Evansville is a city in and the county seat of Vanderburgh County, Indiana, United States. The population was 117,429 at the 2010 census. As the state's third-largest city and the largest city in Southern Indiana, it is the commercial, medical, and cultural hub of Southwestern Indiana and the Illinois-Indiana-Kentucky tri-state area, home to over 911,000 people. The 38th parallel crosses the north side of the city and is marked on Interstate 69.
Situated on an oxbow in the Ohio River, the city is often referred to as the "Crescent Valley" or "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 build an economy which is known for its stability, diversity, and vitality. Four NYSE companies (Accuride, Berry Plastics, Springleaf, and Vectren) are headquartered in Evansville, along with the global operations center for NYSE company Mead Johnson. Three other companies traded on the NASDAQ (Escalade, Old National Bank, and Shoe Carnival) 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.
A popular tourist destination for the region, Evansville is home to Tropicana Evansville, the state's first casino, Mesker Park Zoo and Botanic Garden, one of the oldest and largest zoos in the state, and a robust sports tourism industry. 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 is a larger public institution located just outside 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.