| City Overview
Indianapolis 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. Indianapolis–Carmel–Anderson is the 33rd largest metropolitan area in the U.S., with nearly 2 million inhabitants.
Indianapolis was founded in 1821 near the confluence of the White River and Fall Creek as a planned city for the new seat of Indiana's state government.
Residents of the city are occasionally referred to as "Indianapolitans," although this archaic term is rarely used.
The city's economy is diverse, including health care, life sciences, manufacturing, motorsports, and transportation and logistics, contributing to a gross domestic product (GDP) of $125.8 billion in 2014. Three Fortune 500 companies are based in the city: Anthem Inc., Eli Lilly and Company, and Calumet Specialty Products Partners. Nicknamed the Crossroads of America, Indianapolis is the junction for four Interstate highways and six U.S. highways. Indianapolis International Airport is a major international cargo hub, ranking as the 23rd busiest airport in the world by cargo traffic in 2014. Indianapolis is considered a "high sufficiency" global city.
Indianapolis hosts several notable sporting events annually, including the largest half marathon in the U.S. 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.
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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.
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. 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 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. 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. 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. 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 Samuel Hugh Dillin was a controversial change.
In 1970, non-Hispanic whites were about 80 percent of the population. 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.
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. 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 Livability.com 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.
Indianapolis is in the East North Central region of the Midwestern United States, in Central Indiana. 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) and includes all of Marion County, with the exception of four communities: Beech Grove, Lawrence, Southport, and Speedway.
Indianapolis lies in the Southern Great Lakes forests ecoregion, as defined by the World Wildlife Fund. 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 feet (213 m) to 900 feet (274 m). 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 (122 m) south of the Boone County line and 400 feet (122 m) east of the Hendricks County line. 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). 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.
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. 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. 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. 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. Tennessee and Mississippi streets were renamed Capitol and Senate avenues in 1895. 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).
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).
Indianapolis lies in the humid continental climate zone (Köppen: Dfa), experiencing four distinct seasons. The city is located in USDA hardiness zones 5b and 6a. 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, 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.
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. 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, to −27 °F (−33 °C), set on January 19, 1994.
Indianapolis is the largest city in Indiana, with 12.8 percent of the state's total population. 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. The city's consolidated population for the year 2012 was 844,220. The city's remainder, or balance, population was estimated at 834,852 for 2012, a 2 percent increase over the total population of 820,445 reported in the U.S. Census for 2010. The city's population density, as of 2010, was 2,270 persons per square mile.
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.
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. 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.
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). 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.
Due to emigration resulting from the Yugoslav Wars in the 1990s, Indianapolis has more than 10,000 people from the former Yugoslavia.
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. For every 100 females there were 93 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 90 males.
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. 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. 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.
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. 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.
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.
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 numbered about 31,445, and Orthodox was at 2,199. Those belonging to non-Christian religions numbered at 18,087.
Indianapolis is the seat of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Indianapolis, as well as the seat of the Episcopal Diocese of Indianapolis with the Saints Peter and Paul Cathedral and Christ Church Cathedral, respectively.
Encompassing $125.9 billion, the Indianapolis metropolitan area is the 26th-largest economy in the U.S. and 42nd-largest in the world. The largest industry sectors by employment in Indianapolis are manufacturing, health care and social services, and retail trade. 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.
As of 2015, three Fortune 500 companies were based in Indianapolis, including Anthem Inc. (38), Eli Lilly and Company (151), and Calumet Specialty Products Partners (457). Fortune 1000 companies based in the Indianapolis metropolitan area included Simon Property Group (529), CNO Financial Group (608), hhgregg (914), and Allison Transmission Holdings (974). Other notable companies based in Indianapolis include media conglomerate Emmis Communications, retailers Finish Line, Lids, and Marsh Supermarkets, Republic Airways Holdings (including Republic Airlines and Shuttle America), and restaurant chains Noble Roman's, Scotty's Brewhouse, and Steak 'n Shake.
Biotechnology, life sciences, and health care are a major sector of Indianapolis' economy. Besides the presence of Eli Lilly, the North American headquarters for Roche Diagnostics and Dow AgroSciences are located in the city. A 2014 report by Battelle Memorial Institute and Biotechnology Industry Organization indicated that the Indianapolis–Carmel–Anderson MSA 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. The regional health care networks of St. Vincent Health, Indiana University Health, Community Health Network, and Franciscan St. Francis Health combine to employ some 43,700 people.
Indianapolis anchors Central Indiana's extensive transportation and logistics network, home to 1,500 distribution firms, employing 100,000 workers. Indianapolis International Airport is home to the second-largest FedEx Express hub in the world, employing 6,600. Other major companies include Celadon Group and United Parcel Service, with distribution centers for companies such as Amazon.com, Coca-Cola, CVS Caremark, Express Scripts, Foxconn, Finish Line, Fastenal, Monarch Beverage, O'Reilly Auto Parts, Ozburn-Hessey Logistics, Pearson Education, Target Corporation, and Walmart.
Indianapolis' storied history in auto racing has produced more than 500 motorsports companies and racing teams based in the region, employing some 10,000 workers. Italian IndyCar manufacturer Dallara opened in Speedway in 2012. Motorsports teams include Andretti Autosport, Dreyer & Reinbold Racing, CFH Racing, John Force Racing, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, Schmidt Peterson Motorsports, Schumacher Racing, Target Chip Ganassi Racing, and Vision Racing.
Indianapolis is the fourth-fastest high-tech job growth area in the U.S., with 28,500 information technology-related jobs at such companies as Angie's List, BrightPoint, Interactive Intelligence, and Salesforce Marketing Cloud.
4.1 BUSINESS CLIMATE
In 2011, Indianapolis ranked sixth among U.S. cities as a retirement destination, as one of the best Midwestern cities for relocation, best for rental property investing, and best in a composite measure that considered local employment outlook and housing affordability. In 2013 the city ranked as the most cost-competitive market for corporate headquarters facilities in the U.S., appeared on Forbes' list of "Best Places for Business and Careers," and was named the most affordable housing market in the U.S. In 2014, Indianapolis was ranked second in best U.S. cities for culture, and one of the top ten best U.S. cities to start a new career, In 2015, The Huffington Post ranked Indianapolis seventh in "America's Most Underrated Cities for Millennials" listing.
Municipal and state 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; and Purdue Research Park of Indianapolis – Ameriplex, in Decatur Township.
Indianapolis has seven officially designated Cultural Districts: Broad Ripple Village, Canal and White River State Park, Fountain Square, Indiana Avenue, Market East, Massachusetts Avenue, and Wholesale. 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.
5.1 CULTURAL TRAIL
The Indianapolis Cultural Trail, a $62.5 million public-private partnership, is an urban bike and pedestrian path connecting 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. The New York Times named the Indianapolis Cultural Trail one of the best places to visit in 2014.
The city is second only to Washington, D.C. for the number of war monuments inside city limits.
Indiana World War Memorial Plaza
Landmark for Peace Memorial
Medal of Honor Memorial
Project 9/11 Indianapolis
Soldiers' and Sailors' Monument
USS Indianapolis Memorial
5.3 OTHER HERITAGE AND HISTORY ATTRACTIONS
Benjamin Harrison Home
Crown Hill Cemetery
Indianapolis City Market
James Whitcomb Riley Museum Home
Madame Walker Theatre Center
Saints Peter and Paul Cathedral
Scottish Rite Cathedral
5.4 PERFORMING ARTS
Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre
Clowes Memorial Hall
Hilbert Circle Theatre
Indiana Repertory Theatre
Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra
Madame Walker Theatre Center
Old National Centre
The Children's Museum of Indianapolis
Colonel Eli Lilly Civil War Museum
Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art
Herron School of Art
Indiana Historical Society
Indiana Medical History Museum
Indiana State Museum
Indianapolis Art Center
Indianapolis Motor Speedway Hall of Fame Museum
Indianapolis Museum of Art
Indianapolis Museum of Contemporary Art
James Whitcomb Riley Museum Home
Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library
National Art Museum of Sport
NCAA Hall of Champions
5.6 OTHER POINTS OF INTEREST
100 Acres: The Virginia B. Fairbanks Art and Nature Park
Heslar Naval Armory
Humane Society of Indianapolis
Indianapolis Public Library
Irvington Historic District
Slippery Noodle Inn
White River Gardens
White River State Park
The 1,300,000 square feet (120,000 m2) Indiana Convention Center hosts several notable events annually, including Gen Con, the largest role-playing game convention in the North America (56,600 visitors), and the FDIC International Conference (35,000). The National FFA Organization Convention is hosted every three years in the city, bringing 55,000 attendees. Other conventions have included Star Wars Celebration II and III, Pokémon U.S. National Championships, and the NFL Experience during Super Bowl XLVI. USA Today named Indianapolis the best convention city in 2014.
Indianapolis has evolved into a center for music. The city hosts Music for All, Inergy, Indy's Official Musical Ambassadors, the Percussive Arts Society, and the American Pianists Association. Bands of America (BOA), a nationwide organization of high school marching, concert, and jazz bands, is headquartered in the city, along with the international headquarters of Drum Corps International, a professional drum and bugle corps association.
Indianapolis is center for philanthropic foundations and nonprofits. Based in the city, the Lilly Endowment is among the world's largest private philanthropic foundations, with $7.3 billion. Indianapolis contains the national headquarters for 26 fraternities and sororities, many of which are congregated in the College Park area surrounding The Pyramids. 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.
5.9 FESTIVALS AND EVENTS
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.
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 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 takes place, promoting both local and national designers. Started by Berny Martin of Catou, 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. 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. Indianapolis are set to host the Big Ten Conference Men's Basketball Final Four in 2015, and the Women's in 2016.
Indianapolis is home to the OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon, the largest half marathon and seventh-largest running event in the U.S. 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.
Two major league sports teams are based in Indianapolis. 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.
6.1 AUTO RACING
Indianapolis is a major center for automobile racing. Since 1911, Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IMS) has been the site of the Indianapolis 500, an open-wheel automobile race held each Memorial Day weekend on a 2.5 miles (4.0 km) oval track, 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 "IndyCar," used for both the competition and type of car used in it. The Indy 500 is the largest single-day sporting event in the world, hosting more than 257,000 permanent seats.
IMS also hosts NASCAR's highest attended event, the Sprint Cup Series Brickyard 400 (1994–present), the FIM MotoGP Red Bull Indianapolis Grand Prix (2008–present), and Verizon IndyCar Series Grand Prix of Indianapolis (2014–present). Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis in nearby Hendricks County, is home to the NHRA U.S. Nationals, the largest drag racing event in the world, held annually each Labor Day weekend.
7. PARKS AND RECREATION
The Indianapolis municipal park includes nearly 200 parks covering 11,246 acres (45.51 km2). Eagle Creek Park is the largest municipal park in the city and ranks among the largest urban parks in the U.S. Other notable parks include Broad Ripple, Brookside, Ellenberger, Garfield, Military, and University. The city also operates more than a dozen nature preserves, such as Skiles Test Nature Park. Two state parks are located in Marion County: Fort Harrison State Park near Lawrence and White River State Park downtown. In addition to the Cultural Trail, the city has developed several recreational trails. The Monon Trail and Pennsy Trail are rail trails, while others follow the White River, Fall Creek, Pleasant Run, and Pogue's Run. Town Run Trail Park offers trails for mountain biking.
According to the Trust for Public Land's 2015 ParkScore Index, Indianapolis ranks 73rd of the 75 largest U.S. cities in accessibility to public parks and open space, with some 67 percent of residents under served.
Indianapolis has an urban forestry program that has been recognized by the National Arbor Day Foundation's Tree City USA standards since 1988. The city's Youth Tree Program plants 2,000 trees each year.
8. LAW AND GOVERNMENT
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, consisting of 29 members, 25 of whom represent districts, with the remaining four are elected at-large. Following the 2011 elections, Democrats held 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.
Most of Indianapolis is within the 7th Congressional District of Indiana, represented by Democrat André Carson. Northern portions of the city are in the 5th District, represented by Republican Susan Brooks.
Until the late-1990s, Indianapolis was considered to be one of the most conservative metropolitan areas in the U.S., 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 (1967–1999). Unigov's absorption of Republican-leaning townships outside the city proper is considered the reason for this shift. More recently, Republicans have generally been stronger in the southern and western parts (Decatur, Franklin, Perry, and Wayne, townships) of the county, whereas 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.
In the 2008 presidential election, Democrat Barack Obama earned 64 percent of voter support in Marion County, compared with 35 percent for Republican John McCain. In the 2012 presidential election Obama again performed very strongly, defeating Republican presidential challenger Mitt Romney 60 percent to 38 percent.
Greg Ballard chose not to run for re-election in the 2015 mayoral election. Vying to replace him was 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. 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. Hogsett was elected with 63 percent of the vote, officially taking office on January 1, 2016. The election also left Democrats in control of the City-County Council, only the second time since the creation of Unigov that Democrats controlled both the mayor's office and council.
8.2 PUBLIC SAFETY
The Indianapolis Fire Department provides fire protection services for six townships in Marion County (Washington, Lawrence, Center, Warren, Perry, and Franklin), plus portions of the other three townships including Indianapolis' pre-Unigov boundaries. 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, IMPD is headed by a public safety director who appoints the police chief. 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 or police chief.
In the late 1990s, violent crimes in inner city neighborhoods located within the pre-Unigov city limits peaked. The former Indianapolis Police District (IPD), which serves about 37 percent 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 six times the 1998 national homicide average of 6.3 per 100,000 people. 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 138 homicides in 2014 and 60% of victims were young black men.
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 downtown. Certain areas of Indianapolis remain a challenge for law enforcement officials. Indianapolis was ranked as the 33rd most dangerous city in the U.S. in the 2008–2009 edition of CQ Press's City Crime Rankings and the 22nd most dangerous city according to Yahoo! Finance in 2012. 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.
9. PRIMARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION
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 the second-largest school corporation in Indiana.
The Archdiocese of Indianapolis operates four private high schools: Bishop Chatard, Roncalli, Cardinal Ritter, and Scecina Memorial. Other private schools include Brebeuf Jesuit, Park Tudor, Cathedral and Heritage Christian.
10. HIGHER EDUCATION
Indiana University – Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) was founded in 1969 after merging the branch campuses Indiana University Bloomington and Purdue University. IUPUI's enrollment is currently 30,000, making it the third largest campus for higher learning in Indiana. IUPUI is the flagship university for five Indiana University schools, including the Herron School of Art and Design, Robert H. McKinney School of Law, School of Dentistry, and the School of Medicine. Ivy Tech Community College of Indiana, a state-funded community college, was founded as Indiana Vocational Technical College in 1963. In 2008, Ivy Tech became the state's largest community college system, surpassing Indiana University in enrollment. With 30 campuses across Indiana, Ivy Tech has a total enrollment of over 174,000 as of the 2010–2011 school year.
Indianapolis is home to three private universities. Established in 1855, Butler University is the oldest higher education institution in the city and has a student enrollment of about 4,400, and offers over 60 major academic fields of study, eight pre-professional programs, and 19 graduate programs through six academic colleges. 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 affiliated with the Roman Catholic Church. Marian has an enrollment of about 2,400 students. The University of Indianapolis is 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.
Other institutions of higher education include Martin University and The Art Institute 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.
Public library services are provided to the citizens of Indianapolis and Marion County by the Indianapolis Public Library. Founded in 1873, the public library system includes the Central Library and 22 branches throughout Marion County. The renovated Central Library building opened on December 9, 2007, ending a controversial multi-year rebuilding plan. Indianapolis Public Library served 4.2 million patrons in 2014, with a circulation of 15.9 million materials.
Broadcast television network affiliates include WTTV (CBS), WRTV (ABC), WISH-TV (CW), WTHR-TV (NBC), WXIN-TV (Fox), WFYI-TV (PBS), WNDY-TV (MyNetworkTV), and WDNI-CD (Telemundo). 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 was founded on the White River under an incorrect assumption that it would serve as a major transportation artery, but the river proved difficult to navigate and too shallow during much of the year. After the steamboat Robert Hanna ran aground along the river in 1831, no steamboat successfully returned to Indianapolis. Flatboats continued to transport goods along a portion of the river until new dams impeded their ability to navigate its waters. The first major federally-funded highway in the U.S., the National Road, reached Indianapolis in 1836, followed by the railroad in 1847. By 1850, eight railroads converged in the city, ending its isolation from the rest of the country and ushering in a new era of growth. Indianapolis Union Station opened in the Wholesale District on September 20, 1853 as the world's first union station. Citizen's Street and Railway Company was established in 1864, operating the city's first mule-drawn streetcar line. By 1890, electric-powered streetcars began running. Opened in 1904, the Indianapolis Traction Terminal was the largest interurban station in the world, handling 500 trains daily and seven million passengers annually. Ultimately doomed by the automobile, the terminal closed in 1941, followed by the streetcar system in 1957.
Known as the Crossroads of America, Indianapolis is intersected by four Interstates: Interstate 65, Interstate 69, Interstate 70, and Interstate 74. An auxiliary beltway, Interstate 465, encircles the city. Other critical limited-access highways include the Sam Jones Expressway, U.S. 31, and Indiana State Road 37. The predominant mode of transportation is the automobile, with 92.6 percent of Indianapolis–Carmel–Anderson MSA residents commuting by car, most traveling alone (83.4 percent). This reliance on the automobile has had a major impact on the city's development patterns, with Walk Score ranking Indianapolis as the 47th most walkable large city in the U.S. Only 2.7 percent of residents walk or bike to work. In 2015, the city introduced BlueIndy, an electric carsharing program that will ultimately include 500 electric cars at 200 charging stations throughout the city.
The Indianapolis Public Transportation Corporation, branded as IndyGo, has operated the city's public transportation system since 1975. Recent efforts to expand mass transit in Central Indiana have been initiated through a $1.2 billion regional bus rapid transit plan called Indy Connect. The first segment to be constructed will be Phase I of the Red Line, traveling 14 miles (23 km) from Broad Ripple Village to the University of Indianapolis. In 2011, a private company called the Downtown Indianapolis Streetcar Corporation began studying the feasibility of a streetcar circulator for downtown Indianapolis. Despite only 1 percent of residents commuting via public transportation, IndyGo had a 2014 ridership of 10.3 million, the highest in 23 years.
Indianapolis International Airport is the busiest airport in the state. The $1.1 billion Col. H. Weir Cook Terminal opened in 2008 as the largest development initiative in Indianapolis history. The midfield terminal includes 40 gates connecting to ten major domestic and international airlines, serving some 7.36 million passengers annually. As home to the second-largest FedEx Express hub in the world, Indianapolis International ranks as the sixth busiest U.S. airport in terms of air cargo, handling nearly 1 million metric tons in 2014.
Amtrak provides two service lines to Indianapolis via Union Station. The Cardinal (New York—Washington, 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. The Indiana University Health People Mover opened in 2003. The 1.4-mile (2.3 km)-long system connects Indiana University Health's medical centers 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.
Electricity is provided by Indianapolis Power & Light. Citizens Energy Group provides natural gas, thermal, water, and wastewater services. Republic Services provides curbside solid waste and recycling removal. Covanta Energy operates a waste-to-energy plant in the city, processing solid waste for steam production. Steam is sold to Citizens Thermal for the downtown Indianapolis heating district.
15. HEALTH CARE
Indianapolis Emergency Medical Services (IEMS) covers six townships within Indianapolis (Washington, Lawrence, Center, Warren, Perry, and Franklin) as well as the Town of Speedway. IEMS responded to nearly 100,000 emergency dispatch calls in 2014.
Indiana University Health's Academic Health Center encompasses Marion County, with the medical centers of University Hospital, Methodist Hospital, and Riley Hospital for Children. The Academic Health Center is anchored by the Indiana University School of Medicine, the second-largest medical school in the U.S. Riley Hospital for Children is among the nation's foremost pediatric health centers, recognized in all ten specialties by U.S. News and World Report, including top 25 honors in orthopedics (23), nephrology (22), gastroenterology and GI surgery (16), pulmonology (13), and urology (4). The 430-bed facility also contains Indiana's only Pediatric Level I Trauma Center.
Indianapolis' public medical center, the Sidney and Lois Eskenazi Hospital, reopened in 2013 after a $754 million project to replace Wishard Memorial Hospital on the IUPUI campus. Eskenazi includes an Adult Level I Trauma Center, 315 beds, and 275 exam rooms, annually serving 1.2 million outpatients. Adjacent to Eskenazi, the Richard L. Roudebush VA Medical Center is Central Indiana's flagship Veterans Affairs hospital. Located on the city's far north side, St. Vincent Indianapolis Hospital is the flagship medical center of St. Vincent Health's 22-hospital system. St. Vincent Indianapolis includes Peyton Manning Children's Hospital, St. Vincent Heart Center of Indiana, St. Vincent Seton Specialty Hospital, and St. Vincent Women's Hospital. Franciscan St. Francis Health's flagship medical center is located on Indianapolis' far south side.
Community Health Network includes four medical centers in Marion County, including Community Westview Hospital, Community Hospital South, Community Hospital North, and Community Hospital East. Community Hospital East is currently replacing its 60-year-old facility with a $175 million, 150-bed hospital to be completed in 2019. The campus will also include a $120 million, 159-bed state-funded mental health and chronic addiction treatment facility. The Indiana Neuro-Diagnostic Institute will replace the antiquated Larue D. Carter Memorial Hospital in 2018.
16. SISTER CITIES
Indianapolis has six sister cities and two friendship cities as designated by Sister Cities International. Indianapolis was recognized by Sister Cities International with the "2013 Best Overall Program Award" for jurisdictions of population 500,000 and above.
Campinas, Brazil (2009)
Cologne, Germany (1988)
Monza, Italy (1993)
Northamptonshire County, United Kingdom (2009)
Piran, Slovenia (2001)
Taipei, Taiwan (1978)
Hangzhou, People's Republic of China (2009)
Hyderabad, India (2010)