2010: 820,445, #12 in U.S., #1 in Indiana

1950: 427,123, #23 in U.S.

2010 Metropolitan Area: 1,756,241, #34 in U.S.

1950 Metropolitan Area: 551,777, #29 in U.S.

In 1970, the city of Indianapolis was merged with many of the suburbs in Marion County to create a consolidated city-county government. This made a huge difference in the city’s population, which went from 476,258 in the 1960 census to 777,624 in the 1970 census.


The site of Indianapolis was chosen in 1820 as the capital of Indiana because it was in the exact center of the state. The White River is on the west side of downtown. Today, White River State Park is on a former industrial site along the river and the Indiana Central Canal. The park has open space, walkways, boat rentals, museums, and the Indianapolis Zoo. Indiana University-Purdue University at Indianapolis is just northwest of downtown.


Tallest building: Salesforce Tower, 811 feet (1990)

List of tallest buildings

The Soldiers' and Sailors' Monument (285 feet, 1902), located in Monument Circle in the middle of downtown, has a public observation deck.
The domed Indiana Statehouse (1888) is 254 feet tall.


Circle Centre (1995) is a downtown enclosed shopping mall, The Carson's department store closed in 2018, and the Nordstrom store closed in 2011.


Amtrak's Cardinal runs three days a week, in each direction, between Chicago and New York City. Until June 2019, the Hoosier State also ran between Indianapolis and Chicago on the other four days a week. Amtrak uses a small downtown station, adjacent to the old Union Station (1888), now used for offices, a hotel, and a restaurant.

Downtown Indianapolis


The Indiana State Museum and Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art are located downtown.


The United Artists Circle Centre 9 is downtown. The Hilbert Circle Theater (1916) is a renovated movie palace now used by the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra. The Indiana Theater (1927) is a former movie palace now used by the Indiana Repertory Theatre.

Indianapolis Opera plays at the Toby theater at Newfields, north of downtown. Broadway in Indianapolis has touring musicals at Clowes Hall, on the campus of Butler University, and at the Murat Theatre, the former Murat Shrine (1910). 


The Indianapolis Indians, Triple-A International League affiliate of the Pittsburgh Pirates, play at Victory Field (1996), on the west side of downtown. The NFL Indianapolis Colts play at Lucas Oil Stadium (2008), which replaced the now-demolished RCA Dome. The NBA Indiana Pacers play at Bankers Life Fieldhouse (1999). 

Map of Downtown Indianapolis