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10 Biggest Cities in Indiana: How Well Do You Know The Hoosier State?

By    |   Sunday, 05 April 2015 03:21 PM

People may think of Indianapolis when they think of Indiana, but how well do you know the city? Here's a look at the largest city in Indiana and nine of the other biggest cities in the state.

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1. Indianapolis

Indianapolis, Indiana’s capital and the largest city in the state with a population of more than 820,000, is also the 12th most populous city in the U.S. It has a consolidated city-county form of government, one of only 27 in the country. The city is best known for the Indianapolis 500, which has been running since 1911, although technically the race occurs in Speedway, a suburb of the city.

2. Fort Wayne

Fort Wayne, on the eastern edge of the state just 18 miles from Ohio, is the state’s second largest city with a population of just over 250,000. The city was an industrial power through much of the 20th century, but was hit by the de-industrialization, which hit the Rust Belt beginning in the 1970s and 1980s. International Harvester closed its manufacturing plant in 1982, with a loss of 10,600 jobs. Combined with GE’s reductions in its workforce, the city lost 30,000 jobs although GM arrived in 1987 to employ 3,000 at its Fort Wayne assembly plant.

3. Evansville

Evansville, the third largest city in Indiana, is located in the southwest corner of the state and its a center for the tri-state region including neighboring Illinois and Kentucky. It has maintained a strong manufacturing base in the region including Alcoa in Newburgh, Arkansas, Steel in Rockport, SABIC in Mount Vernon, and Toyota in Princeton, while also growing its medical and health sciences employment.

4. South Bend

South Bend is best known for the University of Notre Dame, which has about 8,000 undergraduates and nearly 4,700 employees, making it the largest employer in St. Joseph County. Famous for its football team, the university has five colleges and a large graduate program, including a School of Architecture that focuses on pre-modern traditional styles and urban planning.

The population of South Bend has declined since a peak of 132,445 in 1960, as people moved to the suburbs or simply left the area for work after heavy industry, including Studebaker, shut down.

5. Carmel

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Just north of Indianapolis, Carmel has been one of the fastest growing cities in the country, reaching a population of more than 87,000 people by 2013. The city has an unusual claim to fame as the unofficial “Roundabout Capital” of the U.S. It has installed over 80 roundabouts which it claims have reduced accidents by 40 percent.

6. Bloomington

Bloomington is home to Indiana University, Bloomington with more than 42,000 students. The university’s Archives of Traditional Music and Department of Folklore and Ethnomusicology, has drawn leading musicians to visit, teach and live.

The university and Ivy Tech, a branch of the state-wide community college system, have also sparked a lot of technology development. The university has received 500 patents and 40 new companies have grown out of its technology innovations.

7. Hammond

Hammond’s population reached 80,830 at the 2010 census, replacing Gary from the leading spot in Indiana’s Lake County. It is taking advantage of its location on the south end of Lake Michigan to promote festivals.

8. Gary

Indiana cities almost define Rust Belt, homes to heavy manufacturing in steel and auto plants that were decimated after 1970 by underinvestment, obsolete plants, foreign competitors and labor strife.

The population of Gary fell from more than 178,000 in 1960 to about 80,000 in the 2010 census, and is a poster child for Rust Belt devastation. An estimated 10,000 to 15,000 homes have been abandoned, and while US Steel continues to manufacture, it does so with just a fraction of the staff it once employed.

9. Lafayette

Sixty-three miles northwest of Indianapolis, Lafayette’s 70,000 population makes in 10th in the state. Purdue University, across the river in West Lafayette, is the largest employer.

The West Lafayette campus offers more than 200 majors for undergraduates, over 70 master’s and doctoral programs, and professional degrees in pharmacy and veterinary medicine. Major employers in the region are Subaru of Indiana with 3,700, Wabash National with 3,323 and Caterpillar – whose Lafayette Large Engine Center employs about 1,675.

10. Columbus

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A small city of about 45,000 people 40 miles south of Indianapolis, Columbus draws architects and architecture enthusiasts from around the world. In 1991, American Institute of Architects ranked it sixth among American cities for its architecture. It is home to an unprecedented number of works by leading American modern architects, courtesy of Cummins, the Fortune 500 diesel engine maker, which is based there.

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People may think of Indianapolis when they think of Indiana, but how well do you know the city? Here's a look at the largest city in Indiana and nine of the other biggest cities in the state.
biggest cities, indiana
Sunday, 05 April 2015 03:21 PM
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