Indiana state, USA

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Indiana state, USA

Map of Indiana
Flag of IndianaSeal of Indiana
Nickname(s):The Hoosier State
Motto(s):The Crossroads of America
Capital:Indianapolis city (balance)
Largest city:Indianapolis city (balance)
- Total:6.483.802 (2010)
- Density:181,0/sq mi (69,9/sq km)
Abbreviations:IN Ind. US-IN
Official language(s):English
Spoken language(s):General American English, Midland Dialects, Inland North American and Other Languages
- Total:36.422 sq mi (94.328 sq km)
- Land:35.828 sq mi (92.790 sq km)
- Water:594 sq mi (1.538 sq km)
- % water:1,63 %
- Highest point:Hoosier Hill, 1,257 ft (383 m)
- Mean:700 ft (210 m)
- Lowest point:Confluence of Ohio River and Wabash River, 320 ft (97 m)

Populated places in the state of Indiana

Population limit:

Basic information about the state of Indiana

Indiana is located in the Great Lakes and Midwestern regions of the United States. It was admitted into the US as the 19th state in 1816. Covering the surface of 36,418 square miles it is the 38th most extensive state in the nation. Total number of inhabitants was estimated at 6,516,922 which makes this state the 15th most populous state in the US. It is also the smallest state when it comes to the surface it covers to the west of Appalachian Mountains. Indianapolis is both the largest city and the capital of the state. It is also the largest capital city in the US.

The inhabitants of this state are popularly known as ‘Hoosiers’. It is not completely certain where this word comes from but it is supposed that it was used in the southern regions of the US to describe rough countrymen and farmers. That term is even incorporated in the nickname of the state – The Hoosier State. The state motto is: The Crossroads of America. The name of the state means literally ‘The Land of the Indians’. The state has a number of acclaimed universities and a well developed economy.

Read more about the state in our detailed profile of Indiana

Profile of the Indiana state

History of Indiana

Archeological evidence suggests that the region of today’s Indiana has been inhabited since before 8,000 BC by people known as Paleo-Indians. Their primitive culture focused mainly on hunting and herb gathering gave way to somewhat more advanced peoples of the Archaic period which started somewhere around 5000 BC and lasted until 1500 BC when the Woodland period started. People of the Woodland period were more advanced which is evident in their use of pottery and the fact that certain improvements to the agriculture have been implemented at this time. One of the cultures of the period, the Adena people are known for building elaborate tombs for their deceased. This period ended somewhere around 1,000 BC and the new, Mississippian period lasted until sometime in 14th century, before the Europeans came to the region. It was a prolific period for the inhabitants of the region, city like settlements were built consisting of ornate buildings and majestic plazas. The reasons for the collapse of the Mississippian civilization in this region are still unknown.

The first recorded European that came to the region was Rene-Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle in 1679. He was a French explorer, who returned to the region in the following year to gather more information on it and to get to know it better. Fur traders from Canada also occasionally came to the region in order to trade with the local Native Americans. The first trading post in the region was established in 1702 in the vicinity of Vincennes. Soon after, in 1715, the first fort in the region, Fort Miami was built at Kekionga, or today’s Fort Wayne. The next one, Fort Ouiatenon was built in the 1717 in the vicinity of the Wabash River. The latter fort was supposed to enable the Canadian traders who built it to control the trade routes that passed in its vicinity. However, in 1750, the British settlers came and engaged in a conflict with the Canadian merchants that was supposed to determine who will have the chance to take part in the lucrative fur trade that the region was known for.

The war between the New France and British colonists ended, and even despite the fact that French had the help of the native tribes, the British emerged victorious in 1762, and won he control over the entire region. The native tribes weren’t ready to make their peace with that outcome and continued to rebel, burning several, now British-owned, forts in the process. After several conflicts, the crown gave them land west of the Appalachians. The American Revolution started in 1775, and even though most of the fighting was done in the east, this region has seen some battles, notably the taking of the Fort Sackville Vincennes in 1779 by the rebel forces.
In 1787 the region became a part of the Northwest Territory. When Congress separated Ohio from the rest of the Territory, the remaining land became known as the Indiana Territory. William Henry Harrison was chosen by Thomas Jefferson to be the Governor of the new made Territory and its capital was established in Vincennes. After the forming of the Illinois territory and the separation of Michigan, the Indiana was reduced to the size that it retains to this day. Between 1810 and 1813 the region was constantly torn in the conflicts between the white settlers and the native tribes, but eventually the situation was settled.

In 1813 the capital of the territory was moved to Corydon. It is there that the first Indiana constitution was written in 1816. It is in the same year that Indiana was admitted into the Union as its 19th state by President James Madison. The state capital was once again moved in 1825, now to Indianapolis which remains the state’s capital to this very day. In 1851 Indiana adopted its second constitution. Soon after, actions were taken that were supposed to make Indiana a prosperous state. The people in the region started building state-funded schools, railroads, canals and roads. This was not done skillfully and the plan ended bankrupting the state, but the infrastructure that was built was quite effective and it started attracting a lot of new settlers. Most of the settlers that came to the region at that time were from Germany, but there were also a lot of English and Irish settlers, as well as those from other parts of the US.

Indiana was the first state that mobilized for the Civil War, and its soldiers took part in most of the battles of the war. The state has provided the Union with 13 cavalry regiments, 26 artillery batteries and 126 infantry regiments. In 1861, Indiana was supposed to contribute to the war effort with 7,500 men, but so many people volunteered that literally thousands of them had to be turned away. Until the end of the war, it is estimated that Indiana has sent 208,367 men to fight for the Union. Out of that number 50,000 men were wounded and 24,416 were killed in battle. The only battle that happened on the soil of the state was the Battle of Corydon.

After the war, the industry in Indiana started developing at an amazing pace. The state soon became a manufacturing power, and took significant part in the auto industry. The Great Depression was equally debilitating in Indiana as it was in the other states, and Indiana didn’t really recover from it until the World War II, when the fact that it was producing a lot of necessary war materials helped the state’s economy get back on its feet. The post war period has seen a large increase in the population of the state, as people were coming in great numbers in order to take advantage of its, now flourishing economy. By 1970, the population in Indiana has reached the figure of 5 million inhabitants.

Economy of Indiana

In 2010 the GSP of Indiana was $275.5 billion. The workforce in Indiana was estimated at 3,084,100 people. A great part of the income of the state comes from manufacturing. Calumet Region, located in the northwestern part of Indiana is the largest steel producing region in the nation. Other important types of manufactured goods in the state are factory machinery, petroleum and coal products, rubber, chemical products, transportation equipment, electrical equipment, automobiles as well as medical devices and pharmaceuticals.

Eli Lilly, a major pharmaceutical company, has its international headquarters in Indiana. It is the largest company in the state. Indiana is the 2nd state in the nation in the number of jobs related to biopharmaceuticals and the 5th in total sales of pharmaceutical products.
Indiana is a part of both the Grain Belt and the Corn Belt of the US. The feedlot system is used in this state, and it is meant to help with the fattening of cattle and hogs. Another important crop in the state are the soybeans. State is also known for egg and dairy products. Indiana is an important grower of tobacco, popping corn, mint, grapes, tomatoes and melons. A lot of today’s fields were once parts of different forests that had to be cleared away. In 2011, Indiana was declared the best state to do business in the Midwest and 6th best in the entire nation.

Indiana has a flat income taxes rate that is set at 3.4%. Counties in the state can also collect income tax. The sales tax in the state is 7%, but exemptions are provided for over-the counter medications, prescription medication and food. Some of the jurisdictions are also charging an added Food and Beverage taxes on sales of beverages or prepared food with the usual rate being 1%.

Indiana Geography and Climate

Indiana covers the surface of 36,418 square miles, which makes it the 38th largest state in the nation. The longest distance from the southern to northern border is 250 miles, while the greatest distance between the western and the eastern border is 145 miles. The state has Illinois to the west, Kentucky to the south, Ohio to the east and Michigan to the north. Indiana is one of the 8 states located in the Great Lakes region. The average elevation of the state is 760 feet above the sea level. The point with the highest elevation in Indiana is the Hoosier Hill with its 1.257 feet above the sea level.

The central part of the state consists of till plains. The terrain is heavily influenced by the past glacier activities. This has left the soil full of clay, gravel and glacial sands, a combination which makes for very fertile soil. Indiana valleys are also quite fertile, especially the Whitewater Valley, which is well known for its agricultural capacity. The northeastern part of the state has a number of dunes and sand hills, which are the product of the winds in the area. Basin of the Kankakee River is mainly composed of prairies, marshes and lakes. The northeast of Indiana also has some moraines which vary in size. The largest one is 100 miles long, 25 miles wide and its depth varies from 200 to 500 feet.

The official river of Indiana is the Wabash River, the longest river to the east of the Mississippi. It is 475 miles long and it cuts the state in half, at one point also marking a natural border between Illinois and Indiana. The Kankakee River is a tributary of the Illinois River and it serves as a kind of the limiting line between the suburban northwestern Indiana and its other parts. The state has over 1,000 smaller lakes. It also has an important port on the Lake Michigan.

The most of the state has a humid continental climate with warm, wet summers and cool winters. The southern part of Indiana, however, mostly has humid subtropical climate, and is the area with the highest precipitation in the state. Naturally for the state of this size, the average temperatures in the north are quite different from those in the south of the state. In the north, the extremes in winter temperatures range from 30 °F to 15°F and from 84°F to 64°F in the summer. In the south however, winter temperatures go between 39°F to 22°F, while summer temperatures are in the range of 90°F to 69°F. The highest temperature in the state was recorded at Collegeville in 1936 and it was 116°F, while the lowest one was recorded at New Whiteland in 1994 and it was -36°F.

It is not uncommon for the state to experience an occasional drought, but generally, the rainfall in the state is equally distributed throughout the year. The state average is 40 inches per year, but it depends on the area, along the Ohio River the average precipitation is 45 inches, while in the vicinity of Lake Michigan it is closer to 35 inches every year. The amounts of snowfall that the different areas of the state are getting are also quite different. In the south it is usually around 14 inches, while in the north it goes up to 80 inches, this is mainly attributed to the fact that Lake Michigan has a significant influence on the snowfall due to the Lake effect. Indiana is not located in the Tornado Alley, but it is still one of the states with the highest risk of tornadoes.

Indiana Population

In 2011 the population of Indiana counted 6,516,922 people, which was a 0.51% increase compared to the previous year. In 2010 the population density of the state was 181 people per square mile. In terms of ethnicity, 81.5% of the population were non-Hispanic white people, 2.8% Hispanic whites, 9.1% African Americans, 1.6% Asians, 0.3% Native Americans and 2% of the people had multiethnic background. The fastest growing minority in Indiana are Hispanics. When the age of the residents is concerned, 12.8% of the population is comprised of people older than 65, 24.8% are under 18 years of age and 6.9% are under five.

When it comes to ancestry groups, people with German ancestry make up 22.7% of the entire population, those with American 12%, English 8.9%, Irish 10.8% and Polish 3%. The people claiming American ancestry were usually descendants of the English, but their families have been living in the US for long enough that their older ancestors have stopped being relevant, or even remembered. In 1980, the situation was somewhat different out of the population of 4,241,975 people, 42% (1,776,144 people) said that they have German ancestry, 32% (1,356,135 people) English and 24% (1,017,944people) Irish.

Since 1990 population of the state has been growing the fastest in counties near Indianapolis, Hamilton, Hancock, Johnson and Hendricks County. Town of Sheridan in the Hamilton County is currently the center of population in Indiana. Hamilton is also the 20th county in the nation when it comes to the growing rate.

Denomination with the largest number of adherents in Indiana is the Roman Catholic Church with 836,009 believers. There are more Protestants in the state than Catholics, but they are divided into several branches, the largest of which being the United Methodist Church that has 288,308 members. Apparently, Roman Catholics constitute 20% of the population, members of different Baptist churches 14%, other Christians 10%, Methodists 9% and Lutherans 6%. Indiana is also where one of only two arch abbeys in the nation is located - the St. Meinrad Archabbey.

Indiana Government and Legislation

The government of Indiana is split into three branches, executive, legislative and judicial. Governor of Indiana is the head of the executive branch. Lieutenant Governor and Governor are elected on the same ticket, and they both serve four year terms. The elections for Lieutenant Governor and Governor are held in the same years as the US presidential elections. The Governor may only serve two consecutive terms before someone else needs to be elected as a Governor, after his or her term is over though, the previous Governor can be re-elected once again. The Governor cooperates with the highest bodies of the other two branches, the Supreme Court and the General Assembly, and even has some influence on their decisions and operations. Governor can call special sessions of the General Assembly and has the power to appoint or remove the officers of other departments, commissions or boards. Apart from that, the Governor has the authority to grant pardons to criminals, unless they are found guilty of treason and to call the Indiana National Guard or Indiana Guard Reserve. Lieutenant Governor’s duties include supervising and modifying the operations of the Senate, and stepping in to perform the Governor’s duties if the Governor is somehow prevented from performing them.

The highest body of the legislative branch is the General Assembly. It consists of two separate bodies, the Senate, which in Indiana has 50 members and the House of Representatives which has 100. Out of these two bodies House of Representatives is the lower and Senate is the higher body. Both houses of the legislative branch can introduce new legislation, but the Senate doesn’t have the authority to initiate legislation that somehow affects revenue. The bills that are proposed must be voted on by both houses separately, and they must be passed in both of them before they are eventually submitted to the state’s Governor. The Governor than has the power to veto the bill, but that veto can be overturned if the houses gather enough votes. The laws passed by the General Assembly apply to the entire state; this body does not have the authority to create laws that only apply in certain regions of the state. General Assembly has the power to influence the size of the court districts and of the courts themselves, to supervise the functioning of sections of the executive branch, and finally, to initiate the procedure for altering parts of the Indiana Constitution.

Judicial branch consists of a number of lower courts, Court of Appeals and the highest court in the state, the Indiana Supreme Court. Court of Appeals has 15 judges, while the Supreme Court has 5. These judges are selected by the Governor out of a list that was composed by a special commission. The judges must first serve a sort of a probational two year term, and then, if they are elected by the people can then go on to serve a ten year term. Supreme Court only has original jurisdiction in a small number of cases, like disbarment of judges serving in lower courts, but usually, cases are relegated to it only after first being addressed by some of the lower courts.

There are 92 counties in Indiana, and they are led by boards of county commissioners. Out of those 92 counties, 90 have their own circuit courts, while the counties of Ohio and Dearborn have one merged circuit court that they share. Some of the counties also have superior courts in addition to the basic circuit courts. County officials serve four year terms.

Photos from the state of Indiana

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Photos on Map - Indiana state

Statistical data for the state of Indiana

Data Source : US Census Bureau

Racial makeup

White alone
5,467,90684.33 %
Black or African American alone
591,3979.12 %
American Indian and Alaska Native alone
18,4620.28 %
Asian alone
102,4741.58 %
Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander alone
2,3480.04 %
Some Other Race alone
173,3142.67 %
Two or More races
127,9011.97 %

Hispanic or Latino Origin

Not Hispanic or Latino
6,094,09593.99 %
Hispanic or Latino
389,7076.01 %

Hispanic or Latino Origin by Race

Not Hispanic or Latino
6,094,09593.99 %
White alone
5,286,45386.75 %
Black or African American alone
582,1409.55 %
American Indian and Alaska Native alone
14,1650.23 %
Asian alone
101,4441.66 %
Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander alone
1,8530.03 %
Some Other Race alone
8,6750.14 %
Two or More races
99,3651.63 %
Hispanic or Latino
389,7076.01 %
White alone
181,45346.56 %
Black or African American alone
9,2572.38 %
American Indian and Alaska Native alone
4,2971.10 %
Asian alone
1,0300.26 %
Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander alone
4950.13 %
Some Other Race alone
164,63942.25 %
Two or More races
28,5367.32 %

Median Age by Sex

Both sexes

Household Type

Family households
1,674,12666.91 %
Husband-wife family
1,241,26774.14 %
Other family
432,85925.86 %
Male householder, no wife present
122,67728.34 %
Female householder, no husband present
310,18271.66 %
Nonfamily households
828,02833.09 %
Householder living alone
671,92081.15 %
Householder not living alone
156,10818.85 %

Map of Indiana state, USA

Current weather situation in the state of Indiana

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