Indiana State Information and Higher Education Facts

Indiana is a Midwestern state with its capital at Indianapolis, one of the largest cities between the coasts. The state has a large number of colleges and universities, including several highly ranked schools. Find out more about Indiana and its educational options, demographics and economy below.

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Information about Indiana

Known as the 'Hoosier State', Indiana is right in the heart of the American Midwest. Its population of around 6.6 million, as of 2015 U.S. census estimates, is centered in cities such as Indianapolis, Fort Wayne, Evansville and Gary, although a significant number of Indianans, or 'Hoosiers', live in smaller cities across the state. About 86% of the state's residents are white, and about 10% are African American, based on 2014 census data. Around 24% of the population 25 years or older had earned bachelor's degrees or higher, as of 2010-2014, compared to 29.3% of the nation as a whole. The northwestern part of the state is considered to be part of the Chicago metropolitan area.

Indiana has a large number of attractions throughout the state. Wyandotte Cave, one of the nation's largest caves, is located in southern Indiana, and the towns of West Baden and French Lick are known for their mineral springs. Other points of interest include the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, the Lincoln Boyhood National Memorial and the George Rogers Clark National Historical Park. The Indianapolis 500 automobile race, perhaps the world's most famous auto race and by far Indiana's biggest tourist draw, is held in Indiana every spring. Over 300,000 auto racing fans descend upon the state capital of Indianapolis for the event.

Higher Education

Indiana has 172 colleges and universities. The state is a regional hub for higher education, attracting a large number of students from out of state and from overseas to study at its institutions.

Indiana University is the largest public university system in the state, enrolling numerous students at its 9 campuses, including the combined Indiana University-Purdue University campuses in Fort Wayne and Indianapolis. Purdue University enrolls students at its three primary campuses, including the main campus in West Lafayette. Purdue has the ninth highest ranked undergraduate engineering programs among doctoral-degree granting universities in the nation, according to 2016 U.S. News & World Report rankings. Its undergraduate biological and agricultural engineering program is ranked 1st by the same publication.

The University of Notre Dame is found in South Bend, Indiana. A private, Catholic university, it has about 12,000 students and was ranked 18th on U.S. News & World Report's list of top national universities. It also has a number of highly ranked graduate programs and the 10th-best undergraduate business program in the country, according to U.S. News.

Other 4-year colleges in the state include Ball State University, Vincennes University, Indiana Wesleyan University - Marion and Valparaiso University. Bible colleges and theological seminaries are available in Indiana, along with Ivy Tech Community College, the statewide 2-year school system with 15 campuses found throughout Indiana.

Economy and Employment

Indiana's 41-mile Lake Michigan waterfront is one of the country's major industrial centers. Eli Lily, the pharmaceutical giant, is located here. Weaver Popcorn, Autocar, and Little Crow Foods are also big product makers in the state.

The state is also a leader in agriculture, and Indiana farms are known for producing hogs, cattle, corn and soy. Much of the limestone used for building in this country comes from Indiana quarries, and the state is also a large producer of coal. Other mineral commodities include cement, crushed stone, sand and gravel.

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