These Are The 10 Worst Small Towns In Indiana For 2018


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

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This article is an opinion based on facts and is meant as infotainment. Don’t freak out.

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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 285 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:

  1. English
  2. Van Bibber Lake
  3. Laurel
  4. Kewanna
  5. Mecca
  6. Lyons
  7. Greensboro
  8. Universal
  9. Marengo
  10. Campbellsburg

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.

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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 crunched the numbers

We threw a lot of criteria at this one in order to get the best, most complete results possible. Using FBI crime data, the Census’s 2010-2014 American Community Survey, and the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 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 100 and 1,000 people, of which, there were a lot – 285 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.

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1. English


Population: 767
Median Income: $17,344
Median Home Value: $55,400

2. Van Bibber Lake


Population: 426
Median Income: $17,464
Median Home Value: $63,500

3. Laurel


Population: 564
Median Income: $30,658
Median Home Value: $57,300

4. Kewanna


Population: 645
Median Income: $27,639
Median Home Value: $47,100

5. Mecca


Population: 387
Median Income: $35,000
Median Home Value: $45,600

6. Lyons


Population: 717
Median Income: $41,667
Median Home Value: $47,800

7. Greensboro


Population: 137
Median Income: $29,583
Median Home Value: $60,000

8. Universal


Population: 230
Median Income: $30,417
Median Home Value: $53,000

9. Marengo


Population: 763
Median Income: $24,861
Median Home Value: $70,300

10. Campbellsburg


Population: 602
Median Income: $28,889
Median Home Value: $57,400

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. Best: Ulen
  2. 2nd Best: Homecroft
  3. 3rd Best: Buck Creek

For more reading, check out:

  • These Are The 10 Most Boring Places In Indiana
  • These Are The 10 Dumbest Cities In Indiana
  • These Are The 10 Snobbiest Places In Indiana
  • Ranking Of The 100 Worst Small Towns In Indiana

    City Rank Population Home Price
    English 1 767 $55,400
    Van Bibber Lake 2 426 $63,500
    Laurel 3 564 $57,300
    Kewanna 4 645 $47,100
    Mecca 5 387 $45,600
    Lyons 6 717 $47,800
    Greensboro 7 137 $60,000
    Universal 8 230 $53,000
    Marengo 9 763 $70,300
    Campbellsburg 10 602 $57,400
    Hymera 11 686 $57,600
    Medora 12 658 $49,200
    Elnora 13 533 $63,700
    Tennyson 14 327 $47,300
    Andrews 15 939 $53,700
    Salamonia 16 221 $50,800
    Shoals 17 808 $71,100
    Vera Cruz 18 109 $72,500
    Boston 19 139 $64,200
    Cromwell 20 443 $72,000
    Claypool 21 378 $73,100
    Matthews 22 660 $64,000
    Mellott 23 213 $57,000
    Elizabet 24 493 $73,800
    Bunker Hill 25 533 $65,200
    Ambia 26 248 $45,800
    Lagro 27 488 $44,400
    Boswell 28 757 $56,700
    Griffin 29 145 $38,800
    Hardinsburg 30 184 $59,200
    Wallace 31 118 $67,000
    East Enterprise 32 454 $111,100
    Ridgeville 33 531 $45,700
    West Harrison 34 356 $75,700
    Laketon 35 514 $59,200
    Losantville 36 253 $62,000
    Corunna 37 288 $53,200
    Moores Hill 38 682 $61,700
    Merom 39 242 $53,000
    Dublin 40 704 $72,900
    Straughn 41 267 $57,500
    Switz City 42 266 $57,500
    Holton 43 549 $81,900
    Clarksburg 44 261 $57,300
    Crandall 45 195 $81,300
    Newberry 46 181 $59,000
    Norway 47 499 $45,500
    Saratoga 48 242 $42,000
    Leavenworth 49 306 $71,300
    Stinesville 50 232 $70,600
    Town Of Pines 51 714 $98,700
    Milton 52 412 $59,300
    Mil 53 878 $84,300
    Milroy 54 802 $63,500
    Montezuma 55 938 $56,500
    Bryant 56 281 $50,500
    Onward 57 141 $61,700
    Hamlet 58 707 $71,400
    Medaryville 59 538 $70,600
    Napoleon 60 160 $100,000
    Ne 61 239 $58,100
    Waveland 62 311 $67,200
    Modoc 63 204 $48,800
    Blountsville 64 103 $57,500
    Windfall City 65 962 $64,300
    Kingman 66 532 $80,900
    Gosport 67 716 $77,400
    St. Joe 68 467 $69,000
    Roachdale 69 842 $77,000
    Birdseye 70 407 $80,800
    Lakeville 71 841 $89,500
    Otwell 72 430 $102,300
    Decker 73 246 $30,000
    Kennard 74 440 $80,600
    Plainville 75 540 $61,800
    Summitville 76 933 $59,700
    Lake Village 77 769 $128,300
    Greens Fork 78 430 $58,800
    Patriot 79 350 $60,900
    Center Point 80 343 $100,000
    Paragon 81 693 $73,800
    Cadiz 82 208 $77,000
    Grandview 83 736 $75,900
    Van Buren 84 880 $61,000
    Edwardsport 85 334 $40,900
    Pennville 86 794 $57,200
    Lewisville 87 359 $67,200
    Goodland 88 999 $76,000
    Sunman 89 997 $111,200
    Fulton 90 462 $63,700
    Coatesville 91 572 $91,700
    Little York 92 177 $93,000
    Shipshewana 93 843 $158,300
    Carlisle 94 630 $58,000
    Carthage 95 767 $78,500
    Wingate 96 240 $72,500
    Seelyville 97 890 $74,300
    Earl Park 98 411 $58,500
    Kirklin 99 914 $69,200
    Francisco 100 553 $63,200

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    13 thoughts on “These Are The 10 Worst Small Towns In Indiana For 2018

    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!

    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.

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