West Lafayette, IN
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West Lafayette profile


Living in West Lafayette


West Lafayette is a medium-sized city located in the state of Indiana. With a population of 48,308 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 90.18% 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 (23.13%), food service (9.82%), and office and administrative support (8.69%).

And if you like science, one thing you'll find is that West Lafayette has lots of scientists living in town - whether they be life scientists, physical scientists (like astronomers), or social scientists (like geographers!). So, if you're scientific-minded, you might like it here too.

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.

West Lafayette, while not large, also appears to be attractive to some younger, educated professionals, who help shape the character of the city.

One of the benefits of West Lafayette is that there is very little traffic. The average commute to work is 16.50 minutes, which is substantially less than the national average. Not only does this mean that the drive to work is less aggravating, but noise and pollution levels are lower as a result.

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.

If knowledge is power, West Lafayette is a pretty powerful place. 71.40% of the adults in West Lafayette have earned a 4-year college degree, masters degree, MD, law degree, or even PhD. Compare that to the national average of 21.84% for all cities and towns.

The per capita income in West Lafayette in 2010 was $20,824, which is lower middle income relative to Indiana and the nation. This equates to an annual income of $83,296 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 41.16% of its population below the federal poverty line.

West Lafayette is an extremely 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 German, Irish, English, Polish, and Italian.

Foreign born people are also an important part of West Lafayette's cultural character, accounting for 23.60% of the city’s population.

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