Evansville is the commercial, medical and cultural hub of Southwestern Indiana and the Illinois-Indiana-Kentucky tri-state area. It is the third-largest city in the state of Indiana and the largest city in Southern Indiana. As of the 2010 census, the city had a total population of 117,429 and a metropolitan population of 358,676. It is the county seat of Vanderburgh County.
Situated on an oxbow in the Ohio River, the city is often referred to as “River City”. As testament to the Ohio’s grandeur, early French explorers named it La Belle Riviere (“The Beautiful River”). The area has been inhabited by various cultures for millennia, dating back at least 10,000 years. Angel Mounds was a permanent settlement of the Mississippian culture from 1000 AD to around 1400 AD. The city itself was founded in 1812.
The broad economic base of the region has helped to build an economy which is known for its stability, diversity, and vitality. Four NYSE companies (ACW, BERY, LEAF, VVC) are headquartered in Evansville, along with the global operations center for NYSE company Mead Johnson. Three other companies traded on the NASDAQ (ESCA, ONB, SCVL) are located in Evansville. The city is home to public and private enterprise in many areas, as Evansville serves as the economic hub of the region.
The city has several well known educational institutions. The University of Evansville is a small private school located on the city’s east side, while the University of Southern Indiana (formally Indiana State University-Evansville) is a larger public institution located just outside of the city’s westside limits. Other local educational institutions have also garnered praise and attention, including nationally ranked Signature School and the Evansville Vanderburgh Public Library. In 2008, Evansville was voted the best city in the country in which “to live, work, and play” by the readers of Kiplinger, and in 2009 the 11th best.
According to the census of 2000, there are 121,582 people and 30,527 families residing in the city. The population densityis 1,153.4 per kilometer² (2,987.0 per sq mi). There are 57,065 housing units at an average density of 541.3 per kilometer² (1,402.0 per sq mi). The racial makeup of Evansville is 86.24% White, 10.92% African American, 0.21%Native American, 0.72% Asian, 0.05% Pacific Islander, 0.49% from other races, and 1.37% from two or more races. 1.1% of the population is Hispanic or Latino of any race. 85.59% of the population is non-Hispanic white.
There are 52,273 households out of which 26.6% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 40.8% are married couples living together, 13.7% have a female householder with no husband present, and 41.6% are non-families. 35.1% of all households are made up of individuals and 13.5% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 2.24 and the average family size is 2.90.
In the city the population consists of 22.7% under the age of 18, 11.5% from 18 to 24, 28.6% from 25 to 44, 21.0% from 45 to 64, and 16.2% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 36 years. For every 100 females there are 88.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 85.1 males.
The median income for a household in the city is $31,963, and the median income for a family is $41,091. Males have a median income of $30,922 compared to $21,776 for females. The per capita income for the city is $18,388. 13.7% of the population and 10.1% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total population, 19.0% of those under the age of 18 and 8.4% of those 65 and older are living below the poverty line.
Evansville has thirteen neighborhoods that have qualified for the National Register of Historic Places.
Historic Bosse Field, a 7,180 seat baseball stadium located in Garvin Park, was built in 1915 and is the third-oldest ballpark still in regular use in the United States, surpassed only by Fenway Park (1912) in Boston and Wrigley Field (1914) in Chicago.
The Ford Center is a multi-use indoor arena downtown with a maximum seating capacity of 11,000. It officially opened in 2011 as the city’s premier entertainment venue and is mainly used for basketball, ice hockey, and music concerts.
A wide variety of concerts, plays, conventions, expositions and other special events are held at the 2,500-seat auditorium and convention center at The Old National Events Plaza downtown.
The Victory Theatre is a vintage 1,950-seat venue that is home to the Evansville Philharmonic Orchestra. Each year, the orchestra presents a seven-concert classics series, four double pops performances, and special event concerts, as well as numerous educational and outreach performances. The theater also hosts local ballet and modern dance companies, theater companies, and touring productions.
The University of Evansville maintains a prestigious theater program – one of the top rated programs in the nation, which features four mainstage and two studio productions a year. The has been honored more times at The Kennedy Center than any other theatre institution. The University is the only institution, along with Yale, which has been asked to perform at the Kennedy Center without first going through competition. It also leads the nation in the top awards for its students as awarded by The Broadway Theatre Wing and other governing bodies of serious theatre.
The Evansville Civic Theatre is Southern Indiana’s longest running community theater, dating from the 1920s when the community theater movement swept across the country. From its humble beginnings at the old Central High School auditorium, Evansville Civic Theatre has had many homes – Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Coliseum, , the Rose Room of the McCurdy Hotel, the Elks Ballroom, and the Evansville Museum of Arts and Sciences. In 1974, Evansville Civic Theatre acquired the historic Columbia Movie Theater as its permanent home
Law and government
The Mayor of Evansville, Jonathan Weinzapfel, serves as the chief executive officer. A nine-member elected City Council is the legislative branch of city government. The City of Evansville is the county seat for Vanderburgh County. In recent years the democratic party has pushed for unifying the Evansville city and Vanderburgh County governments, as was done in the Indianapolis merger with Marion County in 1970. The current proposal calls for a Mayor and Deputy Mayor, who would be appointed by the mayor; and a 15 member Metro Council composed of three at-large members and 12 members elected from individual districts.
Vanderburgh County’s delegation to the Indiana State House of Representatives comprises four representatives: Dennis Avery (District 75), Trent Van Haaften (District 76), Phil Hoy (District 77), and Suzanne Crouch (District 78). Evansville and Vanderburgh County are represented by two state senators. In general, the southern third of the county and Armstrong Township are part of District 49, currently held by Robert Deig. The county’s west side is also in District 49. Most of the county is in District 50, which extends to the east, a seat held by Vaneta Becker.
The region is located in the 8th District of Indiana (map) and served by U.S. Representative and former Vanderburgh County Sheriff Brad Ellsworth.