Indiana

Cities

Indiana pic1
Indiana pic2
Indiana pic3
Indiana pic4
Indiana pic5
Indiana pic6
Indiana pic7
Indiana pic8
Indiana pic9
Indiana pic10
Indiana pic11

Indiana

Indiana is a U.S. state in the Midwestern United States. It is the 38th-largest by area and the 17th-most populous of the 50 United States. Its capital and largest city is Indianapolis. Indiana was admitted to the United States as the 19th state on December 11, 1816. It is bordered by Lake Michigan to the northwest, Michigan to the north, Ohio to the east, the Ohio River and Kentucky to the south and southeast, and the Wabash River and Illinois to the west.

Etymology

Indiana’s name means “Land of the Indians”, or simply “Indian Land”. It also stems from Indiana’s territorial history. On May 7, 1800, the United States Congress passed legislation to divide the Northwest Territory into two areas and named the western section the Indiana Territory. In 1816, when Congress passed an Enabling Act to begin the process of establishing statehood for Indiana, a part of this territorial land became the geographic area for the new state.

Formal use of the word Indiana dates from 1768, when a Philadelphia-based trading company gave its land claim in present-day West Virginia the name “Indiana” in honor of its previous owners, the Iroquois. Later, ownership of the claim was transferred to the Indiana Land Company, the first recorded use of the word Indiana. But the Virginia colony argued that it was the rightful owner of the land because it fell within its geographic boundaries. The U.S. Supreme Court denied the land company’s right to the claim in 1798.

Geography

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, partially separated by the Wabash River. Lake Michigan borders Indiana on the northwest and the Ohio River separates Indiana from Kentucky on the south.

Geology and Terrain

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 in Posey County, where the Wabash River meets the Ohio River. The resulting elevation span, 937 feet (286 m), is the narrowest of any non-coastal US state. Only 2,850 square miles (7,400 km2) have an altitude greater than 1,000 feet (300 m) and this area is enclosed within 14 counties. About 4,700 square miles (12,000 km2) have an elevation of less than 500 feet (150 m), mostly concentrated along the Ohio and lower Wabash Valleys, from Tell City and Terre Haute to Evansville and Mount Vernon.

Climate

In the past, almost all of Indiana had a humid continental climate (Dfb), with cold winters and hot, wet summers; only the extreme southern portion of the state lay within the humid subtropical climate (Cfb), which receives more precipitation than other parts of Indiana. But as of the 2016 update, about half the state is now classified as humid subtropical. Temperatures generally diverge from the north and south sections of the state. In midwinter, average high/low temperatures range from around 30 °F/15 °F (−1 °C/−10 °C) in the far north to 41 °F/24 °F (5 °C/−4 °C) in the far south.

In midsummer there is generally a little less variation across the state, as average high/low temperatures range from around 84 °F/64 °F (29 °C/18 °C) in the far north to 90 °F/69 °F (32 °C/21 °C) in the far south. Indiana’s record high temperature was 116 °F (47 °C) set on July 14, 1936, at Collegeville. The record low was −36 °F (−38 °C) on January 19, 1994 at New Whiteland. The growing season typically spans from 155 days in the north to 185 days in the south.

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.

Major Cities

Indianapolis is the capital of Indiana and its largest city. Indiana's four largest metropolitan areas are Indianapolis, Fort Wayne, Evansville, and South Bend. The table below lists the state's twenty largest municipalities based on the 2020 United States Census.

Demographics

Population

Indiana recorded a population of 6,785,528 in the 2020 United States census, a 4.65% increase since the 2010 United States Census. The state's population density was 181.0 persons per square mile, the 16th-highest in the United States. As of the 2010 U.S. Census, Indiana's population center is northwest of Sheridan, in Hamilton County (+40.149246, −086.259514). In 2005, 77.7% of Indiana residents lived in metropolitan counties, 16.5% lived in micropolitan counties and 5.9% lived in non-core counties.

Religion

Although the largest single religious denomination in the state is Catholic (747,706 members), most of the population are members of various Protestant denominations. The largest Protestant denomination by number of adherents in 2010 was the United Methodist Church with 355,043. A study by the Graduate Center at the City University of New York found 20 percent are Catholic, 14 percent belong to different Baptist churches, 10 percent are other Christians, 9 percent are Methodist, and 6 percent are Lutheran. The study found 16 percent of Indiana is affiliated with no religion.

Economy and Infrastructure

Lake Michigan’s beaches, popular with tourists, are juxtaposed with heavy industry. Indiana is the fifth largest corn-producing state in the U.S., with over a billion bushels harvested in 2013.

In 2017, Indiana had a civilian labor force of nearly 3.4 million, the 15th largest in the U.S. Indiana has an unemployment rate of 3.4 percent, lower than the national average. The total gross state product in 2016 was $347.2 billion. A high percentage of Indiana’s income is from manufacturing. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, nearly 17 percent of the state’s non-farm workforce is employed in manufacturing, the highest of any state in the U.S. The state’s five leading exports were motor vehicles and auto parts, pharmaceutical products, industrial machinery, optical and medical equipment, and electric machinery.

Despite its reliance on manufacturing, Indiana has been less affected by declines in traditional Rust Belt manufacturers 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 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. Firms often see in Indiana a chance to obtain higher than average skills at lower than average wages.

Energy

Indiana's power production chiefly consists of the consumption of fossil fuels, mainly coal. It has 24 coal power plants, including the country's largest coal power plant, Gibson Generating Station, across the Wabash River from Mount Carmel, Illinois. Indiana is also home to the coal-fired plant with the highest sulfur dioxide emissions in the United States, the Gallagher power plant, just west of New Albany. In 2010, Indiana had estimated coal reserves of 57 billion tons, and state mining operations produced 35 million tons of coal annually. Indiana also has at least 900 million barrels of petroleum reserves in the Trenton Field, though they are not easily recoverable. While Indiana has made commitments to increasing the use of renewable resources such as wind, hydroelectric, biomass, or solar power, 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.

Transportation

Airports

Indianapolis International Airport serves the greater Indianapolis area. It opened in November 2008 and offers a 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 122d Fighter Wing of the Air National Guard), and South Bend International Airport. A long-standing proposal to turn 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.

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. Such systems are easier to implement in the glacially flattened northern and central portions 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 (for example, Crawford, Harrison, Perry, Scott, and Washington Counties).

Rail

Indiana has more than 4,255 railroad route miles (6,848 km), of which 91 percent are operated by Class I railroads, principally CSX Transportation and the Norfolk Southern Railway. Other Class I railroads in Indiana include the Canadian National Railway and Soo Line Railroad, a Canadian Pacific Railway subsidiary, as well as Amtrak. The remaining miles are operated by 37 regional, local, and switching and 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 implementing an extensive rail plan 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.

Ports

Barges are a common sight along the Ohio River. Ports of Indiana manages three maritime ports in the state, two located on the Ohio. Indiana annually ships more than 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. In Evansville, three public and several private port facilities receive year-round service from five major barge lines operating on the Ohio River. Evansville has been a U.S. Customs Port of Entry for more than 125 years. Because of this, it is possible to have international cargo shipped to Evansville in bond. The international cargo can then clear Customs in Evansville rather than a coastal port.

Education

Public Schools

Indiana's 1816 constitution was the first in the country to implement a state-funded public school system. It also allotted one township for a public university. However, the plan turned out to be far too idealistic for a pioneer society, as tax money was not accessible for its organization. In the 1840s, Caleb Mills pressed the need for tax-supported schools, and in 1851 his advice was included in the new state constitution. In 1843 the Legislature ruled that African Americans could not attend the public schools, leading to the foundation of Union Literary Institute and other schools for them, funded by donations or the students themselves.

The Indiana General Assembly authorized separate but equal schools for Black students in 1869, and in 1877 language in the law changed to allow for integrated schools. Although the growth of the public school system was held up by legal entanglements, many public elementary schools were in use by 1870. Most children in Indiana attend public schools, but nearly ten percent attend private schools and parochial schools. About half of all college students in Indiana are enrolled in state-supported four-year schools.

Vocational Schools

Indiana has a strong vocational school system. Charles Allen Prossor, known as the father of vocational education in the United States, was from New Albany. The Charles Allen Prosser School of Technology is named in his honor. There are vocational schools in every region of Indiana, and most Indiana students can freely attend a vocational school during their high school years and receive training and job placement assistance in trade jobs. The International Union Of Operating Engineers (IUOE) has seven local unions in Indiana, offering apprenticeship and training opportunities. According to the Electrical Training Alliance website, there are ten electrical training centers in Indiana.

Colleges and Universities

The largest educational institution is Indiana University, the flagship campus of which was endorsed as Indiana Seminary in 1820. Indiana State University was established as the state's Normal School in 1865; Purdue University was chartered as a land-grant college in 1869. The three other independent state universities are Vincennes University (founded in 1801 by the Indiana Territory), Ball State University (1918) and University of Southern Indiana (1965 as ISU – Evansville). Many of Indiana's private colleges and universities are affiliated with religious groups. The University of Notre Dame, Marian University, and the University of Saint Francis are popular Roman Catholic schools. Universities affiliated with Protestant denominations include Anderson University, Butler University, Huntington University, Manchester University, Indiana Wesleyan University, Taylor University, Franklin College, Hanover College, DePauw University, Earlham College, Valparaiso University, University of Indianapolis, and University of Evansville.

Find an Electric Vehicle Charger close to you

Find an EV charging station in any city in the USA.