Indiana is a U.S. state located in the midwestern and Great Lakes regions of North America. Indiana is the 38th largest by areaand the 16th most populous of the 50 United States. Its capital and largest city is Indianapolis. Indiana was admitted to the United States as the 19th U.S. state on December 11, 1816.
Before it became a territory, varying cultures of indigenous peoples and historic Native Americans inhabited Indiana for thousands of years. Since its founding as a territory, settlement patterns in Indiana have reflected regional cultural segmentation present in the Eastern United States; the state's northernmost tier was settled primarily by people from New England and New York, Central Indiana by migrants from the Mid-Atlantic states and from adjacent Ohio, and Southern Indiana by settlers from the Southern states, particularly Kentucky and Tennessee.
Indiana has a diverse economy with a gross state product of $298 billion in 2012. Indiana has several metropolitan areas with populations greater than 100,000 and a number of smaller industrial cities and towns. 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, and the Indianapolis 500 and Brickyard 400motorsports races.
|State of Indiana|
|Nickname(s): The Hoosier State|
|Motto(s): The Crossroads of America|
The state'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.
A resident of Indiana is known as a Hoosier. The etymology of this word is disputed, but the leading theory, as advanced by the Indiana Historical Bureau and the Indiana Historical Society, has "Hoosier" originating from Virginia, the Carolinas, and Tennessee (a part of the upland South region of the United States) as a term for a backwoodsman, a rough countryman, or a country bumpkin
Major river systems in Indiana include the Whitewater, White, Blue, Wabash, St. Joseph, and Maumee rivers. According to the Indiana Department of National 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 largest and longest river in Indiana is the westerly flowing Ohio River which 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 mile (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 thePort 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 Reservoir is the largest lake in Indiana.