Indianapolis Population 2017

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.

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.

Year Population Change
2015 853,173 4.00%
2010 820,445 4.90%
2000 781,870 6.90%
1990 731,327 4.40%
1980 700,807 -5.90%
1970 744,624 56.30%
1960 476,258 11.50%
1950 427,173 10.40%
1940 386,972 6.30%
1930 364,161 15.90%
1920 314,194 34.50%
1910 233,650 38.10%
1900 169,164 60.40%
1890 105,436 40.50%
1880 75,056 55.60%
1870 48,244 159.20%
1860 18,611 130.00%
1850 8,091 200.60%
1840 2,692 0.00%

Indianapolis Population in 2017 Source: Jasssmit

Indianapolis Race Data

Race Population Percentage
White 517,968 62.02%
Black or African American 232,585 27.85%
American Indian and Alaska Native 2,085 0.25%
Asian 19,926 2.39%
Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander 256 0.03%
Some Other Race 39,479 4.73%
Two or More Races 22,798 2.73%

Population Pyramid

Indianapolis Housing Indicators

Indicator Value
Total Housing Units 382,114
Owner-Occupied Units 177,344
Renter-Occupied Units 152,899
Median Home Value $118,300
Median Rent $791
Vacancy Rate 13.6%
Houses With Mortgage 128,707
Houses Without Mortgage 48,637
Median Number of Rooms (per House) 5.4

This chart shows the employment and labor force participation rates in Indianapolis for residents over 16 years of age. The 2015 unemployment rate is 6.9% and the labor force participation rate is 67.5%.

Indianapolis Family/Household Indicators

Indicator Value
Average Household Size 2.5
Average Family Size 3.28
Married Couple Families 118,131
Male Householder (no wife) Families 16,503
Female Householder (no husband) Families 54,381
Non Family Households
Unmarried Partner Households (Opposite Sex) 6.8%
Unmarried Partner Households (Same Sex) 0.7%