Worst Small Towns In Indiana For 2020

Using science and data, we can tell you which teeny specks in IN are the pits.

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Editor’s Note: This article is an opinion based on facts and is meant as infotainment. Don’t freak out we updated this article for 2020. This is our sixth time ranking the worst small places to live in Indiana.

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Most Americans have never been to Indiana. However, as the people who live there know, Indiana is an awesome state.

But is it all roses? Definitely not. Just like any other state, Indiana has its trouble spots. This article aims to determine, using science, the absolute worst small towns to live in the Hoosier State. Don't shoot the messenger, this is all using data.

After analyzing more than 206 of Indiana's smallest cities, we came up with this list as the 10 worst small towns in Indiana where you'd never want to live:

So what is the worst small town to call home in indiana for 2020? According to the most recent census data, Union City is the worst small town to live in Indiana.

Of course, many of these cities would rank highly if they were in other states, since Indiana has its stuff figured out.

Read on below to see how we crunched the numbers, or scroll to the bottom to see how your town ranked.

And if you already know about the small towns, check out the best places to live in Indiana or the worst places to live in Indiana.

If you're looking for something more national, check out the worst cities in America or the worst states in America.

The 10 Worst Small Towns In Indiana For 2020

Union City, IN

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 3,396
Rank Last Year: 2 (Up 1)
Median Home Value: $47,500 (2nd worst)
Unemployment Rate: 12.5% (4th worst)
More on Union City:  Data | Photos

Country Squire Lakes, IN

Source: Wikipedia
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 3,067
Rank Last Year: 1 (Down 1)
Median Home Value: $41,800 (1st worst)
Unemployment Rate: 6.4% (72nd worst)
More on Country Squire Lakes:  Data | Photos

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 1,837
Rank Last Year: 6 (Up 3)
Median Home Value: $52,500 (8th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 13.8% (1st worst)
More on Montpelier:  Data

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 3,003
Rank Last Year: 7 (Up 3)
Median Home Value: $51,000 (6th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 10.2% (14th worst)
More on Bicknell:  Data

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 3,879
Rank Last Year: 11 (Up 6)
Median Home Value: $67,000 (21st worst)
Unemployment Rate: 9.3% (19th worst)
More on Austin:  Data

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 1,832
Rank Last Year: 8 (Up 2)
Median Home Value: $77,600 (44th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 3.6% (151st worst)
More on French Lick:  Data

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 1,320
Rank Last Year: 3 (Down 4)
Median Home Value: $64,300 (12th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 11.4% (11th worst)
More on Kingsford Heights:  Data

Knox, IN

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 3,609
Rank Last Year: 4 (Down 4)
Median Home Value: $80,800 (54th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 11.5% (10th worst)
More on Knox:  Data | Photos

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 1,065
Rank Last Year: 17 (Up 8)
Median Home Value: $75,900 (36th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 7.1% (50th worst)
More on Brook:  Data

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 1,653
Rank Last Year: 16 (Up 6)
Median Home Value: $76,800 (42nd worst)
Unemployment Rate: 12.5% (3rd worst)
More on New Chicago:  Data

How do you decide if a place is lousy or not?

In order to rank the worst small towns to live in Indiana, we had to determine what criteria people like or dislike about a place. It isn't a stretch to assume that people like low crime, solid education, things to do and a stable economy.

So we scraped the internet for those criteria, and it spit out the answer. Like magic.

How we determined the worst small towns to live in Indiana for 2020

We threw a lot of criteria at this one in order to get the best, most complete results possible. Using FBI crime data and the Census's 2014-2018 American Community Survey, this is the criteria we used:

  • Population Density (The lower the worse)
  • Highest Unemployment Rates
  • Low housing costs (meaning there's no demand)
  • Adjusted Median Income (Median income adjusted for the cost of living)
  • Education (Number of high school dropouts)
  • High Crime

We looked at cities with populations between 1,000 and 5,000 people, of which, there were a lot - 206 to be exact.

Additional note: We get the crime numbers from the FBI, which gets its crime numbers from the cities themselves. Dropout numbers are based on the adult population, not just the current graduation rates of teenagers.

This list is a scientific analysis based on real data and is completely unbiased.

There You Have It - The Worst Small Towns In Indiana

If you're analyzing teeny places in the Hoosier State with the worst economic situations, where there's high crime and there's not a lot to do, this is an accurate list.

If you're curious enough, here are the best small towns to live in Indiana, according to science:

  1. New Palestine (Pop. 2,235)
  2. Melody Hill (Pop. 3,809)
  3. Aberdeen (Pop. 1,463)

For more Indiana reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Worst Small Towns In Indiana

Rank Town Population Unemployment Rate Home Value
1 Union City 3,396 12.5% $47,500
2 Country Squire Lakes 3,067 6.4% $41,800
3 Montpelier 1,837 13.8% $52,500
4 Bicknell 3,003 10.2% $51,000
5 Austin 3,879 9.3% $67,000
6 French Lick 1,832 3.6% $77,600
7 Kingsford Heights 1,320 11.4% $64,300
8 Knox 3,609 11.5% $80,800
9 Brook 1,065 7.1% $75,900
10 New Chicago 1,653 12.5% $76,800
11 Wolcottville 1,021 8.7% $74,000
12 Monon 1,906 7.4% $73,000
13 Aurora 3,678 13.8% $114,500
14 New Pekin 1,647 8.9% $90,200
15 Redkey 1,561 6.7% $49,300
16 Bloomfield 2,126 7.7% $81,100
17 Paoli 3,697 3.1% $81,700
18 Grissom Afb 2,452 7.1% $54,900
19 Dillsboro 1,551 6.3% $107,800
20 Delphi 3,139 7.1% $80,400
21 West Terre Haute 2,216 12.1% $50,300
22 Milan 1,958 9.5% $96,600
23 Vevay 1,493 8.7% $94,000
24 Sullivan 4,109 9.4% $76,300
25 Goodland 1,072 8.1% $69,900
26 Cambridge City 1,861 6.9% $66,800
27 Shelburn 1,339 6.9% $56,600
28 Argos 1,795 7.0% $81,400
29 Milford 1,444 6.8% $104,700
30 Fairmount 2,871 10.6% $85,300
31 Mitchell 4,270 8.8% $73,100
32 Veedersburg 2,059 7.2% $71,900
33 Cayuga 1,202 11.8% $64,800
34 Kentland 1,853 4.0% $90,300
35 Cannelton 1,541 5.3% $66,000
36 Orleans 2,249 7.3% $86,600
37 Patoka 1,233 2.9% $48,500
38 Rockport 2,419 4.2% $78,300
39 Butler 2,729 9.5% $78,400
40 Winchester 4,924 2.9% $69,000
41 Dunkirk 2,111 7.6% $57,500
42 Eaton 1,833 2.6% $65,100
43 Odon 1,526 7.2% $81,000
44 Akron 1,196 6.4% $82,800
45 Edinburgh 4,671 4.4% $90,800
46 Spencer 2,272 4.8% $91,900
47 Worthington 1,178 5.4% $68,900
48 Ashley 1,061 5.9% $82,500
49 Centerville 2,562 8.8% $91,000
50 Oolitic 1,184 4.8% $91,600
51 Lagrange 2,796 5.4% $85,500
52 Oakland City 2,259 6.6% $66,600
53 Attica 3,196 6.5% $79,600
54 Daleville 1,636 11.9% $79,000
55 Jonesboro 1,311 6.8% $66,400
56 Ligonier 4,654 7.3% $73,800
57 Fairview Park 1,167 8.4% $93,600
58 Syracuse 2,883 6.5% $126,700
59 Warren Park 1,622 6.0% $124,200
60 Versailles 2,039 5.8% $107,300
61 Albion 2,472 7.0% $89,700
62 Rockville 2,620 2.0% $90,600
63 Albany 2,005 7.5% $67,300
64 Morga 1,030 7.3% $91,300
65 Jasonville 1,749 3.7% $51,200
66 Cloverdale 1,831 4.9% $84,800
67 Geneva 1,459 4.2% $82,100
68 Dale 1,442 4.8% $93,800
69 Topeka 1,022 5.8% $94,800
70 Thor 1,429 6.4% $91,500
71 North Judson 2,057 4.9% $91,300
72 Walkerton 2,240 11.1% $100,800
73 Sunman 1,176 5.0% $109,400
74 Koontz Lake 1,538 6.8% $105,900
75 Brown 2,945 5.7% $96,500
76 St. Paul 1,166 5.3% $79,200
77 Sheridan 2,847 6.1% $120,400
78 Morocco 1,067 8.6% $87,300
79 Borden 1,171 6.6% $114,800
80 Otterbein 1,036 9.9% $86,800
81 Culver 1,211 8.9% $159,100
82 Remington 1,350 2.5% $92,000
83 North Terre Haute 4,498 6.3% $94,700
84 Fremont 2,223 4.5% $101,600
85 Converse 1,303 1.3% $84,200
86 Clinton 4,743 4.0% $64,400
87 Lawrenceburg 4,979 1.4% $134,800
88 Winamac 2,710 3.8% $84,900
89 Chesterfield 2,336 3.0% $64,700
90 Loogootee 2,560 5.1% $88,500
91 Crothersville 1,755 5.5% $81,100
92 Hanover 3,504 5.2% $96,000
93 Ladoga 1,179 5.4% $85,100
94 Waterloo 2,222 5.0% $75,600
95 Flora 1,968 6.5% $84,900
96 Roselawn 4,599 8.4% $124,200
97 Fowler 2,282 3.3% $84,800
98 Nashville 1,349 2.3% $163,800
99 Petersburg 2,472 1.3% $76,400
100 Middl 2,554 2.5% $68,400

How Is The Area In ?

15 thoughts on “Worst Small Towns In Indiana, 2020

  1. I do one of lagro’s paper routes iv never seen any of the so called crime. It’s a laid back sleepy little town. It’s got 1 gas station and a few restaurants, a church, fire/police depot and that’s about it. There’s only about a dosen or so family’s that live in town limits. in addition I’m guessing the crimes rates are reflectant of crimes that have happen at salamonie state campgrounds is included and some terrible things have happened out there and we’re committed by non lagro residence. But the nearest town would be lagro. The majority is a just hard working people. Yes there are some occasionally family’s fighting but its usually settled quickly or some teens being deliquints. Other than that it’s a quite little town.

    1. I liked Lagro, it was a quiet town!! Haven’t lived there in yrs, but I know plenty of people who still live there!

  2. Saltillo #1 lol what a great small town this is. I live 4 mile away and have friends and family that live there. It is a warm little town where everyone knows everyone
    And you can leave your doors and windows down unlocked. I think you should maybe do a little more research. No there are not any factories in this town or places to work but we drive a few miles to work everyday. You make the people here seem uneducated and freeloaders.that is not the case!

    1. As someone that grew up in Washington County and lived there for most of the first 33 years of my life I have laugh when people in Washington County brag about their community because there are places a whole lot better than Saltillo, Campbellsburg, Livonia, New Pekin, Hardinsburg, and even the county seat Salem. Washington County is a cesspool for meth heads, lazy losers, thieves, higher levels of unemployment than other surrounding counties. Not to mention a corrupt local justice system that lets off drug dealers and pushers and habitual users that steal from other people. Most of the small towns above are dying because of lack of jobs and economics and the place looks like it as well. Washington County could do so much better with different people running things but instead the scum rises to the top. As far as dangerous it’s not all that dangerous although in a recent year something like 8 people were murdered in a county of population at 28,000. However, there are countless deadbeats, freeloaders, and uneducated morons that bring down the other half of the decent people in the county

  3. I’m sorry, but your “data” sucks, Lagro is a small community, yes but but people that live there are not dangerous or trashy, it’s one community that pulls together when someone is in need, and if you want to post a picture of Main St, then that you should, don’t post a picture of a freakin ally and call it main street! You could have snapped a more flattering picture of Lagro than that!

  4. Even through the naive writer’s tone of quippish sarcasm, articles such as this serve no purpose other than to belittle and demean families who live in small rural communities; a significant element in the demographics of the State.

    My guess would be the author is a member of the Millennial generation who, like most of his peers, is focused on immediate convenience, rather than appreciating the effort required to live in a rural setting.

    To devalue life in a small town shows little knowledge of diversity, the value of agriculture, and small town camaraderie.
    Obviously, you fail to appreciate the joy and value of an authentic home-cooked meal, prairie picnics, summer crickets singing an evening lullaby, easily-attained local organic whole foods, natural tans, the smell of fresh country air, and friendly neighbors.
    Lest I forget to mention, how the absence of traffic jams in rural areas make the commute to work, school or shopping, less time-consuming than you “city folk.”

    By the way, Bud Tapman, *All* communities contain a percentage of poverty-level inhabitants, high school drop-outs, and crime.
    Even that big city where you live, wherever it may be.

  5. Any “creative” person can take a bunch of data and use it to make just about any point they want. Data doesn’t “prove” if a place is “best” or “worst” by any means, it’s PEOPLE and what THEY think and feel about the area that make it great or not.

    I live in Washington County Indiana, home of #1 Saltillo and #4 Campbellsburg. There are several large employers close by and one IN Campbellsburg. While these area’s may not have a lot of money and the educational attainment rate may not be as high, you won’t find folks with bigger hearts anywhere else. They care about each other and they help their neighbors! While some homes might not cost $100,000, they owners care about them and take pride in what they have.

    Just give some of US data on your hometowns and I bet we can prove the same thing! It’s all a numbers game and so unfair to represent them as being worst places to live!! I was proud to be the HR Manager at the large factory in Campbellsburg – some of the finest folks I’ve EVER worked with!!! I have the NUMBERS to prove it too!

  6. Living “in the sticks” makes it bad? Densely populated makes it good? You call this scientific? I noticed my grandparents and mother’s hometown in the top 100, a town where the neighbors are always there to help one another. Many towns listed in the 100 are very nice communities

  7. Just by the words this “author” chooses tells me A LOT about his true nature. “Infotainment” and, “don’t freak out”, gives off an incredible “teen” vibe. IF he even that old at all. Pity . . . Such a pity.

  8. Saltillo,Campbellsburg area information is totally wrong. Saltillo is working,self employed and retired people. Your crime rate stats are just laughable. As a Campbellsburg resident, I like living in a small town community where you know your neighbors, people help one another and show respect. I live 4 miles from my job as others here drive a short distance to theirs. If you want accurate stats, talk to the people, get to know them a little, then you would have a total different attitude toward small town country folks.

    1. Washington County is full uneducated white trash bottom feeding people and has been for decades. Until one actually leaves Washington County and then comes back and you see the filth, drug abuse, alcoholics everywhere, wife beaters and the sad thing is that I grew up in Washington County until I was just past thirty. I know a lot of these people in Campbellsburg, Pekin, Saltillo, Livonia, Salem, Hardinsburg. Stick it in your ear regarding their so called small town values. I also lived in a larger city for a few years but I’ve never seen a place like Washington County when it comes to mass stupidity of its population. That’s why its full of small businesses and small factories that don’t pay their employees more than just bare subsistence wages. I had to leave there again but its become such a laughingstock where there’s a whole lot of corruption in the local government but also law enforcement. It’s all about who you know and who gets paid off with the local judges. Not to mention the corruption of the local law enforcement community. Values……pfffft……you all have a very warped sense of values and I grew up around serious people who were religious but yet people with common sense and decency and most OF Washington County lacks that these days. That’s why the young people are leaving your towns to get better jobs and opportunities rather than live in one of the meth and heroin capitals of Indiana which is what Salem and surrounding communities really are all about these days. Add in the fact that Salem area residents in Washington are very uneducated as well.

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