Abbreviated as IN by ABBREVIATIONFINDER, Indiana is a state located in the central plains of the United States; limited to the north with Illinois and Michigan to the east to Ohio, to the south to Kentucky and to the west to Illinois. Indiana joined the Union on December 11, 1816, in the nineteenth position. Three 19th century presidents – William Henry Harrison, his grandson, Benjamin Harrison, and Abraham Lincoln – lived in Indiana for long periods of time.
15,000 years ago indigenous communities inhabited what is now Indiana: the Woodland culture (c.500 BC-AD 1000) was distinguished by its fired pottery and funerary rites; The late Mississippi culture founded large cities, such as the Angel Site on the Ohio River near Evansville, but they disappeared from the area before the arrival of the first Europeans. The most important indigenous tribes were those of Delaware, Miami, and Potawatomi; others were the Piankashaws, the Shawnees, and the Wea.
Groups of French explorers from Quebec arrived in Indiana in the 17th century, where they built forts. As a result of the French and Indian War, in 1763 the area came under British jurisdiction. Indiana was part of the Northwest Territory between 1787 and 1800, the year in which it became an independent state under the name of the Indiana Territory. Indiana joined the Union in 1816.
Today, the state of Indiana maintains a remarkable industrial and agricultural production, with a strong and diversified economy, reinforced by a global transportation network. The population, which is increasing in large cities, doubled between 1900 and 1980, and continues to increase.
With an area of 94,322 km², only 2% of the total area is owned by the federal government. The state has a rectangular shape. The altitude of the territory ranges between 98 and 383 m; the average altitude is 200 meters.
Indiana is divided into three physiographic regions.
- The lowlands of the Great Lakes to the north: they are occupied by numerous lakes and peat bogs; Lake Michigan is surrounded by large sandy dunes.
- The moraine plains in the center: The central plains are made up of moraine deposits, due to the action of glaciers, and have excellent farmland.
- The low inland plateaus in the south: make up most of southern Indiana they present a more rugged landscape, with numerous mineral springs and calcareous caves; the Wyandotte cave is one of the largest in the world.
The Wabash River and its tributaries, including the Tippecanoe and White Rivers, drain more than two-thirds of the state. A small portion (about 595 km2) of Lake Michigan belongs to Indiana. In addition, the state has numerous small natural lakes, the largest of which is Lake Wawasee to the north.
Most of Indiana has a humid continental climate, with cold winters and warm and long summers, although the extreme south of the state is within the humid subtropical climate zone. Tornadoes recur with some frequency, especially in spring.
About 16% of Indiana’s territory is covered in forest, dominated by hardwood trees such as oak, hickory, maple, and ash. The most common shrubs are spirea, berberís and cherry laurel.
The most representative animal species are white-tailed deer, raccoons, possums, red and gray foxes, coyotes, beavers, squirrels, skunks or skunks, muskrats, minks and weasels, including among the threatened species the badger and bobcat.
The Wabash River and its tributaries, including the Tippecanoe and White Rivers, drain more than two-thirds of the state. A small portion (about 595 km2) of Lake Michigan belongs to Indiana. In addition, the state has numerous small natural lakes, the largest of which is Lake Wawasee to the north. The most important minerals found in the state are: bituminous coal, oil, gypsum, sand, clay, and gravel.
Indiana is located in the heart of the Corn Belt, as reflected by its agricultural products. The main one is corn, although soy also occupies an important place. The state’s proximity to large urban centers such as Chicago ensures the production of milk, eggs and vegetables. Some specialty crops are melons (in the southern Wabash Valley), tomatoes (whose cultivation is concentrated in central Indiana), grapes, and mint. Additionally, Indiana is a significant tobacco producer. Most of the original land was not grassland and had to be cleared in order to cultivate. However, some patches of forest mass remain intact, and much of the mountainous south of the state is also extensively covered by forests (allowing for the existence of a local timber sector, specializing in furniture production).
Much of Indiana’s income comes from industry. The Calumet region, in the northwest, is the largest steel center in the United States, and this activity requires the generation of large amounts of electricity, which makes the electricity sector another of the main sources of income for the State. Other Indiana industrial products are automobiles, electrical equipment, transportation equipment, chemicals, rubber, oil, and coal derivatives, and industrial machinery. Indianapolis is home to the main headquarters of the Eli Lilly pharmaceutical company, as well as the headquarters of Mead Johnson Nutritionals, a division of Bristol-Myers Squibb.
When it comes to mining, Indiana is well known for its decorative limestone from the southern part of the state, especially Lawrence County. One of the many public buildings lined with this stone is El Péntágono (after the attacks of September 11, 2001, the Indiana mining industry made a special effort to replace the damaged walls with a coating almost identical to the original in regards to materials and cut). There are also large coal mines in the southern part of the state. Like most Great Lakes states, Indiana has small and medium operating oil fields. They are mainly concentrated in the extreme southwest, although it is possible to see drilling rigs in operation in the suburbs of Terre Haute.
Indiana’s economy is considered one of the friendliest in the United States in relation to bosses and bosses. This is due in part to its conservative commercial and industrial climate, low taxes levied on commercial and industrial establishments, and many labor laws that have not changed since the mid-19th century, which underscore the supremacy of the employer and disadvantage the workers. For example, employers can fire workers at any time, without just cause. Indiana labor unions have a weak presence, and organizing one is difficult. Indiana is said to be a post-industrial state with a pre-industrial mind when it comes to workers’ rights. With isolated exceptions in college areas, such as Bloomington and Lafayette, Indiana is not very receptive to innovations and technological advancements. Most of Indiana’s political leaders continue to emphasize the state’s traditional economic foundation, agriculture, and industry.
- CountryAAH: Offers a full list of cities and towns in Indiana, together with postal codes for each of them, and including capital city of Indiana.
Indiana was the first state to institute a public system of state education – schools and institutions of higher education – for the United States, in 1816. The necessary budgets for this public system would come from the creation of new taxes. However, many of the residents of Indiana were against the payment of taxes for educational services, and this public system was quickly canceled in much of the state (it could only operate in the main urban centers). In 1851, Indiana again created a state system of public schools, this time, with success.
Currently, all educational institutions in Indiana must follow certain rules and patterns dictated by the Indiana State Board of Education. This council directly controls the State’s public school system, which is divided into several school districts. The council is made up of 11 members. One of them is the superintendent of education, who leads the council, and is elected by the governor for a term of up to four years. The remaining ten members are elected by the population of the State, also for a term of up to four years.
Schooling is compulsory for all children and adolescents over seven years of age, until the conclusion of secondary education or up to seventeen years of age, although they can leave at sixteen if they have the permission of the school director and from his parents. The first state library was founded in 1807, in Vincennes. Today, Indiana has thousands of libraries, administered by 239 different public library systems, which annually move an average of 11.1 books per resident. Indiana’s first institution of higher education was the Indiana Seminar – now the campus of Indiana University in Bloomington – founded in 1820. Currently, the state has 99 institutions of higher education, of which 29 are public and 70 are private.
According to the 2005 census, Indiana had a population of 6,271,973 residents, which represents an increase of 45,436 residents (or what is the same, 0.7%), compared to the previous year and an increase of 191,456 residents. (or 3.1%), in relation to the year 2000. The demographic increase since the last census is due to a natural growth of 159,488 people (451,681 births minus 292,193 deaths) and a net migration of 38,656 people in the state. External migrations have resulted in a net increase of 55,656 people, while internal migrations produced a net loss of 17,000 people. In 2005, 3.9% of the state’s residents (242,281) were not born in the United States.