As might be expected of a city that is both the capital of the State of Indiana, as well as the county seat for Marion County, government plays a very large role in the economy of the Indianapolis area. While government is a large employer in the Indianapolis area, and manufacturing was historically another major driver of the Indianapolis economy, the economy is much more diverse and includes:
- Advanced manufacturing
- Information technology
- Insurance and financial services
- Life sciences
- Sports/motor sports
The Indianapolis-Carmel metropolitan area is home to many Fortune 1000 company headquarters. The largest company based in the area is Wellpoint. The most famous based in the area is Eli Lilly. All Fortune 1000 companies in the area include:
- Eli Lilly
- Marsh Supermarkets
- Simon Property Group
Other notable companies with a presence in the area include:
- The world headquarters of Dow AgroSciences
- The US headquarters of Roche Diagnostics
- The US headquarters of Thomson SA
Providing an impetus behind the Indianapolis economy is a well educated work force. According to U.S. Census Bureau data, over 27% of the Indianapolis population has a bachelor degree or higher. According to a 2005 Central Connecticut State University study, Indianapolis was ranked as the 23rd most literate city in the U.S.
Business honors awarded to the Indianapolis-Carmel metropolitan area include:
- The Indianapolis area was ranked sixteenth among the top 50 large cities/metropolitan areas in the United States on Entrepreneur magazine's 2005 list of "Hot Cities for Entrepreneurs".
- Forbes magazine ranked Indianapolis as the tenth "Best Place For Business And Careers" on its 2006 survey among the 200 largest metropolitan areas in the United States.
- The Indianapolis metropolitan area ranked 32nd among large U.S. Cities on Inc. magazine's 2006 list of "Best Cities for Doing Business" (out of 393 population centers across the United States). The 2004 and 2005 editions of the Inc. survey ranked Indianapolis number one for the "Most Balanced Economy and Growth".
- The Indianapolis metropolitan area was ranked the 104th best performing city in the United States on the Milken Institute's "2005 Best Performing Cities" report studying the 200 largest metropolitan areas in the United States.
For business commuters, four interstate highways intersect in Indianapolis. For air travel, Indianapolis is served by the Indianapolis International Airport (IND) which provides service from 10 major and 19 national passenger airlines.
Business and economic development organizations in the greater Indianapolis metropolitan area include:
- The Greater Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce
- The Indianapolis Black Chamber of Commerce
- The Indianapolis Convention and Visitors Association
- The Indianapolis Private Industry Council
- The Indy Partnership
The Indianapolis Business Journal, Indiana Business Review, Inside Indiana Business, and the "Business Section" of the Indianapolis Star are all excellent sources of information on the Indianapolis area economy and business community.=