West Lafayette, IN

map preview
Please wait, loading your map...


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.

In addition, West Lafayette is a major college town that has a very high percentage of its residents over 18 years old who are college students. Naturally, collegiate life has a major influence on local West Lafayette culture, lifestyle and entertainment options. West Lafayette really pulses to the beat of the academic calendar. In West Lafayette every fall, returning students reinvigorate the community, who you will notice are all over town, buying groceries, out with friends, and getting acquainted or re-acquainted with each other and West Lafayette. One of the beneficial effects that colleges provide is that they tend to be lasting institutions that deliver direct economic benefits to the local economy in the form of such things as jobs for faculty and staff, and spending by students. West Lafayette benefits directly from this.

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

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 16.50 minutes. This also means that noise and pollution levels in the city are less than they would otherwise be.

Many people in West Lafayette take advantage of public transportation to get around. In fact, for the size of the city, the number of people who use the bus to commute to work is quite high. This helps to fill a need among West Lafayette citizens for affordable transportation.

Do you have a 4-year college degree or graduate degree? If so, you may feel right at home in West Lafayette. 71.40% of adults here have a 4-year degree or graduate degree, whereas the national average for all cities and towns is just 21.84%.

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.

West Lafayette also has a high percentage of its population that was born in another country: 23.60%.

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