The first thing that comes to mind when you hear Indianapolis might be the Indy 500, but race cars aren’t the only thing moving fast in this Midwestern city. Indianapolis lives up to its nickname as the Crossroads of America — it’s a transportation and manufacturing hub, and it boasts the nation’s 27th largest economy. Here are a few things to keep in mind as you plan your move to Indianapolis.
The city of Indianapolis is served by 9 public school districts. These are Indianapolis Public Schools, Franklin Township Community Schools Corporation, Metropolitan School District of Decatur Township, Metropolitan School District of Lawrence Township, Metropolitan School District of Perry Township, Metropolitan School District of Pike Township, Metropolitan School District of Warren Township, Metropolitan School District of Washington Township, and Metropolitan School District of Wayne Township. Charter schools, as well as public schools, are available within the districts. For those who prefer private K-12 education, there a number of both secular and Christian private schools in Indianapolis and the surrounding suburbs.
Indianapolis is rich in higher education opportunities as well. Public institutions include Indiana University — Purdue University Indianapolis and Ivy Valley Tech Community College. The city is rich in private colleges and universities, including Indianapolis University, Butler University, Martin University, Marian University, and Indiana Bible College. Oakland City University, Ball State University, Vincennes University, and Indiana Wesleyan University are among higher education institutions that operate satellite campuses in the city.
Indianapolis’s unemployment rate is lower than the national average. In December 2018, it was 3.3%, significantly below the national rate of around 4% for the same time. The job market in Indianapolis is hot, with companies often struggling to hire enough talent because the market is so competitive. While the loss of manufacturing jobs associated with deindustrialization has hit Indianapolis (along with most of the Midwest), the city has reinvented itself into a hospitality and entertainment hub. Three Fortune 500 companies are headquartered in Indianapolis: Anthem, Eli Lilly, and Simon Property Group. In addition, the city has the fastest-growing tech sector in terms of job growth.
The job market in Indianapolis heavily favors hospitality, transportation and logistics, biotechnology, and healthcare. As home to the second largest FedEx hub in the nation, shipping and receiving are also major job sectors.
Indianapolis’s most famous entertainment venue and event might be Indianapolis Motor Speedway and the Indy 500. However, the city is home to much more than auto racing. It hosts dozens of annual expos and festivals, including the Indiana State Fair, Indy Pride Festival, and the Indiana Black Expo. The Indianapolis Cultural Trail, opened in 2013, offers 8 miles of walking and biking trails through some of the city’s most famous landmarks and districts.
There’s plenty of fine art to enjoy in Indy, including the Indianapolis Museum of Art and the Indianapolis Art Center. Several theaters offer stage plays and musicals. The Children’s Museum and Indianapolis Zoo are popular attractions for those with young children (or the young at heart).
Indianapolis is home to 2 major league sports franchises. The Indianapolis Colts of the NFL and the Indiana Pacers of the NBA are both based in the city and have large, enthusiastic fan bases. Auto racing is, obviously, another major attraction in the city. Two of the sport’s governing bodies are based in Indianapolis, and the Indy 500 is perhaps the best-known auto racing event in the US.
Indianapolis has an emerging cuisine scene with a distinctly Midwestern flair. Local specialties include pork tenderloin sandwiches and sugar cream pie. You’ll also find the beef Manhattan — a dish of beef and gravy over mashed potatoes — everywhere in the city, where it was invented. Like much Midwestern cuisine, the food in Indianapolis focuses on simple, farm-to-table ingredients, simply prepared. It also holds a few surprises, though: St. Elmo’s Steakhouse is famous for its shrimp cocktail, and unexpected distinction for a landlocked city. There is also a growing microbrewery scene in Indianapolis. More than 50 craft breweries call the city home.
Conde Nast has declared Indianapolis home to “the most underrated food in the country.” It is home to several James Beard Award-winning chefs, as well as the longest continuously operating tavern in Indiana (The Slippery Noodle Inn) and the Jazz Kitchen, one of the nation’s hottest late night dining spots.
The housing market in Indianapolis is hot, hot, hot! Home values have risen 14.5% in the last 12 months (as of January 2019) and are expected to continue rising. You can get a lot of house or apartment for your money in Indianapolis — the average price per square foot is $101, and the median listing price for a house is $165,000. The average home value is $141,000, and many homes are listed for less than two months before they sell. Low prices and a hot job market make Indianapolis very much a seller’s market, but buyers can still do well for far less than they might pay in comparable cities.
If you prefer to rent, you’ll be paying below the national average as well. The median rent in Indianapolis is $935 per month, compared to $1,125 in the greater metro area.
Indianapolis is a car-centric city. Most residents commute exclusively by car. The city is not considered highly walkable, and public transit options are still limited. There is a bus network in the city, comprised of 31 routes. Most routes have to go through downtown, which can make bus commutes long and even impractical.
The city does have two intercity Amtrak lines, going to New York and Chicago. Longer trips by bus can be taken via Greyhound, Burlington Trailways, or Megabus. The city is also home to Indianapolis International Airport.
Uber, Lyft, and taxis are all available in Indianapolis. You can also use an electric car-sharing program, BlueIndy, or the Indiana Pacer’s Bikeshare program, as well as scooter rentals.
Indianapolis’s climate is humid continental, though it can have features of humid subtropical as well. There are four distinct seasons, with summer being the hottest and most humid. The weather can also be unpredictable, with large swings in temperature in a given 24 hour period.
Winter: Winters in Indy are cold. While the temperatures only dip below 0 a few days a year, average temperatures for the season are in the low 30s and high 20s. Winter runs from November until March, with snowfall late into the spring not unusual. The city averages 22 inches of snow per year.
Spring: Spring is pleasant, if somewhat unpredictable, in Indianapolis. It is not unheard of to have spring-like temperatures within 36 hours of a major snowfall. Running from March to June, spring is wet, with temperatures in the 50s and 60s and frequent rainfall. Spring can also feature severe storms; Indianapolis is in the top 20 most tornado-prone states in the US. May is the wettest month, with an average of 5 inches of rain.
Summer: Summers are hot and humid in Indianapolis, with average temperatures in the 80s. Summer runs from June through August, with frequent rain and possible thunderstorms. Humidity in the summer months can run as high as 80%.
Fall: Fall is pleasant and generally mild in Indianapolis, though it can also feature extreme variations in weather. Running from September to November, fall features average high temperatures in the high 70s until October, when they dip into the 60s and then into the low 50s. Fall is considerably less wet than spring and summer, with only about 7 days per month of rain on average. Lows in September and October average in the 50s and 60s, and dip into the 30s in mid-November.
The Midwest often gets dismissed as flyover country, but there’s a whole lot of culture and adventure waiting for you in Indianapolis! As you prepare to make your home in the Crossroads of America, rest assured that Simply Self Storage is here for all your moving needs!