18 Pros and Cons of Living in Evansville, IN

Updated On October 9, 2023

Evansville sits beside the Ohio River which marks the state line between Indiana and Kentucky.

It is the classic Midwest town surrounded by cornfields, and it is some distance from large cities.

That may seem like a negative to some people, but it’s a positive to others.

The city gets high marks for a lower cost of living and quality of life overall.

With about 115,000 people, it is big enough to have most of what you need.

Evansville, IN
Evansville, IN

Pros of Living in Evansville, Indiana

1. Livability

Evansville scores high in many categories that would contribute to a good quality of life.

The cost of living and housing is below average which is a good start.

The city has a vibrant arts culture and a beautiful downtown.

A riverfront walkway on the Ohio River adds to the downtown appeal and is a great resource for recreation and relaxation.

The population is relatively young, but it has declined slightly in recent years.

2. Cost of Living

The cost of hosting, utilities, food, and other items is lower in Evansville than the national average, and lower than most of the state of Indiana.

The cost of living in Evansville is seven percent lower than the national average.

A lot of that is due to lower housing costs, which are 30 percent below the national average.

You can probably afford a bigger house in Evansville than where you currently live.

3. Continuing Education

There are two colleges, the University of Evansville, and Southern Indiana, that have solid reputations as centers of good education.

There are as many as 41 colleges within 100 miles of the city.

This leads to there being more young people in the city and in general a more literate citizenry.

Adults can easily find ways to continue their education in any subject they could imagine.

There are plenty of education opportunities here.

4. Good Quality Schools

Not to be left behind, the k-12 education system gets high marks in  Evansville.

US News and World Report says Evansville is home to the second-best high school in the nation.

Overall Evansville is close to the state average of 41 percent having proficiency in reading and math.

Some schools in the city are very high in the rankings and some are lower.

Overall schools are still considered a strong point in Evansville.

5. Financial Stability

The cost of living is low and wages are reasonable, making it possible to have financial stability and build wealth.

Lower housing costs make it easier to invest in real estate.

It is easy to start a business here as well.

There is a lot of job growth in certain industries, so working in those can help.

There are solid opportunities here to get ahead and not live paycheck to paycheck.

6. Great Downtown

The city takes a lot of pride in its downtown area, and it is filled with historic sights, and great restaurants, and has plenty of other entertainment and shopping options.

It has a long riverfront walkway near downtown that gives spectacular views of the Ohio River.

The downtown has areas that are friendly for pedestrians but do not have a lot of bicycle lanes.

It is a place people like to go to have fun and relax.

7. Its Own World

While Evansville is not exactly remote, it is out of the way of the mainstream.

It is at the bottom of the state, surrounded by farmland, and it is a fair distance from other cities.

This has let Evansville fly under the radar at times, which is fine with the people there.

This has made residents even closer, and the town developed its unique flavor from there.

This also helps preserve the small-town feeling that is visible at times.

8. Youthful and Diverse

Evansville has a lot of young people due to the universities in the area, so the median age is 37.

Also, due to the presence of colleges, there is a lot of diversity, and many cultures are represented here.

There are also more men than women, 52 percent to 47.8 percent which could be a positive to some people.

It may be in a conservative area, but new ideas and new things get a hearing here faster than they would in some places.

9. Good Healthcare

The Deaconess Health Care System is the region’s largest employer, and it operates three hospitals in Evansville.

One of those hospitals is dedicated to women and infants.

The healthcare business is booming nationwide, and this is especially true in Evansville. Regardless of your age or condition, you can get good healthcare here.

There is an adequate number of both general doctors and specialists to meet the needs of most people.

Cons of Living in Evansville, Indiana

1. Isolated

This is a positive to some people, but not to others.

It is surrounded by farmland and there isn’t much else for many miles in any direction out of town.

Evansville itself is a nice town, but some people get to feeling claustrophobic after a while.

It is too far from major cities to make it a day trip, so its remoteness is a drawback to people who hunger for the bright lights of the big city.

2. A Lot of Poverty

While the cost of living is low, there is still a lot of poverty in Evansville.

As many as 17 percent of people in this town live below the poverty level.

The national average is 13 percent.

The state average is 12 percent.

Evansville has one of the highest poverty levels in the state.

Many people in poverty have jobs, and there are many reasons one might fall to that level.

There seem to be enough jobs, but wages are not high and do not seem to be increasing.

3. Sluggish Economy

Unemployment is low in Evansville, at just over two percent.

There are about 4400 new jobs each year as well.

That makes it hard to understand why there is a high poverty level here.

Many manufacturing and service jobs do not pay well, and that takes up a lot of the jobs in Evansville.

There are a lot of healthcare jobs here, but if you are not in that industry you could struggle to get ahead.

4. Weather Extremes

Summers are very hot and muggy and can get uncomfortable.

The only worse thing is the winter, which is several months long and very cold.

The town gets about 12 inches of snow each year, and that varies a lot from year to year.

It gets cold, however, and stays that way, from late November well into March.

There are a lot of gray days, when it is cloudy and cold, even when there is no precipitation.

The area does have all four seasons, but the extremes here are pretty extreme.

5. High Crime Rate

Evansville has a crime rate of 44 per 1,000 residents, meaning that you have a one in 23 chance of being a property or violent crime victim.

This is well above the national and state average.

The violent crime rate is 7.4 per 1,000, while the state average is less than half of that at 3.14.

Property crime is similar, about twice the state average.

The downtown area is the most dangerous at night.

There are several nice neighborhoods with low crime rates.

6. Lack of Sidewalks and Bike Lanes

Most people get around Evansville in their vehicles.

It is getting better, but some areas have very few sidewalks.

There are not a lot of bicycle lanes anywhere in the city.

The need for more and better sidewalks is a need that residents bring up often when talking about the city.

It is not a good walkable city in most cases, apart from the college areas.

7. Lack of Public Transportation

There is a bus system that operates on fixed routes in various parts of town, but a lot of the city is not served.

There is a train you can take out of town, but that is limited as well.

Most people get around with their cars, and you have to have one if you are going to go places.

This adds to the isolated feeling perhaps, and whether that is good or bad is subjective.

8. Not Many Parks

There is a nice park and river walk at the river, but that is about all there is.

There are not many city parks where you can go to relax or take a break from a busy day.

The area is surrounded by farmland, and that may be the reason, but there are not many parks in the area either.

There are also not many forests in the area.

9. Pollution

Water people use comes from the Ohio River.

It is safe, but there are concerns about various contaminants from time to time.

There is a concern it could get worse as more chemicals are being found in the water.

Air pollution is also an issue with a lot of factories in the area.

The green movement has not taken over here, and there are not a lot of anti-pollution measures taking place.

Evansville, IN
Evansville, IN

Pros and Cons of Living in Evansville, IN – Summary Table

Pros of Living in Evansville, IndianaCons of Living in Evansville, Indiana
1. Livability1. Isolated
2. Cost of Living2. A Lot of Poverty
3. Continuing Education3. Sluggish Economy
4. Good Quality Schools4. Weather Extremes
5. Financial Stability5. High Crime Rate
6. Great Downtown6. Lack of Sidewalks and Bike Lanes
7. Its Own World7. Lack of Public Transportation
8. Youthful and Diverse8. Not Many Parks
9. Good Healthcare9. Pollution

Evansville Safety Overview

READ THE FULL REPORT: Evansville Safety Review

Safety Index:

Frequently Asked Questions

When was Evansville founded?

The city was created in 1812 by Hugh McGary, who named it Evansville, after army hero Col. Robert Evans.

There is evidence of people living in the area for thousands of years, but this was the first city here.

It had a strategic location on the Ohio River and a lot of natural resources for building.

What does an average house cost in Evansville?

The median cost of a family dwelling in Evansville is $190,000.

The median cost nationally is around $400,000.

Is Evansville a good place to retire?

It has a lot going for it for a retirement area.

It has a low cost of living and taxes are relatively low, though not as low as some other Indiana cities.

There are several nice neighborhoods with cheap housing and there are a lot of recreational opportunities.

The downside is the harsh winters, which would push some retirees away.

How is commuting to work done in Evansville?

The average commute time is 26 minutes, which is not bad for most people.

A total of 83 percent of workers drive their own vehicle, and nine percent carpool with others.

About three percent work from home and only 2.5 percent take public transportation to work.

What is a unique feature of Evansville?

It was built by a person who chose a good sport for a town.

It was not built because of a railroad stop, shipping poet, military fort, or any other normal reasons that towns are started.

1 Comment on 18 Pros and Cons of Living in Evansville, IN

  1. Living in Evansville, IN is great for those who enjoy a tight-knit community and affordable cost of living.

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