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More About Gary, Indiana
Gary is a city in Lake County, Indiana, United States. The city has been historically dominated by major industrial activity and is home to U.S. Steel’s Gary Works, the largest steel mill complex in North America. Gary is located along the southern shore of Lake Michigan about 25 miles (40 km) east of downtown Chicago, Illinois. The city is adjacent to the Indiana Dunes National Park, and is within the Chicago metropolitan area.
Gary was named after lawyer Elbert Henry Gary, who was the founding chairman of the United States Steel Corporation. U.S. Steel had established the city as a company town to serve its steel mills. Although initially a very diverse city, after white flight in the 1970s, the city of Gary held the nation’s highest percentage of African Americans for several decades.
As of the 2020 census the city’s population was 70,093, making it Indiana’s ninth-largest city. Like other Rust Belt cities, Gary’s once thriving steel industry has been significantly affected by the disappearance of local manufacturing jobs since the 1970s. As a result of this economic shift, the city’s population has decreased drastically, having lost 61% of its population since 1960. Because of its large losses in population and deteriorating economy, Gary is often cited as an example of industrial decline and urban decay in America.
Gary is serviced by the Gary/Chicago International Airport, an alternative airport to the Chicago region’s two larger airports. The city’s public transport is provided by the Gary Public Transportation Corporation and the South Shore Line passenger railway, which connects to the Chicago transit system. It is also home to a professional baseball team, the Gary SouthShore RailCats. In addition to its large steel mills, the city is known for being the birthplace of the Jackson family, a family of well-known entertainers whose members include singer Michael Jackson.