Lafayette, Ind.

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Encompassing West Lafayette, the home of the Purdue’s Boilermakers, the Lafayette metro area continues to be regarded as a gem of the Midwest. The city’s population is fairly diverse and well educated. The city’s bike paths make it accessible without a car. Students socialize easily, with fantastic cuisine options and bumping music venues, including one of the best free music festivals in the country. The quality of life and great demographics attract college graduates. However, like most of the Midwestern cities with high rankings, the main attraction remains favorable economic conditions. A prominent research university, Purdue has STEM initiatives that range from assisting high school students to MBA programs for STEM professionals. “Star City” offers innovation levels beyond its small size, coming in third overall after San José and Boulder.

#12 Lafayette, Ind.

POPULATION: 212,704
STUDENTS: 44,252
RANKING DETAIL:
#13 COLLEGE EDUCATED
#10 DIVERSITY

Quality of life

#7 CITY ACCESS
#18 ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT
#10 BARS AND RESTAURANTS

Economics

#16 YOUTH UNEMPLOYMENT
#15 LABOR FORCE
#2 INNOVATION
#10 RENT

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