Indianapolis (pronounced /ndi.npls/), is the capital and largest city of the U.S. state of Indiana and the seat of Marion County. It is in the East North Central region of the Midwestern United States. With an estimated population of 855,164 in 2016, Indianapolis is the third most populous city in the Midwest and 15th most populous in the U.S. The city is the economic and cultural center of the Indianapolis metropolitan area, home to 2 million people, the 34th most populous metropolitan statistical area in the U.S. Its combined statistical area ranks 27th, with 2.38 million inhabitants. Indianapolis covers 372sqmi (960km2), making it the 16th largest city by land area in the U.S.
Founded in 1821 as a planned city for the new seat of the government of Indiana, Indianapolis was platted by Alexander Ralston and Elias Pym Fordham on a 1sqmi (2.6km2) grid adjacent to the White River. The city grew beyond the Mile Square, as completion of the National Road and advent of the railroad solidified the city's position as a manufacturing and transportation hub. Indianapolis is within a single-day drive of 70 percent of the nation's population, lending to one of its nicknames as the "Crossroads of America". Anchoring the 26th largest economic region in the U.S., the city's economy is based primarily on business services, transportation and logistics, education, financial services, hospitality and tourism, and distribution services. Indianapolis has developed niche markets in amateur sports and auto racing. The city is perhaps best known for annually hosting the world's largest single-day sporting event, the Indianapolis 500.
Led by the Lilly Endowment, the city's philanthropic community has been instrumental in the development of its cultural institutions, such as The Children's Museum of Indianapolis and Indianapolis Museum of Art. The city is notable as headquarters for the American Legion and home to a significant collection of monuments dedicated to veterans and war dead, the most in the U.S. outside of Washington, D.C. Since the 1970 city-county consolidation, known as Unigov, local government administration has operated under the direction of an elected 25-member city-county council headed by the mayor. Indianapolis is considered a "high sufficiency" global city.
In 1816, the year Indiana gained statehood, the U.S. Congress donated four sections of federal land to establish a permanent seat of state government. Two years later, under the Treaty of St. Mary's (1818), the Delaware relinquished title to their tribal lands in central Indiana, agreeing to leave the area by 1821. This tract of land, which was called the New Purchase, included the site selected for the new state capital in 1820.
Learn more about Indianapolis, IN