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Hammond, Indiana
City of Hammond
Flag of Hammond, Indiana
Location of Hammond in Lake County, Indiana.
Location of Hammond in Lake County, Indiana.
Country  United States
State  Indiana
County Lake
Township North
Settled 1847
Incorporated (town) December 4, 1883
Incorporated (city) April 21, 1884
Named for George H. Hammond
 • Type Mayor-Council
 • Total 23.81 sq mi (61.68 km2)
 • Land 22.73 sq mi (58.86 km2)
 • Water 1.09 sq mi (2.81 km2)
577–610 ft (176–186 m)
 • Total 77,879
 • Density 3,426.72/sq mi (1,323.04/km2)
Standard of living (2008–12)
 • Per capita income $18,148
 • Median home value $94,800
Time zone UTC−6 (Central)
 • Summer (DST) UTC−5 (Central)
ZIP codes
46320, 46323-25, 46327
Area code 219
FIPS code 18-31000
GNIS feature ID 0435658
Interstates I-80.svg Indiana Toll Road logo 1968.svg I-90.svg I-94.svg
U.S. Routes US 6.svg US 12.svg US 20.svg US 41.svg
State Roads Indiana 152.svg Indiana 312.svg Indiana 912.svg
Waterways Grand Calumet River
Lake Michigan
Amtrak station Hammond-Whiting
South Shore Line station Hammond

Hammond ( HAM-ənd) is a city in Lake County, Indiana, United States. It is part of the Chicago metropolitan area, and the only city in Indiana to border Chicago. First settled in the mid-19th century, it is one of the oldest cities of northern Lake County. As of the 2020 United States census, it is also the largest in population: the 2020 population was 77,879, replacing Gary as the most populous city in Lake County. From north to south, Hammond runs from Lake Michigan down to the Little Calumet River; from east to west along its southern border, it runs from the Illinois state line to Cline Avenue. The city is traversed by numerous railroads and expressways, including the South Shore Line, Borman Expressway, and Indiana Toll Road. Notable local landmarks include the parkland around Wolf Lake and the Horseshoe Hammond riverboat casino. Part of the Rust Belt, Hammond has been industrial almost from its inception, but is also home to a Purdue University campus and numerous historic districts that showcase the residential and commercial architecture of the early 20th century.


Hammond is located at 41°36′40″N 87°29′35″W / 41.61111°N 87.49306°W / 41.61111; -87.49306 (41.611185, −87.493080).

The city's elevation above sea level ranges from 577 feet (176 m) to 610 feet (186 m). The city sits within the boundaries of the former Lake Chicago. Most of the city is on sandy soil with a layer of black topsoil that varies from non-existent to several feet (a meter or more) thick. Much of the exposed sand has been removed for purposes such as industrial use to make concrete and glass. According to the 2010 census, Hammond has a total area of 24.886 square miles (64.45 km2), of which 22.78 square miles (59.00 km2) (or 91.54%) is land and 2.106 square miles (5.45 km2) (or 8.46%) is water.

Lakes and rivers

Adjacent cities, towns and villages



Historical population
Census Pop.
1880 699
1890 5,284 655.9%
1900 12,376 134.2%
1910 20,925 69.1%
1920 36,004 72.1%
1930 65,559 82.1%
1940 70,183 7.1%
1950 87,595 24.8%
1960 111,698 27.5%
1970 107,983 −3.3%
1980 91,985 −14.8%
1990 84,236 −8.4%
2000 83,048 −1.4%
2010 80,830 −2.7%
2020 77,879 −3.7%
U.S. Decennial Census

2020 census

Hammond, Indiana - Demographic Profile
(NH = Non-Hispanic)
Race / Ethnicity Pop 2010 Pop 2020 % 2010 % 2020
White alone (NH) 33,534 23,674 41.49% 30.40%
Black or African American alone (NH) 17,568 19,584 21.73% 25.15%
Native American or Alaska Native alone (NH) 145 112 0.18% 0.14%
Asian alone (NH) 753 611 0.93% 0.78%
Pacific Islander alone (NH) 9 21 0.01% 0.03%
Some Other Race alone (NH) 90 287 0.11% 0.37%
Mixed Race/Multi-Racial (NH) 1,168 2,248 1.45% 2.89%
Hispanic or Latino (any race) 27,563 31,342 34.10% 40.24%
Total 80,830 77,879 100.00% 100.00%

Note: the US Census treats Hispanic/Latino as an ethnic category. This table excludes Latinos from the racial categories and assigns them to a separate category. Hispanics/Latinos can be of any race.

2010 census

As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 80,830 people, 29,949 households, and 19,222 families residing in the city. The population density was 3,548.3 inhabitants per square mile (1,370.0/km2). There were 32,945 housing units at an average density of 1,446.2 per square mile (558.4/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 59.4% White, 22.5% African American, 0.5% Native American, 1.0% Asian, 13.3% from other races, and 3.3% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 34.1% of the population.

There were 29,949 households, of which 36.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 37.0% were married couples living together, 19.7% had a female householder with no husband present, 7.5% had a male householder with no wife present, and 35.8% were non-families. 30.3% of all households were made up of individuals, and 9.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.67 and the average family size was 3.36.

The median age in the city was 33.3 years. 27.6% of residents were under the age of 18; 10.1% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 27.3% were from 25 to 44; 24.2% were from 45 to 64; and 10.7% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 49.0% male and 51.0% female.


  • Central Hammond
  • Hessville
  • North Hammond
  • Robertsdale – The Whiting post office (46394) serves not only the city of Whiting but also this adjacent neighborhood in Hammond, immediately to the west of Whiting. Addresses in this Robertsdale show "Whiting, Indiana." While not legally a part of the city of Whiting, locally the area has long been informally considered to be a culturally integrated part of Whiting. References to Whiting businesses or residents often include those technically from Hammond's Robertsdale neighborhood.
  • South Hammond


The first permanent residents arrived around 1847 to settle on land between the Grand and Little Calumet rivers, on the south end of Lake Michigan. Those first residents were German farmers newly arrived from Europe looking for land and opportunity. Before that time, the area was a crossroad for Indian tribes, explorers, stagecoach lines and supply lines to the West. Convenient location and abundant fresh water from Lake Michigan led to the beginning of Hammond's industrialization in 1869 with the George H. Hammond Company meat-packing plant following merchants and farmers to the area. Hammond was incorporated on April 21, 1884, and was named after the Detroit butcher. Hammond is one of the oldest cities in Lake County, with Crown Point being the oldest, established in 1834. According to the Encyclopedia of Chicago, George Henry Hammond, a pioneer in the use of refrigerated railcars for the transport of fresh meat, first used this method with his small packing company in Detroit, Michigan. In 1868, Hammond received a patent for a refrigerator car design. In the early 1870s, he built a new plant in northern Indiana along the tracks of the Michigan Central Railroad. By 1873, the George H. Hammond Co. was selling $1 million worth of meat a year; by 1875, sales were nearly $2 million. The company's large packing house in Hammond—the town had taken the name of its most powerful resident—rivaled those located at the Union Stock Yard in Chicago. By the middle of the 1880s, when it built a new plant in Omaha, Nebraska, Hammond was slaughtering over 100,000 cattle a year and owned a fleet of 800 refrigerator cars. After Hammond died in 1886, the company became less important and no longer challenged the giant Chicago packers, who acquired Hammond at the turn of the century and merged it into their National Packing Co.

On June 22, 1918, the Hammond circus train wreck occurred about 5.5 miles (8.9 km) east of the city, killing 86 and injuring 127 persons.

According to the 1960 U.S. Census Hammond's population reached a record high of 111,698 residents.

National Register of Historic Places

The following single properties and national historic districts are listed on the National Register of Historic Places:

  • Morse Dell Plain House and Garden
  • Forest-Ivanhoe Residential Historic District
  • Forest-Moraine Residential Historic District
  • Forest-Southview Residential Historic District
  • Glendale Park Historic District
  • Hohman Avenue Commercial Historic District
  • Indi-Illi Park Historic District
  • Northern States Life Insurance Company
  • Pullman-Standard Historic District
  • Roselawn-Forest Heights Historic District
  • Southmoor Apartment Hotel
  • State Bank of Hammond Building
  • State Street Commercial Historic District
  • George John Wolf House

Major businesses

Hammond horseshoe
Horseshoe Casino

According to the city, those businesses employing 200 or more employees in Hammond are:

# Employer # of employees
1 School City of Hammond 2,418
2 Horseshoe Casino 2,094
3 St. Margaret Mercy Healthcare 1,588
4 Lear Seating Corporation 783
5 City of Hammond 760
6 Indiana Harbor Belt Railroad 756
7 Walmart 531
8 Contract Services Group 300
9 Strack and Van Til 284
10 Cargill 256
11 Unilever 252
12 Morrison Construction Company 235
13 Cabela's 214

Sister city


Major employers

According to the city, those businesses employing 200 or more employees in Hammond are:

# Employer # of employees
1 Franciscan Health Hammond 2,500
2 School City of Hammond 2,485
3 Horseshoe Casino 1,866
4 City of Hammond 875
5 Walmart 785
6 Indiana Harbor Belt Railroad 759
7 Lear Seating Corporation 615
8 Contract Services Group 300
9 Unilever 255
10 Morrison Construction Company 250
11 Cargill 240


Hammond was defeated by the team from Taipei, Taiwan in the 1972 Little League World Series.

  • Past teams
    • Hammond Rollers, an American Basketball Association team founded in 2006, was sold to the owner of the Quad City Riverhawks the same year. The team relocated and became the Sauk Valley Rollers of Rock Falls, Illinois.
    • Hammond Ciesar All-Americans (1938–41) and Hammond Calumet Buccaneers (1948–49), were professional basketball teams in the National Basketball League. Baseball Hall of Famer Lou Boudreau and UCLA basketball coach John Wooden both played for the Ciesar All-Americans.

The Hammond Pros (1920–1924)

The Hammond Pros was one of the earliest professional football teams in the United States. When the American Professional Football League was formed in 1920, the Hammond Pros was a charter member, as it also was when the league changed its name to National Football League in 1922. However, four years later, when the NFL decided to reduce the number of teams, it did so by simply folding smaller franchises. The Hammond Pros never played a home game in Hammond.

During the four years of the Hammond Pros' existence, the NFL had nine African-American players, six of whom played for the Pros. The NFL's first African-American head coach was Hall-of-Famer coach Fritz Pollard of the Pros.


School City of Hammond

Hammond is served by the School City of Hammond, a school corporation under Indiana state law that is independent of the civil city.

In June 2021, the School City of Hammond permanently closed two junior/senior High Schools: Donald E. Gavit and George Rogers Clark, first opened in the 1930s and 1960s respectively.

  • High schools
    • Area Career Center
    • Hammond High School
    • Morton High School
    • George Rogers Clark High School (Closed 2021)
    • Gavit High School (Closed 2021)
  • Middle schools
    • George Rogers Clark Middle School (Closed 2021)
    • Henry W. Eggers Middle School
    • Gavit Middle School (Closed 2021)
    • Scott Middle School
  • Elementary schools
    • Columbia Elementary School
    • Edison Elementary School
    • Benjamin Franklin Elementary School
    • Warren G. Harding Elementary School
    • Joseph Hess Elementary School
    • Washington Irving Elementary School
    • Thomas Jefferson Elementary School
    • Kenwood Elementary School
    • Lafayette Elementary School
    • Lincoln Elementary School
    • Maywood Elementary School
    • Morton Elementary School
    • Frank O'Bannon Elementary School
    • Lew Wallace Elementary School
  • Charter schools
    • Hammond Academy of Science and Technology (6–12)

Privately owned and operated schools

  • Bishop Noll Institute (high school)
  • City Baptist High School
  • Hazel Young Academy
  • Montessori Children's Schoolhouse
  • St. Casimir (elementary school)
  • St. John Bosco (elementary school)
  • St. John the Baptist (elementary school)

Catholic schools are under the Roman Catholic Diocese of Gary.

St. Catherine of Siena, a Catholic elementary school, opened prior to 1949. Prior to 2009 its enrollment had declined, with 130 students that year, and its financial state had deteriorated. The school closed in 2009.

Colleges and universities

  • Calumet College of St. Joseph
  • Kaplan University
  • Purdue University Northwest



Eastbound Borman Expressway, Hammond, Indiana
Borman Expressway

Most of Hammond's streets are laid out in a grid pattern similar to Chicago's streets. While Madison Street in Chicago acts as the reference point for north–south street numbering the first "1" is removed; this makes what would be a five digit address number in Illinois into a four digit address number in Hammond. The state line is used as the reference point for east–west street numbering.

Other cities and towns in Northwest Indiana that use the Hammond numbering system are Whiting, Munster and Highland. Dyer also uses the Hammond numbering system but the first number removed from the north–south streets is a "2," as by that point the Illinois numbers across the state line start with the number 2 (Munster's street numbers start with a "1" north of the Dyer line, making them 5 digits); and East Chicago uses the canal located in the middle of the city as the east–west reference point, while embodying Hammond's numbering system for the north–south streets.

  • I-90 – Indiana Toll Road, exits (listed northwest to southeast):
  • Indianapolis Boulevard – U.S. 12/20/41
  • Calumet Avenue – U.S. 41
  • Cline Avenue – State Road 912
  • I-80/94 – Borman Expressway, exits (listed west to east):
  • Calumet Avenue – U.S. 41 North
  • Indianapolis Boulevard – U.S. 41 South/State Road 152
  • Kennedy Avenue
  • Cline Avenue – State Road 912

Public transportation

The South Shore Line, a Chicago to South Bend, Indiana commuter rail line, has a station on Hohman Avenue. It is operated by the Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District.

Amtrak, the national passenger rail system, provides twice-daily service in both directions, operating its Wolverine through the Hammond–Whiting station between Chicago and Pontiac, Michigan, just north of Detroit.

The nearest commercial airport is Chicago Midway International Airport about 25 miles away in Chicago.

Bus transit was provided by the Northwest Indiana Regional Bus Authority, which assumed responsibility from the city's Hammond Transit System in 2010, establishing EasyGo Lake Transit system in its place. All EasyGo buses were discontinued on June 30, 2012 due to a lack of funding. In addition, Pace routes 350 and 364 and GPTC Tri-City Connection Route 12 from Gary, Indiana stop at Hammond's Dan Rabin Transit Plaza.

Medical centers and hospitals

The only hospital in Hammond is Franciscan St. Margaret Health on Stateline Road, across the street from Calumet City, Illinois. It is an accredited chest pain center serving Northwest Indiana and the south suburbs of Chicago. The hospital was founded in late 1898 and was originally called St. Margaret Hospital, later merging with Our Lady Of Mercy Hospital in Dyer, Indiana, in the 1990s and was part of the former Sisters of St. Francis Health Services.


State Line Generating Plant by ikcyzrteip
Former State Line Generating Plant in Robertsdale
  • Electricity and Natural gas – Nearly all of the electricity and natural gas used in Hammond is produced by NIPSCO, a NiSource company.
  • Water – Water service for nearly all consumers of water in the city is provided by the Hammond Water Department, a state-owned utility that is operated by the civil city government.

Notable people

Images for kids

See also

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