Best Places to Live

Fort Wayne, IN

Population: 264,483

Low living expenses, including below-average housing, transportation and grocery costs, were more than enough to get us interested in Fort Wayne, IN. But what solidified their spot on our list of the Best Affordable Places to Live was the city’s vast array of entertainment options and the high quality of life residents enjoy. Fort Wayne’s recreational amenities, arts and cultural offerings, housing options, and vibrant downtown add up to one of the best values in the country.


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The typical Fort Wayne resident spends just 24 percent of their monthly income on housing costs, which is 4 percent under what most mortgage experts suggest. The median home value is $99,900, while the median household income surpasses $41,000.

Things to Do in Fort Wayne

Three minor league sports teams, 15 museums and art galleries, 86 public parks, a zoo, orchestra, annual events like the Johnny Appleseed Festival and Three Rivers Festival, and Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne give residents plenty of things to do. Looking for a great sports deal? Turn to the Mad Ants, Fort Wayne’s NBA D-League team where spectators can watch up-and-coming basketball stars for as little as $11 a game. (How could we not mention the Mad Ants, which has to be one of the strangest names for a sports team.)

General Motors, Lincoln Financial Group, Parkview Health System and Lutheran Health Network are among the leading job providers in Fort Wayne. Residents benefit from Indiana’s flat-rate individual income tax rate of 3.4 percent, among the lowest in the nation among states that collect it.

Fort Wayne, IN Highlights

Sales tax rate: 7%
Cost of a T-bone steak: $9.72
Cost of a dozen eggs: $1.57
Cost of a pizza: $8.00
Cost of a haircut: $21.60