The state of Indiana, Indianapolis, is located in the east-central region of the Midwest of the United States, in the center of Indiana. Indianapolis is the largest city and the capital of the U. S. state of Indiana, located on the White River in central Indiana.
It is about 100 miles (160 km) northwest of Cincinnati and 163 miles (260 km) southeast of Chicago. The city center is situated on the eastern bank of the White River, near the site where Fall Creek meets the White River. Indianapolis is a planned municipality, its design resembling that of Washington, D. C.
The climate is typical of the center-east of the Midwest, with warm to hot summers and cold winters; rainfall is moderate and distributed fairly evenly throughout the year. Beginning in the 1880s, meat packaging and metallurgy emerged as important industries. The latter led to the development of automotive manufacturing as a central element of the city's economy. The population of Indianapolis surpassed 100,000 in 1890 and continued to grow rapidly in the 20th century.
The city was also a center of labor organization in the late 19th century, and several influential unions, including the Carpenters and Carpenters Union, the International Typographic Union, and the United States Mining Workers Union, established their headquarters there. The Indianapolis Motor Speedway opened in 1909 in the suburbs of Speedway as a test track for local automotive plants. The first 500 mile (800 km) car race, held there in 1911, was won by a locally manufactured Marmon race car. Although automotive manufacturing eventually left the city, the Indianapolis 500 (held annually in late May the weekend before Memorial Day) has become one of the world's leading car races and attracts a huge audience.
Indianapolis is one of the most populated cities in the world, it is not found in navigable waters, although it is a hub for road, rail and air transportation. These facilities and its position in the middle of the Corn Belt, close to large coal deposits and consumer markets have combined to turn it into an important commercial, financial and industrial center. Pharmaceutical and chemical products, machinery, plastics, wood and paper products, and electrical and transportation equipment (including televisions and audio equipment) are major products. It is also a regional center for distribution, retail and health care, and tourism has grown in importance.
Beginning in the 1970s, Indianapolis worked to become an international amateur sports center, an effort that produced significant economic growth. In addition to NCAA events, organizations such as National Institute of Fitness and Sport have established their headquarters there. Other facilities for fans include Indianapolis Tennis Center (197) and Major Taylor Velodrome (198), a bicycle racetrack. Lucas Oil Stadium (200) is home to Colts professional American football team while Bankers Life Fieldhouse (1999; formerly Conseco Fieldhouse) is home to Pacers (men's) and Fever (women's) professional basketball teams.
The Indiana State Fairgrounds with more than 55 permanent buildings including Art Deco Pepsi Coliseum (193) is a hub for business and social activities. President Benjamin Harrison (187) and poet James Whitcomb Riley (187) have been preserved as museums while other prominent residents include Charles Warren Fairbanks (vice-president of Theodore Roosevelt), authors Booth Tarkington and Kurt Vonnegut Jr. Indiana University (Purdue University), Indianapolis (196) includes Herron School of Art (190) and an internationally renowned medical center.