Profile: Indianapolis, Indiana

Brush up on the basic facts about the capital of Indiana.
By: Susan McKee
Related To:

Population: 784,000 (city); 2 million (metro area)

USDA Hardiness Zone: 5

Major Airport: Indianapolis International Airport

Companies with a Major Presence: Eli Lilly and Company, General Motors, Clarian Health, St. Vincent Health and Hospital Corp., Purdue University, Allison Transmission Inc., Rolls Royce Corp., Peyton Manning Children’s Hospital and FedEx.

Indianapolis didn't start as a commercial center. There wasn't even an ancient human settlement on the site, although a significant trail used by Native Americans passed through the area. When the state of Indiana was established in 1816, its capital was near the Ohio River, in the southern part of the state.

The new state's leaders knew that if the territory was to grow and prosper, the capital city needed to be moved to the middle of the state. So a group set out on horseback in 1820 and selected a spot for a new city where Fall Creek flowed into White River, which they thought would provide a highway to the Ohio River.

The White River turned out to be too shallow for commercial navigation, but the location of the new city of Indianapolis proved a benefit in the long run. The first major road construction by the U.S. government, the National Road, passed right through town in the early 1800s, leading to a stream of settlers from the east. And the arrival of the railroad in the 1840s made Indiana's capital go boom.

Later, Indianapolis acquired the nickname of "Crossroads of America", and today rail lines and interstate highways continue its reputation as a transportation hub. The town also has a reputation as a serious sports town: It's home to the Indianapolis 500, the NBA's Indiana Pacers and the NFL's Indianapolis Colts.

Keep Reading

Next Up

Profile: Kansas City, Missouri

Get a brief overview of this Midwestern city that some call the Heart of America.

Profile: New York City, New York

Get a quick run-down of New York City with this profile.

5 Great Neighborhoods in Indianapolis

Find out why these communities, from Fountain Square to Broad Ripple Village, are the most popular with locals.

Profile: St. Louis, Missouri

Study up on the history, people, and culture of St. Louis.

Profile: San Antonio, Texas

Here, a cheat sheet on the city's demographics and history.

Profile: Brooklyn, New York

This visitor's guide to the bustling borough includes relocation information and top local destinations.

Indianapolis: Like No Place Else

From fast cars to football, here are the things that make Indianapolis unique.

Profile: San Diego, California

There's a lot to love about this West Coast urban beach town.

New York City: Like No Place Else

Discover NYC's unique attractions and find out why this city is like no place else.

Profile: San Jose, California

Learn about San Jose, CA with this visitor guide that includes relocation information, top local destinations and more.

On TV

Hawaii Life

10am | 9c

Hawaii Life

10:30am | 9:30c

Hawaii Life

11am | 10c

Hawaii Life

11:30am | 10:30c

Hawaii Life

12pm | 11c

Hawaii Life

12:30pm | 11:30c

Hawaii Life

1pm | 12c

Hawaii Life

1:30pm | 12:30c

Hawaii Life

2pm | 1c

Hawaii Life

2:30pm | 1:30c

Hawaii Life

3pm | 2c

Hawaii Life

3:30pm | 2:30c

Hawaii Life

4pm | 3c

Hawaii Life

4:30pm | 3:30c

Hawaii Life

5pm | 4c

Hawaii Life

5:30pm | 4:30c

Hawaii Life

6pm | 5c

Hawaii Life

6:30pm | 5:30c

Hawaii Life

7pm | 6c

Hawaii Life

7:30pm | 6:30c
On Tonight
On Tonight

Hawaii Life

8pm | 7c

Hawaii Life

8:30pm | 7:30c

Hawaii Life

9pm | 8c

Hawaii Life

9:30pm | 8:30c

Hawaii Life

10pm | 9c

Hawaii Life

10:30pm | 9:30c

Hawaii Life

11pm | 10c

Hawaii Life

11:30pm | 10:30c

Hawaii Life

12am | 11c

Hawaii Life

12:30am | 11:30c

Hawaii Life

1am | 12c

Hawaii Life

1:30am | 12:30c

Hawaii Life

2am | 1c

Hawaii Life

2:30am | 1:30c

Hawaii Life

3am | 2c

Hawaii Life

3:30am | 2:30c

Top GAC Shows

Flea Market Flip

All Sunday Marathons

Living Alaska

Mondays at 9|8c

Top 20 Countdown

Consult Program Guide

Flippin' RVs

Wednesdays 9|8c

Get Social With Us

Let's explore this country together.