West Lafayette, IN
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Living in West Lafayette


West Lafayette is a medium-sized city located in the state of Indiana. With a population of 45,550 people and 11 constituent neighborhoods, West Lafayette is the 33rd largest community in Indiana.

West Lafayette real estate is some of the most expensive in Indiana, although West Lafayette house values don't compare to the most expensive real estate in the U.S.

West Lafayette is a decidedly white-collar city, with fully 93.10% of the workforce employed in white-collar jobs, well above the national average. Overall, West Lafayette is a city of professionals, service providers, and sales and office workers. There are especially a lot of people living in West Lafayette who work in teaching (25.69%), office and administrative support (10.85%), and food service (9.96%).

Also of interest is that West Lafayette has more people living here who work in computers and math than 95% of the places in the US.

West Lafayette is also a major college town with a large number of people who are 18 years or older and attending college. As is often the case in college towns, the many students that live in West Lafayette have a strong influence on the local culture and entertainment scene, which may seem dormant by comparison in the summer months when much of the student population is away. In the fall, the return of students has a reinvigorating effect on the community. Because colleges are lasting institutions, they have a stabilizing effect on the economy by providing direct local benefits such as jobs for faculty and staff and spending by students. West Lafayette’s economy is one such example of this.

Compared to the rest of the country, citizens of West Lafayette spend much less time in their cars: on average, their commute to work is only 15.99 minutes. This also means that noise and pollution levels in the city are less than they would otherwise be.

A lot of people in West Lafayette take the bus for their daily commute. For the size of the city, the number of people who use public transportation is quite high. For many people in West Lafayette, this fills their need for low-cost transportation.

Do you like to read, write and learn? If you move to West Lafayette, you'll likely find that many of your neighbors like to as well. West Lafayette is one of the more educated communities in America, with a full 70.16% of its adults having a college degree or even advanced degree, compared to a national average across all communities of 21.84%.

The per capita income in West Lafayette in 2010 was $17,207, which is low income relative to Indiana and the nation. This equates to an annual income of $68,828 for a family of four. However, West Lafayette contains both very wealthy and poor people as well. West Lafayette also has one of the higher rates of people living in poverty in the nation, with 42.11% of its population below the federal poverty line.

West Lafayette is a very ethnically-diverse city. The people who call West Lafayette home describe themselves as belonging to a variety of racial and ethnic groups. The greatest number of West Lafayette residents report their race to be White, followed by Asian. Important ancestries of people in West Lafayette include Irish, English, Polish, and Italian.

Foreign born people are also an important part of West Lafayette's cultural character, accounting for 24.45% of the city’s population.

The most common language spoken in West Lafayette is English. Other important languages spoken here include Chinese and Spanish.