The Indianapolis Ghetto Story

One of the biggest cities in the Midwest, known locally as Naptown, has a unique story deep in the urban communities of the Indianapolis ghetto.

Even though Indianapolis is one of the most thriving cities in the United States, Marion County has one of the highest poverty rates in Indiana as the Indianapolis ghetto is in the heart of Indiana’s capital city.

east side Indianapolis indianapolis ghetto west side Indianapolis indianapolis black history

Crown Hill area

At 21% the concentration of the poverty seems to be located on the city’s Near East Side Indianapolis between Rural-Keystone and Sherman, Post Road, and the West Side from Crown Hill to Haughville.

With African-Americans making about 28% of the 950,000 residents living in Marion County, most of the communities that seems to lack the most resources are in the city’s predominantly black neighborhoods.

While there are thousands of minority-owned businesses and a large influx of African-Americans in the Indianapolis suburbs, the inner city still has much needed improvement.


Indianapolis Black History

The beginning of the Indianapolis’ black community was originally around the legendary Indiana Avenue.

Housing complex of Indiana Avenue

Indiana Avenue was one of Indiana’s most thriving communities and famously known for black businesses and entrepreneurs like the country’s first black female millionaire, Madame CJ Walker.

After Indiana Avenue became well developed, the black population expanded into other neighborhoods like Brightwood along 25th street or into West Side Indianapolis neighborhoods that were in close vincinity to Indiana Avenue.

east side indianapolis ghetto


Eventually, the black population slowly moved further away from the city’s center into East Side Indianapolis communities like the Meadows or Devington, as well as Crown Hill or other West Side neighborhoods.


‘Hoods & Communities

By the 1980s and 1990s, people began leaving the older black communities of the West and East sides.

Around this time, African-Americans began relocating into areas like Post Road of the Far East Side and High School Road on the West Side.

east side indianapolis ghetto

Post Road

The movement of African-Americans out of the inner city has continued today with many black families moving to areas of the North Side and outside of I-465.

The streets of the Indianapolis ghetto at one time may have been influenced by Gary, Indiana or the city of Chicago, but today the streets are more influenced by Indianapolis’ on culture.

west side indianapolis

West Side

The city has legendary areas on the West Side is known for the Crown Hill section with Kenwood and the 4th Ward, Harding Street, Haughville, or MLK’s 3rd Ward and LandLife.

While the East Side has ‘hoods between 10th Street and 46th Street, like the DimeLife, BrookSide, TrifeLife or GangstaVille.

The other sections of the Naptown include the North Side around 71st and Michigan or the old housing projects of the South Side like the GraveYard, Zooneyville, or Brick City.


Check out more on Indianapolis and other communities of Indiana.

*Note: All information is provided through people of the community, outside sources, and research. Some information might not be current and/or 100% accurate.