.02%
Tipton 128 56.55%
Auburn 129 68.31%
Rensselaer 130 56.24%
Covington 131 67.3%
Danville 132 68.24%
New Haven 133 72.11%
Lakes Of The Four Seasons 134 94.25%
Ellettsville 135 62.74%
Highland 136 74.64%
Boonville 137 60.97%
Munster 138 80.31%
Bargersville 139 61.48%
Columbus 140 57.9%
New Carlisle 141 67.44%
Dyer 142 87.75%
Noblesville 143 66.79%
Bright 144 80.92%
Dunlap 145 78.16%
Winfield 146 83.05%
Newburgh 147 71.08%
Tell City 148 64.01%
Brownsburg 149 72.48%
Middlebury 150 78.27%
Osceola 151 80.62%
Avon 152 75.76%
Fishers 153 79.57%
Hidden Valley 154 87.46%
Carmel 155 75.01%
Westfield 156 76.77%
Batesville 157 62.68%
Zionsville 158 75.8%
Jasper 159 64.11%
Granger 160 93.2%
Highland 161 89.38%

14 thoughts on “These Are The 10 Most Miserable Cities In Indiana

  1. I think your full of crap!!!! Union City maybe small town and not a lot of jobs but the residents love this town. If you never lived there you have no clue!! I’m sure you never lived in any off the towns you listed. Small towns have pride and they love the community of a small town.

  2. Wow, the Sarge is all jacked up. I live in one of the “top” 3 and have spent enough time in most of the others to know this list to be fairly accurate. Look, as a commuter life sucks for an extra 10hours a week. This is a purely stats based article, don’t get so worked up.

  3. Gotta say, this is pretty crappy “science”. You chose to look at happiness based on unemployment and college graduate status in an area of the country that relies heavily on manufacturing (especially of luxury goods like RVs) with a dataset that comes right after the hardest part of the recession. Elkhart, Indiana had the highest unemployment rate in the country during the recession. Sure, that made people sad, but with your pictures you make these towns look desolate. Have you ever been to Elkhart or Goshen or Nappanee or Brookville or Greencastle? These are great little towns with lots of character. And seriously?… West Lafayette is home to Purdue.

  4. Do you stupid idiots in North Carolina have a clue as to the true location of the image shown in #6 of the first slideshow? Get an education before you go posting garbage about places you know NOTHING about.

  5. How did Bloomington escape your list with percentages of 23 and 31 percent? Don’t blame it on IU either.

  6. A different evaluation named North Vernon as one of the first two Stellar cities in Indiana, an honor where many communities applied, but only two were selected. How can two evaluations be so far apart – unless the systems are flawed. Also, if you want a level playing field, put up a picture of our downtown, rather than one house in town. We have the largest collection of Mesker storefronts in Indiana. I just came from a community production at our restored Park Theatre Civic Center. The criteria for determining this ranking is very flawed – starting with the assumption that married people are happier than single people. Whoever designed the research methodology would get a failing grade in any research class.

  7. I live in north Vernon and it’s a nice place to live. The house you shown is an older couple whom can’t afford to have their home upkeep. So please take pictures across the street and the surrounding neighborhood! We have good schools good neighborhoods as well as rough neighborhoods like other cities. Check into the surrounding cities, like Austin, Scottsburg, then rate North Vernon!

  8. Did you interview or survey the residents of these communities to ask if their views and experiences were remotely supportive of your conclusions? Sounds more like an evaluation of how close a community is to the nearest SMSA.

  9. The comment was made about science and data being used. Was the research model one that would be recognized as valid for a middle school science fair? Seriously, I live in North Vernon and am familiar with the house pictured. It is a real house, but looks nothing like the house next to it, or across the street.Go to Google Earth, get on North Vernon, go to Jennings Street and you will find it. Then look at others on the same street. Look across the street (Jennings). Then go to the next street over and look at the houses on South State. The pictures are factual and neutral and each person can draw their own conclusions via the broader data. Selective data can prove anything. As for me…I’m happy in North Vernon…Tom Taylor

  10. I’d drive to Dunkirk, Indiana just to ride that double-decker bus!
    I’ve been there, and I missed the bus!! I kinda think the writer (s) did too!

  11. North Vernon is a laughingstock like a lot of the towns in Southern Indiana. It’s no different than trash pits like Scottsburg, Austin, Salem, Paoli, Bedford (better known as Methford) and a whole lot of other smaller towns. Not to mention all of the boring dumpy towns around it. The only two that halfway decent cities close to it are Seymour and Columbus. It’s too far to Indianapolis to do a daily commute unless you want to drive an hour and a half. The town cops are crooks and so are most of the politicians.

    They average IQ of the town hovers about 85 which is borderline mentally retarded and there are plenty of drug pushers, druggies, meth labs, heroin users and other dopers. I’ve spent plenty of time in North Vernon over the years either passing through to Cincinnati area or heading to my uncles past Greensburg. You’re better off passing it by and not wasting much time here. The job market is revolving around uneducated morons that barely graduated high school much less have the equivalent of a sixth grade education. It’s only saving grace is that its relatively close to Columbus…20 miles so people can get jobs that is the ones that can actually pass a drug test which is getting to be few and far between. The same problem that its close to Seymour but the druggies still can’t get jobs there in the myriad of factories and businesses in that mid sized city as well. Both of those cities have plenty of factories and other types of businesses. Something that doesn’t happen in North Vernon unless you want to work in a couple of the crappy factories with no future or work as a box flipper at Lowes

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *