Indianapolis is the capital of the state 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.
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.
Population Density in Indianapolis
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.
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 are now 29.3% African American, but the metropolitan area is 16% black. 1 in 8 people living in Central Indiana is 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 1970s and '80s, 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.
The area of Indianapolis was initially 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 significant 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 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 proliferated, 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 typical 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 Indianapolis-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 can add by the next census in 2020.