86 Indiana Facts and Weird Laws

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The Hoosier State is rich in history, culture, and educational escapes.

Fort Wayne, Lafayette, and Bloomington are cities you can visit other than Indianapolis–the state’s capital– to explore the state.

Even though the famous Indianapolis 500 takes place in May every year, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum on site is open throughout the year.

Today, almost all homes have electricity, but did you know that Wabash City is the first to achieve this feat in the nation?

We bring you interesting facts about Indiana that you probably don’t know.

Let’s dive in.

Best Fun Facts About Indiana

  1. Indianapolis Motor Speedway has the highest capacity of any sports arena globally.
  2. Indiana receives tens of thousands of Christmas letters addressed to Santa Claus every year.
  3. No one knows the origin of the Indiana nickname, Hoosiers. However, Hoosier is the official name of the people of the U.S. state of Indiana.
  4. Parke County has more (32) covered bridges than any county in the US.
  5. There is Nancy Kerlin Barnet’s grave in the middle of the road in Indiana.
Eiteljorg Museum, Indiana. Credits: Unsplash

Indiana Facts—Politics And Government 

  1. Indiana has 11 electoral votes in the electoral college.
  2. Indiana is a Republican-leaning state. In the 2020 presidential election, Trump won the state with 57% votes.
  3. Vigo County, a bellwether county, went to the losing presidential candidate in the 2020 elections for the first time since 1952.
  4. Biden is the first presidential candidate to win the statehouse without carrying Vigo County.
  5. Hamilton County voted a Democratic presidential candidate in 1912 when Woodrow Wilson carried the county.
  6. The government of Indiana consists of three branches, namely executive, legislative, and judiciary.
  7. The Governor of Indiana is the head of the state’s executive and government.
  8. The governor and lieutenant governor run on the same ticket. Eric J. Holcomb is the current governor of Indiana. His election for the second term saw him garner the highest votes in the state’s history.  
  9. The state holds its gubernatorial elections in the same year as its presidential elections.
  10. The Indiana legislature consists of 50 senators and 100 representatives.
  11. The Senate can introduce any other legislation but not those that affect the state’s revenue or target a specific community.
  12. The Indiana Supreme Court has 5 judges. The court doesn’t have the original jurisdiction in almost all cases. The Court of Appeals has 15 judges.
  13. Indiana state has 92 counties, each led by county commissioners.
  14. Only Ohio and Dearborn counties have one circuit court between them. Each of the other 90 counties has a circuit court.
  15. Indiana is the 10th hardest to vote in (a study in 2020).
Indiana State Capitol Building. Credits. Unsplash

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Indiana Facts—History

  1. The Paleo-Indians were already living in Indiana by 8000 BCE.
  2. Illini, Shawnee, Delaware, and Miami were the Native American tribes who lived in Indiana before the Europeans.
  3. The French explorer,  René-Robert Cavelier, was the first European to arrive in present-day Indiana in 1679.
  4. The French-Canadians crossed into Indiana to trade with the locals –Native American people.
  5.  Vincennes was the first trading post in this region. Sieur Juchereau founded the post in 1702.
  6. Both the British and French fought to control the fur trade in Indiana in the 1750s.
  7. The Native Americans supported the French in the French and Indian wars.
  8. The Indian Territory included the land lying to the western region of the Appalachians. 
  9. The British won the French and Indian war in 1763 and assumed control of the region, excluding the Indian Territory.
  10. Some of the key battles during the American Revolutionary War happened in Indiana.
  11. Indiana was formerly part of the Northwest territory. The region became Indiana Territory when Ohio separated from it in 1800.
  12. William Henry Harrison served as the Territory’s first governor. Vincennes was the territorial capital of Indiana Territory. 
  13. Corydon became the state’s second capital in 1813.
  14. President James Madison admitted Indiana to the Union in 1816 as the 19th State. Jonathan Jennings served as the first governor of the state.
  15. Indianapolis became the state capital of Indiana in 1825.
  16. Indiana fought for the Union during the American Civil War, contributing around 208,367 men.
  17. Indiana’s economy grew during World War II as the state produced steel and food.

Indiana Facts—Geography

Ouabache State Park. Credits: Unsplash
  1. Indiana lies in the Midwest region of the United States, known as the Great Lakes Region.
  2. Indiana is the 38th largest state with 36,418 square miles.
  3. The Hoosier State borders Michigan, Ohio, Illinois, Kentucky. Lake Michigan, Ohio River (South), and Wabash River (west). The Ohio River creates the state’s southern border with Kentucky.
  4. Indianapolis is the state’s largest city as well as the capital city.
  5.  The state’s average elevation is 760 feet above sea level.
  6. Hoosier Hill is the state’s highest point at 1,257 feet above sea level.
  7. Posey County is home to the state’s lowest point at the intersection of Ohio River and Wabash River (at 320 feet above sea level).
  8. The state has two geographical regions: the Interior Low Plateaus and the Central Lowlands.
  9. Central and Northern Indiana consists of Till Plains.
  10. Central Indiana is a flat area with small rolling hills and fertile soils.
  11. Northern Indiana has kettle lakes and terminal moraines.
  12. Northwest Indiana has dunes and ridges, especially in the Indiana Dunes National Park.
  13. Southern Indiana has a rugged terrain with valleys, caverns, caves, and quarries.
  14. The state has 65 rivers, creeks, and streams, including St. Joseph, Wabash, Maumee, and Whitewater rivers.
  15. Wabash River is the state river of Indiana. It is the longest river east of the Mississippi River.
  16. There are 900 lakes in the State of Indiana. 
  17. Lake Michigan is one of the Great Lakes– the world’s largest lakes.
  18. Tippecanoe Lake is the state’s deepest lake at 120 feet deep.
  19. Lake Wawasee is the state’s largest natural lake.
  20. The overall largest lake in the State is Lake Monroe.
  21. The Hoosier state has a humid tropical climate. 
  22. The state’s highest temperature of 116°F was recorded in Collegeville on July 14, 1936. The lowest (-36°F) was in New Whiteland on January 19, 1994.
  23. Indiana is a tornado-prone state despite not being part of the Tornado Alley.

Indiana Facts—Animals And Plants Life

  1. The common animals in Indiana include Coyotes, Fox Squirrels, beavers, black bears, white-tailed deer, and badgers.
  2. The primary predators in the state include red foxes, bobcats, coyotes, and gray foxes.
  3. Indiana is home to 13 bat species, including red and silver-haired bats.
  4. Indiana is home to bobwhite quail, rugged grouse, wild turkey, and the belted kingfisher.
  5. Indiana fish include walleye and northern pike.
  6. The state is home to the eastern hellbender salamander–the world’s largest salamander species.
  7. Indiana state bird is the cardinal.
  8. Trees in Indiana include the white oak, the sugar maple, the Tulip tree, the red oak, the bald cypress, and the eastern white pine, among others.
Credits: Unsplash
  1. Indiana state symbols include the state flower (peony) and state tree (Tulip Tree).

Indiana Facts—Demographics

  1. Indiana is the 17th most populous state in the US, with 6,785,528 (2020 Census).
  2. Indianapolis and Evansville are two of the major cities in Indiana.
Indianapolis. Credits: Unsplash
  1. Christianity is the most popular religion, making up 72 percent of the population.
  2. Over 82% of the Indiana population are whites. The black or African American population is 9% of the state’s population.
  3. Indiana means “Land of the Indians,” but only about 8,000 Native Americans live in the state.
  4. Over 90% of the Indiana population speak English as the only language. About 4% use Spanish for communication.
Credits: Unsplash
  1. About 26 percent of the blacks in Indiana live below the US poverty line.
  2. About 68 percent of the Hoosiers were born in the state, while 3% are non-citizens.

Indiana Facts—Economy

Credits: Unsplash
  1. Indiana ranked 32nd in long-term fiscal stability with opportunity (7) as its key leading attribute. 
  2. Indiana ranked 15th by civil labor force in the US (2017).
  3. Fort Wayne is home to the US’s first baseball game.
  4. Wabash is the first city to be connected with electricity globally.
  5. Bedford, Indiana, is the “Limestone Capital of the World.” The Empire State Building, Rockefeller Center, and Pentagon are US key landmarks built using Bedford limestone.
  6. The unemployment rate in Indiana is below the national average.
  7. Indiana has the US highest employment rate of non-farm population in the manufacturing sector.
Credits: Unsplash
  1. Indiana exports include pharmaceutical products, auto parts, motor vehicles, industrial machinery, electrical machinery, and medical equipment.
  2. Northwest Indiana is the US’s largest steel producer.
  3. Indianapolis-based Eli Lilly is the largest corporation in the state.
  4. Evansville is home to the Mead Johnson Nutritionals headquarters.
  5. Indiana lies in the Grain Belt and Corn Belt. The state produces corn to feed hogs and cattle.
Soybeans Farm. Credits: Unsplash
  1. Other agricultural products from Indiana include mint, tomatoes, melons, popping corn, tobacco, and grapes.
  2. Indiana was once the best place for business in 2011.

Famous Locations in Indiana

  1. Eiteljorg Museum of American Indian and Western Art is in White River State Park, downtown Indiana. The Museum houses Harrison Eiteljorg’s remarkable collection. Indiana State Museum is near Eiteljorg Museum.
  2.  Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo is one of the top places in the city to discover wildlife.
  3. Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum is home to the Indianapolis 500.
  4. The Snite Museum of Art at the University of Notre Dame has an impressive collection of artworks you may like.
  5. Prophetstown State Park, located in West Lafayette, allows you to interact with nature.
  6. Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore offers you a unique lakeside landscape. 
  7. Indiana Dunes National State Park.
  8. Lanier Mansion State Historic site in Madison.
  9. RV/MV Hall of Fame, Elkhart.
  10. First Christian Church, Columbus.
  11. Wonderlab Museum of Science in Bloomington.
  12. Studebaker National Museum in South Bend.
  13. Abraham Lincoln Boyhood National Memorial in Lincoln City, Indiana.

Famous People From Indiana

  1. Michael Jackson, the king of pop, was born in Gary, Indiana.
Image: Voici
  1. Mike Pence, the US vice president, was born in Columbus, Indiana.
Image: Vanity Fair
  1. Brendan Fraser, the actor, was born in Indianapolis, Indiana.
  2. Janet Jackson, the singer-songwriter, was born in Gary, Indiana.
  3. Colonel Sanders, the founder of KFC, was born in Henryville, Indiana.
Image: History.com
  1. Jenna Fischer, the actress from the famous TV series Office, was born in Fort Wayne, Indiana.
Image: LaPresse.ca

Common Misconceptions About Indiana

Here are some of the misconceptions that come to most people’s minds when they think of Indiana.

Living in Indiana is cheap but dangerous

Living in Indianapolis might be cheaper when compared with other major cities like New York, or LA. But, there are areas in Indianapolis that are more expensive and safer in Indiana. Just like most other states.

Corn is everywhere

Indiana produces a large quantity of corn, but that’s not the only thing in the state.

Indiana is a basketball state

This belief is partly true, but most of the state’s sports glory was about 30 years ago. Soccer is becoming famous in the region.

Weird Laws in Indiana

Here are the top 10 weird laws in Indiana. Read the Craziest Laws in the United States, if you want more.

  1. It’s illegal to kiss when you are a mustached man.
  2. You may not bathe between October and March.
  3. In Beech Grove, It’s unlawful to eat watermelon at the park.
  4. You may not pass a horse on the street.
  5. Stay away from the theater, public streetcar, or movie house within four hours of eating your garlic.
  6. State government officials may not participate in private duels.
  7. In Elkhart, barbers should not threaten to cut children’s ears.
  8. You may not catch fish with your bare hands.
  9. In Indiana, the legal value of pi is 3.
  10. You may not force a monkey to smoke a cigarette.
Image: Business Insider

Final Thoughts 

Indiana is home to some of the top tourist destinations in the United States. 

Whether you want to learn the history of the state, engage in outdoor activities, or enjoy Indiana dishes, Indiana has everything for you.

What is your experience with the Hoosier State?

Indiana Facts And Stats

Population2020 (6,785,528)
GovernorEric Holcomb (Republican Party)
Date Of AdmissionDecember 11, 1816
U.S. SenatorsMike Braun(R)
Todd Young(R)
US House of Representatives9 (of 435 Seats) 
State NicknameHoosier State
State MottoCrossroads of America
State Song“On the Banks of the Wabash, Far Away” by Paul Dresser
State FlowerPeony
State RiverWabash River
State BirdNorthern Cardinal 
State TreeTulip Tree
State AnimalCardinal 
State DrinkWater
State MineralSalem Limestone
State GemLimestone
State FossilAmerican mastodon
Neighbor StatesKentuckyOhioMichiganIllinois

Frequently Asked Questions About Indiana

What is Indiana famous for?

  • Indy 500.
  • Farmlands.
  • The University of Notre Dame.
  • The working rotary jail in Montgomery County, Indiana.
  • Indiana University.
  • Steel mills.

What are the 10 interesting facts about Indiana?

  1. Fort Wayne Kekiongas won the first professional baseball game.
  2. Indiana is the only state with no baseball team in the major leagues.
  3. Indianapolis hosted Elvis Presley’s last concert at Market Square Arena.
  4. Jackson County, Indiana was home to the first train robbery in US history.
  5. The historic Parke County, also known as the “covered bridge capital of the world” has 32 covered bridges, the highest of any county in Indiana and the US.
  6. Indiana is the mother of vice presidents. The state has produced six vice presidents in the nation.
  7. The Grand Central Station of the Underground Railroad is in Indiana.
  8. Indiana is home to former Vice President Mike Pence.
  9. Martinsville, Indiana was home to the first successful goldfish farm.
  10. The world’s largest Christmas tree in Indiana is not a tree, it is the Soldiers and Sailors monument.

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[1] https://www.in.gov/dnr/fish-and-wildlife/wildlife-resources/animals/

[2] https://www.census.gov/quickfacts/IN

[3] https://www.usnews.com/news/best-states/indiana

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Sabrina is a former campaign manager who has decided to focus her effort to help people contact senators and get help. She leads our Editorial Team with Ronald and Lawrence to curate content and resources that help us navigate the system.

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