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.

Story Map: Race and Migration Since 1970

In 1970, half of the region's Black population lived in 12 square miles north of downtown Indianapolis. As Black residents moved into '60s suburban communities, 120,000 White residents left the city's core for newer suburbs.

Story Map: Moving Out – Suburbanization Since 1970

Indianapolis and Anderson were the region's urban centers in 1970. Three-quarters of the population lived in those counties. Now, just over half the population live there, and Hamilton County is the second largest urban center.

Changes in Indy’s Historic Black Neighborhoods

In the 1970s, 4,000 residents left this nearly all-black neighborhood. Why? An increasingly desegregated housing market and closure of one of the country’s first public housing projects.

Income Inequality High Where Golden Hill and Northwest Indianapolis Converge

In the area where wealthy Golden Hills converges with the working-class neighborhoods of Northwest Indianapolis, income inequality is high and increasing. The area is also experiencing a growth of white households above the median income.

In Little Flower, More College Graduates, Young Adults, but Incomes are Falling

There's a shrinking share of people in their 20s in this German/Irish neighborhood, but a growing of share in their 30s and 40s, as well as a growing population of children. These residents are less likely to live in poverty than other age groups, but they have still seen ...

After Public Investment, St. Clair Place’s Housing Market Significantly Stronger

Mortgage activity in St. Clair Place shows a dramatic increase in home purchases and home value since 2007. The area is more diverse than ever and poverty is falling for people of color. But home buyers are still 76 percent white.

The Growing Divide Between Rich and Poor Neighborhoods

In 1970, there was a $22.6k gap between average family income in high- and low-income (80th and 20th percentile) neighborhoods. By 2016, the gap had doubled to $53.5k. Incomes grew for wealthy and middle-income neighborhoods, but fell for low-income neighborhoods.

In Neighborhoods North of Speedway, Diversity Among Highest in Indy

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.

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.

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.

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