Louisville is 48 miles (77 km) southwest of Madison by highway, and Cincinnati is 68 miles (109 km) to the northeast.
Madison is bordered to the west by Clifty Falls State Park, encompassing the canyon of Big Clifty Creek and its tributaries, with several waterfalls, as well as high ground rising 400 feet (120 m) above the Ohio River valley.
During the late nineteenth century, many new buildings were still being built, but in many cases older structures were modernized by adding cast-iron storefronts and ornamental sheet metal cornices.
Some earlier buildings survived without major alterations, and the Madison National Landmark Historic District today contains examples of all the major architectural styles of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, from Federal to Art Moderne.
In March 1924, the Madison Area Chamber of Commerce was founded to aid area business growth and development.
Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.7% of the population.
There were 5,048 households of which 27.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 41.4% were married couples living together, 12.8% had a female householder with no husband present, 4.3% had a male householder with no wife present, and 41.5% were non-families.
Madison's days as a leading Indiana city were numbered, however, when river traffic declined and new railroads built between Louisville, Indianapolis, and Cincinnati tapped into Madison's trade network.
As a result, Madison's growth did not continue at the same pace it had experienced before the Civil War.
Over 55,000 people live within 15 miles (24 km) of downtown Madison.