Indianapolis (/ˌɪndiəˈnæpəlɪs/) is the capital of the U.S. state of Indiana and the seat of Marion County. It is located in the East North Central region of theMidwest, near the confluence of the White River and Fall Creek. The city covers 372 square miles (963.5 km²) and had an estimated population of 853,173 in 2015, making it the largest city in Indiana, second largest in the Midwest, and 14th largest in the U.S. Approximately 1,971,274 people live in the Indianapolis metropolitan area (MSA), the 33rd most populous MSA in the U.S. Its combined statistical area (CSA) ranks 26th, with a population of 2,336,237.
Founded in 1821 as a planned city for the new seat of Indiana's state government, Indianapolis was platted by Alexander Ralston and Elias Pym Fordham on a 1-square-mile (2.6 km2) grid. The city grew beyond the Mile Square, as the advent of the railroad and completion of the National Roadsolidified the city's role as a manufacturing and transportation hub. Indianapolis continues to be a distribution and logistics center, as more interstate highways intersect with the city than any other in the U.S. This has led to the city's nickname as the "Crossroads of America." Three Fortune 500, four Fortune 1000 companies, and a robust sport tourism and convention industry, contributed to a gross domestic product (GDP) of $125.8 billion in 2014. Indianapolis hosts many notable events annually, including the largest single-day sporting event in the world, the Indianapolis 500 automobile race. As headquarters for the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), the city frequently hosts the Men's and Women's basketball tournaments. It hosted Pan American Games X in 1987 and Super Bowl XLVI in 2012.
The city's philanthropic community has been instrumental in the development of its most well-known cultural institutions, including The Children's Museum of Indianapolis, Indianapolis Museum of Art, Indianapolis Zoo, Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art, Indiana State Museum, and Indiana Landmarks. Indianapolis-based Lilly Endowment holds the fifth largest endowment in the U.S., with nearly $10 billion in assets. The city maintains the largest collection of monuments dedicated to veterans and war dead 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.