Gary, Indiana


City in the United States
State Indiana
County Lake County
Coordinates 41°34’51″N, 87°20’44″WL
Surface 148.18 km²
– country 128.82 km²
– water 19.36 km²
(123 inhabitants/km²)
Gary.’s City Hall

According to ehuacom, Gary is a city in the American state of Indiana and has a population of 102,746. This makes it the 226th city in the United States (2000). The area is 130.0 km², making it the 135th city.

Gary is located on the south shore of Lake Michigan. It belongs to Lake County.


The city was founded in 1906 by Elbert Henry Gary who had founded US Steel in 1901. The city also derives its name from him.


The population declined from a peak of 178,000 in 1960 to 116,587 in 1990 and then further to 102,746 in 2000 and 80,294 in 2010.

About 5% of Gary’s population is Hispanic and Hispanic, 84% of African origin, 12% White and 0.1% of Asian origin.

12.8% of the population is older than 65 and 28.9% consists of single -person households. Unemployment is 9.4 % (census figures 2000).


According to the Köppen climate classification, Gary has a humid continental climate (dfa). The highest temperatures are measured in July and August and are lowest in January and February. In January the average temperature is -4.6 °C and in July it is 23.4 °C. Most precipitation falls in the summer months. Annual average rainfall is 935.2 mm (data based on the measurement period 1961-1990).


Palace Theater, downtown Gary

The city’s growth and fall are linked to the city’s steel industry. From the 1960s, the city, like many other American urban centers, entered a downward spiral. This was accompanied by large-scale layoffs, drug trafficking problems and growing crime. While the US Steel company is still a major steel producer in the city and provides many jobs, the job offer has fallen to a fraction of what it once was. The city has not yet seen a chance to offer a good alternative to the steel industry, apart from a couple of casinos along Lake Michigan.

The city continues to be plagued by many problems, including high unemployment, major economic problems and a high crime rate: in 2007, it had one of the highest homicide rates in the United States, 73.2 homicides per 100,000 residents. In 2008, the city ranked seventh on the list of the most dangerous cities in the country. However, some progress has been made in improving the problems since the 1990s. One of the most characteristic problems is the stench that hangs over the city of sulfur and ammonia from the various industries in the city.

Traffic and transport

Road traffic

The major roads into Gary are Interstate 65, Interstate 90, and Interstate 94.

Public Transport

“The South Shore Train” (South Bend Airport – Chicago) has 3 stations in Gary (Miller, Metro Center and Gary/Chicago Airport).

Bus transportation is provided by the Gary Public Transport Corp. (GPTC) with 11 bus lines (5 within Gary and 6 that also go to adjacent towns).

Air traffic

Gary/Chicago International Airport (GYY) is located between Gary and East Chicago.

International air traffic for the Chicago area goes through O’Hare International Airport and Chicago Midway International Airport, but Gary/Chicago Airport provides the shorter distances.

The airport has two runways. The largest was extended in June 2015 to 8,859 feet (2700 meters) with a width of 46 meters, the second runway is 1098 x 30 meters in size.

Notable residents of Gary

  • Avery Brooks, actor, played Benjamin Sisko in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
  • Morgan Freeman, actor, Oscar winner
  • Jackson Singing Family, including Michael Jackson and Janet Jackson
  • Ralph McQuarrie, set designer for Star Wars, Battlestar Galactica, and ET
  • Deniece Williams, singer


  • Paul Samuelson (1915-2009), economist and Nobel laureate (1970)
  • Frank Borman (1928), astronaut
  • Charles Adkins (1932-1993), boxer
  • Alex Karras (1935-2012), actor, wrestler and American football player
  • Fred Williamson (1938), actor, American football player
  • Joseph Stiglitz (1943), economist and Nobel laureate (2001)
  • Rebbie Jackson (1950), singer
  • Jackie Jackson (1951), singer, musician and a former member of The Jackson 5
  • Tito Jackson (1953), singer, guitarist and former member of The Jackson 5
  • Jermaine Jackson (1954), singer, bass guitarist and former member of The Jackson 5
  • La Toya Jackson (1956), singer
  • Marlon Jackson (1957), singer, dancer and former member of The Jackson 5
  • Michael Jackson (1958–2009), singer, dancer, composer and former member of The Jackson 5
  • Randy Jackson (1961), singer and former member of The Jackson 5
  • William Owens (1963), composer, music educator and conductor
  • Janet Jackson (1966), singer-songwriter, dancer and actress
  • Fredrick Jamel Tipton (1982), rapper, better known by the stage name Freddie Gibbs.

Nearby places

The figure below shows nearby places within a 12 km radius of Gary.


East Chicago (12 km)

Griffith (9 km)

Highland (10km)

Hobart (9km)

Lake Station (7 km)

Merrillville (11 km)

New Chicago (6 km)

Gary, Indiana