Carmel, Indiana
Carmel Clay Public Library
Carmel Clay Public Library
Flag of Carmel, Indiana
Official seal of Carmel, Indiana
"A Partnership for Tomorrow"
Coordinates: 39°58′05″N 86°06′45″W / 39.96806°N 86.11250°W / 39.96806; -86.11250
CountryUnited States
TownshipClay (coterminous)
 • MayorSue Finkam (R) (2024–present)[1][2]
 • Total50.17 sq mi (129.94 km2)
 • Land49.09 sq mi (127.13 km2)
 • Water1.08 sq mi (2.80 km2)
Elevation843 ft (257 m)
 • Total99,757
 • Estimate 
 • Density2,032.3/sq mi (784.7/km2)
Time zoneUTC−5 (EST)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−4 (EDT)
ZIP codes
46032, 46033, 46074, 46082, 46280, 46290[6]
Area code(s)317, 463
FIPS code18-10342
GNIS feature ID2393750[4]

Carmel (/ˈkɑːrməl/) is a suburban city in Hamilton County, Indiana, United States, immediately north of Indianapolis. With a population of 99,757 as of the 2020 census, the city spans 49 square miles (130 km2) across Clay Township and is bordered by the White River to the east and the Boone County line to the west. Although Carmel was home to one of the first electronic automated traffic signals in the country,[7] the city has constructed 141 roundabouts between 1988 and 2022.[8][9]


Carmel was originally called "Bethlehem". It was platted and recorded in 1837 by Daniel Warren, Alexander Mills, John Phelps, and Seth Green.[10]: 241  The original settlers were predominantly Quakers.[11] The plot first established in Bethlehem, located at the intersection of Rangeline Road and Main Street, was marked by a clock tower donated by the local Rotary Club starting in 2002.[12] A post office was established as "Carmel" in 1846 because Indiana already had a post office called Bethlehem.[13] The town of Bethlehem was renamed "Carmel" in 1874, due to the need of a post office, at which time it was incorporated.[10]: 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.[14]

The Carmel Monon Depot, John Kinzer House, and Thornhurst Addition are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.[15][16]


Carmel occupies the southwestern part of Hamilton County, adjacent to Indianapolis and, with the annexation of Home Place in 2018, is now entirely coextensive with Clay Township. It is bordered to the north by Westfield, to the northeast by Noblesville, to the east by Fishers, to the south by 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.[17]

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 the 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 in 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 well over 100 roundabouts within its borders, with even more presently under construction or planned.[18][19][20]


Historical population
2021 (est.)100,777[5]1.0%
U.S. Decennial Census[21]
2018 Estimate[22]

2020 census

Carmel, Indiana – Racial and ethnic composition
(NH = Non-Hispanic)
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 may be of any race.
Race / Ethnicity Pop 2000[23] Pop 2010[24] Pop 2020[25] % 2000 % 2010 % 2020
White alone (NH) 34,467 66,295 75,534 91.34% 83.72% 75.72%
Black or African American alone (NH) 550 2,299 3,256 1.46% 2.90% 3.26%
Native American or Alaska Native alone (NH) 45 104 65 0.12% 0.13% 0.07%
Asian alone (NH) 1,645 6,988 11,966 4.36% 8.82% 12.00%
Pacific Islander alone (NH) 12 17 20 0.03% 0.02% 0.02%
Other race alone (NH) 48 169 451 0.13% 0.21% 0.45%
Mixed race or Multiracial (NH) 317 1,310 3,944 0.84% 1.65% 3.95%
Hispanic or Latino (any race) 649 2,009 4,521 1.72% 2.54% 4.53%
Total 37,733 79,191 99,757 100.00% 100.00% 100.00%
Map of racial distribution in Carmel, 2020 U.S. census. Each dot is one person:  White  Black  Asian  Hispanic  Multiracial  Native American/Other

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.[26]

2010 census

As of the census[27] 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 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 OPENLANE (formerly KAR Global), Allegion, CNO Financial Group, MISO, and Delta Faucet.

Top employers

As of January 2017, the city's 10 largest employers were:[28]

# Employer # of employees
1 CNO Financial Group 1,600
2 GEICO 1,250
3 RCI 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

Carmel also serves as the global headquarters of the North American Interfraternity Conference, an association of multiple fraternities and sororities. Carmel also serves as the global headquarters for six fraternities and sororities: Alpha Kappa Lambda, Alpha Sigma Phi, Lambda Chi Alpha, Theta Chi, Sigma Delta Tau, and Sigma Kappa.[29]

Arts and culture

Rollfast Gran Fondo

Indiana's only Gran Fondo, this cycling event attracts professional cyclists as well as recreational riders. In 2019, the event is the World Championship for the Gran Fondo World Tour. Each route is fully supported with food, drinks, and mechanical support.[30]

Carmel Farmers Market

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. The market, which is managed by an all-volunteer committee, is held each Saturday morning from mid-May through the first weekend of October on Center Green at the Palladium, the farmers market attracts over 60,000 people a year.[31]

Carmel Monon Community Center

A $24.5 million water park and 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, 18-mile (0.20 km) indoor running track, and the Kids Zone childcare. The building housing the Carmel Clay Parks Department offices is connected by an elevated walkway over the Monon Trail.[citation needed]

Monon Trail

Monon Greenway in 2008

The Monon Greenway is a multi-use trail that is part of the Rails-to-Trails movement. It runs from 10th Street near downtown Indianapolis through Broad Ripple and then crosses into Carmel at 96th Street and continues north through 146th Street into Westfield and continues to Sheridan. The trail ends in Sheridan near the intersection of Opel and 236th streets. In January 2006, speed limit signs of 15 to 20 miles per hour (24 to 32 km/h) were added to sections of the trail in Hamilton County.

Carmel Arts & Design District

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, with the state goal of celebrating the creativity and craftsmanship of the miniature art form.. The district includes the 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 ornament the streets of the district.

The district hosts several annual events and festivals. The Carmel Artomobilia Collector Car Show showcases classic, vintage, exotic and rare cars, along with art inspired by automobile design.[33] Every September, the Carmel International Arts Festival features a juried art exhibit of artists from around the world,[34] concerts, dance performances, and hands-on activities for children.

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

Carmel City Center

Carmel City Center is a one-million-square-foot (93,000 m2), $300 million, mixed-use development located in the heart of Carmel.[35] 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.


Clay Terrace is one of the largest retail centers in Carmel. Other shopping areas include Carmel City Center,[36] Mohawk Trails Plaza, and Merchants' Square. The Carmel Arts & Design District has a number of retail establishments along Main Street, Range Line Road, 3rd Avenue, and 2nd Street.[37]

Kawachinagano 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.[38] An Azumaya-style tea gazebo was constructed in 2011 and dedicated on May 2 of that year.[39]

Great American Songbook Foundation

The Great American Songbook Foundation is the nation's only foundation and museum dedicated to preserving the music of the early to mid-1900s. The foundation is led by Michael Feinstein, who is also the artistic director of the Center for the Performing Arts.[40][41]


Carmel City Hall in 2010

The government consists of a mayor and a city council. The current mayor is Sue Finkam, who has served since 2024.[42] The city council consists of nine members. Six are elected from individual districts and three are elected at-large.

Planned development

In mid-2017, the 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 would include the purchase of an antique carousel[43] from a Canadian amusement park for an estimated purchase price of CAD $3 million, approximately US$2.25 million.[44] However, a citizen led petition drive against the purchase caused the city council to remove it from the bond issue.[45]

According to the Indiana Department of Local Government Finance, as of 2019 the City of Carmel had an overall debt load of $1.3 billion.[46]

List of mayors

No. Portrait Mayor Term of office[47] Election Party[48][49]
1 Albert Pickett January 1, 1976

January 1, 1980
1975 Republican
2 Jane A. Reiman January 1, 1980

January 1, 1988
1979 Republican
3 Dorothy J. Hancock January 1, 1988

January 1, 1992
1987 Republican
4 Ted Johnson January 1, 1992

January 1, 1996
1991 Republican
5 James Brainard January 1, 1996

January 1, 2024
1995 Republican
6 Sue Finkam[50] January 1, 2024

2023 Republican


Public schools

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

The Carmel Clay Schools[51] district has 11 elementary schools (Kindergarten - Grade 5), three middle schools (Grades 6–8), and one high school (Grades 9–12).[51] Student enrollment for the district is above 14,500.[52]

The elementary schools include:

The middle schools include:

All middle schools feed into Carmel High School.[67]

Private schools

Carmel has several private schools, including:

Notable people

Sister cities

Carmel has seven sister cities as designated by Sister Cities International.[73]


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