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Carmel /ˈkɑːrməl/ is a suburban city in Hamilton County, Indiana, United States, located immediately north of Indianapolis. It has been one of the fastest-growing communities in the country. In 2012, Carmel was selected as the "Best Place to Live in the United States" by CNN Money magazine,[5] and received the same designation by in 2017.[6] The population was 79,191 as of the 2010 and was estimated to be 91,065 in 2016 by the US Census Bureau,[3] making it the fifth-largest city in Indiana.

Carmel, Indiana
City Hall during CarmelFest
City Hall during CarmelFest
Motto(s): "A Partnership for Tomorrow"
Location of Carmel in Hamilton County, Indiana
Location of Carmel in Hamilton County, Indiana
Coordinates: 39°58′N 86°6′W / 39.967°N 86.100°W / 39.967; -86.100Coordinates: 39°58′N 86°6′W / 39.967°N 86.100°W / 39.967; -86.100
Country United States
State Indiana
County Hamilton
Township Clay
 • Mayor James Brainard (R) (1996-present)
 • Total 48.54 sq mi (125.72 km2)
 • Land 47.46 sq mi (122.92 km2)
 • Water 1.08 sq mi (2.80 km2)
Elevation 853 ft (260 m)
Population (2010)[2]
 • Total 79,191
 • Estimate (2016)[3] 91,065
 • Density 1,918.73/sq mi (740.83/km2)
Time zone EST (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP codes 46032, 46033, 46082, 46280
Area code(s) 317, 463
FIPS code 18-10342
GNIS feature ID 0432143[4]
Interstate Highways I‑465
U.S. Highways



Carmel was originally called "Bethlehem" and, under the latter name, was laid out and platted in 1837.[7]:241 The original settlers were predominantly Quakers.[8] 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.[9] The town of Bethlehem was renamed "Carmel" in 1874, at which time it was incorporated.[7]:247

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.[10]

The Carmel Monon Depot, John Kinzer House, and Thornhurst Addition are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.[11][12]


Carmel occupies the southwestern part of Hamilton County and is almost entirely coextensive with Clay Township with the exception of Home Place. It is bordered to the north by Westfield, to the northeast by Noblesville, to the east by Fishers, to the south by the city of Indianapolis in Marion County, and to the west by Zionsville in Boone County. The center of Carmel is 15 miles (24 km) north of the center of Indianapolis.

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.[13]

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 (which marks 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 generally east-west through a main shopping area; and City Center Drive runs east-west near Carmel's 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 Keystone Avenue/SR 431) are the major thoroughfares, extending from 96th Street in the south and merging just south of 146th Street. The City of Carmel is nationally noted for having over 100 roundabouts within its borders, with even more presently under construction or planned for the future as of mid-2017.


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%
Est. 2016 91,065 [3] 15.0%
U.S. Decennial Census[14]
2012 Estimate[15]

According to a 2010 estimate, the median household income in the city was $101,494.[16] Males had a median income of $93,340 versus $62,943 for females. The per capita income for the city was $85,320. About 1.6% of families and 2.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 2.5% of those under age 18 and 2.2% of those age 65 or over.

The median home price in 2014 was $294,000.[17]

2010 censusEdit

As of the census[2] 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 husband present, 2.4% had a male householder with no wife 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 government consists of a mayor and a city council. The current mayor is James Brainard.[18] The city council consists of seven members. Five are elected from individual districts. Two are elected at-large.

Planned developmentEdit

In mid-2017, city Council was considering a multimillion-dollar bond issue that would cover the cost of roundabouts, paths, roadwork, land acquisition by the Carmel Redevelopment Commission and the purchase of an antique carousel.[19] A 1907 carousel ride had already been purchased from Centreville Amusement Park in Toronto, Ontario for delivery in late 2017. The ride will probably be installed in the Arts & Design District, Midtown or City Center. Made by the Dentzel Carousel Company, it is believed to be one of 150 of this brand that remain in operation, and includes 52 hand-carved animals of various types. The estimated purchase price was CAD $3 million, approximately US $2.25 million.[20]



see also Carmel Clay Schools The school system has 11 elementary schools, three middle schools and one high school. Student enrollment for the district is above 14,500.[21]

The elementary schools are Carmel Elementary,[22] Cherry Tree Elementary,[23] College Wood Elementary,[24] Forest Dale Elementary, Mohawk Trails Elementary, Orchard Park Elementary, Prairie Trace Elementary, Smoky Row Elementary, Towne Meadow Elementary, West Clay Elementary and Woodbrook Elementary.

The three middle schools are Carmel Middle School,[25] Clay Middle School and Creekside Middle School.

The three middle schools feed into Carmel High School.[26]


Carmel has several private schools, including Pilgrim Lutheran Preschool (12 mo. - 6 years), St. Elizabeth Seton Preschool (2 years-K), Midwest Academy (4-12), Our Lady of Mount Carmel Catholic School (K-8), Walnut Grove Christian School (K-8) and University High School. Additional private schools are located near Carmel in other communities.


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, and Delta Faucet.

Top employersEdit

As of January 2017, the city's 10 largest employers were:[27]

# 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


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

  • Listed as #1 best place to live by Niche in 2017[28]
  • Listed as #3 best place to live by Money Magazine in 2014 [29]
  • Listed as #1 best place to live by CNN Money Magazine 2012[5]
  • Arborculture’s highest award – the Gold Leaf Award in 2002[30]
  • 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.[31]


Rollfast Gran FondoEdit

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 MarketEdit

Founded in 1998, the Carmel Farmers Market is one of the largest in the state of Indiana, with over 60 vendors of Indiana-grown and/or produced edible products.[citation needed] The market, which is managed by an all-volunteer committee, is held each Saturday morning from mid-May through the first weekend of October. Held on Center Green at the Palladium, the market had over 60,000 visitors in 2012.[citation needed]

Carmel Monon Community CenterEdit

A $24.5 million water park and mega-fitness center is the centerpiece of Carmel's $55 million Central Park which opened in 2007.[citation needed] The Outdoor Water Park consists of two water slides, a drop slide, a rock-climbing wall, a lazy river, a kiddie pool, a large zero depth activity pool, Flowrider and a lap pool. The fitness center consists of an indoor lap pool, a recreation pool with its own set of water slides and a snack bar, gymnasium, 1/8 mile indoor running track, and the Kids Zone childcare. The center also has an adjoining building connected by an elevated walkway over the Monon Trail, where the Carmel Clay Parks Department offices are located.[citation needed]

Monon TrailEdit

The Monon Greenway in Carmel

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. The trail currently terminates on the North end in Grand park of Westfield. In January 2006 speed limit signs of 15 to 20 miles per hour (24 to 32 km/h) have been added to sections of the trail north of 96th Street, which is the Marion County line (Indianapolis).

Carmel Arts & Design DistrictEdit

The Carmel Arts & Design District 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,[32] 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.[33] Every September, the Carmel International Arts Festival features a juried art exhibit of artists from around the world,[citation needed] 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, and dolls.

Carmel City CenterEdit

The Palladium at the Center for the Performing Arts, home of the Carmel Symphony Orchestra, opened in 2011 as part of the City Center development.

Carmel City Center is a one million square foot, $300 million, mixed-use development located in the heart of Carmel.[34] Carmel City Center is home to The Palladium at the Center for the Performing Arts, which includes a 1,600-seat concert hall, 500-seat theater, and 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 GardenEdit

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.[35] An Azumaya-style tea gazebo was constructed in 2011 and dedicated on May 2.[36]

Notable peopleEdit

Sister citiesEdit

Carmel has two sister cities as designated by Sister Cities International.[37]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "2016 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved Jul 28, 2017. 
  2. ^ a b "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2012-12-11. 
  3. ^ a b c "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". Retrieved June 9, 2017. 
  4. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  5. ^ a b "Best Places to Live 2012". CNN. [dead link]
  6. ^ "2017 Best Places to Live in America". Niche. Retrieved 27 August 2017. 
  7. ^ a b Haines, John F. (1915). History of Hamilton County, Indiana: Her People, Industries and Institutions, Volume 1. B.F. Bowen & Co. 
  8. ^ "Hamilton County History Timeline". Carmel Clay Historical Society. Retrieved 31 May 2014. 
  9. ^ "Hamilton County". Jim Forte Postal History. Archived from the original on 12 October 2014. Retrieved 16 September 2014. 
  10. ^ "History of Carmel, Indiana". City of Carmel, Indiana. Archived from the original on 2007-06-15. Retrieved 2007-03-16. 
  11. ^ National Park Service (2010-07-09). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 
  12. ^ "National Register of Historic Places Listings". Weekly List of Actions Taken on Properties: 6/24/13 through 6/28/13. National Park Service. 2013-07-05. 
  13. ^ "G001 - Geographic Identifiers - 2010 Census Summary File 1". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2015-07-28. 
  14. ^ United States Census Bureau. "Census of Population and Housing". Archived from the original on May 12, 2015. Retrieved February 16, 2014. 
  15. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2012". Retrieved February 16, 2014. 
  16. ^ "Carmel, IN Employment & Jobs". Area Vibes. Retrieved 13 April 2014. 
  17. ^ "Money: Best Places to Live 2014". Time. 19 September 2014. Retrieved September 26, 2014. 
  18. ^ "City of Carmel, IN : Mayor". Retrieved 21 April 2017. 
  19. ^ "Carmel considers $101M for roundabouts, land, paths, carousel". Chris Sikich. IndyStar. 10 July 2017. Retrieved 20 July 2017. 
  20. ^ "Toronto's 110-year old carousel on Centre Island sold for $3 million". Fatima Syed. Toronto Star. 19 July 2017. Retrieved 20 July 2017. 
  21. ^ "Carmel Clay Schools". Retrieved 21 April 2017. 
  22. ^ "Carmel Elementary School". Retrieved 27 August 2017. 
  23. ^ "Cherry Tree Elementary". Retrieved 27 August 2017. 
  24. ^ "College Wood Elementary". Retrieved 27 August 2017. 
  25. ^ Carmel Middle School
  26. ^ "Carmel High School". Retrieved 21 April 2017. 
  27. ^ "TOP EMPLOYERS". Invest Hamilton County. Retrieved 2017-10-23. 
  28. ^ "2017 Best Places to Live in America". Niche. Retrieved 2017-05-03. 
  29. ^ "Carmel, Ind. is No. 3! See if your town made the list of MONEY's Best Places to Live". Time. 19 September 2014. 
  30. ^ "City of Carmel Urban Forestry Awards and Grants". Retrieved 20 August 2014. 
  31. ^ "City of Carmel Receives 2006 City Livability Award for Roundabouts". Archived from the original on 2006-09-23. 
  32. ^ "Library Name". Retrieved 21 April 2017. 
  33. ^ "Home". ARTOMOBILIA. Retrieved 2017-05-03. 
  34. ^ "Carmel City Center FAQ" (PDF). Retrieved 21 April 2017. 
  35. ^ "City of Carmel, IN: History". City of Carmel, IN. Retrieved 21 October 2011. 
  36. ^ Heck, Nancy S. "Dedication of Japanese Tea Gazebo with Sister City Kawachinagano, Japan". Indy Biz. Retrieved 21 October 2011. 
  37. ^ "Interactive City Directory - Carmel, Indiana". SisterCities International. Retrieved April 21, 2017. 

External linksEdit