Indianapolis Population 2016

Indianapolis is the capital of Indiana and the 13th largest city in the United States. It was also recently ranked by Forbes as one of the best downtowns in the country with movie theaters, museums, art galleries, parks, retail shops and entertainment, and its greater area has seen moderate growth in the past few years.

The 2010 Census placed the population of Indianapolis at 829,718. This number has grown slowly, adding about 8,000 people per year, and the 2013 population of Indianapolis is estimated at 838,000.

Indianapolis Population 2014

The Indianapolis population has grown modestly since the 2010 Census, and it's now estimated that there are 838,000 people in the city. The metropolitan statistical area is much larger at 1.76 million, which is the 34th largest in the country. The combined statistical area had a population in 2010 of 2.08 million.

Indianapolis currently has a population density of about 2,273 people per square mile, or 861 per square kilometer, so it does have room to expand.

Indianapolis Demographics

According to the 2010 Census, the ethnic and racial composition of Indianapolis was:

  • White: 58%
  • Black or African American: 27.2%
  • American Indian: 0.2%
  • Asian: 2.1%
  • Other race: 0.3% (non-Hispanic)
  • Two or more races: 2.2% (non-Hispanic)
  • Hispanic or Latino of any race: 10% (6.5% Mexican, 1.3% Puerto Rican, 1.1% Honduran, 1% Guatemalan, 0.1% other)

In 2013, it was announced that African Americans in Indianapolis had reached a new milestone: a total population of 300,000, which is an increase of 3.9% over the 2010 Census data. The city and county is now 29.3% African American, but the metropolitan area is 16% black. 1 in 8 people living in Central Indiana are African American.

In 1970, non-Hispanic whites accounted for 80% of the Indianapolis population, and Indianapolis was the 11th largest city in the US. In the 1970's and 80's, the city suffered from white flight and urban decay, and major revitalization efforts in the most blighted areas during the 1980's help to accelerate growth on the fringes of the metro region.

A 2010 study from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee found that Indianapolis is the least segregated city in the northern US, with 25% of its population living on a block with both black and white residents.

Indianapolis History

The area of Indianapolis was originally inhabited by the Miami and Lenape (Delaware) Native American tribes, who were displaced around 1820. Indianapolis was chosen as the site of the state capital in 1820 and, while most state capitals are chosen in the central area of the state, Indianapolis is the closest capital to being in the exact center of Indianapolis.

The city was founded on the White River on the false assumption that this river could be a source of major transportation, but settlers eventually found it was too sandy for trade transportation. The city's name comes from Jeremiah Sullivan, a judge for the Indiana Supreme Court, who joined Indiana with "polis," a Greek word meaning city.

Alexander Ralston was then commissioned to design the new city, and had assisted previously with the design for Washington, D.C. By the early 20th century, Indianapolis was actually a major auto manufacturer, rivaling Detroit, and it was a major hub of regional transport that earned it the nickname "the Crossroads of America."

Through the beginning of the 20th century, Indianapolis grew rapidly, although fast suburbanization started around 1950 and race relations deteriorated. It's believed a speech by Robert Kennedy, in town campaigning for President on the night that Martin Luther King, Jr was assassinated, that saved Indianapolis from riots that occurred throughout the United States.

While its growth has slowed significantly, Indianapolis is still a major transportation hub with a thriving economy and population.

Indianapolis Population Growth

For the 6th year in a row, Indiana's population growth rate has dropped. The US Census Bureau estimates that Indiana's population grew about 0.3% in 2012, although it has remained higher than adjacent states and this sluggish growth is common throughout the United States.

Columbus, Ohio has a population that's pretty comparable to Indianapolis, but about 30,000 lower. Columbus has a much higher growth rate and it's believed it will surpass Indianapolis by 2020.

Despite its sluggish growth, it's predicted the entire state of Indiana will grow 15% by 2050, and populations in counties surrounding Indianapolis are expected to grow the most. The Indianapois-Carmel metro area has always been the growth engine for the state, and accounted for 57% of Indiana's growth between 2000 and 2010. By 2030, it's expected to be responsible for 62% of the state's growth. It will be interesting to see just how many people Indianapolis is able to add by the next census in 2020.

Indianapolis Population in 2016 Source: Jasssmit

Indianapolis Population Data (Urban Area)

Year Population Growth Rate (%) Growth
1950 505,000 0.00% 0
1955 570,000 12.90% 65,000
1960 643,000 12.80% 73,000
1965 729,000 13.40% 86,000
1970 821,000 12.60% 92,000
1975 829,000 1.00% 8,000
1980 838,000 1.10% 9,000
1985 877,000 4.70% 39,000
1990 921,000 5.00% 44,000
1995 1,063,000 15.40% 142,000
2000 1,225,000 15.20% 162,000
2005 1,353,000 10.40% 128,000
2010 1,495,000 10.50% 142,000
2015 1,646,000 10.10% 151,000
2016 1,672,000 1.60% 26,000
2020 1,768,000 5.70% 96,000
2025 1,868,000 5.70% 100,000
2030 1,961,000 5.00% 93,000
Indianapolis Population Growth

Indianapolis's 2016 population is now estimated at 1,672,000. In 1950, the population of Indianapolis was 505,000. Indianapolis has grown by 26,000 in the last year, which represents a 1.60% change. These population estimates and projections come from the latest revision of the UN World Urbanization Prospects. These estimates represent the Urban agglomeration of Indianapolis, which typically includes Indianapolis's population in addition to adjacent suburban areas.