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