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State of Indiana
State flag of Indiana State seal of Indiana
(Flag of Indiana) (Seal of Indiana)
State nickname: The Hoosier State
Map of the U.S. with Indiana highlighted
Other U.S. States
Capital Indianapolis
Largest city Indianapolis
Governor Mitch Daniels (R)
Senators Richard Lugar (R)

Evan Bayh (D)

Official language(s) English
Area 94,321 km² (38th)
 - Land 92,897 km²
 - Water 1,424 km² (1.5%)
Population (2000)
 - Population 6,080,485 (14th)
 - Density 65.46 /km² (16th)
Admission into Union
 - Date December 11, 1816
 - Order 19th
Time zone Eastern: UTC-5/-4
Central: UTC-6/-5 (extreme northwest and southwest)
Latitude 37°47'N to 41°46'N
Longitude 84°49'W to 88°4'W
Width 225 km
Length 435 km
 - Highest point 383 m
 - Mean 210 m
 - Lowest point 98 m
 - ISO 3166-2 US-IN
Web site
This article is about the U.S. state. See also Indiana, Pennsylvania (U.S.) and Indiana, São Paulo (Brazil.)

Indiana, meaning the "Land of the Indians," is a state of the United States of America. Its capital is Indianapolis. The U.S. postal abbreviation for the state is IN.

A resident of Indiana is called a Hoosier (which is also the name used for a student of Indiana University, Bloomington).

The USS Indiana was named in honor of this state.



The area of Indiana has been settled since before the development of the Hopewell culture (ca. 100400 CE). It was part of the Mississippian culture from roughly 1000CE up to the conventional end of Mississippian dating ("contact with Europeans"). The specific Native American tribes that inhabited this territory at that time were primarily the Miami and the Shawnee. The area was claimed for New France in the 17th century, handed over to the Kingdom of Great Britain as part of the settlement at the end of the French and Indian War, given to the United States after the American Revolution, soon after which it became part of the Northwest Territory, then the Indiana Territory, and joined the Union in 1816 as the 19th state.

Law and Government

The current governor of Indiana is Mitch Daniels, whose campaign slogan was "My Man Mitch." He was elected to office on November 2, 2004. The state's U.S. senators are B. Evans "Evan" Bayh III (Democrat) and Richard G. Lugar (Republican).

Indiana is generally considered one of the safest states for the United States Republican Party in the nation. Since it supported Lyndon B. Johnson over Barry Goldwater in 1964, Indiana has not backed a single Democratic presidential candidate. However, half of Indiana's governors in the 20th century were Democrats. Politics in Indiana has typically been moderate, if moderately conservative with the glaring exception of Eugene Debs, a Terre Haute native, who garnered a million votes as the Socialist candidate in the 1920 presidential election.

Nonetheless, Indiana is considered by many to be one of the most conservative states in the United States outside of the Deep South, and automatically voting Republican is often multigenerational. Indiana is considered one of the "reddest" of the red states. This is believed by liberals to be an influence of the Ku Klux Klan who controlled most of Indiana during the 1920s. Conservative radio talk shows, especially Rush Limbaugh's, are widely aired throughout the state and many newspapers take a stance in favor of Republican policies, with the possible exception of newspapers in the marginally more Democratic industrial northern part of the state. One notable exception to Indiana's favor of Republicans is former Governor and current U.S. Senator Evan Bayh. Due to his moderate tendencies, he has been well-received by Indiana voters, easily winning most of his elections. In the 2004 elections, Bayh received more Hoosier votes in his bid for reelection to the U.S. Senate than George W. Bush did in his bid for the Presidency. Indiana is the first state to close polls on Election Day, and has been in the Republican column since 1968. Barring a major and unlikely shift in Hoosier politics, this trend is likely to continue.

See: List of Indiana Governors, Indiana General Assembly


Map of Indiana
Map of Indiana

Indiana is bounded on the north by Lake Michigan and the state of Michigan, on the east by Ohio, on the south by Kentucky with which it shares the Ohio River as a border, and on the west by Illinois. Indiana is one of the Great Lakes states.

The 475 mile long Wabash River bisects the state from northeast to southwest and has given Indiana two theme songs, the state song On the Banks of the Wabash as well as The Wabash Cannonball. The White River (a tributary of the Wabash, which is a tributary of the Ohio) zigzags through central Indiana. Indianapolis and Muncie are large cities on this river. Evansville, the third largest city in Indiana, is located on the Ohio River, which forms all of the Indiana-Kentucky border.

Northern Indiana is mostly farmland; however, the northwest corner of the state is part of the greater metropolitan area of Chicago and is therefore more densely populated. Gary, a city on Lake Michigan, is effectively a suburb of Chicago, even though it is in Indiana. The Kankakee River, which winds through Northern Indiana, serves somewhat as a demarcating line between rural and suburban northwest Indiana.

South Bend, Mishawaka, Osceola, Elkhart, Dunlap (unincorporated) and Goshen have merged over the past 20 years into one metropolitan area, which spans two counties and maybe two time zones.

Southern Indiana is almost completely farmland with large stretches of forest. The Hoosier National Forest is a 200,000 acre nature preserve near Bedford.

See also: List of Indiana counties, List of Indiana rivers, Watersheds of Indiana


The total gross state product in 2003 was $214 billion. Indiana's per capita income, as of 2003, was $28,783.

Most of northern Indiana is very flat farmland dotted with small towns, such as North Manchester.
Most of northern Indiana is very flat farmland dotted with small towns, such as North Manchester.

Indiana is located well within the Corn Belt, and the state's agricultural methods and principal farm outputs reflect this: a feedlot-style system raising corn, to fatten hogs and cattle. Soybeans are also a major cash crop. The state's nearness to large urban centers, such as Chicago, Illinois, also assures that much dairying, egg production, and specialty horticulture occur. Specialty crops include melons (southern Wabash Valley), tomatoes (concentrated in central Indiana), grapes, and mint (Source: USDA crop profiles). In addition, Indiana is a significant producer of tobacco. It should be remembered that while the state is in the Corn Belt, the original land was not prairie and had to be cleared of deciduous trees. Many isolated parcels of woodland remain, and much of the southern, hilly portion is heavily forested (a condition which supports a local furniture-making sector in that part of the state).

A high percentage of Indiana's GDP comes from manufacturing, and much of this activity is heavy manufacturing. In the state, industry tends to be concentrated in the northern half. The Calumet region of northwest Indiana is the largest steel producing area in the USA, and this activity also requires that very large amounts of electric power be generated. Indiana's other manufactures include electrical equipment, transportation equipment, chemical products, rubber, petroleum and coal products, and factory machinery. In addition, Indiana has the international headquarters of the Eli Lilly and the U.S. headquarters of the Roche pharmaceutical companies. Surprisingly, in view of the large agricultural sector, comparatively little food processing occurs in the state.

Elkhart County is heavily dependent on the recreational vehicle and manufactured housing industry. Large RV/MH corporations such as Skyline and Coachmen are headquartered here. Much of the county's smaller industry, such as plastics molding, is concerned with supplying the RV/MH industry.

Like most interior states, Indiana is poorly located with respect to emerging coastal markets and new overseas sources of raw materials for manufacturing. However, Indiana has been much less hit by declines in traditional Rust Belt manufactures than many of its neighbors. The explanation appears to be certain factors in the labor market. First, much of the heavy manufacturing, such as industrial machinery and steel, requires highly skilled labor, and firms are often willing to locate where hard-to-train skills already exist. Second, Indiana's labor force is located primarily in medium-sized and smaller cities rather than in very large and expensive metropolises. This makes it possible for firms to offer, and labor accept, somewhat lower wages for these skills than would normally be paid. In other words, firms often see in Indiana a chance to obtain higher than average skills at lower than average wages for those skills, which often makes location in the state desirable. (Source for basic manufacturing facts in the above two paragraphs is generally McCoy and McNamara, "Manufacturers in Indiana," Purdue University Center for Rural Development, Research Paper 19, July 1998.)

In mining Indiana is probably best known for its decorative limestone from the southern, hilly portion of the state, especially from around Bedford (the home area of Apollo I astronaut Gus Grissom). One of the many public buildings faced with this stone is The Pentagon, and after the attack of September 11, 2001, a special effort was made by the mining industry of Indiana to replace those damaged walls with as nearly identical type and cut of material as the original facing. There are also large coal mines in the southern portion of the state. Like most Great Lakes states Indiana has small to medium operating petroleum fields; the principal location of these today is in extreme southwest Indiana in an area somewhat confusingly called the "Illinois Field."

Despite the downward trend of Indiana's economy, it is considered one of the most business-friendly states in the U.S. This is due in part to largely unchallenged Republican control, low business taxes and many labor laws that have remained unchanged since the 1800s, emphasizing the supremacy of employer/management. The doctrine of at-will employment, where an employer can terminate an employee for any or no reason, is firmly ensconced in Indiana. Unions in Indiana are among the weakest in the U.S. and it is difficult for unions to organize. It has been said that Indiana is a post-industrial state with a pre-Industrial Revolution mindset regarding the rights of workers. With isolated exceptions in university areas such as South Bend, Bloomington and Lafayette, technology has been slow to catch on in Indiana, in part to Hoosiers' traditional, well-known resistance to change. Most political leaders at the state level continue to emphasize the state's past economic base of manufacturing and farming.


Historical populations

1800 2,632
1810 24,520
1820 147,178
1830 343,031
1840 685,866
1850 988,416
1860 1,350,428
1870 1,680,637
1880 1,978,301
1890 2,192,404
1900 2,516,462
1910 2,700,876
1920 2,930,390
1930 3,238,503
1940 3,427,796
1950 3,934,224
1960 4,662,498
1970 5,193,669
1980 5,490,224
1990 5,544,159
2000 6,080,485

As of 2004, the population of Indiana was estimated to be 6,237,569. This includes about 229,000 foreign-born (3.7%).

Racially, the state is:

The five largest ancestries in the state are: German (22.7%), American (12%), Irish (10.8%), English (8.9%), African American (8.4%).

German is the largest ancestry reported in Indiana, with almost one-in-four whites reporting German ancestry in the Census. Persons of American and British ancestry are also present throughout the state, especially in the southern and central parts of the state. Gary and the surrounding Chicago suburbs, along with the city of Indianapolis, have large black populations.

South Bend has a large Polish pouplation and there are a sizeable number of people with Belgian ancestry in Mishawaka. Dyngus Day, the Polish celebration of the end of Lent, takes place on the Monday after Easter and is widely celebrated in South Bend.

A large Hispanic/Latino population has swelled in Elkhart County, particularly the north side of the city of Goshen. This formerly German- and Dutch-dominated area now has a high concentration of Hispanic (particularly Mexican)-oriented businesses and many official signs in the area are bilingual. This has caused some racial tension between the Latino, African-American and Anglo populations.

In addition, the more populated regions are the central area around Indianapolis, the far northwest and north central areas near Lake Michigan, and the northeastern area near Fort Wayne. Major cities that are not in these areas include Evansville, Bloomington, and Terre Haute.

Population growth since 1990 has been extremely concentrated in the counties surrounding Indianapolis, with four of the top five fastest-growing counties in that area: Hamilton, Hendricks, Johnson, and Hancock. The other county is Dearborn County, which is nearCincinnati. Meanwhile, population decline has primarily been in a series of counties that geographically form a line between Logansport and Richmond. Most of these counties were at the heart of the Gas Belt. There were also three counties along the Wabash River and the Ohio River that experienced decline, these were Vigo, Knox, and Perry.


Religiously, Indiana is predominantly Protestant, although there is also a moderate-sized Roman Catholic population. The Catholic presence is perhaps better known than its size would imply due to the existence of the University of Notre Dame in the state. Indiana is home to a significant proportion of Mennonite and Amish Christians, particularly in Elkhart and LaGrange Counties in the north, and Parke County in the west, and the state has the nation's largest population of members of the Protestant "Churches of Christ" denomination.

The current religious affiliations of the people of Indiana are shown below:

Important cities and towns

population > 1,000,000 (urbanized area)

population > 100,000 (urbanized area)

population > 10,000 (urbanized area)


Important Suburbs of Indianapolis

Important Suburbs of Chicago, Illinois

Important Suburbs of Louisville, Kentucky

Important Suburbs of Fort Wayne

Important Suburbs of South Bend-Elkhart


Colleges and universities



Professional sports teams

Time zones

Map of U.S. time zones, with Indiana shaded out.
Map of U.S. time zones, with Indiana shaded out.

Most of Indiana has historically exempted itself from the observation of daylight saving time (DST). The area that is within the Eastern time zone is legally exempt from daylight saving time; some counties within this area, particularly Floyd, Clark, and Harrison counties near Louisville, Kentucky, and Ohio and Dearborn counties near Cincinnati, Ohio, observe daylight saving time unofficially and illegally by local custom. Several counties in the northwestern corner of Indiana, near Chicago, Illinois, and several counties in the southwestern corner of Indiana are in the Central time zone and remain subject to daylight saving time.

The history of this unique arrangement is fairly convoluted. From 1918 until 1961, at which time authority under the various Standard Time Acts was in the Interstate Commerce Commission, the dividing line between Eastern and Central Standard Time was approximately the eastern boundary line of the State of Indiana. In 1961 after hearings, the Interstate Commerce Commission adjusted the boundary line between Eastern and Central so that the line essentially split Indiana down the middle. In 1967, the Governor of Indiana petitioned the United States Department of Transportation to have the entire state of Indiana placed on Central Time. Instead, the time line was fixed in a position where all but 10 counties in western Indiana were placed in the Eastern Time Zone, but dispensation was given to allow a state to exempt an entire time zone bloc within the state from observance of Daylight Saving Time. Technically, during the summer months, this meant most of Indiana was on Eastern Standard Time, but functionally most of the state was on Central Daylight Time. Until 2005, there had been attempts to place the entirety of Indiana in the Eastern time zone, with Eastern DST, but these had proved impossible to implement.

During the 2005 session of the Indiana General Assembly, the move to Daylight Saving Time finally succeeded with significant support from the newly elected Governor, Mitch Daniels. However, the time zone legislation's passage through the General Assembly was tortured. On or about February 28, 2005, the original Daylight Saving Time bill, HB 1034 died without passing the House of Representatives prior to the relevant deadline. On or about March 30, 2005, the original text of SB127 was stripped in committee and the daylight saving time language resurrected. On or about April 11, 2005, SB 127 failed to obtain a majority vote and was defeated 50 to 49 in the House of Representatives. Because the bill did not receive 51 nay votes, it was still eligible for a revote. On a second vote, three House Republicans, Eric Gutwein (R-Rensselaer), Don Lehe (R-Brookston, and Richard McClain (R-Logansport) switched their votes and allowed the daylight saving time bill to pass and be eligible for conference committee with the Senate. In the Senate, the Daylight Saving Time barely squeaked out of committee in a 6 to 5 vote with Sen. Allen Paul (R-Richmond) giving his “yea” vote even though he would ultimately vote against the measure when it came to the floor of the Senate. Back in the House for a final vote on the version adopted by both the House and Senate conference committees, the bill again failed to obtain a majority vote with a vote of 48 in favor and 49 against daylight saving time. Because there were not 51 votes against, the vote was brought up for a second vote and finally passed 51 to 46 only after Rep. Troy Woodruff (R-Vincennes) cast the final vote in favor of Daylight Saving Time, breaking a promise he had made publicly to his constituents that he would “always” vote against Daylight Saving Time. The entire state is to observe daylight saving time starting April 2006. Counties would remain under their current time zones, but the bill also asks the federal Department of Transportation, which has jurisdiction over time zones, to reconsider whether more counties should switch to the Central zone.

The USDOT declined to make any determination, based on the state request, as to the appropriate location of the time zone boundary in Indiana. Instead, the USDOT decided to open a special docket and directed any counties interested in moving into the Central Time Zone to submit a petition for consideration prior to September 15, 2005. Before that date, the counties in the Central Time Zone were Lake, Porter, LaPorte, Newton, and Jasper counties in the northwest and Gibson, Posey, Vanderburgh, Warrick, and Spencer counties in the southwest. The counties that petitioned for Central Time were St. Joseph, Starke, Marshall, Pulaski, Fulton, White, Cass, Benton and Carroll in the northern part of the state; Fountain and Vermillion counties in the central part of the state; and Sullivan, Knox, Daviess, Martin, Lawrence, Pike, Dubois, and Perry counties in the southern part of the State. As of September 28, 2005, the USDOT had not taken action on the county petitions.

Miscellaneous information

Indiana is the home state of a large number of astronauts, including such notables as "Gus" Grissom, and Frank Borman. Many other astronauts, including Neil Armstrong and Gene Cernan, were graduates of Purdue University in West Lafayette ([1]). Neil Armstrong's Purdue class ring may be the only such object that has ever traveled to the moon and back.

Natural resources

There are 24 Indiana state parks, nine man-made reservoirs and hundreds of lakes in the state.

External links

Wikimedia Commons has media related to:

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