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Indianapolis, Indiana
City of Indianapolis
Clockwise from top: Downtown Indianapolis skyline, as seen from IUPUI, the Indiana Statehouse, Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the Indiana World War Memorial Plaza, and the Soldiers' and Sailors' Monument.
Flag of Indianapolis, Indiana
Official seal of Indianapolis, Indiana
Nickname(s): Indy, The Circle City,
Crossroads of America, Naptown,
The Racing Capital of the World,
Amateur Sports Capital of the World
Location in the state of Indiana and Marion County
Location in the state of Indiana and Marion County
Indianapolis, Indiana is located in USA
Indianapolis, Indiana
Indianapolis, Indiana
Location in the United States
Coordinates: Lua error in Module:Coordinates at line 668: callParserFunction: function "#coordinates" was not found.
Country United States
State Indiana
County Marion
Townships See Marion Co. Townships
Founded 1821
 • Type Mayor-council
 • Body Indianapolis City-County Council
 • Mayor Joseph H. Hogsett (D)
 • City 372 sq mi (963.5 km2)
 • Land 365.1 sq mi (945.6 km2)
 • Water 6.9 sq mi (17.9 km2)
Elevation 715 ft (218 m)
Population (2010)[1][2]
 • City 820,445
 • Estimate (2014[3]) 848,788
 • Rank 1st in Marion County
1st in Indiana
2nd largest State Capital
(in 2010)
14th in the United States
 • Density 2,273/sq mi (861/km2)
 • Urban 1,487,483 (US: 33rd)
 • Metro 1,756,241 (US: 33rd)
 • CSA 2,080,782 (US: 26th)
Demonym(s) Indianapolitan
Time zone EST (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP Codes
FIPS code 18-36003[4]

Indianapolis /ˌɪndiəˈnæpls/ is the capital of the U.S. state of Indiana and the county seat of Marion County. With an estimated population of 848,788 in 2014, Indianapolis is the largest city in Indiana, second largest in the American Midwest, and 14th largest in the U.S.[1][5] The Indianapolis metropolitan area is the 33rd largest metropolitan area in the U.S., with nearly 2 million inhabitants. Residents of the city are occasionally referred to as "Indianapolitans," although this archaic term is rarely used.[6][7][8] It is listed as a "high sufficiency" global city by the Globalization and World Cities Research Network.[9]

Indianapolis has a diverse economy, relying on trade, transportation, and utilities, professional and business services, education and health services, government, retail trade, leisure and hospitality, and manufacturing.[10] Three Fortune 500 companies are based in the city: Anthem Inc., Eli Lilly and Company, Simon Property Group and Calumet Specialty Products Partners.[11] Indianapolis hosts several notable sporting events annually, including the Brickyard 400, Grand Prix of Indianapolis, NFL Scouting Combine, the largest half marathon in the U.S.,[12] and the largest single-day sporting event in the world, the Indianapolis 500. The cars competing in the latter race are known as IndyCars as a reference to the event. As headquarters for the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), the city frequently hosts the Men's and Women's basketball tournaments. Indianapolis hosted Pan American Games X in 1987 and Super Bowl XLVI in 2012.

Indianapolis was founded in 1821 on the White River as a planned city for the new seat of Indiana's state government. Nicknamed the Crossroads of America, Indianapolis is the junction for four Interstate highways, six U.S. highways, and three state roads. Indianapolis International Airport is a major international cargo hub, ranking as the 23rd busiest airport in the world by cargo traffic in 2014.[13]


The Soldiers' and Sailors' Monument looms over the intersection of Washington and Meridian streets (1904).

Native Americans who lived in the area originally included the Miami and Lenape (or Delaware) tribes, but they were displaced from the area by the early 1820s.[14]

In 1820, Indianapolis was selected as the new state capital, replacing Corydon, which had served the role since the state was formed in 1816. While most American state capitals tend to be near the centers of their respective states, Indianapolis is the closest to its state's exact center.[15] It was founded on the White River because of this, and because of the assumption that the river would serve as a major transportation artery. However, the waterway proved to be too sandy for trade. Jeremiah Sullivan, a judge of the Indiana Supreme Court, invented the name Indianapolis by joining Indiana with polis, the Greek word for city; Indianapolis literally means "Indiana City".

The state commissioned Alexander Ralston to design the new capital city. Ralston was an apprentice to the French architect Pierre L'Enfant, helping with the L'Enfant Plan for Washington, D.C., Ralston's original plan for Indianapolis called for a city of only one square mile (3 km²). At the center of the city sat Governor's Circle, a large circular commons, which was to be the site of the governor's mansion. Meridian and Market Streets converge at the Circle and continue north–south and east–west, respectively. The Capital moved from Corydon on January 10, 1825. The governor's mansion was eventually demolished in 1857 and in its place stands a 284-foot (87 m) tall neoclassical limestone and bronze monument, the Indiana Soldiers' and Sailors' Monument. The surrounding street is now known as Monument Circle or just "The Circle".

The inaugural Indy 500 (1911).

The city lies on the original east–west National Road. The first railroad to serve Indianapolis, the Madison and Indianapolis, began operation on October 1, 1847, and subsequent railroad connections fostered growth. Indianapolis was the home of the country's first Union Station, or common rail passenger terminal. By the turn of the 20th century, Indianapolis had become a large automobile manufacturer, rivaling Detroit. With roads leading out of the city in all directions, Indianapolis became a major hub of regional transport connecting to Chicago, Louisville, Cincinnati, Columbus, Detroit, Cleveland, and St. Louis, befitting the capital of a state whose nickname is "The Crossroads of America". The inaugural Indianapolis 500-Mile Race was held May 30, 1911 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, cementing the importance auto racing would have in shaping Indianapolis's economy and image.

City population grew rapidly throughout the first half of the 20th century. While rapid suburbanization began to take place in the second half of the century, race relations deteriorated.[citation needed] Even so, on the night that Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated, Indianapolis was one of the few major cities in which rioting did not occur.[16] Many credit the speech by Robert F. Kennedy, who was in town campaigning for President that night, for helping to calm the tensions. Racial tensions heightened in 1970 with the passage of Unigov, which further isolated the middle class from Indianapolis's growing African American community.[citation needed] Although Indianapolis and the state of Indiana abolished segregated schools just before Brown vs. Board of Education, the later action of court-ordered school desegregation busing by Judge S. Hugh Dillin was a controversial change.

In 1970, non-Hispanic whites were about 80 percent of the population.[17] The 1970s and 1980s ushered in planning and revitalization for the urban core of Indianapolis. In 1970, the governments of the city and surrounding Marion County consolidated, merging most services into a new entity, Unigov, and enlarging the city's population and geographic area. It became the nation's 11th-largest city of the day. The City-County Building housed the newly consolidated government. At its completion, the City-County Building became the city's tallest building and the first building in the city to be taller than the Soldiers' and Sailors' Monument. Amid the changes in government and growth, the city's role as a transportation hub and tourist destination was strengthened in 1975, when the Weir Cook Municipal Airport was designated an international airport.

Athletes at Pan American Games X (1987).

In the 1970s and 1980s, Indianapolis suffered from urban decay and white flight. Major revitalization of the city's blighted areas, such as Fall Creek Place and Downtown Indianapolis, began in the 1980s and led to an acceleration of growth on the fringes of the metropolitan area. The openings of the RCA Dome, Circle Centre, and the Indianapolis Artsgarden revitalized the central business district. The city hosted the 1987 Pan American Games, with over 4,300 athletes participating from 38 countries in the Americas. The city and state have invested heavily in improvement projects such as an expansion to the Indiana Convention Center, upgrade of the I-465 beltway, and construction of an entirely new airport terminal for the Indianapolis International Airport.[18] Construction of the Indianapolis Colts' new home, Lucas Oil Stadium, was completed in August 2008, and the hotel and convention center expansion were completed in early 2011.

Both Forbes and rank Indianapolis among the best downtowns in the United States citing "more than 200 retail shops, more than 35 hotels, nearly 300 restaurants and food options, movie theaters, sports venues, museums, art galleries and parks" as attractions.[19][20]

In 2013, the city won Sister Cities International's 2013 Best Overall Program award for jurisdictions of population 500,000 and above.[21]


Satellite image of Indianapolis in 2013.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the Indianapolis (balance), or portion of Marion County that is not part of another municipality, has a total area of 368.2 square miles (954 km2)–361.5 square miles (936 km2) of which is land and 6.7 square miles (17 km2) is water. However, these figures do not represent the entire consolidated City of Indianapolis, whose total area covers about 373.1 square miles (966 km2)[citation needed] and includes all of Marion County, with the exception of five communities: Beech Grove, Cumberland, Lawrence, Southport, and Speedway.[22]

Indianapolis is in the Central Till Plains region of the United States. Two natural waterways dissect the city: the White River and Fall Creek. Until the city's settlement and land-clearing efforts in the 19th century, a mix of deciduous forests and prairie covered much of the area. Land within the city limits varies from flat to gently sloping, with variations in elevation from 700 to 900 feet. Most of the changes in elevation are so gradual that they go unnoticed and appear to be flat at close range. The city's mean elevation is 717 feet (219 m). Its highest point at 914 feet (279 m) above sea level is in the northwest corner 400 feet (120 m) south of the Boone County line and 400 feet (120 m) east of the Hendricks County line.[23] Prior to the implementation of Unigov the highest point was at the tomb of famed Hoosier poet James Whitcomb Riley in Crown Hill Cemetery, with an elevation of 842 feet (257 m).[24] The lowest point, an approximate elevation of 680 feet (207 m), lies to the south at the Marion County–Johnson County line. The city's highest hill is Mann Hill, a bluff along the White River in Southwestway Park that rises nearly 150 feet (46 m) above the surrounding landscape. Indianapolis has a few moderately sized bluffs and valleys within the city, particularly along the waterways of the White River, Fall Creek, Geist Reservoir, and Eagle Creek Reservoir, and especially on the city's northeast and northwest sides.[citation needed]


Downtown Indianapolis circa 1914.
Indianapolis skyline in 2009, looking east (White River at center).
Indianapolis skyline at night in 2009, looking east.
The original Mile Square plat by Alexander Ralston.

The original plan of Indianapolis was a 1 square mile (2.6 km2) area, platted in 1821. This area, known as the Mile Square, is bounded by East, West, North, and South streets, with a circular street at Monument Circle, originally called Governor's Circle, in the city's center.[25] The original grid included the four diagonal streets of Massachusetts, Virginia, Kentucky, and Indiana avenues, which extend outward, beginning in the city block just beyond the Circle.[26] Other major streets in the Mile Square are named after states that were part of the Union when Indianapolis was initially planned (1820–21) and Michigan, at that time a U.S. territory bordering Indiana to the north.[27] Notable exceptions to the city's street names include: Washington Street, an east–west street named in honor of George Washington or possibly in reference to Washington, D.C., the city on which the original plan of Indianapolis is based; Meridian Street, the north–south street that aligns with the 86W degree longitude, or meridian, and intersects the Circle; and Market Street, which intersects Meridian Street at Monument Circle and is named in the original design for the two city markets planned for the east and west sides of town.[28] Tennessee and Mississippi streets were renamed Capitol and Senate avenues in 1895.[29] State government buildings, including the Indiana Statehouse, the Indiana Government Center North, and the Indiana Government Center South are west of the Circle, along these two major north–south streets. The city's street-numbering system begins one block south of the Circle, where Meridian Street intersects Washington Street (a part of the historic National Road).[citation needed]

High-rise construction in Indianapolis started in 1888 with the 256-foot (78 m) Indiana Statehouse, followed by the 284-foot (87 m) Soldiers' and Sailors' Monument in 1898. However, because of a special ordinance disallowing building higher than the structure, the monument remained the highest structure until completion of the City-County Building in 1962. In the 1970s, economic activity decreased in the central business district, and downtown Indianapolis saw little new construction. By the 1980s, the city of Indianapolis reacted by developing plans to redefine the city's downtown and neighborhoods. New skyscrapers included the OneAmerica Tower (1982) and Chase Tower (1990).


Fall on the campus of Butler University.

Indianapolis has a humid continental climate (Köppen climate classification Dfa) experiencing four distinct seasons that is transitional with the humid subtropical climate. Summers are warm to hot and humid, with a July daily average temperature of 75.4 °F (24.1 °C). High temperatures reach or exceed 90 °F (32 °C) an average of 18 days each year,[30] and occasionally exceed 95 °F (35 °C). Spring and autumn are usually pleasant, if at times unpredictable; midday temperature drops exceeding 30 °F or 17 °C are common during March and April, and instances of very warm days (80 °F or 27 °C) followed within 36 hours by snowfall are not unusual during these months. Winters are cold, with an average January temperature of 28.1 °F (−2.2 °C). Temperatures dip to 0 °F (−18 °C) or below an average of 4.7 nights per year.[30] The rainiest months occur in the spring and summer, with slightly higher averages during May, June, and July. May is typically the wettest, with an average of 5.05 inches (12.8 cm) of precipitation.[30] Most rain is derived from thunderstorm activity; there is no distinct dry season, although occasional droughts occur. The city's average annual precipitation is 42.4 inches (108 cm), with snowfall averaging 25.9 inches (66 cm) per season. Official temperature extremes range from 106 °F (41 °C), set on July 14, 1936,[31] to −27 °F (−33 °C), set on January 19, 1994.[31][32]

Climate data for Indianapolis (Indianapolis International Airport), 1981–2010 normals, extremes 1871–present[lower-alpha 1]
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 71
Average high °F (°C) 35.6
Daily mean °F (°C) 28.1
Average low °F (°C) 20.5
Record low °F (°C) −27
Average precipitation inches (mm) 2.66
Average snowfall inches (cm) 8.6
trace 0
Average precipitation days (≥ 0.01 in) 12.1 10.0 11.9 12.0 13.1 11.1 10.5 8.5 8.1 8.6 10.8 12.5 129.2
Average snowy days (≥ 0.1 in) 7.5 5.4 2.5 0.4 0 0 0 0 0 0.2 1.2 6.3 23.5
Average relative humidity (%) 75.0 73.6 69.9 65.6 67.1 68.4 72.8 75.4 74.4 71.6 75.5 78.0 72.3
Mean monthly sunshine hours 132.1 145.7 178.3 214.8 264.7 287.2 295.2 273.7 232.6 196.6 117.1 102.4 2,440.4
Percent possible sunshine 44 49 48 54 59 64 65 64 62 57 39 35 55
Source: NOAA (relative humidity and sun 1961–1990)[30][33][34]


Historical population
Census Pop.
1840 2,695
1850 8,091 200.2%
1860 18,611 130.0%
1870 48,244 159.2%
1880 75,056 55.6%
1890 105,436 40.5%
1900 169,164 60.4%
1910 233,650 38.1%
1920 314,194 34.5%
1930 364,161 15.9%
1940 386,972 6.3%
1950 427,173 10.4%
1960 476,258 11.5%
1970 744,624 56.3%
1980 700,807 −5.9%
1990 731,327 4.4%
2000 781,926 6.9%
2010 820,445 4.9%
Est. 2014 848,788 [35] 3.5%


Racial composition 2014[38] 2010[39] 1990[17] 1970[17]
White 62.0% 61.8% 75.8% 81.6%
—Non-Hispanic 90.4% 58.6% 75.2% 80.9%[40]
Black or African American 27.9% 27.5% 22.6% 18.0%
Hispanic or Latino (of any race) 9.6% 9.4% 1.1% 0.8%[40]
Asian 2.4% 2.1% 0.9% 0.1%

Indianapolis is the largest city in Indiana, with 12.8 percent of the state's total population.[41] The U.S. Census Bureau considers Indianapolis as two entities, the consolidated city and the city's remainder, or balance. The consolidated city covers an area known as Unigov and includes all of Marion County except the independent cities of Beech Grove, Lawrence, Speedway, and Southport. The city's remainder, or balance, excludes the populations of eleven semi-independent locales that are included in totals for the consolidated city.[41] The city's consolidated population for the year 2012 was 844,220.[41] The city's remainder, or balance, population was estimated at 834,852 for 2012,[1] a 2 percent increase over the total population of 820,445 reported in the U.S. Census for 2010.[2][42] The city's population density, as of 2010, was 2,270 persons per square mile.[1]

The Indianapolis metropolitan area in central Indiana consists of Marion County and the adjacent counties of Boone, Brown, Hamilton, Hancock, Hendricks, Johnson, Morgan, Putnam, and Shelby. As of 2012 the Indianapolis metro area's population was 1,798,634, the largest in the state.[43]

The Combined Statistical Area (CSA) of Indianapolis exceeded 2 million in an estimate from 2007, ranking it the twenty-third largest in the United States and seventh in the Midwest.[citation needed] As a unified labor and media market, the Indianapolis Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) had a population of 1.83 million in 2010, ranking it the thirty-third largest in the United States and seventh largest in the Midwest.[citation needed]

According to the U.S. Census of 2010, 97.2 percent of the Indianapolis population was reported as one race: 61.8 percent White, 27.5 percent Black or African American, 2.1 percent Asian (0.4 percent Burmese, 0.4 percent Indian, 0.3 percent Chinese, 0.3 percent Filipino, 0.1 percent Korean, 0.1 percent Vietnamese, 0.1 percent Japanese, 0.1 percent Thai, 0.1 percent other Asian); .3 percent American Indian, and 5.5 percent as other. The remaining 2.8 percent of the population was reported as multiracial (two or more races).[42] The city's Hispanic or Latino community comprised 9.4 percent of the city's population in the U.S. Census for 2010: 6.9 percent Mexican, .4 percent Puerto Rican, .1 percent Cuban, and 2 percent as other.[42]

According to American FactFinder as of 2014, 62.0 percent of the Indianapolis population was reported as White, 27.9% as Black or African American, 2.4% Asian, and 9.6% Hispanic or Latino.

Due to emigration resulting from the Yugoslav Wars in the 1990s, Indianapolis has more than 10,000 people from the former Yugoslavia.[citation needed]

As of 2010, the median age for Indianapolis was 33.7 years. Age distribution for the city's inhabitants was 25 percent under the age of 18; 4.4 percent were between 18 and 21; 16.3 percent were age 21 to 65; and 13.1 percent were age 65 or older.[42] For every 100 females there were 93 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 90 males.[44]

The U.S. Census for 2010 reported 332,199 households in Indianapolis, with an average household size of 2.42 and an average family size of 3.08.[42] Of the total households, 59.3 percent were family households, with 28.2 percent of these including the family's own children under the age of 18; 36.5 percent were husband-wife families; 17.2 percent had a female householder (with no husband present) and 5.6 percent had a male householder (with no wife present). The remaining 40.7 percent were non-family households.[42] As of 2010, 32 percent of the non-family households included individuals living alone, 8.3 percent of these households included individuals age 65 years of age or older.[42]

The U.S. Census Bureau's 2007–2011 American Community Survey indicated the median household income for Indianapolis city was $42,704, and the median family income was $53,161.[45] Median income for males working full-time, year-round, was $42,101, compared to $34,788 for females. Per capita income for the city was $24,430, 14.7 percent of families and 18.9 percent of the city's total population living below the poverty line (28.3 percent were under the age of 18 and 9.2 percent were age 65 or older.[45]

Based on U.S. Census data from the year 2000 for the fifty largest cities in the United States, Indianapolis ranked eighth highest in a University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee study that compared percentages of residents living on black-white integrated city blocks. Latinos, Asians, and Native Americans were not factored into the rankings.[46][47][48]


The Christ Church Cathedral in 2010
The Saint Peter & Paul Catholic Cathedral in Indianapolis
Religion Percentage of population as of 2010[49]
None 57.6%
Evangelical Protestant 15.9%
Catholic 11.1%
Mainline Protestant 9.8%
Black Protestant 3.5%
Other 2.0%
Orthodox 0.2%

In 2010, 520,217 identified having no religious affiliation. While there are more Protestants than Catholics, as a whole, Catholics made up the largest Christian denomination, numbering about 99,990, where as in total, there were 88,116 people belonging to mainstream Protestant denominations, and 143,339 to more Evangelical denominations. Black Protestants only numbered about 31,445, and Orthodox was at 2,199. Those belonging to non-Christian religions numbered at 18,087.[50]

The city serves as the seat of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Indianapolis, as well as the seat of the Episcopal Diocese of Indianapolis with the Saints Peter & Paul Cathedral and the Christ Church Cathedral respectively.


The largest industry sectors by employment in Indianapolis are manufacturing, health care and social services, and retail trade.[51] Compared to Indiana as a whole, the Indianapolis metropolitan area has a lower proportion of manufacturing jobs and a higher concentration of jobs in wholesale trade; administrative, support, and waste management; professional, scientific, and technical services; and transportation and warehousing.[51]


Eli Lilly and Company was founded in the city in 1876.
Simon Property Group Headquarters in downtown Indianapolis.
Chase Tower, the tallest building in the city, looms over the Indiana World War Memorial Plaza in 2009.

Many of Indiana's largest and most recognized companies are headquartered in Indianapolis, including pharmaceutical manufacturer Eli Lilly and Company; wireless device distribution and logistics provider Brightpoint; health insurance provider Anthem Inc.; retailers Marsh Supermarkets, Finish Line, and hhgregg Inc.; Republic Airways Holdings[52] (including Chautauqua Airlines, Republic Airlines, and Shuttle America); and REIT Simon Property Group. The U.S. headquarters of Roche Diagnostics, CNO Financial Group, First Internet Bank of Indiana, Dow AgroSciences, Emmis Communications, Steak 'n Shake, Calumet Specialty Products Partners, Angie's List, and Allison Transmission are also located in Indianapolis. Other major Indianapolis area employers include Indiana University Health, Sallie Mae, Cook Group, Rolls-Royce, Delta Faucet Company, Ice Miller, Raytheon, Carrier and General Motors.

Indianapolis is a prime center for logistics and distribution facilities. It is home to a FedEx Express hub at the Indianapolis International Airport, trucking company Celadon, and distribution centers for companies such as, Foxconn, Finish Line, Inc., Fastenal, Target, and CVS Pharmacy.[53]

Before Detroit came to dominate the American automobile industry, Indianapolis was also home to a number of carmakers, including Duesenberg, Marmon Motor Car Company, Stutz Motor Company, American Motor Car Company, Parry Auto Company,[54] and Premier Motor Manufacturing.[55] In addition, Indianapolis hosted auto parts companies such as Prest-O-Lite, which provided acetylene generators for brass era headlights and acetylene gas starters.[56]

ATA Airlines (previously American Trans Air) was headquartered in Indianapolis prior to its collapse.[57]

Business climate and real estate

Forbes magazine ranked Indianapolis the eighth-best city for jobs in 2015, based on a combined graded balance of perceived median household incomes, lack of unemployment, income growth, cost of living and job growth.[58]

The National Association of Home Builders and Wells Fargo ranked Indianapolis the most affordable major housing market in the U.S. for the fourth quarter of 2009.[59] That year, Indianapolis also ranked first on CNN/Money's list of the top ten cities for recent graduates.[60]

In 2010, Indianapolis was rated the tenth best city for relocation by Yahoo Real Estate,[61] and tenth among U.S. metropolitan areas for GDP growth.[62]

In 2011, Indianapolis ranked sixth among U.S. cities as a retirement destination,[63] as one of the best Midwestern cities for relocation,[64] best for rental property investing,[65] and best in a composite measure that considered local employment outlook and housing affordability.[66]

A 2013 analysis by site selection consulting firm The Boyd Company, Inc. ranked Indianapolis as the most cost competitive market for corporate headquarters facilities in the United States.[67] Also in 2013, Indianapolis appeared on Forbes's list of Best Places for Business and Careers.[68]

In 2014, a report by Battelle Memorial Institute and Biotechnology Industry Organization indicated that the Indianapolis-Carmel Metropolitan Statistical Area was the only U.S. metropolitan area to have specialized employment concentrations in all five bioscience sectors evaluated in the study: agricultural feedstock and chemicals; bioscience-related distribution; drugs and pharmaceuticals; medical devices and equipment; and research, testing, and medical laboratories.[69]

In 2015, the Huffington Post ranked Indianapolis 7th in America's Most Underrated City for Millennials. Business Insider placed Indy in the #2 spot for the 20 Best Cities of Culture Ranking. Fast Company ranked Indianapolis 7th in the Next Top 10 Cities for Tech Jobs. Livability ranked Indianapolis 3rd in the Top 10 Best Downtowns category. CNN Money placed Indianapolis #1 in Most Affordable Housing Markets and Parents Magazine placed Indy 9th in Best Places for Families to Visit. [70]

Municipal[71] and state[72] government agencies offer incentives to startup firms and other small businesses in Indianapolis. Four facilities designated as Indiana Certified Technology Parks are located in the city: CityWay and Downtown Indianapolis Certified Technology Park/Indiana University Emerging Technologies Center, both in the downtown area; Intech Park, in Pike Township, Marion County; and Purdue Research Park of Indianapolis – Ameriplex, in Decatur Township, Marion County.[73]

Top employers

According to the 2014 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report for the Indianapolis Public Transportation Corporation,[74] the top employers in Marion County are:

# Employer # of Employees
1 St. Vincent Health 17,398
2 Indiana University Health 11,810
3 Eli Lilly and Company 10,735
4 Community Health Network 10,402
5 Indiana University – Purdue University Indianapolis 7,365
6 City of Indianapolis/Marion County 7,058
7 FedEx Express 6,000
8 Rolls-Royce 4,300
9 Anthem Inc. 4,200
10 Franciscan St. Francis Health 4,100


The Indiana Central Canal downtown.

Indianapolis prides itself on its rich cultural heritage. Several initiatives have been made by the Indianapolis government in recent years to increase Indianapolis's appeal as a destination for arts and culture. Box office #1 films set in Indianapolis include Eagle Eye (2008) and The Fault in Our Stars (2014).

Cultural Districts

Indianapolis has designated seven official Cultural Districts; Broad Ripple Village, Canal and White River State Park, Fountain Square, Indiana Avenue, Massachusetts Avenue, and Wholesale District. These areas have held historic and cultural importance to the city. In recent years they have been revitalized and are becoming major centers for tourism, commerce, and residential living.

Cultural Trail

Constructed between 2007 and 2013, the Indianapolis Cultural Trail is an urban bike and pedestrian path that connects the city's five downtown Cultural Districts, neighborhoods and entertainment amenities, and serves as the downtown hub for the entire central Indiana greenway system. The trail includes benches, bike racks, lighting, bike rentals/drop-offs, and local artwork. It was officially opened in May 2013.[75][76] New York Times named this one of the best places to go in 2014[77].

Monument Circle

At the center of Indianapolis is Monument Circle, a traffic circle at the intersection of Meridian and Market streets, featuring the Soldiers' and Sailors' Monument. Monument Circle is depicted on the city's flag. Until the early 1960s, Indianapolis zoning laws restricted building taller than the Soldiers' and Sailors' Monument. Each Christmas season, lights are strung onto the monument and lit in a ceremony known as the Circle of Lights, attracting thousands the day after Thanksgiving.

War Memorial Plaza
The Indiana World War Memorial in 2012.

A five-block plaza at the intersection of Meridian and Vermont surrounds a large memorial dedicated to Hoosiers who have fought in American wars. It was originally constructed to honor the Indiana soldiers who died in World War I, but construction was halted due to lack of funding during the Great Depression, finishing in 1951. The purpose of the memorial was later altered to encompass all American wars in which Hoosiers fought. The monument is modeled after the Mausoleum of Maussollos. On the north end of the War Memorial Plaza is the national headquarters of the American Legion and Indianapolis Public Library's Central Library.

Indiana Statehouse
The Indiana Statehouse, built in 1878.

The Statehouse houses the Indiana General Assembly, the Governor of Indiana, state courts, and other state officials.

Monument Circle in wintertime.

The city is second only to Washington, D.C. for the number of war monuments inside city limits.[78]

Other heritage and history attractions

Performing arts

Indiana Repertory Theatre in 2012.


The Children's Museum of Indianapolis is the largest children's museum in the world (2010).[79]
Robert Indiana's LOVE at the IMA (2008).

Other points of interest


In 2003, Indianapolis began hosting Gen Con, the largest role-playing game convention in the North America (with record attendance being over 56,000 in 2014[80]) at the Indiana Convention Center. Attendance of the event is expected to increase as the center is expanded. The convention center has also recently hosted to events such as Star Wars Celebration II and III, which brought in Star Wars fans from around the world, including creator George Lucas. In addition, the convention center is the current home to the Pokémon U.S. National Championships.

Indianapolis hosted the National FFA Convention from 2006 to 2012[81] and will rotate with Louisville every three years starting in 2013. The FFA Convention draws approximately 55,000 attendees and has an estimated $30–$40 million direct visitor impact on the local economy. Attendees occupy 13,000 hotel rooms in 130 metro-area hotels on peak nights during the four-day convention, making it the largest convention in the history of Indianapolis. The Indianapolis Convention Center was named #1 Convention City by USA Today in 2014[82].


Indianapolis has evolved into a center for music. The city plays host to Music for All, Inergy, Indy's Official Musical Ambassadors, the Percussive Arts Society, and the American Pianists Association.[83]

As well as being the home of the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, Indianapolis is also home to Bands of America (BOA), a nationwide organization of high school marching, concert, and jazz bands. Indianapolis is now also the international headquarters of Drum Corps International, a professional drum and bugle corps association.

Indianapolis has been the headquarters of the Kiwanis International organization since 1982. The organization and its youth-sponsored Kiwanis Family counterparts, Circle K International and Key Club International, administer all their international business and service initiatives from Indianapolis.

Indianapolis contains the national headquarters for twenty-six fraternities and sororities, many of which are congregated in the College Park area surrounding The Pyramids.

Festivals and events

File:Indiana State Fair.jpg
The Indiana State Fair is the largest annual event in Indiana, regularly drawing about one million attendees.[84]

The International Violin Competition of Indianapolis, Indy Jazz Fest, and the Drum Corps International World Championships are all held in Indianapolis.

The Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra has hosted an annual outdoor summer concert series at Conner Prairie called Marsh Symphony on the Prairie since 1982, featuring a variety of musical styles.[85]

The city has an arts community that includes many fairs celebrating a wide variety of arts and crafts. They include the Broad Ripple Art Fair, Talbot Street Art Fair, Carmel Arts Festival, Indian Market and Festival, and the Penrod Art Fair.

Every May since 1957, Indianapolis has held the 500 Festival, a month of events including a mini marathon and a festival parade, the latter being the day before the Indianapolis 500. In May of 2016, the Indianapolis 500 will celebrate its 100th running.

Indianapolis is also home to the Indiana State Fair as well as the Heartland Film Festival, the Indianapolis International Film Festival, the Indianapolis Theatre Fringe Festival, the Indianapolis Alternative Media Festival, and the Midwest Music Summit.

The Circle City Classic is one of America's top historically African-American college football games. This annual football game, held during the first weekend of October, is the showcase event of an entire weekend. The weekend is a celebration of cultural excellence and educational achievement while showcasing the spirit, energy and tradition of America's historically black colleges and universities.

One of the largest ethnic and cultural heritage festivals in Indianapolis is the Summer Celebration held by Indiana Black Expo. This ten-day national event highlights the contributions of African-Americans to U.S. society and culture and provides educational, entertainment, and networking opportunities to the over 300,000 participants from around the country.

During the month of June, the Indianapolis Italian Street Festival is held at Holy Rosary Church just south of downtown.

Indy's International Festival is held annually in November at the Indiana State Fairgrounds. Local ethnic groups, vendors and performers are featured alongside national and international performers.

Since 2006, in the months of March and October, Midwest Fashion Week[86][87] takes place, promoting both local and national designers. Started by Berny Martin of Catou,[86][87] this event has grown to become a premier event in Indianapolis.


The labels of The Amateur Sports Capital of the World and The Racing Capital of the World have both been applied to Indianapolis.[88] The headquarters of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), the main governing body for U.S. collegiate sports, is located in Indianapolis, as is the National Federation of State High School Associations. The city is home to the headquarters of three NCAA athletics conferences, the Horizon League (Division I), the Great Lakes Valley Conference (Division II), and the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference (Division III). The national offices for the governing bodies of several sports are located in Indianapolis, including USA Gymnastics, USA Diving, US Synchronized Swimming, and USA Track & Field.

Indianapolis has hosted numerous sporting events, including the US Open Series' Indianapolis Tennis Championships (1988–2009), the 2002 World Basketball Championships, the Big Ten Football Championship Game (2011–present), Super Bowl XLVI (2012), and the 1987 Pan American Games. Other notable annual sporting events include the Drum Corps International World Championships, and the Music for All Bands of America Grand National Championships. Starting in 2002, Indianapolis began hosting the Big Ten Conference Men's Basketball Tournament at Bankers Life Fieldhouse, alternating years with the United Center in Chicago. From 2008 to 2012, Indianapolis was the sole city to host the tournament. Beginning in 2013, Chicago and Indianapolis began alternating again.[89] Indianapolis will be hosting the Big Ten Conference Men (2015) and Women's (2016) Final Four.

Indianapolis is home to the OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon, the largest half marathon and seventh-largest running event in the U.S.[90] The mini-marathon is held the first weekend of May as part of the 500 Festival, leading up to the Indianapolis 500. As of 2013, the marathon had sold out for 12 consecutive years, with 35,000 participants.[91]


Indianapolis is home to two major league sports teams. The Indianapolis Colts of the National Football League (NFL) have been based in Indianapolis since relocating there in 1984, and play home games in Lucas Oil Stadium. The Indiana Pacers of the National Basketball Association (NBA) play home games at Bankers Life Fieldhouse; they began play in 1967 in the American Basketball Association (ABA) and joined the NBA when the leagues merged in 1976.

Professional sports teams in Indianapolis
Team Sport League Founded Venue (capacity) Attendance Championships
Indianapolis Colts Football NFL 1984 Lucas Oil Stadium (62,000) 65,375[92] 1(2006) (XLI)
Indiana Pacers Basketball NBA 1967 Bankers Life Fieldhouse (18,000) 17,501 3(1970)*, (1972)*, (1973)*
Indy Eleven Soccer NASL (D2) 2013 IU Michael A. Carroll Stadium (12,100) 10,465 ——
Indianapolis Indians Baseball IL (AAA) 1902 Victory Field (12,000) 9,433 7**
Indiana Fever Basketball WNBA 2000 Bankers Life Fieldhouse (18,000) 7,900 1(2012)
Indy Fuel Hockey ECHL 2014 Indiana Farmers Coliseum (6,300) —— ——

* Pacers titles were ABA only.
** Indians seven titles were in 1917, 1928, 1949, 1956, 1988, 1989 and 2000.

Auto racing

The 2008 Indianapolis 500, the 92nd running of the race.

Indianapolis is a major center for automobile racing. Since 1911, the Indianapolis 500 has been the premier event in the National Championship of open wheel car racing. The series' headquarters and many of its teams are based in the city. Indianapolis is so well connected with racing that it has inspired the name "Indy car," used for both the competition and type of car used in it.[93] Indianapolis Motor Speedway hosts two major motor racing events every year: the Indianapolis 500 and the Brickyard 400.

The Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IMS), located in Speedway, Indiana, is the site of the Indianapolis 500-Mile Race (also known as the Indy 500), an open–wheel automobile race held each Memorial Day weekend on a 2.5 miles (4.0 km) oval track. The Indy 500 is the largest single–day sporting event in the world, hosting more than 257,000 permanent seats (not including the infield area). The track is often referred to as the Brickyard, because it was paved with 3.2 million bricks shortly after its construction in 1909. Today the track is paved in asphalt, although a one–yard strip of bricks remains at the start/finish line.

IMS also hosts the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series' Brickyard 400. The first running of the Brickyard 400 was in 1994, and the race has traditionally been NASCAR's highest attended event.[94] Jeff Gordon has frequented victory lane five times at Indianapolis, the most of any NASCAR driver.

From 2000 to 2007, IMS hosted the Formula One United States Grand Prix (USGP). Contract negotiations between IMS and Formula One resulted in a discontinuation of the USGP at Indianapolis in 2007. The USGP was not a part of the Formula One calendar from 20082011, but has been held in Austin, Texas since 2012.

The Speedway hosted its first MotoGP event in 2008, with the Red Bull Indianapolis Grand Prix taking place in September. Each year the event has been held, there has been a different rider in victory circle (Valentino Rossi in 2008, Jorge Lorenzo in 2009, Dani Pedrosa in 2010, and Casey Stoner in 2011).

Indianapolis is also home to Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis. Though not as well known as Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Lucas Oil Raceway is home to the NHRA Mac Tool U.S. Nationals, the biggest, oldest, richest, and most prestigious drag race in the world. The event is held every Labor Day weekend.

Parks and recreation

Eagle Creek Park, one of the largest municipal parks in the U.S.

Indianapolis has an extensive municipal park system, with nearly 200 parks occupying over 10,000 acres (40 km2). The flagship Eagle Creek Park is the largest municipal park in the city and ranks among the largest urban parks in the U.S.[95] Two state parks are located within the city, including Fort Harrison State Park and White River State Park.

Other major Indianapolis parks include:

Recreational trails include:

Indianapolis has an urban forestry program that is recognized by the National Arbor Day Foundation's Tree City USA standards.

Law and government

Indiana Government Center

Indianapolis has a consolidated city-county government known as Unigov. Under this system, many functions of the city and county governments are consolidated, though some remain separate. The city has a mayor-council form of government.

The executive branch is headed by an elected mayor, who serves as the chief executive of both the city and Marion County. The current Mayor of Indianapolis is Democrat Joseph H. Hogsett. The mayor appoints deputy mayors, city department heads and members of various boards and commissions.

The legislative body for the city and county is the City-County Council. It is made up of 29 members, 25 of whom represent districts, with the remaining four elected at large. Following the 2011 elections, Democrats hold a 16–13 majority over Republicans. The council passes ordinances for the city and county and also makes appointments to certain boards and commissions.

With the exception of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, all of the courts of law in Indianapolis are part of the Indiana state court system. The Marion Superior Court is the court of general jurisdiction. The 35 judges on the court hear all criminal, juvenile, probate, and traffic violation cases, as well as most civil cases. The Marion Circuit Court hears certain types of civil cases. Small claims cases are heard by Small Claims Courts in each of Marion County's nine townships. The Appeals Courts and the Indiana Supreme Court meet in the Indiana Statehouse.

Fire protection

The Indianapolis Fire Department provides fire protection services for six townships in Marion County (Washington, Lawrence, Center, Warren, Perry, and Franklin), plus those portions of the other three townships that were part of Indianapolis prior to the establishment of Unigov. The individual fire departments of Decatur, Pike, and Wayne townships, the town of Speedway, and the cities of Beech Grove and Lawrence, provide such services for their respective jurisdictions.

Emergency medical services

Emergency medical services (EMS) for six townships in Indianapolis (Washington, Lawrence, Center, Warren, Perry and Franklin) and the Town of Speedway are provided by Indianapolis Emergency medical services. The fire departments of Decatur, Pike and Wayne Townships, as well as the cities of Beech Grove and Lawrence, provide EMS services to their respective jurisdictions.

Law enforcement

An IMPD cruiser (2008).

Indianapolis and Marion County historically maintained separate police agencies: the Indianapolis Police Department and Marion County Sheriff's Department. On January 1, 2007, a new agency, the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department, was formed by merging the two departments. IMPD is a separate agency, as the Sheriff's Department maintains jail and court functions. IMPD has jurisdiction over those portions of Marion County not explicitly covered by the police of an excluded city or by a legacy pre-Unigov force. As of February 29, 2008, the IMPD is headed by a Public Safety Director appointed by the Mayor of Indianapolis; the Public Safety Director appoints the Police Chief. The IMPD was formerly under the leadership of the Sheriff of Marion County, Frank J. Anderson prior to his retirement in January, 2011. The Sheriff remains in charge of the County Jail and security for the City-County Building, service of warrants, and certain other functions. The Sheriff must be consulted, but does not have final say, on the appointment of the Public Safety Director and the Police Chief.[96]


In the late 1990s, violent crimes in inner city neighborhoods located within the old city limits (pre-consolidation) peaked. The former Indianapolis Police District (IPD), which serves about 37% of the county's total population and has a geographic area covering mostly the old pre-consolidation city limits, recorded 130 homicides in 1998 to average approximately 40.3 homicides per 100,000 people. This is over 6 times the 1998 national homicide average of 6.3 per 100,000 people.[citation needed] Meanwhile, the former Marion County Sheriff's Department district serving the remaining 63% of the county's population, which includes the majority of the residents in the Consolidated City, recorded only 32 homicides in 1998, averaging about 5.9 murders per 100,000 people, slightly less than the 1998 national homicide average. Homicides in the IPD dropped dramatically in 1999 and have remained lower through 2005. In 2005, the IPD recorded 88 homicides to average 27.3 homicides per 100,000 people; nonetheless, the murder rate in the IPD is still almost 5 times the 2005 national average. In 2007, city leaders such as Sheriff Frank J. Anderson and former Mayor Bart Peterson held rallies in neighborhoods in effort to stop the violence in the city. The murder rate in Indianapolis has been increasing in recent years. Between 2012 and 2014 the murder rate jumped 44%. There were 148 homicides in 2014 and 60% of victims were young black men.[97]

The immediate downtown area of the city around most main attractions, venues, and museums remain relatively safe. IMPD uses horseback officers and bicycle officers to patrol the downtown area or the city. Certain areas of Indianapolis remain a challenge for law enforcement officials. Indianapolis was ranked as the 33rd most dangerous city in the United States in the 2008–2009 edition of CQ Press's City Crime Rankings and the 22nd most dangerous city according to Yahoo! Finance in 2012.[98][99] Yahoo! Finance also reported that the city averaged 52.2 forcible rapes per 100,000 people. The national average stands at 26.8 forcible rapes per 100,000 people.[99]


Until the late 1990s, Indianapolis was considered to be one of the most conservative metropolitan areas in the country but this trend has reversed recently. Republicans had held the majority in the City-County Council for 36 years, and the city had a Republican mayor for 32 years from 1967 to 1999. This was in part because the creation of Unigov added several then-heavily Republican areas of Marion County to the Indianapolis city limits. More recently, Republicans have generally been stronger in the southern and western parts (Decatur, Franklin, Perry, and Wayne, townships) of the county while Democrats have been stronger in the central and northern parts (Center, Pike, and Washington townships). Republican and Democratic prevalence is split in Warren and Lawrence townships.[100] The Indianapolis suburbs, on the other hand, remain some of the most reliably Republican areas in Indiana and the nation.

In the 1999 municipal election, Democrat Bart Peterson defeated Indiana Secretary of State Sue Anne Gilroy by 52% to 41%. Four years later, Peterson was re-elected with 63% of the vote over Marion County Treasurer Greg Jordan. Republicans narrowly lost control of the City-County Council that year. In 2004, Democrats won the Marion County offices of treasurer, surveyor and coroner for the first time since the 1970s. The county GOP lost further ground during the 2006 elections with Democrats winning the offices of county clerk, assessor, recorder and auditor. Only one GOP countywide office remained: Prosecutor Carl Brizzi, who defeated Democratic challenger Melina Kennedy with 51% of the vote in his bid for a second term, despite outspending her two-to-one. At the township level, Democrats picked up the trustee offices in Washington, Lawrence, Warren and Wayne townships, while holding on to Pike and Center townships.

In the 2007 municipal election, fueled by voter angst against increases in property and income taxes as well as a rise in crime, Republican challenger Greg Ballard narrowly defeated Peterson 51% to 47%—the first time an incumbent Indianapolis mayor was removed from office since 1967. Discontent among these issues also returned control of the City-County Council to the GOP with a 16–13 majority.[101] Ballard was re-elected mayor in 2011. Control of the city-county council reverted to Democrats 16-13 over Republicans, marking only the second time in the Unigov era of split-party control of county government between the council and mayor.

In the 2008 presidential election, Barack Obama easily won in Indianapolis by earning 64% of all Marion County votes while 35% of the votes went to John McCain for a victory of about 107,000 votes.[102]

As 2010 came to an end, despite a strong performance by the GOP statewide, Democrats swept all county offices once again, including reclaiming the office of county prosecutor for the first time since 1990.

In the 2012 presidential election Obama again performed very strongly, defeating Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney 60% to 38% for an 80,000 vote victory.

In 2013, city-county councilor Jose Evans changed party affiliation from Democrat to Republican, giving the Democrats a 15–14 majority over Republicans.[citation needed][undue weight? ]

Greg Ballard chose not to run for re-election in the 2015 mayoral election.[103] Vying to replace him were republican Chuck Brewer and democrat Joe Hogsett. The candidates had similar plans for addressing the city's issues, and the commonality between them contributed to a very low voter turnout.[104] Hogsett had previously held public office in Indiana as Secretary of State, and had served in government for over 30 years, giving him greater name recognition than Brewer, a local restaurateur.[105] Hogsett won election with 63% of the vote, and will take office on January 1, 2016.[105] The election also left Democrats in control of the Indianapolis City-County Council, marking only the second time since the creation of Unigov that Democrats controlled both the mayor's office and the council.[106]

Most of Indianapolis is within the 7th Congressional District of Indiana, represented by Democrat André Carson. He is the grandson of the district's previous representative, Julia Carson who held the seat from 1997 until her death on December 15, 2007.[107] The northern portions of the city are in the 5th District, represented by Republican Susan Brooks.[108]


Higher education

Jordan Hall on the campus of Butler University.

Indianapolis is the home to Butler University, Indiana University – Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI), Ivy Tech Community College of Indiana, Marian University, Martin University, The Art Institute of Indianapolis and University of Indianapolis. Satellite campuses include Ball State University College of Architecture and Planning's Indianapolis Center, Indiana Institute of Technology, Lincoln College of Technology, Oakland City University, University of Phoenix, and Vincennes University's Aviation Technology Center, Harrison College and the American College of Education.

Butler University was originally founded in 1855 as North Western Christian University. The school purchased land in the Irvington area in 1875. The school moved again in 1928 to its current location at the edge of the Butler-Tarkington neighborhood. The school removed itself officially from religious affiliation, giving up the theological school to Christian Theological Seminary. A private institution, Butler's current student enrollment is approximately 4,400. Butler has a storied sports heritage in regards to basketball and volleyball. Butler is the site where both the film Hoosiers and the events that inspired it were filmed, the so-called Milan Miracle. Butler's basketball stadium, Hinkle Fieldhouse, was the largest basketball facility when built and also historically hosted the first bout between the U.S. and Soviet Union in basketball. Butler University made its own impact felt with a championship appearance in its home city of Indianapolis in the NCAA championship game in 2010, and a repeat appearance in the NCAA Championship game in 2011. Butler also has hosted to date the largest attended volleyball match at 14,000 spectators.

IUPUI's Campus Center in 2011.

Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis was originally an urban conglomeration of branch campuses of the two major state universities: Indiana University in Bloomington and Purdue University in West Lafayette, created by the state legislature. In 1969 a merged campus was created at the site of the Indiana University School of Medicine. IUPUI's student body is currently just above 30,000, making it the third-largest campus for higher learning in Indiana after the main campuses of IU and Purdue. The Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law is located on the IUPUI campus; the school's distinctive Inlow Hall is located on the southeast corner of the campus. This campus is also home to Herron School of Art and Design, which was established privately in 1902. A new building was built in 2005 under both private donation and state contribution enabling the school to move from its original location. IUPUI has a division one basketball program and has made tournament appearances in the Summit League alongside Indianapolis's other division one school, Butler University. IUPUI has the only Android Studies Department in the United States.

Ivy Tech Community College of Indiana, a state funded public school, was founded as Indiana Vocational Technical College in 1963. In 2008, Ivy Tech became "the state's largest public-college system, surpassing Indiana University in enrollment."[109] With 30 campuses across Indiana, Ivy Tech has a total enrollment of over 174,000 as of the 2010–2011 school year.[110]

Marian University was founded in 1936 when St. Francis Normal and Immaculate Conception Junior College merged. The college moved to Indianapolis in 1937. Marian is currently a private Catholic school and has an enrollment of approximately 2,400 students.

The University of Indianapolis is a private school affiliated with the United Methodist Church. Founded in 1902 as Indiana Central University, the school's current enrollment is approximately 5,000 students. The University of Indianapolis prides itself on its teaching and nursing programs, as well as its opportunities to study abroad. UIndy has satellite campuses in Cyprus, Jerusalem, and at the base of the Acropolis in Athens, Greece.

Primary and secondary education

Indianapolis school districts.png   Indianapolis Public Schools
  School Town of Speedway
  Beech Grove City Schools
  MSD Pike Township
  MSD Washington Township
  MSD Lawrence Township
  MSD Warren Township
  Franklin Township CSC
  MSD Perry Township
  MSD Decatur Township
  MSD Wayne Township
Indianapolis Public School Districts

Indianapolis has eleven unified public school districts (eight township educational authorities and three legacy districts from before the unification of city and county government), each of which providing primary, secondary, and adult education services within its boundaries. The boundaries of these districts do not exactly correspond to township (or traditional) boundaries, but rather cover the areas of their townships that were outside the pre-Unigov city limits. Indianapolis Public Schools, which serves what was the city of Indianapolis prior to the Unigov merger, is still the largest school corporation in Indiana today.

Private schools run by the Archdiocese of Indianapolis are Bishop Chatard, Roncalli, Cardinal Ritter, and Scecina. Other private schools include Brebeuf Jesuit, Park Tudor, Cathedral and Heritage Christian.


Public library services are provided to the citizens of Indianapolis and Marion County by the Indianapolis Public Library. The educational and cultural institution, founded in 1873, now consists of a main library, Central Library, located in downtown Indianapolis, and 22 branch locations spread throughout the city. Serving over 5.43 million visitors in 2006, its mission is to provide "materials and programs in support of the lifelong learning, recreational and economic interests of all citizens of Marion County." The renovated Central Library building opened on December 9, 2007, ending a controversial multi-year rebuilding plan.[111]


Emmis Communications radio studios on Monument Circle.

Broadcast television network affiliates include WTTV (CBS),[112] WRTV (ABC),[113] WISH-TV (CW),[114] WTHR-TV (NBC),[115] WXIN-TV (Fox),[116] WFYI-TV (PBS),[117] WNDY-TV (MyNetworkTV),[118] and WDNI-CD (Telemundo).[119] In 2009, Indianapolis was the 25th largest media market in the United States, with over 1.1 million homes.

The Indianapolis Star serves as the city's primary morning daily newspaper, with a weekday circulation of 255,303 and Sunday circulation of 324,349. Other publications include The Indianapolis Recorder, a weekly newspaper serving the local African-American community, Indianapolis Monthly, Indianapolis Women's Magazine, Indy Men's Magazine, and NUVO. Indianapolis is also corporate headquarters of media conglomerate Emmis Communications. The company owns radio stations and magazines in the United States, Hungary, Slovakia, and Bulgaria.



Indianapolis International Airport's Col. H. Weir Cook Terminal (pictured) opened in 2008 after a $1.1 billion expansion.

Indianapolis International Airport is the busiest airport in Indiana, serving about 7.5 million passengers and transporting 985,000 tons of cargo annually.[120] The airport is home to the second-largest FedEx operation in the world and the USPS Eagle Network Hub. The entire airport is a global free trade zone called INZONE with eighteen designated subzones.

Thirty years in planning, a new midfield terminal complex was completed in 2008. It officially opened for arriving flights on November 11, 2008 and departures on November 12, 2008. The $1.1 billion project represents the largest development initiative in the city's history. The Colonel H. Weir Cook Terminal covers 1,200,000 square feet (110,000 m2), includes 40 gates, a 145,000 sq ft (13,500 m2) baggage processing area, a 73,000 sq ft (6,800 m2) baggage claim area, a large pre-security gathering, a concession space with a 60-foot (18 m) skylight, numerous local and national restaurants and retailers, and local Indianapolis artwork. Indianapolis International Airport's new terminal structure was the first one built in the U.S. since the 9/11 attacks.

Ten major U.S. and international airlines serve the airport.[121]


Several interstates serve the Indianapolis area. Interstate 65 in Indiana runs northwest to Gary, where other roads eventually take drivers to Chicago, and southward to Louisville, Kentucky. Interstate 69 runs northeast to Fort Wayne, Indiana, and currently terminates in the city at I-465, but will eventually be routed around the city on I-465 to the new extension of Interstate 69 towards Evansville. Interstate 70 in Indiana parallels the old National Road, running east to Columbus, Ohio and southwest to St. Louis, Missouri. Interstate 74 goes northwest towards Danville, Illinois, and southeast towards Cincinnati, Ohio. Finally, Interstate 465 circles Marion County, and joins the aforementioned highways together. In 2002, the interstate segment connecting Interstate 465 to Interstate 65 on the northwest side of the city was redesignated Interstate 865 to reduce confusion. The Indianapolis area also has two other expressways: Sam Jones Expressway (formerly Airport Expressway) and Shadeland Avenue Expressway.

Originally most of the U.S. and Indiana numbered routes in the city were routed through downtown Indianapolis, but all have been rerouted along I-465. On one stretch of I-465, between exits 47 and 49 on the southeast side of the city, U.S. 31, U.S. 36, U.S. 52, U.S. 421, Indiana 37, and Indiana 67 are co-routed with I-465. Between exits 49 and 2 on the south end of the city), I-74, U.S. 31, U.S. 36, U.S. 52, Indiana 37, and Indiana 67 are co-routed with I-465.


Indianapolis Union Station was the first union station in the world, opening September 20, 1853.[122]

Amtrak, the national passenger rail system, provides two service lines to Indianapolis via Indianapolis Union Station. The Cardinal (New YorkWashington, D.C.Cincinnati—Indianapolis—Chicago) runs three times a week, while the Hoosier State (to Chicago) runs on days the Cardinal does not operate.

Greyhound Lines operates a bus terminal at Indianapolis Union Station, and Megabus has a stop adjacent to the Indianapolis City-County Building.

Mass transit

The Indianapolis Public Transportation Corporation (known locally as IndyGo) provides public transportation for the city. IndyGo was established in 1975 after the city of Indianapolis took control of the city's transit system. Prior to 1997, IndyGo was called Metro. Central Indiana Commuter Services (CICS), funded by IndyGo to reduce pollution, serves Indianapolis and surrounding counties.

Efforts to expand mass transit in Central Indiana have been initiated through an organization called IndyConnect.[123] Starting in 2010, private industry leaders throughout the region proposed a $10 billion multi-modal transportation plan that includes expanded roadways, express bus routes, light rail, and commuter rail services. If public and legislative approval is granted, construction could begin as soon as 2015. In addition, a private company known as Downtown Indianapolis Streetcar Corp., has put together a team to study the possibilities of creating a streetcar for the downtown Indianapolis area.[124]

People mover

IU Health People Mover (2007).

Since 2003, Indiana University Health has operated a 1.4-mile (2.3 km) long, 4 ft (1,219 mm) narrow gauge[125] people mover. The system connects the medical centers of Indiana University Hospital, James Whitcomb Riley Hospital for Children, and Methodist Hospital of Indianapolis with related facilities on the IUPUI campus. Though open to the public, the system is privately run. It is currently the only example of light or commuter rail in Indianapolis and is also notable for being the only private transportation system in the U.S. constructed above public streets.[126][127]

Notable people

Sister cities

Indianapolis has six sister cities and two friendship cities as designated by Sister Cities International:[128]

Sister cities

Friendship cities

See also


  1. Official records for Indianapolis kept at downtown from February 1871 to December 1942, and at Indianapolis Int'l since January 1943. For more information, see Threadex


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  26. Browne, p. 11 and 16.
  27. Michigan did not enter the Union until 1837. See Browne, p. 9 and 17.
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External links

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