This analysis explores Marion County census tracts 3403, 3404, and 3407. This is roughly the area from 16th Street to 38th Street and from Tibbs Avenue to Moller Road.

Though they developed as all-white suburbs between 1940 and 1970, the neighborhoods near the Indianapolis Motor Speedway are some of the densest and most diverse in Indianapolis.

In 1970, this area was fully developed, with a population of 17,886. The population was 99 percent white. Population had fallen slightly to 14,998 by 2010, but since then this area has been growing quickly. In 2016, the population was 16,104.

The population looks very different than it did in 1970, however. In 2016, 44 percent of residents were Hispanic, 28 percent black, 23 percent white, and two percent Asian, making this one of Indianapolis’ most diverse areas. According to a 2018 diversity measure from Esri, these three census tracts are among the top six in the county in terms of diversity.

According to Esri’s definition of their diversity measure, “the Diversity Index shows the likelihood that two persons chosen at random from the same area, belong to different race or ethnic groups. The index ranges from 0 (no diversity) to 100 (complete diversity).” These three tracts have diversity scores of 89.3, 89.3, and 86.5 out of 100.

Area Near Speedway Among Most Diverse in Indianapolis

2018 Diversity Index (Esri) by Tract

Tracts North of Speedway Growing Faster than Marion County

Population Growth Indexed to 2010

2010 Population = 100

Population and Density are Growing Since 2010

These tracts have been growing quickly since 2010. The annual growth rate in these three tracts between 2010 and 2016 was 1.8 percent, which is almost three times faster than Marion County’s 0.8 percent annual growth. For comparison, Hamilton County has been the fastest growing county in the region, at 2.5 percent annual growth.

The growth and diversity of the tract are probably linked. As we explored in our analysis of 2016 population estimates, net population growth in Marion County between 2015 and 2016 was due to growth in minority groups, despite population declines among whites. This area in northwest Indianapolis is on location where these populations are growing.

Despite a built environment that is largely suburban single-family homes, this area is also relatively dense, compared to Indianapolis. These three tracts, excluding the area with the speedway itself, have 5,169 people per square mile. That is over twice as dense as Indianapolis overall. 

This Area Is Twice as Dense as Indianapolis

2018 Population Density (Esri) by Tract

Population Growing Faster than Marion County Overall

2010-2018 Population Growth Rate (Esri) by Tract

Watch as Neighborhoods near Speedway Develop
Scroll through the images to see how this area has changed through the decades. In 1941, this area was mostly farmland. Development was just starting to occur north of 16th Street. Two decades later, subdivisions filled most of the area to 30th Street and beyond.

1941

1962

1991

2017

Youth Population Is Large and Particularly Diverse

This area has a large share of youth population 14 years old or younger. One fourth of residents are age 14 or younger, which is higher than 80 percent of Indianapolis census tracts. The large youth population is probably linked to the diversity of this tract. Across the county, young people are far more diverse than the population overall. In Marion County, people of color account for 65.5 percent of youth (under 18), but only 38.4 percent of adults.

Marion County Youth Are More Diverse than Adults

Population by Race and Age for Marion County (2016)
Click “Under 18” and “18 and Older” to compare race across these two age categories.

Within Marion County, the areas with the most youth aged 14 and younger are mostly in Decatur Township, Franklin Township, northwest areas along Lafayette Road and northeast areas along Pendleton Pike. The Near Eastside and Near Westside also have high rates of youth population. Areas with low rates of youth population include downtown Indianapolis, the corridor along North Meridian Street, and neighborhoods in the north-central area of the county.

Youth Population Higher than 80% of Indianapolis

2018 Pct. of Population Age 0-14 (Esri)

See How Your Neighborhood Has Changed

Find more interactive content from our series on neighborhood change.

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Michigan Street a Century Ago: A Neighborhood Node

Two miles east of downtown, Michigan Street is largely vacant. But in the early 20th century was a bustling corridor for the Willard Park and St. Clair neighborhoods. Discover the history and demographics of these blocks.

Candidate’s Housing Proposal Calls Attention to How We Measure Vacancy Rates

Candidate’s Housing Proposal Calls Attention to How We Measure Vacancy Rates

It's hard to know exactly how many vacant units are in Indianapolis, but it's clear that many neighborhoods struggle with hypervacancy.

Increasing Mortgage Values

Increasing Mortgage Values

Mortgage values are increasing across the county, indicating an increase in housing prices. We explore the fastest changing areas, as well as places with very little little mortgage activity.

Indy’s Poverty Increased over 50 Years, What about Peers?

Indy’s Poverty Increased over 50 Years, What about Peers?

The Indy region's poverty rate increased over the past 50 years, mostly between 2000 and 2010. We looked at peer cities from Cincinnati to Austin to see if they experienced similar trends.

In Christian Park, a Postwar Neighborhood Experiences 21st Century Changes

In Christian Park, a Postwar Neighborhood Experiences 21st Century Changes

Christian Park was subdivided in the 1920s, but mostly built after World War II. Once an all-white neighborhood with high home ownership, the area has become part of a Latino community on the southeast side, and home ownership has fallen.

Mapping Bands of Urban and Suburban Development

Mapping Bands of Urban and Suburban Development

Using the age of housing stock in each neighborhood, we have created "development bands," which group areas by the time period in which they were primarily built.

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Children Transfer Often at Charter Schools, Low-Income Schools

When a student changes schools often, it can impact education outcomes. Charter schools tend to have the highest transfer rates, and a school's share of students from low-income families has a strong relationship to transfer rates.

Indy Neighborhoods with Fastest Changing Income Diversity

Indy Neighborhoods with Fastest Changing Income Diversity

Most neighborhoods became more mixed-income between 2011 and 2016. Farley, near Ben Davis, had the biggest increase in income diversity, while the historically black suburb Grandview had the biggest decrease.

Indy’s Least Mixed-Income Neighborhoods

Indy’s Least Mixed-Income Neighborhoods

Explore neighborhoods where residents are highly concentrated into a few income groups. We dive into examples of concentrations of low-income residents, high-income residents, and middle-income residents.

Estimated 200,000 Indy Residents Live in Food Deserts

Estimated 200,000 Indy Residents Live in Food Deserts

Using recent, local data to improve on food access measures, we find that an estimated 200,000 Indianapolis residents have low food access and live in low income areas.

Indy’s Most Mixed-Income Neighborhoods

Indy’s Most Mixed-Income Neighborhoods

We measured income diversity in every neighborhood in the region, and the most mixed-income neighborhoods include the Old Northside, the tract containing Rocky Ripple and Crows Nest, and the area near Pike High School.

What Can the Opportunity Atlas Tell Us About Indianapolis?

What Can the Opportunity Atlas Tell Us About Indianapolis?

The newly released Opportunity Atlas shows that children born in different neighborhoods can have vastly different outcomes. Children born in Indianapolis urban core have lower household incomes than those born in northern suburbs.

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