Conveniently located between Indianapolis and Chicago along Interstate 65, the community atmosphere of West Lafayette only further highlights this college town known for its educational opportunities and fast-growing population. According to information from the U.S. Census Bureau, there are less than 30,000 residents in the area, so finding great West Lafayette apartments for rent should be a snap. Home to great community events and a thriving student population, there is plenty to be proud about this welcoming community.
Before pioneers moved westward after the Revolutionary War, the area was home to French settlers and Native Americans. In 1811, the Battle of Tippecanoe occurred, and shortly thereafter, Indiana became a state, and many people began to make their home along the banks of the Wabash River. One of the earliest residents in the area, William Digby, bought a parcel of land near the battle site and named it after the Marquis de Lafayette, a Revolutionary war hero. The new town became a supply center for the increasing number of pioneers making their home in the Midwest.
In 1874, Purdue University was founded and transformed West Lafayette into the thriving college community that it is today. John Purdue granted the college to the city under the Morrill Act and pledged money to the new school after 100 acres of land were set aside for what is now known as Purdue University. Today, West Lafayette remains one of the friendliest and most charming cities in the Midwest, earning several Tree City U.S.A. awards and a Main Street award for the development of Wabash Landing.
The largest employer in Tippecanoe County is Purdue University. However, many West Lafayette residents also work at the State Farm Operations Center and the Lafayette Venetian Blind, Inc., according to the Indiana Department of Workforce Development. Many residents commute to neighboring Lafayette for jobs, such as those found at the local Subaru and Caterpillar plants.
Purdue University is not only the area's largest employer, it is also why West Lafayette apartments are such a hot commodity. If you are a student seeking your perfect pad, beginning your search well ahead of the school year might help you find the space that is right for you. Purdue consistently ranks as one of the best undergraduate, graduate and doctorate schools in the Midwest and is also home to a spirited athletic fan base.
Even though West Lafayette is a safe, well-respected small town populated with hardworking residents and students, the cost of living is nearly 8 points below the national average, making it a very affordable place to live. According to information from city-data.com, the 2009 median gross rent in the area was $748 per month. Since the median resident age is around 23 years old, the city's demographics are largely influenced by Purdue University.
One of the city's sites that played a major role in American history is the grounds at the Tippecanoe Battlefield. This gathering place tells the story of pioneer and Native American cultures clashing in the young country's earliest years and explains how the battle launched the modern political campaign. The museum also houses many artifacts and historical references from the battle, and several hiking trails for you to explore the grounds.
Popular with students, locals and visitors is the Lafayette Brewing Company. This hotspot brought back the history of brewing culture in the area, which dates back to the mid-19th century. Located downtown, the fresh, handcrafted ales served in this pub are a great way to get to know other students and locals in the West Lafayette community.
To find your next rental apartment or house in West Lafayette, take a look at our listings on Rent.com®.