Fort Wayne is the second-largest city in the state of Indiana, and the hub of Northeast Indiana. We are located in Allen County, the largest county east of the Mississippi River.
Fort Wayne makes up 16% of Allen County and the rest of the county is comprised of smaller towns, unincorporated suburban area, parks and nature preserves. 65% of Allen County is agricultural land.
The Fort Wayne Metropolitan Statistical area is comprised of Allen, Wells and Whitley counties.
The 2010 U.S. Census places the population of the three-county Fort Wayne Metropolitan Statistical Area above 415,000. Fort Wayne is home to 253,691 of Allen County’s 355,329 residents, making two thirds of the county’s resident’s city dwellers.
Fort Wayne At-A-Glance
Population: 253,691 (Allen County: 355,329)
Average July high: 84
Average January low: 16
Avg. Annual Precipitation: 65.6 inches
Average Annual Snowfall: 47.4 inches
Closest Big City: 123 miles to Indianapolis
Health Care: 6 hospitals
Cost of Living: 9% below the national average
Housing costs: Average home sells for $138,000
Other Allen County Cities:
Grabill, Huntertown, Leo-Cedarville, Monroeville, New Haven, Woodburn, Zanesville
All located within 425 Miles:
Chicago, IL; Detroit, MI; Indianapolis, IN; St. Louis, MO; Columbus, OH; Toronto, CAN;
Pittsburgh, PA; Nashville, TN; Buffalo, NY
With its third All-America City win in 2009, Fort Wayne entered the National Civic League’s Hall of Fame. The All-America City Award recognizes exemplary grassroots community problem-solving and is given to communities that
collaboratively tackle challenges and achieve results.
Since 1949, the All-America City Award has encouraged and recognized civic excellence, horning communities of all sizes in which community members, government, business and voluntary organizations work together to address critical local issues. Fort Wayne has also earned distinctions in 1982 and 1998.
On the Job
Fort Wayne has long earned the distinction as a great manufacturing town and some of its better-known products include heavy trucks and electrical equipment. Fort Wayne also has many local companies working on numerous national defense contracts. Our citizens have round-the-clock access to helpful information and assistance from elected officials, homeland security, economic development and more.
The commute to work for Fort Wayne averages 19 minutes, comparing closely to Allen County’s at 19.8 and Indiana’s at 23.2.
(The national average is 25.3 minutes.)
These businesses employ about 15 percent of the total local workforce:
- Parkview Health Systems 5,165
- Lutheran Health Network 4,302
- Fort Wayne Community Schools 4,265
- General Motors Truck Group 3,600
- Vera Bradley 2,347
- Lincoln Financial Group 2,034
- City of Fort Wayne 1,800
- BF Goodrich Tire Manufacturing 1,600
- Frontier Communication Corp. 1,400
- Shambaugh & Sons 1,400
*numbers provided by Business Weekly
Making the Grade – Education
Fort Wayne offers solid primary and secondary education, as well as a host of higher education opportunities. Four public school districts comprise the City of Fort Wayne and Allen County area with a total of 56 elementary, 20 middle, and 13 high schools. The average student to teacher ratio is about 20 to 1. There are also ample options for a parochial education, with 17 Catholic and 17 Lutheran schools. In addition, there are 6 Amish schools and a number of other private or specialized schools.
Indiana University-Purdue University at Fort Wayne leads the way among post-secondary options, enrolling almost 14,320 students. IPFW offers more than 200 programs leading to associate, bachelor’s and master’s degrees. Other great colleges in the area include: the University of St. Francis; Indiana Tech, ITT Technical Institute, Ivy Tech Community College, and Trine University for technical education; and Harrison College for business education. Many more are found within one hours drive.
Housing and Cost of Living
Fort Wayne’s exceptionally low cost of living appeals to many residents. Utilities, health care, and goods and services all cost less than average here, contributing to an overall cost of living that is about 9% below the national average.
In keeping with this inexpensive trend, housing in Fort Wayne is affordable. Average home sales in Fort Wayne continue to remain well below the national average. The average home price is just $138,000, with a broad selection above and below that figure. Just about everyone can find their perfect home in Fort Wayne. This is a place where people can well afford the necessities of life—as well as a few extras.
A Safe Place
Fort Wayne takes pride in being safer than many American cities its size. Both property crime and violent crime are below the national average for similar sized cities.
Community-oriented policing through local enforcement city government, and neighborhoods working together to solve problems have resulted in a substantial reduction in crime over the past decade. The Police Department takes pride in programs that have focused crime prevention efforts on total community participation. By forming partnerships with Fort Wayne neighborhoods and working together to solve problems in the city, the community has produced a city where residents are safe in their homes and on the streets.
Fort Wayne Named Fifth Safest City in America
Parks and Trails
Whether they’re picnicking at a park, cheering on the TinCaps baseball
team or fishing at a nearby lake, Fort Wayne’s citizens know how to have fun the All-American way. The city’s 87 beautiful public parks and playgrounds cover nearly 2,200 acres. Among them is the award winning Lakeside Rose Garden
, which displays thousands of rose bushes representing more than 150 varieties. Youngsters love the Children’s Zoo
with exotic attractions including the African Journey, Australian barrier reef, and the award-winning Indonesian rainforest.
Walkers, joggers, and cyclists stretch their legs on the Rivergreenway
, a system of paths that follow the city’s three rivers and link many of the major parks.
forms the core of an innovative 20-acre downtown recreational and festival park, providing both adults and children first-class fun. The park includes an ice skating rink open to the public from late November to February. Other facilities worthy of kudos include the dozens of pavilions, tennis courts, softball and baseball diamonds plus the private, public and semi-public golf courses. Also available to all residents are four swimming pools, an ice skating rink and an outdoor roller hockey center.
The city is also the gateway to the famous Northern Indiana Lake Region. Within a 50-mile radius are 300 beautiful lakes ranging in size from three to nearly 4,000 acres.
Learn more about Fort Wayne Trails
Fort Wayne’s Memorial Coliseum
, which seats 13,000 fans, hosts numerous local and national touring acts, in addition to the Komets professional hockey team and Mad Ants basketball
. The Fort Wayne Komets
are the longest continuously running sports franchise in Fort Wayne with plenty of trophies to display.
a class A minor league baseball team, take the field at their downtown state-of-the-art stadium and are one of the city’s favorite summertime fun spots. To ensure all the traditional sports are represented, the city supports numerous sporting leagues and clubs. Youth and adult soccer, football and baseball teams can be found playing throughout Fort Wayne.
Festivals and Events
Fort Wayne is known as the “City of Festivals,” and for good reason! All year long, residents and visitors enjoy outstanding festivals and community events, including Johnny Appleseed Festival, Three Rivers Festival, GermanFest, RiverFest, BBQ Ribfest, Greekfest, Grabill Country Fair, Taste of the Arts, Vera Bradley Outlet Sale and so many more.
Early settlers and Native Americans referred to Fort Wayne, Indiana as a crossroads because of its strategic location where the St. Marys and St. Joseph River converge to form the Maumee River. The name, Fort Wayne, is derived from bold military leader General “Mad” Anthony Wayne who established the first American fort on the confluence of the three rivers.
In 1824 Allen County was established by an act on the Indiana General Assembly. The 1830s brought the construction of the Wabash and Erie canal in Fort Wayne, which fostered further development in the area. This famous canal earned Fort Wayne the title “Summit City” because it was the highest point above sea level along the entire route.Years later in 1854, the first railroad locomotive arrived in Fort Wayne by way of canal boat. Soon afterward, the city became known as the “Altoona of the West” because of its key position in the great Pennsylvania Railroad.As the 19th century drew to a close, industry in the city continued to flourish.
Immigrants poured into the area seeking jobs and creating a need for several different church denominations. This gave rise to another Fort Wayne moniker, “The City of Churches.” The original courthouse could no longer fulfill the needs of the growing city, so in 1897 construction of a new courthouse began. The building was finished and dedicated in 1902, and after much renovation stands today as what is often regarded as a national treasure.