Indiana facts for kids
|State of Indiana|
|Nickname(s): The Hoosier State|
|Motto(s): The Crossroads of America|
|Spoken languages||English, Spanish, other languages|
(and largest city)
|Largest metro||Indianapolis metropolitan area|
|- Total||36,418 sq mi
|- Width||140 miles (225 km)|
|- Length||270 miles (435 km)|
|- % water||1.5|
|- Latitude||37° 46′ N to 41° 46′ N|
|- Longitude||84° 47′ W to 88° 6′ W|
|Number of people||Ranked 16th|
|- Total||6,633,053 (2016 est)|
|- Density||182/sq mi (70.2/km2)
|- Average income||$51,983 (35th)|
|Height above sea level|
|- Highest point||Hoosier Hill
1,257 ft (383 m)
|- Average||700 ft (210 m)|
|- Lowest point||Confluence of Ohio River and Wabash River
320 ft (97 m)
|Became part of the U.S.||December 11, 1816 (19th)|
|Governor||Eric Holcomb (R)|
|- 80 counties||Eastern: UTC −5/−4|
| - 12 counties in
Evansville Metro Area,
Gary Metro Area
For more information,
see Time in Indiana
|Central: UTC −6/−5|
|Abbreviations||IN, Ind. US-IN|
|The Flag of Indiana.|
|The Seal of Indiana.|
|Colors||Blue and gold|
|Food||Sugar cream pie|
|Ship(s)||USS Indianapolis (4), USS Indiana (4)|
|Song(s)||official "On the Banks of the Wabash, Far Away" unofficial "Back Home Again in Indiana"|
|Released in 2002|
|Lists of United States state insignia|
Indiana has a diverse economy with a gross state product of $298 billion in 2012.
Indiana is home to several major sports teams and athletic events including the NFL's Indianapolis Colts, the NBA's Indiana Pacers, the WNBA's Indiana Fever, the Indianapolis 500, and Brickyard 400 motorsports races.
- Indiana counties and statistical areas
- Images for kids
The state's name means "Land of the Indians", or simply "Indian Land".
A resident of Indiana is officially known as a Hoosier.
The Hopewell people began developing long-range trade of goods.They developed highly productive cultivation and adaptation of agriculture, growing such crops as corn and squash. This period ended around 1000 AD.
The Mississippian culture emerged, lasting from 1000 until the 15th century, shortly before the arrival of Europeans. During this stage, the people created large urban settlements designed according to their cosmology, with large mounds and plazas defining ceremonial and public spaces. The concentrated settlements depended on the agricultural surpluses. One such complex was the Angel Mounds. They had large public areas such as plazas and platform mounds, where leaders lived or conducted rituals.
Mississippian civilization collapsed in Indiana during the mid-15th century for reasons that remain unclear. The historic Native American tribes in the area at the time of European encounter spoke different languages of the Algonquian family. They included the Shawnee, Miami, and Illini. Later they were joined by refugee tribes from eastern regions including the Delaware who settled in the White and Whitewater River Valleys.
European exploration and sovereignty
French-Canadian fur traders soon arrived, bringing blankets, jewelry, tools, whiskey and weapons to trade for skins with the Native Americans. By 1702, Sieur Juchereau established the first trading post near Vincennes. In 1715 Sieur de Vincennes built Fort Miami at Kekionga, now Fort Wayne.
In 1717, another Canadian, Picote de Beletre, built Fort Ouiatenon on the Wabash River, to try to control Native American trade routes from Lake Erie to the Mississippi River. In 1732 Sieur de Vincennes built a second fur trading post at Vincennes. French Canadian settlers, who had left the earlier post because of hostilities, returned in larger numbers. In a period of a few years, British colonists arrived from the East and contended against the Canadians for control of the lucrative fur trade. Fighting between the French and British colonists occurred throughout the 1750s as a result.
The Native American tribes of Indiana sided with the French Canadians during the French and Indian War (also known as the Seven Years' War). With British victory in 1763, the French were forced to cede all their lands in North America east of the Mississippi River and north and west of the colonies to the British crown.
The tribes in Indiana did not give up; they destroyed Fort Ouiatenon and Fort Miami during Pontiac's Rebellion. The British royal proclamation of 1763 designated the land west of the Appalachians for Indian use, and excluded British colonists from the area, which the Crown called Indian Territory.
In 1775 the American Revolutionary War began as the colonists sought more self-government and independence from the British. At the end of the war, through the Treaty of Paris, the British crown ceded their claims to the land south of the Great Lakes to the newly formed United States, including American Indian lands.
In 1787 the US defined present-day Indiana as part of its Northwest Territory.
Starting with the Battle of Fallen Timbers in 1794 and Treaty of Greenville, 1795, Indian titles to Indiana lands were extinguished by usurpation, purchase, or war and treaty. About half the state was acquired in the St. Mary's Purchase from the Miami in 1818. Purchases weren't complete until the Treaty of Mississinwas in 1826 acquired the last of the reserved Indian lands in the northeast
In 1810 the Shawnee chief Tecumseh and his brother Tenskwatawa encouraged other tribes in the territory to resist European settlement. Tensions rose and the US authorized Harrison to launch a preemptive expedition against Tecumseh's Confederacy; the US gained victory at the Battle of Tippecanoe on November 7, 1811. Tecumseh was killed in 1813 during the Battle of Thames. After his death, armed resistance to United States control ended in the region.
Most Native American tribes in the state were later removed to west of the Mississippi River in the 1820s and 1830s after US negotiations and purchase of their lands.
Statehood and settlement
Many European immigrants went west to settle in Indiana in the early 19th century. The largest immigrant group to settle in Indiana were Germans, as well as numerous immigrants from Ireland and England.
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 United States in the war, Indiana had soldiers participating in all of the major engagements. The only Civil War conflicts in Indiana were the Newburgh Raid, the capture of Newburgh, Indiana, and the Battle of Corydon, which occurred during Morgan's Raid.
Indiana remained a largely agricultural state; post-war industries included food processing, such as milling grain, distilling it into alcohol, and meatpacking; building of wagons, buggies, farm machinery, and hardware.
Early 20th century
With the onset of the industrial revolution, Indiana industry began to grow at an accelerated rate across the northern part of the state.
The Indiana Gas Boom led to rapid industrialization during the late 19th century by providing cheap fuel to the region.
In the early 20th century, Indiana developed into a strong manufacturing state with ties to the new auto industry. The construction of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and the start of auto-related industries were also related to the auto industry boom.
The auto, steel and pharmaceutical industries topped Indiana's major businesses. Indiana's population continued to grow during the years after the war, exceeding five million by the 1970 census.
With a total area (land and water) of 36,418 square miles (94,320 km2), Indiana ranks as the 38th largest state in size. The state has a maximum dimension north to south of 250 miles (400 km) and a maximum east to west dimension of 145 miles (233 km). The state's geographic center (39° 53.7'N, 86° 16.0W) is in Marion County.
Located in the midwestern United States, Indiana is one of eight states that make up the Great Lakes Region. Indiana is bordered on the north by Michigan, on the east by Ohio, and on the west by Illinois, while Lake Michigan borders Indiana on the northwest and the Ohio River separates Indiana from Kentucky on the south.
The average altitude of Indiana is about 760 feet (230 m) above sea level. The highest point in the state is Hoosier Hill in Wayne County at 1,257 feet (383 m) above sea level. The lowest point at 320 feet (98 m) above sea level is located in Posey County, where the Wabash River flows into the Ohio River.
The state includes two natural regions of the United States, the Central Lowlands and the Interior Low Plateaus. The till plains make up the northern and central allotment of Indiana. Much of its appearance is a result of elements left behind by glaciers.
Central Indiana is mainly flat with some low rolling hills (except where rivers cut deep valleys through the plain, like at the Wabash River and Sugar Creek) and soil composed of glacial sands, gravel and clay, which results in exceptional farmland.
Northern Indiana is also very similar except for the presence of higher and hillier terminal moraines and many kettle lakes in some regions. In northwest Indiana there are various sand ridges and dunes, some reaching nearly 200 feet in height. These are located along the Lake Michigan shoreline and also inland to the Kankakee River Valley.
- See also: List of lakes in Indiana
Major river systems in Indiana include the Whitewater, White, Blue, Wabash, St. Joseph, and Maumee rivers. According to the Indiana Department of Natural Resources, in 2007 there were 65 rivers, streams, and creeks of environmental interest or scenic beauty, which included only a portion of an estimated 24,000 total river miles within the state.
The Ohio River forms Indiana's southern border with Kentucky. The major cities of New Albany and Evansville are located on the river.
The Wabash River, which is the longest free-flowing river east of the Mississippi River, is the official river of Indiana. At 475 miles (764 km) in length, the river bisects the state from northeast to southwest before flowing south, mostly along the Indiana-Illinois border. The river has been the subject of several songs, such as On the Banks of the Wabash, The Wabash Cannonball and Back Home Again, In Indiana.
There are about 900 lakes listed by the Indiana Department of Natural Resources. To the northwest, Indiana borders Lake Michigan, where the Port of Indiana operates the state's largest shipping port. Tippecanoe Lake, the deepest lake in the state, reaches depths at nearly 120 feet (37 m), while Lake Wawasee is the largest natural lake in Indiana. At 10,750 acres (summer pool level), Lake Monroe is the largest lake in Indiana.
Indiana has a humid continental climate, with cold winters and hot, wet summers.
While droughts occasionally occur in the state, rainfall totals are distributed relatively equally throughout the year.
In a 2012 report, Indiana was ranked eighth in a list of the top 20 tornado-prone states based on National Weather Service data from 1950 through 2011. A 2011 report ranked South Bend 15th among the top 20 tornado-prone cities in the United States, while another report from 2011 ranked Indianapolis eighth. Despite its vulnerability, Indiana is not a part of tornado alley.
Indiana counties and statistical areas
Indiana is divided into 92 counties. As of 2010, the state includes 16 metropolitan and 25 micropolitan statistical areas, 117 incorporated cities, 450 towns, and several other smaller divisions and statistical areas. Marion County and Indianapolis have a consolidated city-county government.
Indianapolis is the capital of Indiana and its largest city. Indiana's four largest metropolitan areas are Indianapolis, Fort Wayne, Evansville, and South Bend. Below is the list of the ten largest cities in the state as of 2015.
Indiana's largest cities
- Indianapolis - population 853,173
- Fort Wayne - population 260,326
- Evansville - population 119,943
- South Bend - population 101,516
- Carmel - population 88,713
- Fishers - population 88,658
- Bloomington - population 84,067
- Hammond - population 77,614
- Gary - population 77,156
- Lafayette - population 71,111
Race and ethnicity
The racial makeup of the state (based on the 2011 population estimate) was:
- 86.8% White American (81.3% non-Hispanic white)
- 9.4% Black or African American
- 1.7% Asian
- 1.7% biracial or multi-racial
- 0.4% Native American
- 0.1% Native Hawaiian and other Pacific Islanders.
Hispanic or Latino of any race made up 6.2% of the population. The Hispanic population is Indiana's fastest-growing ethnic minority.
German is the largest ancestry reported in Indiana, with 22.7% of the population reporting that ancestry in the Census.
Cities and towns
With a population of 829,817, Indianapolis is the largest city in Indiana and 12th largest in the United States, according to the 2010 Census. Three other cities in Indiana have a population greater than 100,000: Fort Wayne (253,617), Evansville (117,429) and South Bend (101,168). Since 2000, Fishers has seen the largest population rise amongst the state's 20 largest cities with an increase of 100 percent.
Spanish is the second-most-spoken language in Indiana, after English.
A high percentage of Indiana's income is from manufacturing. The state's five leading exports were motor vehicles and auto parts, pharmaceutical products, industrial machinery, optical and medical equipment, and electric machinery.
Northwest Indiana has been the largest steel producing center in the U.S. since 1975 and accounted for 27 percent of American-made steel in 2016.
Indiana is home to the international headquarters and research facilities of pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly in Indianapolis, the state's largest corporation, as well as the world headquarters of Mead Johnson Nutritionals in Evansville.
Indiana is located within the U.S. Corn Belt and Grain Belt. The state has a feedlot-style system raising corn to fatten hogs and cattle. Along with corn, soybeans are also a major cash crop. Its proximity to large urban centers, such as Indianapolis and Chicago, assure that dairying, egg production, and specialty horticulture occur.
Other crops include melons, tomatoes, grapes, mint, popping corn, and tobacco in the southern counties. 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'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 across the Wabash River from Mount Carmel, Illinois.
The state has an estimated coal reserves of 57 billion tons; state mining operations produces 35 million tons of coal annually.
Indiana also possesses at least 900 million barrels of petroleum reserves in the Trenton Field, though not easily recoverable.
Wind power is now being developed.
Indianapolis International Airport serves the greater Indianapolis area and has finished constructing a new passenger terminal. The new airport opened in November 2008.
Other major airports include Evansville Regional Airport, Fort Wayne International Airport (which houses the 122d Fighter Wing of the Air National Guard), and South Bend International Airport.
The various highways intersecting in and around Indianapolis, along with its historical status as a major railroad hub, and the canals that once crossed Indiana, are the source of the state's motto, the Crossroads of America.
Indiana has more than 4,255 railroad route miles. Indiana is currently implementing an extensive rail plan that was prepared in 2002 by the Parsons Corporation. Many recreational trails, such as the Monon Trail and Cardinal Greenway, have been created from abandoned rails routes.
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 has an extensive 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 Red Bull Indianapolis Grand Prix (MotoGP).
Indiana is also host to two major unlimited hydroplane racing power boat race circuits in the major H1 Unlimited league: Thunder on the Ohio (Evansville, Indiana) and the Madison Regatta (Madison, Indiana).
Images for kids
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