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Carmel, Indiana
The Palladium at the Center for the Performing Arts and Carmel City Center
Official seal of Carmel, Indiana
"A Partnership for Tomorrow"
Location of Carmel in Hamilton County, Indiana
Location of Carmel in Hamilton County, Indiana
Country  United States
State  Indiana
County Hamilton
Township Clay
 • Total 50.17 sq mi (129.94 km2)
 • Land 49.09 sq mi (127.13 km2)
 • Water 1.08 sq mi (2.80 km2)
853 ft (260 m)
 • Total 99,757
 • Density 2,032.29/sq mi (784.67/km2)
Time zone UTC−5 (EST)
 • Summer (DST) UTC−4 (EDT)
ZIP codes
46032, 46033, 46074, 46082, 46280, 46290
Area code(s) 317, 463
FIPS code 18-10342
GNIS feature ID 0432143
Interstate Highways I-465
U.S. Highways
  • US 31
  • US 52
  • US 421

Carmel is a suburban city in Indiana immediately north of Indianapolis. With a population of 99,757, the city spans 49 square miles (130 km2) across Clay Township in Hamilton County, Indiana, and is bordered by the White River to the east; the Hamilton-Boone county line to the west; 96th Street to the south and 146th Street to the north. Though Carmel was home to one of the first electronic automated traffic signals in the state, the city has constructed 140 roundabouts (as of October 2021) since 1998, earning its moniker as the "Roundabout Capital of the U.S."

It is cited as one of the Best Places to Live in America by Money magazine and other surveys such as Wallet Hub, Niche, and SafeWise. The city has also been honored for being one of the safest in America, and best place to launch a career and to raise a family.


Carmel was originally called Bethlehem and, under the latter name, was laid out and platted in 1837. The original settlers were predominantly Quakers. Today, the plot first established in Bethlehem, located at the intersection of Rangeline Road and Main Street, is marked by a clock tower, donated by the local Rotary Club in 2002. A post office was established as Carmel in 1846. The town of Bethlehem was renamed Carmel in 1874, at which time it was incorporated.

In 1924, one of the first automatic traffic signals in the U.S. was installed at the intersection of Main Street and Rangeline Road. The signal was the invention of Leslie Haines and is currently in the old train station on the Monon Trail.

The Carmel Monon Depot, John Kinzer House, and Thornhurst Addition are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.


According to the 2010 census, Carmel has a total area of 48.545 square miles (125.73 km2), of which 47.46 square miles (122.92 km2) (or 97.76%) is land and 1.085 square miles (2.81 km2) (or 2.24%) is water.

Major east–west streets in Carmel generally end in a 6, and include 96th Street (the Southern border), 106th, 116th, 126th, 131st, 136th and 146th (the Northern Border). The numbering system is aligned to that of Marion and Hamilton counties. Main Street (131st) runs East-West through Carmel's Art & Design District; Carmel Drive runs East-West through a main shopping area; and City Center Drive runs East-West near Carmel's new City Center project.

North-south streets are not numbered, and include (west to east) Michigan, Shelborne, Towne, Ditch, Spring Mill, Meridian, Guilford, Rangeline, Keystone, Carey, Gray, Hazel Dell and River. Some of these roads are continuations of corresponding streets within Indianapolis. Towne Road replaces the name Township Line Road at 96th Street, while Westfield Boulevard becomes Rangeline north of 116th Street. Meridian Street (US 31) and Keystone Parkway (formerly SR 431) are the major thoroughfares, extending from (within Carmel) I–465 in the south and merging just south of 146th Street.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1880 92
1890 471 412.0%
1900 498 5.7%
1910 626 25.7%
1920 598 −4.5%
1930 682 14.0%
1940 771 13.0%
1950 1,009 30.9%
1960 1,442 42.9%
1970 6,691 364.0%
1980 18,272 173.1%
1990 25,380 38.9%
2000 37,733 48.7%
2010 79,191 109.9%
2020 99,757 26.0%
U.S. Decennial Census
2018 Estimate

According to a 2017 estimate, the median household income in the city was $109,201.

The median home price between 2013 and 2017 was $320,400.

2010 census

As of the census of 2010, there were 79,191 people, 28,997 households, and 21,855 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,668.6 inhabitants per square mile (644.3/km2). There were 30,738 housing units at an average density of 647.7 per square mile (250.1/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 85.4% White, 3.0% African American, 0.2% Native American, 8.9% Asian, 0.7% from other races, and 1.8% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino people of any race were 2.5% of the population.

There were 28,997 households, of which 41.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 66.6% were married couples living together, 6.3% had a female householder with no partner present, 2.4% had a male householder with no partner present, and 24.6% were non-families. 20.8% of all households were made up of individuals, and 6.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.71 and the average family size was 3.18.

The median age in the city was 39.2 years. 29.4% of residents were under the age of 18; 5.3% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 25.2% were from 25 to 44; 29.7% were from 45 to 64; and 10.4% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 48.7% male and 51.3% female.


The city of Carmel has been recognized with numerous awards and ratings for its programs and services.

  • Carmel voted #3 best place to live by Money Magazine in 2014
  • Carmel voted #1 best place to live by CNN Money Magazine 2012
  • Arborculture’s highest award – the Gold Leaf Award in 2002
  • The 2006 City Livability Award for Roundabouts. This award recognizes mayors for implementing programs to improve the quality of life in their districts. Carmel mayor Jim Brainard earned this award for his efforts to improve traffic flow to meet the area's growing population. He replaced stop-signs across Carmel with roundabouts, which are both safer and more efficient.


The Palladium
The Palladium at the Center for the Performing Arts, residence of the Carmel Symphony Orchestra (architect David M. Schwarz, 2006)

Rollfast Gran Fondo

Indiana's only Gran Fondo, this cycling event attracts professional cyclists as well as the recreational rider. The Fondo consists of 3 route options of various length. Each route is fully supported with food, drinks and mechanical support.

Carmel Farmers Market

Founded in 1998, the Carmel Farmers Market is one of the largest in the State of Indiana with over sixty vendors of Indiana-grown and/or produced edible products.

Carmel Monon Community Center

A $24.5 million water park and mega-fitness center is the center piece of Carmel's $55 million Central Park which opened in 2007.

Monon Trail

The Monon Greenway is a multi-use trail that is part of the Rails-to-Trails movement. It runs from 10th near downtown Indianapolis through Broad Ripple and then crosses into Carmel at 96th Street and continues north through 146th Street into Westfield. In the future, it is planned to run all the way to Sheridan. In January 2006 speed limit signs of 15 to 20 mph have been added to sections of the trail north of 96th Street which is the county line with Marion County (Indianapolis).

Carmel Arts & Design District

The Carmel Arts & Design District dedicated to the arts in Old Town Carmel.

Designed to promote small businesses and local artisans, Carmel's Arts and Design District and City Center is in Old Town Carmel and flanked by Carmel High School on the east and the Monon Greenway on the west, the Carmel Arts and Design District includes the award winning Carmel Clay Public Library, the Hamilton County Convention & Visitor's Bureau and Welcome Center and a collection of art galleries, boutiques, interior designers, cafes and restaurants. Lifelike sculptures by John Seward Johnson II, "The Normal Rockwell of American Sculpture", ornament the streets of the District.

The District hosts several annual events and festivals. Celebrating decades of automobile engineering and craftsmanship, the Carmel Artomobilia Collector Car Show showcases a vast array of classic, vintage, exotic and rare cars and art inspired by automobile design. Every September, the Carmel International Arts Festival features a juried art exhibit of artists from around the world, concerts, dance performances, and hands-on activities for children.

In the heart of the district stands the Museum of Miniature Houses, open since 1993, and celebrating the creativity and craftsmanship of the miniature art form. The museum has seven exhibit rooms full of fully furnished houses, room displays and collections of miniature glassware, clocks, tools, dolls, etc.

Carmel City Center

Carmel City Center is a one million square foot, $300 million, mixed-use development located in the heart of Carmel, Indiana. Carmel City Center is the location for The Center for the Performing Arts, which includes a 1600-seat concert hall named “The Palladium” and a 500-seat theater named “The Tarkington” and a 200-seat black box theater. This pedestrian-based master plan development is located at the southwest corner of City Center Drive (126th Street) and Range Line Road. The Monon Greenway runs directly through the project. Carmel City Center was developed as a public/private partnership.


Village Park Plaza and Clay Terrace are the two largest retail centers in Carmel. Other shopping areas include: Carmel City Center, Mohawk Trails Plaza, Merchants' Square and much more. Downtown, also known as Old Town Carmel is rich in shopping along Main Street, Rangeline Road, 3rd Avenue, and 2nd Street.

Japanese Garden

Ground was broken for the Japanese Garden south of City Hall in 2007. The garden was dedicated in 2009 as the 15th anniversary of Carmel's Sister City relationship with Kawachinagano, Japan was celebrated. An Azumaya style tea gazebo was constructed in 2011 and dedicated on May 2.


The Meridian Corridor serves as a large concentration of corporate office space within the city. It is home to more than 40 corporate headquarters and many more regional offices. Several large companies reside in Carmel, and it serves as the national headquarters for Allegion, CNO Financial Group, MISO, KAR Global and Delta Faucet.

Top employers

As of January 2017, the city's 10 largest employers were:

# Employer # of employees
1 CNO Financial Group 1,600
2 Geico 1,250
3 RCI, LLC 1,125
4 Capital Group Companies 975
5 Liberty Mutual 900
6 KAR Auction Services (Adesa) 892
7 IU Health North 800
8 Midcontinent ISO 700
9 NextGear Capital 694
10 Allegion 595


Public schools

Carmel marching band
The Carmel High school greyhounds marching band, on performance at Pasadena, 2014

The Carmel Clay Schools district has 11 elementary schools, three middle schools, and one high school. Student enrollment for the district is above 14,500.

The elementary schools include:

  • Carmel Elementary
  • Cherry Tree Elementary
  • College Wood Elementary
  • Forest Dale Elementary
  • Mohawk Trails Elementary
  • Clay Center Elementary
  • Prairie Trace Elementary
  • Smoky Row Elementary
  • Towne Meadow Elementary
  • West Clay Elementary
  • Woodbrook Elementary

The middle schools include:

  • Carmel Middle School
  • Clay Middle School
  • Creekside Middle School

All middle schools feed into Carmel High School (grades 9–12).

Independent schools

Carmel has several private schools, including:

  • Coram Deo Academy (kindergarten–12th grade)
  • Midwest Academy (grades 3–12)
  • Our Lady of Mount Carmel Catholic School (kindergarten–8th grade)
  • Pilgrim Lutheran Preschool (preschool)
  • St. Elizabeth Seton Preschool (preschool, pre-kindergarten, and kindergarten)
  • University High School (grades 9–12)
  • Walnut Grove Christian Prep School (kindergarten–12th grade)

Notable people

Images for kids

See also

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