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63.
The Crossroads of America. Called the Hoosier State but not even its residents know why. It gets a bad rap due to its Great Lakes location in the Midwest. It is not part of the Rust Belt as it’s perceived and much of it lies too far south to be considered. The worst thing about this state is that its 6.3 million residents are surrounded by the four worst states: Ohio (decaying Rust Belt), Michigan (decaying Rust Belt), Kentucky (indred hillbillies) and Illinois (liberal and pretentious). That’s a bad combination, I know. The good news is that Indiana has faired better off economically than its neighbors: it’s the fastest-growing state by population in the Midwest, lower taxes, extremely reasonable cost of living, job growth despite layoffs in hard manufacturing, an increase in wages despite cutbacks in the auto industry and more corporate investments. Indiana is stereotyped as a place with nothing but corn, basketball and hicks, like ignorant morons from the coasts think who have never been there. I am here to argue otherwise and to defend my roots. Let’s get a few common misconceptions straight:

1. Yes, there is a lot of corn but there is more than corn in Indiana. Other agricultural products include soybeans (#3 in the country), mint, tomatoes, swine and poultry. Forests cover much of southern Indiana. Indiana has more covered bridges than any state. The state does have number of great tourists attractions: casinos on Lake Michigan and the Ohio River, Indianapolis has the Children’s Museum and (the world’s largest), The Eiteljorg, State Museum, the NCAA Hall of Champs, the Indianapolis Museum of Art (the nation’s 7th largest), the James Dean Museum (Marion), old historic Ft. Wayne, Marengo and Wyandotte caves in southern Indiana (among the largest caverns in the country) and Indiana Dunes. Indianapolis made the list of America’s Top 30 most visited destinations in 2006 (#22) according to Forbes Traveler, even beating out Denver.

3. Hoosiers have a love for basketball but only at the high school and college level despite having an NBA team (Pacers). The RCA Dome in Indianapolis fills to capacity as high school teams compete in the state’s basketball tournament. Hoosiers are often divided in loyalty between the Indiana Hoosiers and Purdue Boilermakers. The term “Hoosier Hysteria” describes the state’s love for basketball and was depicted in the movie Hoosiers. Basketball is undoubtedly popular in Indiana but auto racing brings in the most dollars. The Indy 500 and Brickyard 400 are the world’s largest single-day sporting events. Indianapolis is the “amateur sports capital of the world” and has invested billions of $$ in amateur sports. The NCAA is headquartered in Indianapolis along with a dozen amateur sports organizations. Indianapolis is the only city to earn its place on the map through amateur sports.

4. Hoosiers as its people are called are NOT all hicks. It has no more hicks than any other state. Hoosiers are average people who live in small towns, sizeable communities, a big city (Indianapolis) or its suburbs. But the hicks it DOES have are in the far southern third of the state, mostly south of Bloomington. Their dialect may sound southern to those from the upper Great Lakes but not as distinct as say, Kentucky. Some with a southern draw live around Indianapolis. It is the 12th largest city in the U.S and almost 2 million live in the metro area. The state’s 6 million residents are for the most part conservative but not anymore backwards than anywhere else. In fact, Carmel and the rest of Hamilton County, just north of Indianapolis, is very posh and among the richest areas in the Midwest and one of the fastest-growing counties by population in the country. Indianapolis is vibrant and progressive, generally speaking and more so than most large Midwest cities (except Chicago). Just look at St. Louis, Louisville, Cincy, Dayton, Toledo, Cleveland, Detroit or Milwaukee. It has spent billions of dollars revitalizing its downtown and has become the poster-child for urban revitalization. It is the fastest-growing large metro area in the Midwest. Gary, on the other hand, is a black, crime-ridden decaying hole and among the worst cities in the country to live. Indiana is the fastest-growing state in the Midwest by population.

5. Indianapolis is the fastest-growing large metro area in the Midwest and fastest-growing from Boston to Denver! That’s a huge area! Indianapolis is also the largest Midwest city by land area (373 square-miles).

6. Has quality universities including Purdue (W. Lafayette), Indiana (Bloomington), Ball State (Muncie), Notre Dame (South Bend), Rose Hullman Institute of Technology (Terre Haute), Indiana State and a list of others

7. Indiana is actually a very diverse state with a combination of cornfields, farms, steel mills, college towns, hicks, yuppies, suburbanites, soccer moms, ghetto and gangbangers.

8. Indiana is considered and industrial state. It is the country’s leader in steel production, centered in Gary, but the production of transportation equipment is its largest economic activity. It is the nation’s leader in the production of recreational vehicles (Rvs), engines, truck bodies, transmissions and manufactured housing, a.k.a, modular homes. Indiana is an important state for the auto industry for this reason. GM, Ford and Chrysler used to be the big players but have since been replaced by the Japanese: Toyota, Honda and Subaru. Indiana is also a leader in the production of chemicals, pharmaceuticals (Eli Lilly in Indy is one of the largest pharmaceutical companies), musical instruments, caskets and urns (ironically centered in Batesville) and food processing (Nestle is building a plant in Anderson).

9. It is NOT part of the Rust Belt, like Michigan or Ohio. Much of Indiana lies too far south to be considered, with the exception of Gary.

10. Indiana isn’t ALL flat. About 30% of the state has large hills: mostly in southern Indiana. Brown County is probably the most scenic location in the state. Marengo and Wyandotte caves are some of the largest caves in the country.

11. Yes, there is a town called French Lick (Larry Bird’s hometown). Go ahead, laugh. As if your state doesn’t have towns with funny names. Other funny names include Gnaw Bone, Beanblossom, Santa Clause, Shipshewana, and Mishawaka.

12. The state has 19 of the 20 largest high school gymnasiums if the country.

13. No matter how you look at it. It’s still better than Kentucky
Indiana is a very average and desent state to live in. Maybe not as popular as California or Florida, but sure as hell better than the likes of Michigan, those inbred Southern states (including Kentucky), those desolate prarie states and those pretentious-prick Northeastern states. Indiana is my home and I am proud to be a Hoosier. So screw you.
by krock1dk August 04, 2007
 
1.
The Cross-Roads of America. The state that lies between Ohio ,Illinois, Kentucky and Michigan. The state is quaint and known for the Indianapolis 500 and the residents' fervant love of basketball. Considered by many to be a nowhere hole in the wall for rednecks etc., but oh well. And is also the namesake for one of the coolest film heroes of all time, Indiana Jones. Admit it, that sounds alot better than Kentucky Slim, New York Paul or California Fag.
I flew over Indiana on my way to Denver.
by Tbone July 03, 2003
 
3.
Considered the "Cross Roads of America." It is known for basketball, corn, and racing, but is now known for football, running, and other sports as well. People from Indiana are called "Hoosiers" (see definition) and are percieved as sleepy red-necks (not always accurate). It is a very agriculturally rich part of the United States.
I am from the wonderful state of Indiana.
by Michael Johnson February 06, 2004
 
4.
Place where I live. Is famous for corn, racing, and michael jackson. Unfortunatly. People often think there is nothing here but corn, but they are deeply mistaken. We are often referred to as red necks but the red necks are in kentucky not Indiana.
i live in indianapolis
by meg March 06, 2005
 
5.
Commonly known for: corn, basketball, Michael Jackson, James Dean, long drives, insane weather, racing and some rednecks. There is a lot more in Indiana. Good original music and some of the nicest people you will ever meet live here. It's often considered a boring state but if you really just want to have a relaxed weekend, go kick it back with the Hoosiers.
Indiana, America's gut.
by Frizzle Fry May 07, 2008
 
6.
A midwestern state that has as many nice areas as cornfields and steel mills, and ghettos. There are many definitions on here that mention the rednecks, well I'm from the region(northwest) and there are all kinds of people here only a small percentage of rednecks. I guess that the rest of the state is different. The Indiana Dunes are beautiful and we are close enough to Chicago to commute for work or fun. It isn't the most beautiful state but it's not all bad.
You can have fun in Indiana
by Anule October 10, 2006
 
7.
A midwest state whose southern border with kentucky is the nothermost boundry of the inbreeding and illiteracey region of the U.S
Thank God we are in Indiana, those horses in Kentucky looked so nervous all the time.
by R. May April 03, 2006