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State Guide

The State of Indiana was the 19th U.S. state admitted into the union. It is located in the midwestern region of the United States of America. With about 6.3 million residents, it is ranked 15th in population and 17th in population density. Indiana is ranked 38th in land area, and is the smallest contiguous state west of the Appalachian Mountains. Its capital and largest city is Indianapolis.

Indiana is a diverse state with a few large urban areas and a number of smaller industrial cities. It is known nationally for its sports teams and athletic events: the NFL's Indianapolis Colts, champions of Super Bowl XLI, the NBA's Indiana Pacers, the Indianapolis 500 motorsports race, the largest single-day sporting event in the world, and for a strong basketball tradition, often called Hoosier Hysteria.

Residents of Indiana are often called Hoosiers. Although many stories are told, the origin of the term is unknown. The state's name means "Land of the Indians", or simply "Indian Land". The name dates back to at least 1800, when Indiana Territory was created, at which time the territory was unceded Indian land. Angel Mounds State Historic Site and Mounds State Park are two of the best preserved prehistoric Native American sites in the United States, and can be found near Evansville and Anderson respectively.


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 northern boundary of the states of Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois was originally defined to be a latitudinal line drawn through the southernmost tip of Lake Michigan. Since such a line would not provide Indiana with usable frontage on the lake, its northern border was shifted ten miles (16 km) north. The northern borders of Ohio and Illinois were also shifted from this original plan.

The 475 mile (764 km) long Wabash River bisects the state from northeast to southwest before flowing south, mostly along the Indiana-Illinois border. The river has given Indiana a few theme songs, such as On the Banks of the Wabash, The Wabash Cannonball and Back Home Again, In Indiana. The Wabash is also the longest free-flowing river east of the Mississippi; 400 miles (640 km) from the Huntington dam to the Ohio River. The White River (a tributary of the Wabash, which is a tributary of the Ohio) zigzags through central Indiana.

There are 24 Indiana state parks, nine man-made reservoirs, and hundreds of lakes in the state. Areas under the control and protection of the National Park Service or the United States Forest Service include:

  • George Rogers Clark National Historical Park in Vincennes
  • Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore near Michigan City
  • Lincoln Boyhood National Memorial in Lincoln City
  • Hoosier National Forest in Bedford

Northern Indiana

The northwest corner of the state is part of the Chicago metropolitan area and has nearly one million residents. Gary, and the cities and towns that make up the northern half of Lake, Porter, and La Porte Counties bordering on Lake Michigan, are effectively commuter suburbs of Chicago. Porter and Lake counties are commonly referred to as "The Calumet Region", or "The Region" for short. The name comes from the fact that the Grand Calumet and Little Calumet rivers run through the area. These counties are all in the Central Time Zone along with Chicago. NICTD owns and operates the South Shore Line, a commuter rail line that runs electric-powered trains between South Bend and Chicago. Sand dunes and heavy industry share the shoreline of Lake Michigan in northern Indiana. Along the shoreline of Lake Michigan in Northern Indiana one can find many parks between the industrial areas. The Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore and the Indiana Dunes State Park are two natural wonders of the area.

The area is marked with swell and swale topography as it retreats South from Lake Michigan. The ecology can change dramatically between swells, or on opposite sides of the same swell. Plants and animals adapted to marshes are generally found in the swales, while forests or even prickly pear cactus are found in the dryer swells.

The Kankakee River, which winds through northern Indiana, serves somewhat as a demarcating line between suburban northwest Indiana and the rest of the state. Before it was drained and developed for agriculture, the Kankakee Marsh was one of the largest freshwater marshes in the country. South of the Kankakee is a large area of prairie, the eastern edge of the Grand Prairie that covers Iowa and Illinois. The Prairie Chicken and American Bison were common in Indiana's pioneer era, but are now extinct as wild species within the state.

The South Bend metropolitan area, in north central Indiana, is the center of commerce in the region better known as Michiana. Other cities located within the area include Elkhart, Mishawaka, Goshen and Warsaw. Fort Wayne, the state's second largest city, is located in the northeastern part of the state where it serves the state as a transportation hub. Other cities located within the area include Huntington and Marion. East of Fort Wayne is an area of extremely flat land that, before development, was the western-most reach of the Great Black Swamp.

Northeastern Indiana is home to a number of lakes, many of which are the remains of the glaciers that covered Indiana thousands of years ago and Glacial Lake Maumee. Some of these lakes include Lake James in Pokagon State Park, Lake Maxinkuckee, Lake Wawasee and Lake Tippecanoe. Lake Wawasee is the largest natural lake in Indiana, while Lake Tippecanoe is the deepest lake, reaching depths of over 120 feet (37 m). Both lakes are located in Kosciusko County. Chain O' Lakes State Park, located in Noble County, contains 11 lakes, 8 of which are connected by natural channels.

Central Indiana

The state capital, Indianapolis, is situated in the central portion of the state. It is intersected by numerous Interstates and U.S. highways, giving the state its motto as "The Crossroads of America". Other cities and towns located within the area include Anderson, Avon, Beech Grove, Bloomington, Brownsburg, Carmel, Castleton, Clermont, Columbus, Crawfordsville, Cumberland, Danville, Fishers, Frankfort, Franklin, Greenwood, Greenfield, Homecroft, Kokomo, Lafayette, Lawrence, Lebanon, Mooresville, Muncie, Noblesville, Plainfield, Richmond, Southport, Speedway, Terre Haute, West Lafayette, and Zionsville.

Rural areas in the central portion of the state are typically composed of a patchwork of fields and forested areas. The geography of Central Indiana consists of gently rolling hills and sandstone ravines carved out by the retreating glaciers. Many of these ravines can be found in west-central Indiana, specifically along Sugar Creek in Turkey Run State Park and Shades State Park.

Southern Indiana

Evansville, the third largest city in Indiana, is located in the southwestern corner of the state. It is located in a tri-state area that includes Illinois, Indiana, and Kentucky. The south-central cities of Clarksville, Jeffersonville, and New Albany are part of the Louisville metropolitan area. Vincennes, the oldest city in the state, is located on the Wabash River.

Southern Indiana is a mixture of farmland, forest and very hilly areas, especially near Louisville and in the south central lime hills areas. The Hoosier National Forest is a 200,000 acre (80,900 ha) nature preserve in south central Indiana. Southern Indiana's topography is more varied than that in the north and generally contains more hills and geographic variation than the northern portion, such as the "Knobs," a series of 1,000 ft (300 m). hills that run parallel to the Ohio River in south-central Indiana. The bottomlands of Indiana, where the Wabash and Ohio converge, hosts numerous plant and animal species normally found in the Lower Mississippi and Gulf Coast region of the United States. Brown County is well-known for its hills covered with colorful autumn foliage, T.C. Steele's former home, and Nashville, the county seat and shopping destination. Harrison and Crawford Counties boast three of the state's most popular commercial caves at Wyandotte, Marengo, and Squire Boone Caverns.

The limestone geology of Southern Indiana has created numerous caves and one of the largest limestone quarry regions in the USA. Many of Indiana's official buildings, such as the State capitol building, the downtown monuments, the Indiana University School of Law in Indianapolis, many buildings at Indiana University in Bloomington, and the Indiana Government Center are all examples of Indiana architecture made with Indiana limestone. Indiana limestone has also been used in many other famous structures in the US, such as the Indiana University's Memorial Stadium, the Empire State Building, the Pentagon, and the Washington National Cathedral. In addition, 35 of the 50 state capitol buildings are also made of Indiana Limestone.

For sixty years, from 1890 to 1950, the United States Census found the center of population to lie in southern Indiana.


Most of Indiana has a humid continental climate (Koppen climate classification Dfa), with hot, humid summers and cool to cold winters. The extreme southern portions of the state border on a humid subtropical climate (Koppen Cfa) with somewhat milder winters. Summertime maximum temperatures average around 85 °F (29 °C) with cooler nights around 60 °F (16 °C). Winters are a little more variable, but generally cool to cold temperatures with all but the northern part of the state averaging above freezing for the maximum January temperature, and the minimum temperature below 20 °F (-8 °C) for most of the state.[21] The state receives a good amount of precipitation, 40 inches (1,000 mm) annually statewide, in all four seasons, with March through August being slightly wetter.

The state does have its share of severe weather, both winter storms and thunderstorms. While generally not receiving as much snow as some states farther north, the state does have occasional blizzards, some due to lake effect snow. Two major paralyzing snowstorms bear merit. The January, 1978 Blizzard, which affected almost the entire state, and the December, 2004 Blizzard, which primarily affected the Ohio Valley and later caused the severe flooding of the White, Wabash, and the Ohio Rivers in January, 2005. The state averages around 40-50 days of thunderstorms per year, with March and April being the period of most severe storms. While not considered part of Tornado Alley, Indiana is the Great Lakes state which is most vulnerable to tornadic activity. In fact, three of the most severe tornado outbreaks in U.S. history affected Indiana, the Tri-State Tornado of 1925, the Palm Sunday tornado outbreak of 1965 and the Super Outbreak of 1974. The Evansville Tornado of November 2005 killed 25 people, 20 people in Vanderburgh County and 5 in Warrick County.


Indiana was inhabited by migratory tribes of Native Americans possibly as early 8000 BC. These tribes succeeded one another in dominance for several thousand years. By 900 an advanced culture of Mississippians became dominant building large cities of 30,000 inhabitants and massive earthworks in the state. For unknown reasons, their entire civilization disappeared sometime around 1450.[23] The region entered recorded history when the first Europeans came to Indiana and claimed the territory for Kingdom of France during the 1670s. At the conclusion of the French and Indian War and one hundred years of French rule, the region came under the control of the Kingdom of Great Britain. British control was short-lived, as the region was transferred to the newly formed United States at the conclusion of the American Revolutionary War only 20 years later.

At the time the United States took possession of Indiana, there were only two permanent European settlements in the entire territory, Clark's Grant and Vincennes. The United States immediately set to work to develop Indiana. In 1800, the Indiana Territory was established and steadily settled. It was originally placed under the governorship of William Henry Harrison who oversaw the purchase of millions of acres of land from the native tribes and successfully guided the territory through Tecumseh's War and the War of 1812.

Indiana was admitted to the Union in 1816 as the nineteenth state. Following statehood, the new government set out on an ambitious plan to transform Indiana from a wilderness frontier into a developed, well populated, and thriving state. The state's founders initiated a program that led to the construction of roads, canals, railroads, and state funded public schools. The plans nearly bankrupted the state and were a financial disaster, but increased land and produce value more than four-fold. During the 1850s, the state's population grew to exceed one million and the ambitious program of the state founders was finally realized.

During the American Civil War, Indiana became politically influential and played an important role in the affairs of the nation. As the first western state to mobilize for the war, Indiana's soldiers were present in almost every engagement during the war. After the Civil War, Indiana remained important nationally as it became a critical swing state in U.S. Presidential elections, which decided control of the federal government for three decades. Following the Civil War, Indiana industry began to grow and an accelerated rate across the northern part of the state leading to the formation of labor unions and suffrage movements.

During the early 20th century, Indiana developed into a strong manufacturing state, then experienced setbacks during the Great Depression of the 1930s. The state also saw many developments with the construction of Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the takeoff of the auto industry in the state, substantial urban growth, and two major United States wars. Economic recovery began during World War II and the state continued to enjoy substantial growth. During the second half the of the 20th century, Indiana became a leader in the pharmaceutical industry, as Eli Lilly and other companies settled in the state.


As of 2006, Indiana had an estimated population of 6,313,520, which is an increase of 47,501, or 0.8%, from the prior year and an increase of 233,003, or 3.8%, since the year 2000. This includes a natural increase since the last census of 196,728 people (that is 541,506 births minus 344,778 deaths) and an increase due to net migration of 51,117 people into the state. Immigration from outside the United States resulted in a net increase of 68,935 people, and migration within the country produced a net loss of 17,818 people.

The center of population of Indiana is located in Hamilton County, in the town of Sheridan. Population growth since 1990 has been 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 near Cincinnati.

The Evansville Area has experienced a shift in their population. Evansville continues to lose population as of 2005 while Vanderburgh has continued to grow by at least 3% a year. The other counties of the Evansville Area of Southwestern Indiana have started to grow at an increasingly faster rate, especially Gibson and Warrick Counties who are becoming Evansville's suburban counties. Gibson County has seen at least two towns Haubstadt and Fort Branch starting to become "Bedroom Communities" like Newburgh and Chandler in Warrick County. In addition, the two counties have seen their minority (in particular, Asian, African-American, and Hispanic) populations just about double in the last 15 years.

As of 2005, the total population included 242,281 foreign-born (3.9%).

German is the largest ancestry reported in Indiana, with 22.7% of the population reporting that ancestry in the Census. Persons citing "American" (12.0%) and English ancestry (8.9%) are also numerous, as are Irish (10.8%) and Polish (3.0%).


Although the largest single religious denomination in the state is Roman Catholic, most of the population are members of various Protestant denominations. A study by the Graduate Center found that 20% are Roman Catholic, 14% are Baptist, 10% are other Christians, 9% are Methodist, and 6% are Lutheran. The study also found that 16% are secular.

The state is home to the University of Notre Dame and several other private, religiously affiliated schools. It also has a strong parochial school system in the larger metropolitan areas. Southern Indiana is the home to a number of Catholic monasteries and one of the two archabbeys in the United States, St. Meinrad Archabbey. Two conservative denominations, the Free Methodist Church and the Wesleyan Church, have their headquarters in Indianapolis as does the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). The Fellowship of Grace Brethren Churches maintains offices and publishing work in Winona Lake. Huntington serves as the home to the Church of the United Brethren in Christ. Anderson is home to the headquarters of Church of God Ministries and Warner Press Publishing House. Fort Wayne is the headquarters of the Missionary Church. Fort Wayne is also home to one of The Lutheran Church Missouri Synod's seminaries - Concordia Theological Seminary. The Friends United Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends, the largest branch of American Quakerism, is based in Richmond. Richmond also houses the oldest Quaker seminary in the US, the Earlham School of Religion. The Islamic Society of North America is headquartered just off Interstate 70 in Plainfield, west of Indianapolis.

In 1906, the Census reported there were 938,405 members of different religious denominations; of this total, 233,443 were Methodists (210,593 of the Northern Church); 174,849 were Roman Catholics, 108,188 were Disciples of Christ (and 10,219 members of the Churches of Christ); 92,705 were Baptists (60,203 of the Northern Convention, 13,526 of the National (African American) Convention; 8,132 Primitive Baptists, and 6,671 General Baptists); 58,633 were Presbyterians (49,041 of the Northern Church, and 6,376 of the Cumberland Church—since united with the Northern); 55,768 were Lutherans (34,028 of the Evangelical Lutheran Synodical Conference, 8,310 of the Evangelical Lutheran Synod of Ohio and other states), 52,700 were United Brethren (48,059 of the Church of the United Brethren in Christ; the others of the " Old Constitution ") and 21,624 of the German Evangelical Synod.

Cities and towns

The five largest cities in Indiana are the capital Indianapolis, Fort Wayne, Evansville, South Bend, and Gary.


Indiana has three branches: executive (government), legislative (parliament) and judicial. The governor of Indiana, elected for a four-year term, heads the government. The Indiana General Assembly, the legislative branch, consists of the upper house, Senate, and the lower house, House of Representatives. Indiana's fifty State Senators are elected for four-year terms and one hundred State Representatives for two-year terms. In odd-numbered years, the General Assembly meets in a sixty-one day session. In even-numbered years, it meets for thirty session days. The judicial branch consists of the Indiana Supreme Court, Indiana Court of Appeals, the Indiana Tax Court, and local circuit courts.

The current governor of Indiana is Mitch Daniels, whose campaign slogan was "My Man Mitch," an appellation given by President George W. Bush for whom Mitch Daniels was the director of the Office of Management and Budget. He was elected to office on November 2, 2004.

Indiana has long been considered to be a Republican stronghold. It has only supported a Democrat for president four times since 1900 - in 1912, 1932, 1936 and 1964. Nonetheless, half of Indiana's governors in the 20th century were Democrats.

Historically, Republicans have been strongest in the eastern and central portions of the state, as well as the suburbs of the state's major cities. Democrats have been strongest in the northwestern and southern parts of the state along with the major cities. However, outside of Indianapolis, the Chicago suburbs, and Bloomington, the state's Democrats tend to be somewhat more conservative than their counterparts in the rest of the country, especially on social issues.

Indiana's delegation to the United States House of Representatives is not overly Republican either. Instead, it has generally served as a bellwether for the political movement of the nation. For instance, Democrats held the majority of seats until the 1994 Republican Revolution, when Republicans took a majority. This continued until 2006, when three Republican congressmen were defeated in Indiana; (Chris Chocola, John Hostettler and Mike Sodrel), giving the Democrats a majority of the delegation again.

Former governor and current U.S. Senator Evan Bayh announced in 2006 his plans for a presidential exploratory committee. His father was a three-term senator who was turned out of office in the 1980 Reagan Revolution by conservative Republican (and future Vice-President) Dan Quayle, a native of Huntington in the northeastern part of the state. However, Bayh announced that he would not be seeking the Presidency on December 16, 2006.

The state's U.S. Senators are Senior Sen. Richard Lugar (Republican) and Junior Sen. Evan Bayh (Democrat). Both Senators, although of opposite parties, have proved immensely popular in the state. In 2004, Sen. Bayh won reelection to a second term with 62% of the vote. And in 2006, Sen. Lugar won reelection to a sixth term with 87% of the vote against no major-party opposition.

Administrative divisions

Town Council

According to the Indiana laws, Town Council members serve as both the executive and legislative branches for small communities incorporated as towns within the state. They consist of three or five members, depending upon the town's population.

Unlike some states, Indiana councilmembers must declare a political party affiliation, if any, when they file to run for office. Upon election in November, they are sworn in before January 1 of the following year, where they serve a four year term. There are no state term limits affecting how many times a candidate may run for reelection to office.

The first meeting after an election, members of the town council hold an organizing meeting, where they elect a leader to set future agendas and act as an official spokesman for the town or as liaison between the town and state and county government.

Indiana town councils work in conjunction with an elected town clerk, who manages the day-to-day business of the municipal government. As an elected official, the town clerk is solely executive in function and operates independently of the town council. But the council has final say on budgets which clerks depend upon to operate.

In addition to a clerk, the council can authorize the hiring of other staff to run the operations of government, including law enforcement officers, utility workers, park and recreation employees and town managers. These employees serve at the pleasure of the council.


The total gross state product in 2005 was US$214 billion in 2000 chained dollars. Indiana's per capita income, as of 2005, was US$31,150. A high percentage of Indiana's income is from manufacturing. The Calumet region of northwest Indiana is the largest steel producing area in the U.S. Steelmaking itself requires generating very large amounts of electric power. Indiana's other manufactures include pharmaceuticals and medical devices, automobiles, electrical equipment, transportation equipment, chemical products, rubber, petroleum and coal products, and factory machinery.

Despite its reliance on manufacturing, Indiana has been much less affected 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 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.

Indiana is home to the international headquarters of pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly in Indianapolis as well as the headquarters of Mead Johnson Nutritionals, a division of Bristol-Myers Squibb, in Evansville. Elkhart, in the north, has also had a strong economic base of pharmaceuticals, though this has changed over the past decade with the closure of Whitehall Laboratories in the 1990s and the planned drawdown of the large Bayer complex, announced in late 2005. Overall, Indiana ranks fifth among all U.S. states in total sales and shipments of pharmaceutical products and second highest in the number of biopharmaceutical related jobs. Medical device manufacturers include Zimmer in Warsaw and Cook in Bloomington.

The state is located 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. Its proximity to large urban centers, such as Chicago, assure that dairying, egg production, and specialty horticulture occur. Specialty crops include melons, tomatoes, grapes, and mint. Most of the original land was not prairie and had to be cleared of deciduous trees. Many parcels of woodland remain and support a furniture-making sector in the southern portion of the state.

Indiana is becoming a leading state in the production of biofuels, such as ethanol and biodiesel. Indiana now has 12 ethanol and 4 biodiesel plants located in the state. Reynolds, located north of Lafayette is now known as BioTown, USA. The town is experimenting with using biofuels and organic fuels, such as those made with manure, to power the town.

In mining, Indiana is probably best known for its decorative limestone from the southern, hilly portion of the state, especially from Lawrence County (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 September 11, 2001 attacks, 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 the extreme southwest, though operational oil derricks can be seen on the outskirts of Terre Haute.

Indiana's economy is considered to be one of the most business-friendly in the U.S. This is due in part to its conservative business climate, low business taxes, relatively low union membership, and labor laws. The doctrine of at-will employment, whereby an employer can terminate an employee for any or no reason, is in force.

Indiana has a flat state income tax rate of 3.4%. Many Indiana counties also collect income tax. The state sales tax rate is 7%. Property taxes are imposed on both real and personal property in Indiana and are administered by the Department of Local Government Finance. Property is subject to taxation by a variety of taxing units (schools, counties, townships, cities and towns, libraries), making the total tax rate the sum of the tax rates imposed by all taxing units in which a property is located. However, a law enacted on March 19, 2008 limits property taxes to one percent of assessed value for homeowners, two percent for rental properties and farmland and three percent for businesses.


Indiana's power production chiefly consists of the consumption of fossil fuels, mainly coal. Indiana has 24 coal power plants, including the largest coal power plant in the United States, Gibson Generating Station, located near Owensville, Indiana. While Indiana has made commitments to increasing use of renewable resources such as wind, hydroelectric, biomass, or solar power, however, progress has been very slow, mainly because of the continued abundance of coal in Southern Indiana. Most of the new plants in the state have been "coal gasification" plants. Another source is hydroelectric power.

Indiana has six hydroelectric dams. The Norway and Oakdale Dams near Monticello provide electrical power, recreation, and other benefits to local citizens. The Norway Dam created Lake Shafer and the Oakdale Dam created Lake Freeman. The Markland Dam, on the Ohio River, near Vevay, Indiana also produces electricity. The city of Wabash was the first electrically lighted city in the country. Solar power and wind power are being investigated, and Geothermal Power is being used commercially.

Sources of energy (2001)

  • Indiana does not utilize photovoltaic (solar) power.



Indianapolis International Airport serves the greater Indianapolis area and is currently in the process of constructing a new passenger facility. When fully completed, the airport will offer a new midfield passenger terminal, concourses, air traffic control tower, parking garage, and airfield and apron improvements.

Other major airports include Evansville Regional Airport, Fort Wayne International Airport (which houses the 122nd Fighter Wing of the Air National Guard), and South Bend Regional Airport. A long-standing proposal to turn the under-utilized Gary Chicago International Airport into Chicago's third major airport received a boost in early 2006 with the approval of $48 million in federal funding over the next ten years.

The Terre Haute International Airport has no airlines operating out of the facility but is used for private flying. Since 1954, the 181st Fighter Wing of the Indiana Air National Guard has been stationed at the airport. However, the BRAC Proposal of 2005 stated that the 181st would lose its fighter mission and F-16 aircraft, leaving the Terre Haute facility as a general-aviation only facility.

The southern part of the state is also served by the Louisville International Airport across the Ohio River in Louisville, Kentucky. The southeastern part of the state is served by the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport also across the Ohio River in Florence Ky. Many residents of northwestern Indiana use the two Chicago airports, O'Hare International Airport and Chicago Midway International Airport


The major U.S. Interstate highways in Indiana are I-69, I-65, I-94, I-70, I-74, I-64, I-80, and I-90. The various highways intersecting in and around Indianapolis earned it the nickname "The Crossroads of America". Originally the "Crossroads of America" referred to Terre Haute, where the two major US 41 and US 40 ("Old National Road") highways intersected.[citation needed]

There are also many state highways maintained by the Indiana Department of Transportation. These are numbered according to the same convention as U.S. Highways.

County roads

Most Indiana counties use a grid-based system to identify county roads; this system replaced the older arbitrary system of road numbers and names, and (among other things) makes it much easier to identify the sources of calls placed to the 9-1-1 system. For this reason, the system is often called "9-1-1 addressing". Such systems are easier to implement in the glacially flattened northern portion of the state. Rural counties in the southern third of the state are less likely to have grids and more likely to rely on unsystematic road names (e.g., Franklin County); there are also counties in the northern portions of the state that have never implemented a grid, or have only partially implemented one.

Many counties set up this grid as follows: the county is given an east-west division line, dividing the county into northern and southern parts, and a north-south meridian line, dividing it into eastern and western parts. Roads are numbered by taking the distance, in miles, from the appropriate baseline and multiplying it by 100. Thus, a north-south road that is 1-mile (1.6 km) east of the meridian line is county road 100 E; and an east-west road that is 4.75 miles (7.64 km) north of the division line is county road 475 N.


Indiana has over 4,255 railroad route miles, of which 91 percent are operated by Class I railroads, principally CSX Transportation and Norfolk Southern. Other Class I railroads in Indiana include Canadian National and the Soo Line, a Canadian Pacific Railway subsidiary, as well as Amtrak. The remaining miles are operated by 37 regional, local, and switching & terminal railroads. The South Shore Line is one of the country's most notable commuter rail systems extending from Chicago to South Bend. Indiana is currently implementing an extensive rail plan that was prepared in 2002 by the Parsons Corporation.


Indiana annually ships over 70 million tons of cargo by water each year, which ranks 14th among all U.S. states. More than half of Indiana's border is water, which includes 400 miles (640 km) of direct access to two major freight transportation arteries: the Great Lakes/St. Lawrence Seaway (via Lake Michigan) and the Inland Waterway System (via the Ohio River). The Ports of Indiana manages three major ports which include Burns Harbor, Jeffersonville, and Mount Vernon.


Indiana is known as the "Brain Bank of the Midwest" as Indiana's colleges and universities attract the fourth largest number of out-of-state students in the nation and the largest out-of-state student population in the midwest. In addition, Indiana is the third best state in the country at keeping high school seniors in-state as Indiana colleges and universities attract 88% of Indiana's college attendees. Indiana universities also lead the nation in the attraction of international students with Purdue University and Indiana University ranked #3 and #17 respectively in the total international student enrollment of all universities in the United States. This exceptional popularity is attributed to the high quality of the research and educational universities located in the state. The state's leading higher education institutions include Indiana University, Purdue University, University of Notre Dame, Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, IPFW, IUPUI, Butler University, Ball State University, Valparaiso University, Indiana State University, University of Southern Indiana, Vincennes University, Wabash College, University of Evansville, DePauw University, Manchester College, Huntington University, Earlham College, Indiana Wesleyan University Anderson University and St. Mary of the Woods College among the many public and private institutions located in the state.

The state has had difficulty retaining its college graduates, bringing the issue of brain drain to the attention of Governor Mitch Daniels.


Auto racing

Indiana has a long history with auto racing. Indianapolis hosts the Indianapolis 500 mile race over Memorial Day weekend at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway every May. The name of the race is usually shortened to "Indy 500" and also goes by the nickname, "The Greatest Spectacle in Racing". The race attracts over 250,000 people every year making it the largest single day sporting event in the world. The track also hosts the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard (NASCAR) and the United States Grand Prix (Formula One).


Indiana has a rich basketball heritage that reaches back to the formative years of the sport itself. Although James Naismith invented basketball in Springfield, Massachusetts, in 1891, Indiana is where high school basketball was born. In 1925, Naismith visited an Indiana basketball state finals game along with 15,000 screaming fans and later wrote "Basketball really had its origin in Indiana, which remains the center of the sport." The 1986 film Hoosiers is based on the story of the 1954 Indiana state champions Milan High School.

Club Sport League
Anderson Packers (defunct) Basketball National Basketball Association
Dubois County Dragons (defunct) Baseball Frontier League
Elkhart Express Basketball International Basketball League
Evansville Agogans (defunct) Basketball National Professional Basketball League
Evansville BlueCats (defunct) Indoor football United Indoor Football
Evansville Crimson Giants (defunct) Football National Football League
Evansville Express (defunct) Football National Women's Football Association
Evansville IceMen Ice Hockey Midwest Hockey League
Evansville Otters Baseball Frontier League
Evansville Thunder (defunct) Basketball Continental Basketball Association
Evansville Triplets (defunct) Baseball American Association
FC Indiana Soccer Women's Premier Soccer League
Fort Wayne Fever Soccer USL Premier Development League
Fort Wayne Flash Football National Women's Football Association
Fort Wayne Freedom Arena football Continental Indoor Football League
Fort Wayne Komets Ice hockey International Hockey League (2007-)
Fort Wayne Mad Ants Basketball NBA Development League
Fort Wayne Pistons (now Detroit Pistons) Basketball National Basketball Association
Fort Wayne Wizards Baseball Midwest League
Gary SouthShore RailCats Baseball Northern League
Gary Steelheads Basketball International Basketball League
Indiana Fever Basketball Women's National Basketball Association
Indiana Ice Ice hockey United States Hockey League
Indiana Pacers Basketball National Basketball Association, formerly, the American Basketball Association
Indiana Invaders Soccer USL Premier Development League
Indiana Speed Football Women's Professional Football League
Indianapolis Capitols (defunct) Football Continental Football League
Indianapolis Colts Football National Football League
Indianapolis Indians Baseball International League
Hammond Pros (defunct) Football National Football League
Indianapolis Olympians (defunct) Basketball National Basketball Association
Indianapolis Jets (defunct) Basketball National Basketball Association
Indianapolis Racers (defunct) Ice Hockey World Hockey Association
Muncie Flyers (defunct) Football National Football League (American Professional Football Association)
South Bend Silver Hawks Baseball Midwest League
Whiting All-American Caesars (defunct) Basketball National Basketball League

College sports

Indiana has had great sports success at the collegiate level. Notably, Indiana University has won five NCAA basketball championships, six swimming and diving NCAA championships, and seven NCAA soccer championships and Notre Dame has won 11 football championships. Schools fielding NCAA Division I athletic programs include:

  • Ball State University
  • Butler University
  • Indiana University
  • IPFW
  • Indiana State University
  • Purdue University
  • University of Evansville
  • University of Notre Dame
  • Valparaiso University


Military installations

Indiana used to be home to two major military installations, Grissom Air Force Base near Peru (reduced to reservist operations in 1994) and Fort Benjamin Harrison near Indianapolis, now closed, though the Department of Defense continues to operate a large finance center there.

Current active installations include Air National Guard fighter units at Fort Wayne, and Terre Haute airports (to be consolidated at Fort Wayne under the 2005 BRAC proposal, with the Terre Haute facility remaining open as a non-flying installation). The Army National Guard conducts operations at Camp Atterbury in Edinburgh, Indiana and helicopter operations out of Shelbyville Airport. The Crane Naval Weapons Center is in the southwest of the state and the Army's Newport Chemical Depot, which is currently heavily involved in neutralizing dangerous chemical weapons stored there, is in the western part of the state. Also, Naval Operational Support Center Indianapolis is home to several Navy Reserve units, a Marine Reserve unit, and a small contingent of active and full-time-support reserve personnel.

Time zones

Indiana is one of thirteen U.S. states that is divided by more than one time zone. Indiana's time zones have fluctuated over the past century. At present most of the state observes Eastern Time; six counties near Chicago and six near Evansville observe Central Time. Debate continues on the matter.

Before 2006, most of Indiana did not observe daylight saving time (DST). Some counties within this area, particularly Floyd, Clark, and Harrison counties near Louisville, Kentucky, and Ohio and Dearborn counties near Cincinnati, Ohio, unofficially observed DST by local custom. Since April 2006 the entire state observes DST. Although DST is supposed to save energy, a 2008 study of billing data before and after the change in 2006 concluded that residential electricity consumption had increased by 1% to 4%, primarily due to extra afternoon cooling.[57]

State symbols

  • State bird: Cardinal
  • State flower: Peony
  • State motto: The Crossroads of America.
  • State poem: Indiana, by Arthur Franklin Mapes.
  • State song: On the Banks of the Wabash, Far Away
  • State river: Wabash
  • State stone: Salem limestone
  • State tree: Tulip tree

Famous Hoosiers

Indiana is the home state of many astronauts, including Gus Grissom, Frank Borman, and David Wolf. The state was the birthplace of numerous entertainers and athletes including Larry Bird, John Mellencamp, Michael Jackson, Don Larsen, David Letterman, David Lee Roth, and Scott Rolen. Other notable people who were in Indiana during a major part of their career include:

  • George Ade, Author, playwright, newspaper columnist
  • John Andretti, racecar driver
  • David Anspaugh, movie director
  • Albert J. Beveridge, politician and historian
  • Larry Bird, basketball player, coach
  • Damon Bailey, retired basketball player
  • Arija Bareikis, actress
  • Birch Bayh, senator
  • Evan Bayh, governor and senator
  • Rupert Boneham, Survivor star
  • Claude Bowers, politician and historian
  • Drew Brees, Football player
  • Avery Brooks, Actor
  • Hoagy Carmichael, composer
  • Jared Carter, poet
  • Jim Davis, cartoonist
  • James Dean, movie star
  • Eugene V. Debs, Socialist Presidential candidate
  • Mark Dismore, racecar driver
  • Theodore Dreiser, novelist
  • Paul Dresser, song writer
  • Carl Erskine, baseball star and civic leader
  • Jessie Flower, actress
  • Vivica A. Fox, actress
  • Jared Fogle, Subway Spokesperson
  • Brendan Fraser, actor
  • Lillian Gilbreth, home economist
  • Jeff Gordon, NASCAR driver
  • Michael Graves, architect
  • Bob Griese, Football Player
  • Gus Grissom, astronaut
  • Rex Grossman, NFL Quarterback
  • Charles Halleck, politician
  • Lee Hamilton, politician
  • Benjamin Harrison, 23rd U.S. President
  • William Henry Harrison, U.S. President and General
  • Richard Hatcher, politician
  • Florence Henderson, singer-actress
  • Jimmy Hoffa, American labor leader
  • Paul Hoffman, industrialist
  • Richard Shannon Hoon singer/songwriter
  • Robert Indiana, painter/sculptor
  • Michael Jackson, singer/songwriter
  • Gene Keady, basketball coach
  • Shawn Kemp, basketball player
  • Alfred Kinsey, sex researcher
  • Bobby Knight, basketball coach
  • Don Larsen, baseball pitcher
  • David Letterman, TV personality
  • Eli Lilly, industrialist and philanthropist
  • Carole Lombard, actress
  • Shelley Long, actress
  • Richard Lugar, politician
  • Karl Malden, actor
  • Don Mattingly, baseball player/coach
  • John Mellencamp, musician
  • Steve McQueen, actor
  • Ryan Newman, NASCAR driver
  • Edna Scott Parker, Oldest person in the world
  • Jane Pauley, anchor and journalist
  • Cole Porter, song writer
  • Ernie Pyle, journalist
  • Dan Quayle, Forty-fourth U.S. Vice-President
  • George Rapp, Utopian
  • Orville Redenbacher, farming (popcorn)
  • James Whitcomb Riley, poet
  • Oscar Robertson, basketball player
  • Knute Rockne, football coach
  • Ned Rorem, prominent 20th century composer and writer
  • Axl Rose, musician
  • Jerry Ross, Astronaut
  • David Lee Roth, musician
  • Harland Sanders, founder of Kentucky Fried Chicken
  • Wilbur Shaw, racecar driver
  • Jean Shepherd, raconteur, personality, writer, and actor
  • Red Skelton, comedian
  • T. C. Steele, painter
  • Tony Stewart, NASCAR driver
  • Izzy Stradlin, guitarist/musician
  • Gene Stratton-Porter, novelist
  • Clement Studebaker, automobile maker
  • Booth Tarkington, novelist
  • Tecumseh, pan-American Indian leader
  • Steve Tesich, screenwriter and playwright
  • Maurice Thompson, novelist
  • Kurt Vonnegut, novelist
  • Madam C.J. Walker, bussinesswoman and civic leader
  • Lew Wallace, Civil War general, statesman, author
  • Gary Webb, Journalist
  • Ryan White, AIDS activist
  • Matt Williams, producer of popular television shows
  • Wendell Willkie, politician
  • Robert Wise, movie director
  • John Wooden, basketball coach
  • Fuzzy Zoeller, PGA golfer

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