Fort Wayne, IN

Population: 260,954

Key findings

  • Fort Wayne has a Livability Score of 75/100, which is considered excellent
  • Fort Wayne crime rates are 24% higher than the Indiana average
  • Cost of living in Fort Wayne is 3% lower than the Indiana average
  • Fort Wayne real estate prices are 18% lower than the Indiana average
  • Rental prices in Fort Wayne are 10% lower than the Indiana average

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      Fort Wayne, IN

      Upon first glance, Fort Wayne seems like a typical Midwestern town. When you take the time to get acquainted with the city, you will see that it is actually the economic and cultural hub of northeastern Indiana. Fort Wayne is the second most populous city in Indiana and has a glowing reputation for a high quality of life. In fact, this beloved city has earned an Outstanding Achievement City Livability Award and multiple All-American City Awards in recent years.

      Throughout history, manufacturing has been a mainstay in Fort Wayne's economy. That trend continues today with the addition of health services as a major economic player. If you are considering a move to Fort Wayne, there is a good chance that your new job will involve Parkview Health Systems, the Lutheran Health Network or General Motors, the city's top three employers.

      A low cost of living makes people want to settle down in Fort Wayne. Residents here experience urban amenities without an urban price tag. Housing costs in Fort Wayne are nearly half of what you'll see in the rest of the country. If renting a home is more your style, you can expect Fort Wayne rentals to follow a similar trend.

      If you like variety, you'll love Fort Wayne's variable climate! Fort Wayne residents enjoy four distinct seasons. Summers are hot and humid, while winters are cold with moderate snowfall. You'll have ample opportunities to try your hand at any type of outdoor recreation at one of 86 public parks in the city. Whether you want to hop on your bicycle or strap on your snowshoes, it's all possible in Fort Wayne.

      When you think of a Midwestern town, lakes and rivers don't usually come to mind. In Fort Wayne, lakes and rivers are a part of the landscape and offer another opportunity to enjoy being outdoors. There are 300 lakes located within 50 miles of Fort Wayne. If you're not in the mood to drive to one of these natural beauties, simply head downtown to the St. Marys River where you can canoe, kayak or paddleboard while enjoying the cityscape.

      If you love a good party with great eats, Fort Wayne would love to have you as a guest! Festivals abound in this Midwestern city, filled with good old-fashioned fun, entertainment and of course, food. The Johnny Appleseed Festival, the Three Rivers Festival, Germanfest and the BBQ RibFest are a short list of celebrations hosted within Fort Wayne.

      For a cultural scene that rivals that of the countries most diverse urban centers, check out Fort Wayne's Cultural District. Established in 2010, this section of the city has made music, theatre and art come alive for Fort Wayne residents.

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      Fort Wayne Reviews

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      My Kind Of Place!

      I moved to Ft. Wayne as an adult/single parent and have raised my children here. It's a great place to live and it's getting better all the time. There's a lot to see and to do for both adults and kids. We have the TinCaps ballpark - rated #1 in minor leagues, a zoo that's been rated in the top 10 in the country, concerts and festivals, outdoor skateparks, ice skating rink in the winter, many nice parks, river boat tours, we have the most extensive genealogical library in the U.S. with the exception of Salt Lake City, movie theaters, community activities with lots of holiday events for all ages, nature preserves to explore, 18 miles of trails, and that's just what I can think of at the moment. The most affordable housing I have yet to find anywhere else I've looked. Decent public schools - the private and parochial are excellent! I really don't know what more you could want in a community. I usually pick up a magazine at the Fort Wayne Visitors center every year to see what's new. I'd suggest anyone interested do the same or look on their website.
      • 2 0
      Among the few DECENT places in the USA as far as residents.

      The most decent people I've ever met are in the city of Fort Wayne, IN. Extremely courteous and kind people. Polite police officers.PROBLEM: ...too many teen pregnanciestoo many people marry too young in this town. yes, it's a town, NOT a citytoo many fatherless and motherless childrenzero entertainment ... perhaps why sooo many pregnancieszero culture or cultivation ... trashy type people. ...however, extremely nice and courteous! zero quality shoppingimpossible to make intimate friendsterrible bus service; awful! some restaurants overcharge... well that can be anywheredentist are too expensive for the cowtown ... price gouging positives: extremely affordablerents are low! nice quality places to stay!
      • 0 -5
      Not For Everyone

      I've lived in Fort Wayne for well over 20 years. Fort Wayne is not for everyone. If you have money or are financially situated this is the perfect place for anyone. Yet if you have to subject yourself to the southside of town it can become unsafe, run down, and depressing. I have lived all over Fort Wayne. Southwest is the best side of town yet most expensive. North ( DuPont area) is more affordable. Very nice lots of stores and things to do. It's hard to make it if you have kids and a regular paying job. I make a little over $9.00 a hr. and 40 hrs. a week sometimes overtime. I still struggle. Taking my kids to all the amenities Fort Wayne has to offer is hard. You need 2 jobs or a really good job or to have help if you have kids. None of the amenities offered are free. Everything cost. Hardly anything for teenagers to do. I let my sons go to the park last week and they left because other teenagers had guns. There's a lot of shooting on the Southside of town and in most clubs and bars. So you have to choose where you go carefully. Certain days call for certain crowds in the popular bars and clubs. I'm in the process of moving out of Fort Wayne but many have found Fort Wayne to be a great place to live. For me we have ran our course here.
      • 3 -1
      First Year In Fort Wayne, IN

      I've lived in Fort Wayne, IN for about a year. It's one of the busiest towns I've been to, and there are some people who shouldn't drive on the already crowded roads. The housing market seems to be poor as there are several houses for sale and no one really interested in buying them. My apartment complex has units starting at about $700 for a two-bedroom, which I think is a little high based on the condition. It's a nice building, but there are areas that are run down.

      One of the things that I can say about Fort Wayne is that there are a lot of activities for families through the year. There are festivals that take place on the city streets, and there are museums on what seems like every corner. I love to read, so while I'm not at work, I visit the Allen County Public Library. This library has received a recent makeover, and it's one of the best libraries I've been to in a while. The furniture is comfortable compared to the hard chairs that you would typically find, and it has a lot of upgraded technology including new computers. The Fort Wayne Children's Zoo is another place to visit if you are in the area. I love watching all of the kangaroos as they play together. For a city the size of Fort Wayne, there aren't as many restaurants as I would imagine. One of the things I have found that many people enjoy eating is the hot dog. They are topped with different
      • 0 -1
      Not an awful place

      You can find a lot of restaurants (mostly chain), plus quite a bit of stores for shopping. Also a couple years worth of attractions to check out before you've seen them to often. Cost of living isn't awful either. Having lived there around 10 years it has improved with things to do. Of course the police are always harasing people to fill their quota and quite crooked. Now let's get to the weather... Summer is highly humid and Winter is terrible! Summertime has a lot of people out and about. Winter, most people stay home unless they're going to work or to the bar. Most people have a owi/dui due to this. This is a good stepping stone if you're going from a small town and not quite ready to jump into a bigger city like Indy. You can usually find a job that pays the bills if you're willing to accept anything. They like to move low income people to nice areas of town to lower the value of your home and bring crime to a neighborhood that was once safe. Oh, meth is a big thing at the moment in every part of town.
      • 0 -1
      Everything You Would Want in a City!

      Growing up in the country I was apprehensive to move to a city like Fort Wayne, which was huge to what I was used to. Fort Wayne is the best Little Big city I've been to. One minute you're in city, go down one road and it's like living in the country! Lots of schools. I love IPFW because you can stay close to home but still get a degree from 2 of the biggest Universities in the state!
      There are a TON of restaurants. We love our food. There are a few clubs to go to but do NOT go on a Saturday night, they are packed. We have more bars than clubs.
      A LOT of stores. 2 major malls. If you can't find what you're looking for just go down the road, you'll find what you're looking for.
      • 2 0
      Fort Wayne, Indiana: A City for All Ages!

      I lived in Fort Wayne, Indiana, for most of my childhood. It has that Midwestern small town feel, yet you have the amenities of the big city at your fingertips. As a child, my favorite thing to do was visit the Fort Wayne Children's Zoo at Franke Park. If you love sports, Fort Wayne has a minor league ice hockey team called the Komets. The games are very family oriented and are a lot of fun to attend for fans of all ages. There are several other minor league teams in the city if ice hockey is not your thing. Fort Wayne also counts basketball, baseball, and football among it's minor league teams. Fort Wayne also hosts the Johnny Appleseed festival, which aims to teach people about John Chapman and his era. In case you aren't familiar with him, he's known for going around the Midwest planting apple trees in the early 1800s.

      Fort Wayne also has great food and excellent shopping. There are several family owned, local restaurants under the name Casa Restaurants. Each of these are excellent and serve amazing Italian food. If it is ice cream you crave, Atz has this amazing sundae called the "Mad Anthony" after Fort Wayne's namesake. Their ice cream is also made locally. Recently, a shopping center has been built called Jefferson Pointe, which has more upscale stores. It also has an outdoor mall feel to it, which is not a lot of fun in the cold winter season. However, winter does not have to be all bad. If you head north of the city, there is great sledding at Pokagon State Park!
      • 1 0
      Fort Wayne, Indiana - Geat Architecture, Bad Roads!

      For the last eight years, I've lived within an hour of Fort Wayne and visit the city frequently. Fort Wayne has beautiful, old-fashioned buildings and residents and visitors alike can enjoy the many parks and neighborhoods, separate from the bustling downtown area.

      Fort Wayne has two malls, both with great shopping. One indoor and one outdoor, both of which offer a wide selection of clothing stores, though there is some overlap. "The Colosseum" is a huge indoor auditorium that hosts many concerts, sporting events and even local college graduations. Visitors to Fort Wayne can choose from a number of restaurants and from several movie theaters.

      The downside to being in Fort Wayne isn't the traffic, but the roads themselves. There are several one-ways streets which aren't marked clearly. Get a map - attractions aren't always well-marked, either. Once, on the way to the Fort Wayne Children's Zoo with my fiance, we followed the "zoo" signs for an hour before giving up. Later, we learned the Zoo is in a completely different part of the city!
      • 1 -1
      Reason for reporting
      Source: The Fort Wayne, IN data and statistics displayed above are derived from the 2016 United States Census Bureau American Community Survey (ACS).