Introduction to Lafayette, Indiana

Lafayette is located in Tippecanoe County. Purdue University, located in nearby West Lafayette is a primary factor in the economy for the region due to its academic as well as industrial activities. Alcoa, the Caterpillar Large Engine Division, Wabash National, Eli Lilly and Company (Tippecanoe Laboratories) are some of the major corporations located in Lafayette.


The original inhabitants were Quiatenon Indians. In 1717 the French constructed Fort Quiatenon. The fort was utilized for trading by fur trappers, merchants as well as Indians. The city was platted by William Digby in 1825. The town was named in tribute to General Lafayette who fought for the American Army during the American Revolutionary War. The shipping center along the Wabash River was thriving during this era and the construction of the Wabash and Erie Canal during the 1840's added to the city's importance. The railroads reaching Lafayette during the 1850's which also added to its prominence.


  • Jerry E. Clegg Botanic Garden contains oak savanna and prairie restorations
  • Purdue University Horticulture Gardens is a popular attraction and features a large number of unique trees
  • Lafayette Farmer's Market is often filled with residents and tourists
  • Wolf Park is utilized for research and features wolf packs and foxes
  • The Brown Street Overlook provides excellent views of the Wabash River and the city
  • Sporting events at nearby Purdue University

Historic Sites

There are nine neighborhoods in the combined area of Lafayette and nearby West Lafayette that are included in the National Register of Historic Places. The Ninth Street Historic District and downtown Lafayette are major locations for enjoying historic architecture. The Tippecanoe County Courthouse situated downtown is an architectural gem. The Historic Five Points Fire Station has been restored and serves as a museum. Prophetstown is a large acreage which is devoted to the preservation of Native American Heritage, agriculture and the environment. It features an old farmstead, a prairie and an Indian Village. Visitors can take a horse-drawn ride in the prairie. The attractive Moses Fowler House features English Gothic architecture. The Tippecanoe Battlefield is nearby.


Amtrak provides rail transportation and City Bus offers bus services.

Higher Education

Purdue University is located in neighboring West Lafayette. Ivy Tech Community College and Indiana Business College are located in the city.


Total Population 70,661
Male Share of the Population 48%
Female Share of the Population 52%
Senior Citizens 11.9%
Employed Population 16+ 35,648
Age of the Population 32


% of people married 42.4%
Average household size 2

Education and Earnings

Population % with Bachelor Degree or Higher 24.3%
Median Earnings25+ $29,970
Median Earnings Without High School Qualification $22,127
Median Earnings With High School Degree $25,600


Median Family Income $52,230
% Above Poverty Level 80.2%
% Below Poverty Level 19.8%

Commute & Sprawl

Average Commute Time 16 minutes
% Working from Home 2.1%
% Walking and Biking to Work 3.2%
% Using Public Transportation 3.1%


People Living Alone 36.5%
Median Gross Rent $755
Median House Value $101,900


Other(often includes Hispanic and African American) 31%
US/American 0%
English 9.4%
Irish 13.9%

Source: American Community Survey, U.S. Census Bureau, 2015, www.census.gov/programs-surveys/acs/.

Lafayette Almanac

Category Value
Nearest Large City 58 miles NW of Indianapolis, Indiana
County Tippecanoe
Metro Area Lafayette
Standard Zip Codes 47901, 47904, 47905, 47906, 47907, 47909
P.O. Box Zip Codes 47902, 47903, 47996
Phone Area Codes 765
Time Zone Eastern (-5 hours from GMT)
Daylight Savings The city observes Daylight Saving Time.
Latitude 40.416
Longitude -86.875

Lafayette Climate

Nearest Weather Stations


  • Temp ranges are avg daily min and max for the month
  • Precipitation is rainfall (and rainfall equiv of snowfall)

Distance 3.1 miles
Jan Temp 17 to 33 F
Apr Temp 40 to 62 F
Jul Temp 65 to 86 F
Oct Temp 43 to 66 F
Annual Precip 36.3 inches
Distance 7.4 miles
Jan Temp 15 to 32 F
Apr Temp 39 to 61 F
Jul Temp 63 to 85 F
Oct Temp 42 to 65 F
Annual Precip 37.2 inches
Distance 8.2 miles
Jan Temp 14 to 32 F
Apr Temp 39 to 61 F
Jul Temp 62 to 85 F
Oct Temp 41 to 65 F
Annual Precip 36.9 inches

Neighborhood and Nearby Area Names

According to the US Postal Service, Lafayette, its neighborhoods, and/or surrounding areas are also referred to as:

Colburn (47905)

La Fayette (47906, 47907, 47901, 47902, 47903, 47904, 47905)

Note that not all alternate names are acceptable for use in US Post Office addresses.

Nearby Cities and Towns

Location Population Median Family Income
Battle Ground 1,085 $83,631
Brookston 1,526 $57,604
Dayton 1,500 $67,045
Mulberry 1,362 $60,417
Otterbein 1,404 $45,455

Source: American Community Survey, U.S. Census Bureau, 2015, www.census.gov/programs-surveys/acs/.

Lafayette Public Libraries

Tippecanoe County Pl
Lafayette, Indiana
(765) 429-0100
Library Web Site

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More Information for Librarians

Lafayette Hospitals

(Voluntary non-profit - Church)
(765) 447-6811
Emergency Service: Yes

(Voluntary non-profit - Church)
(765) 423-6161
Emergency Service: Yes

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Lafayette High Schools

(Sorted by Number of Students)

1801 S 18TH ST
Serves 2,080 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 16.3

4951 US 231 S
Serves 1,397 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 17

Additional Details
Lafayette Careers
Lafayette career and employment information.
Lafayette Colleges
Lafayette colleges and trade schools.
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