Known as "Summit City," Fort Wayne straddles the continental divide between the Great Lakes and the Gulf of Mexico watershed. Located on the first coast-to-coast highway, Fort Wayne is also popularly known as the "Gateway to the West." With a city population of 248,341, and 502,141 for the larger metropolitan area, Fort Wayne is the second largest city in Indiana, behind Indianapolis (791,926) and ahead of Evansville (121,582).
According to the U.S. Department of Commerce's Bureau of Economic Analysis, the average income of a Fort Wayne resident in 2004 was $30,214, which was 91% of the national average. Since 1969, the average income in Fort Wayne, IN has fallen by 11%.
In the 1980s many industries closed, leaving Fort Wayne vulnerable to rust-belt decline. However, many developments have kept the city's economy healthy. Fort Wayne employs many people in the transportation and logistics sector, through Sirva, the Norfolk Southern Railway, and its subsidiaries Triple Crown Services, TransWorks, and Kitty Hawk Air Cargo. National defense also provides many employment opportunities, through ITT and Raytheon.
The last decade has seen Fort Wayne maintain its economic vitality:
- Mid-size businesses have grown over the last decade. Insurance & Risk Management, one of the state's largest private insurance companies, keeps their headquarters in the Fort Wayne area.
- The finance sector has developed, with the presence of accounting firms like BadenGage and Schroeder and Star Financial Group's bank headquarters.
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