Indianapolis (pronounced /ˌɪndiəˈnæpəlɪs/) is the capital and largest city of the U.S. state of Indiana and the seat of Marion County. It is located in the East North Central region of the Midwestern United States. The city covers 372 square miles (963.5 km²) with an estimated population of 853,173 in 2015, making it the second most populous city in the Midwest, after Chicago, and 14th largest in the United States. The city is the economic and cultural center of the Indianapolis metropolitan area, home to 2 million people, the 34th most populous metropolitan statistical area in the United States. Its combined statistical area ranks 26th, with 2.4 million inhabitants. Indianapolis anchors the 26th largest economic region in the United States.
Founded in 1821 as a planned city for the new seat of the government of Indiana, 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 Road solidified the city's position as a manufacturing and transportation hub. Indianapolis is within a single-day drive of 70 percent of the nation's population, lending to its nickname as the "Crossroads of America." Indianapolis' economy is based on business services, transportation and logistics, education, financial services, hospitality and tourism, and distribution services. Indianapolis has developed niche markets in amateur sports and auto racing. The city hosts numerous events annually, most notably the Indianapolis 500, the largest single-day sporting event in the world.
The city's philanthropic community has been instrumental in the development of its most noted cultural institutions, including The Children's Museum of Indianapolis (the world's largest) and Indiana Landmarks (the country's largest statewide historic preservation organization). Indianapolis-based Lilly Endowment is among the largest foundations in the United States, with nearly $10 billion in assets. The city maintains the largest collection of monuments dedicated to veterans and war dead in the country, 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.