Evansville is the commercial, medical and cultural hub of Southwestern Indiana and the Illinois-Indiana-Kentucky tri-state area. It is the third-largest city in the state of Indiana and the largest city in Southern Indiana. As of the 2010 census, the city had a total population of 117,429 and a metropolitan population of 358,676. It is the county seat of Vanderburgh County.
Situated on an oxbow in the Ohio River, the city is often referred to as "River City". As testament to the Ohio's grandeur, early French explorers named it La Belle Riviere ("The Beautiful River"). The area has been inhabited by various cultures for millennia, dating back at least 10,000 years. Angel Mounds was a permanent settlement of the Mississippian culture from 1000 AD to around 1400 AD. The city itself was founded in 1812.
The broad economic base of the region has helped to build an economy which is known for its stability, diversity, and vitality. Four NYSE companies (ACW, BERY, LEAF, VVC) are headquartered in Evansville, along with the global operations center for NYSE company Mead Johnson. Three other companies traded on the NASDAQ (ESCA, ONB, SCVL) are located in Evansville. The city is home to public and private enterprise in many areas, as Evansville serves as the economic hub of the region.
The city has several well known educational institutions. The University of Evansville is a small private school located on the city's east side, while the University of Southern Indiana (formally Indiana State University-Evansville) is a larger public institution located just outside of the city's westside limits. Other local educational institutions have also garnered praise and attention, including nationally ranked Signature School and the Evansville Vanderburgh Public Library. In 2008, Evansville was voted the best city in the country in which "to live, work, and play" by the readers of Kiplinger, and in 2009 the 11th best.