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 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 and northeast, Ohio to the east, the Ohio River and Kentucky to the south and southeast, and the Wabash River and Illinois to the west.
Various indigenous peoples inhabited what would become Indiana for thousands of years, some of whom the U.S. government expelled between 1800 and 1836. Indiana received its name because the state was largely possessed by native tribes even after it was granted statehood. Since then, 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 adjacent Ohio, and Southern Indiana by settlers from the Upland South, particularly Kentucky and Tennessee.
Indiana has a diverse economy with a gross state product of $352.62 billion in 2021. It has several metropolitan areas with populations greater than 100,000 and a number of smaller cities and towns. Indiana is home to professional sports teams, including the NFL’s Indianapolis Colts and the NBA’s Indiana Pacers. The state also hosts several notable competitive events, such as the Indianapolis 500, held at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
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.