Indiana makes up the smallest US state west of the Appalachian mountains, while ironically having the biggest state capital east of the Mississippi River. In fact, Indiana’s capital also counts as the second-largest of the USA’s state capitals. Learn more about Indiana with these 50 Indiana facts.

  1. 01Indiana covers an estimated area of 94,000 km².
  2. 02Water covers an estimated 1400 km² or 1.5% of the state’s area.
  3. 03An estimated 6.76 million people live in the state today.
  4. 04This gives Indiana an estimated population density of 71 people for every km².
  5. 05At its lowest point on the Ohio and Wabash Rivers, Indiana has an average elevation of 97 meters above sea level.

The name Indiana has a history of its own.

It literally means Land of the Indians or Indian Land, and first used by a land company from Philadelphia. They did so in 1768 to honor the land’s occupants, the Iroquois, with the Indiana Land Company also using the name on taking control. The Virginia colonial government contested private control of the land, but it would remain until after the American Revolution to resolve the issue.

This finally took place in 1798, when the US Supreme Court stripped the Indiana Land Company of its ownership of the land. The US government itself used the name Indiana for the western half of the Northwest Territory. This became the Indiana Territory, and later became the modern State of Indiana.

Indiana has an official state song.

Specifically, “On the Banks of the Wabash, Far Away”, which was composed by Paul Dresser in 1897. It became one of the bestselling songs at the end of the 19th century and earned over $100,000 for its publisher, the Tin Pan Alley. Only a year after its publishing, the song gained an anti-war remix and even a Swedish translation. It also became one of the first songs to become recorded on a phonograph record. The song’s popularity lasted for decades, eventually leading to the Indiana state legislature to name it the official state song in 1913. It also later inspired a film that used the song’s name, and which appeared in theaters in 1923.

The state also has various other icons.

These include the cardinal as the official state bird, the peony as the official state flower, and the tulip tree as the official state tree. Indiana also has an official state insect, the Say’s firefly, and even an official soil type, the Miami. It also has an official state firearm, the Grouseland rifle, and an official state food in the sugar cream pie. Blue and gold make up Indiana’s official state colors, while Salem limestone counts as the official state rock. The Wabash River counts as Indiana’s official state river, with the state also having an official slogan, “Honest to Goodness Indiana”.

Indiana has distinct geography.

Both Northern and Central Indiana belong to the Central Lowlands of North America. In both areas, the glaciers of past Ice Ages have left their mark behind on the land. In Central Indiana, the glaciers flattened the land beneath their weight, leaving only low and rolling hills to rise from the plains at various places. That said, the rivers born of melting ice from the glaciers cut deep valleys through the plains.

Northern Indiana has more of the same, but here the glaciers left a different mark in the form of moraines and kettle lakes. The former marks the limit of glacial growth in past Ice Ages, while kettle lakes originally formed from melting ice but didn’t have enough water to form rivers. In contrast, Southern Indiana has a very rugged geography. Here, the land rises into hills before dropping into deep valleys, with erosion leaving the bedrock exposed.

Hoosier Hill makes up the highest point in the entire state.

The hill stands around 383 meters above sea level, in the Franklin township of Indiana’s Wayne County. It also counts as private property, currently owned by Kim Goble. However, in 2005, Goble allowed the Boy Scouts to build a trail along with signs to the hilltop, where they set up a picnic area.

The hill made history decades ago in 1936 when A.H. Marshall climbed the hill. This made him the first person in US history to have climbed every high point of every US state. Most recently, in 2016, the marker naming Hoosier Hill Indiana’s highest point found itself replaced by an engraved boulder. This occurred after thieves constantly kept stealing the signs marking Hoosier Hill.