Indianapolis (/ˌɪndiəˈnæpəlɪs/), often shortened to Indy, is the capital and most populous city of the U.S. state of Indiana and the seat of Marion County. As of 2017, Indianapolis is the third most populous city in the American Midwest and 16th most populous in the U.S., with an estimated population of 863,002. The Indianapolis metropolitan area is the 34th most populous metropolitan statistical area in the U.S., with 2,028,614 residents. Its combined statistical area ranks 27th, with a population of 2,411,086. Indianapolis covers 368 square miles (950 km2), making it the 16th largest city by land area in the U.S.
Indigenous peoples inhabited the area dating to approximately 2000 BC. In 1818, the Delaware relinquished title to their tribal lands in the Treaty of St. Mary's. In 1821, Indianapolis was founded as a planned city for the new seat of Indiana's state government. The city was platted by Alexander Ralston and Elias Pym Fordham on a 1 square mile (2.6 km2) grid adjacent to the White River. Completion of the National and Michigan roads and arrival of rail (1847) later solidified the city's position as a manufacturing and transportation hub. Two of the city's nicknames originate from its historical ties to transportation—the "Crossroads of America" and "Railroad City".
Indianapolis anchors the 27th largest economic region in the U.S., based primarily on the sectors of finance and insurance, manufacturing, professional and business services, education and health care, government, and wholesale trade. 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. Indianapolis has hosted international multi-sport events such as the 1987 Pan American Games and 2001 World Police and Fire Games.
Indianapolis is home to two major sports clubs, the Indiana Pacers of the National Basketball Association and the Indianapolis Colts of the National Football League. The city's philanthropic community has helped develop its cultural institutions and collections, including the world's largest children's museum, one of the nation's largest privately funded zoos,
historic buildings and sites, and public art. Indianapolis is home to a significant collection of monuments dedicated to veterans and war casualties, the most in the U.S. outside of Washington, D.C. Since the 1970 city-county consolidation, known as Unigov, local government administration operates under the direction of an elected 25-member city-county council headed by the mayor. Indianapolis is considered a "high sufficiency" world city.
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