Cultural Survey of Indiana

Jessica Weyrauch

J405 – Shoemaker

Feb. 9, 2016


Survey of Indiana



– Indiana was the 19th state in the U.S. to gain statehood, doing so December 11th, 1816. This year Indiana celebrates their Bicentennial.

– The capitol of Indiana is Indianapolis, located directly in the center of the state.

– Indiana was named for the Native Americans that lived in the area when it was colonized.

– President Abraham Lincoln grew up in southern Indiana. His boyhood home is a national landmark.

– In the Civil War, Indiana was one of the earliest states in the Union to join the fighting. Over 24,000 Hoosiers lives were taken during the war.

– On April 4th, 1968, the day Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated, Robert Kennedy was in Indianapolis on a campaign visit. He delivered a famous speech at 17th and Broadway in downtown.

– The famous Slippery Noodle Inn was a favorite hangout of the Al Brady and John Dillinger gangs. There are still bullet holes visible in the walls.

– Famous poet, James Witcomb Riley was born in Greenfield, Indiana. He’s a state hero and is the namesake for Indiana’s largest children’s hospital.

– Riley Hospital for Children ­was also the short-time home for Ryan White. Diagnosed with AIDS at 13 from a blood transfusion, Ryan White became a voice for those with HIV/AIDS. He died at 18 just before attending Indiana University, home of the first Dance Marathon in his honor. The Comprehensive AIDS Resources Emergency Act of 1990 bares his name.



            – Indiana has hosted more than 400 Collegiate, Olympic, and National Championships. Indiana is home to the NCAA, USA Gymnastics, USA Track and Field, USA Diving, and more.

– Indiana is most known for the greatest spectacle in sports, the Indianapolis 500. The race is 200 laps around a 2.5-mile track. 2016 will mark the 100th anniversary of the event, which draws in over 400,000 people from across the world.

– Indianapolis also hosts the Brickyard 400. The famous NASCAR race is also held at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

– Outside of racing, Indiana is known for basketball. The Indiana Pacers have been a staple of Indiana sporting since 1977. Notable players like Reggie Miller, Jermaine O’Neal, Ron Artest, and Paul George have played for the Pacers. In 1998 Larry Bird, a state treasure, won Coach of the Year for the NBA with the Pacers.

– Indiana is also home to the Indiana Fever, a WNBA team.

– Indiana’s basketball obsession involves college basketball as well. Indiana’s home to three top men’s basketball schools: IU, Purdue, and Butler. IU has won 5 NCAA Championships. Butler faced off in two NCAA Championships in 2010 and 2011, unfortunately losing both.

– The largest high school basketball gym, New Castle Fieldhouse is located in New Castle, Indiana near the Indiana High School Basketball Hall of Fame.

– Indiana was changed forever in 1984 when the Baltimore Colts moved to Indianapolis. The beloved Indianapolis Colts have won one Superbowls and three AFC Championships. One of the most influential players was Peyton Manning, who was the quarterback for the Colts for 14 seasons.

– Indianapolis was able to host Superbowl XLVI in 2012 between the New York Giants and the New England Patriots.

– College football in Indiana is very popular, especially the rivalry between Indiana University and Purdue University, which faces off every year in the Old Oaken Bucket.

– The Fighting Irish of Notre Dame University, located in South Bend, has a devoted fan following all over Indiana.

– In 1987, Indianapolis hosted the X Pan American Games, a major multi-sport event. Indianapolis hosted over 4,300 athletes from 39 countries.

– Indianapolis is currently home to the Indy Fuel, a AA hockey team affiliated with the Chicago Blackhawks.

– In 2013, Indianapolis founded its first professional soccer team. Indy Eleven has quickly become a favorite team in Indiana playing downtown at the Michael Carroll Stadium.



            – Total population (as of 2014, according to  6,596,855

– Total population projection for 2020 (according 6,852,121

            – Ethnicity (as of July 2014, according to US Census):

White: 77.4%

African American: 13.2%

Hispanic or Latino: 17.4%

Asian: 5.4%

– Age and Sex (as of July 2014, according to US Census):

Under 18: 23.1%

65 years and over: 14.5%

Female: 50.8%

Male: 49.2%

– Household type (as of 2014, according to

Married with children: 19.4%

Married without children: 30.1%

Single parents: 9.9%

Living alone: 27.8%

– Education (as of 2014, according to

Public school enrollment: 92.5%

Adults 25+ with high school diploma: 87.6%

Adults 25 + with B.A. or higher: 23.6%

–  Using metrics like age, gender, income, household make up, and race, the Indianapolis-Carmel-Anderson metro area is considered to most closely resemble the U.S.

– Santa Claus, IN is home to Holiday World, a themed amusement park that receives over half a million Dear Santa letters every year for Christmas.

–  Indiana is home to over 100 craft breweries throughout the state. The Brewers of Indiana Guild formed to make Indiana a craft beer capital.

– The Indiana Convention Center is one of the largest in the country hosting many of the cities biggest conventions, bringing in visitors from all over the world. The most famous being FDIC International, National FFA, Gen Con, and various religious conventions.

– Famous Hoosiers include: James Dean, Shelly Long, the Jackson 5, Jenna Fischer, Cole Porter, the Wright brothers, Babyface, Kurt Vonnegut, Florence Henderson, Jane Pauly, John Green, Ryan Murphy, David Letterman, and Axl Rose.

– Famous TV shows and movies set in Indiana include: The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmit, Saved by the Bell, The Fault in Our Stars, The Middle, Parks and Recreation, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, A Christmas Story, Hoosiers, In & Out, and Rudy.



– Indiana is a generally a conservative state due to it’s location in the country and the large population of residents living in rural areas. The city of Indianapolis, Columbus, Bloomington, and areas near Chicago are usually more liberal.

– Indianapolis and the county it resides in (Marion) are consolidated in one city-county government affectionately named Unigov. This was done in a legislative act in 1970.

– Indiana is made up of 92 counties.

– Known for some of our odd laws, in Indiana it’s illegal to buy alcohol on Sunday, catch a fish with your bare hands, and liquor stores can’t sell cold soft drinks or water.

– In general elections, Indiana contributes 11 electoral votes. These votes often go to the Republican candidate, but as recently as 2008, Indiana gave its votes to the Democratic candidate, Barack Obama.

– Current governor, Mike Pence, passed the Religious Rights and Freedom Act in the spring of 2015. This law prohibits the government from keeping an individual, including business owners, from practicing their chosen religion. The law was unpopular in the urban areas of the city and all over the country. Celebrities like Miley Cyrus openly attacked Gov. Pence for his decision. This continues to be an issue in Indiana.

– During the midst of the Syrian refugee crisis, Gov. Mike Pence made a controversial statement, making it clear that he did not want Indiana to host any refugees.

– Glenda Ritz, Indiana Superintendent, won in an upset in 2012 against the incumbent, Dr. Tony Bennett. She is the first Democrat to hold this office in 40 years. Since taking office, Ritz has been in the middle of many disagreements between the Republicans and her own party.

– This year the Indiana Senate, after the Republicans added 27 amendments, shot down a bill on the floor that would have added the LGBT community as a protected class.



            – Like the rest of the U.S., approximately 80% of Indiana residents identify as Christian. The largest denominations being Protestant (including the United Methodist Church) and Catholic.

– Indiana is home to a strong population of Mennonite and Amish settlements.

– Indiana is also home to the First Church of Cannabis. The church, which supposedly worships the cannabis plant, came out of the RFRA that protected individual’s religious freedom.



– Median household income (as of 2014, according to $49, 384

– Poverty rate (as of 2014, according to 15.2%

Under 18 years old: 21.2%

– Total labor force (as of 2014, according to 3,230,540

– Unemployment rate (as of 2015, according to 4.6

– Top employment fields are healthcare, manufacturing, retail, and government.

– Four largest cities in Indiana (in order): Indianapolis, Fort Wayne, Evansville, and South Bend.

– Top publicly traded companies:

Anthem Inc., Indianapolis

Eli Lilly and Co., Indianapolis

Cummins Inc., Columbus

Steel Dynamics Inc., Fort Wayne

NiSource Inc., Merrillville

– Indiana is also home to companies like Vera Bradley, Angie’s List, Applied Instruments, Finish Line, and Herff Jones.

– Ranked 16th in Gross Domestic Product in 2013, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce. Food and clothing contributed to 38% of the total GDP.

– RFRA jeopardized the Indiana economy in 2015 because many businesses didn’t want to be associated with the state. One of the largest companies that threatened to pull out of Indiana was the NCAA Final Four. The estimated impact of the 2015 Final Four was at $70.8 million.



– Indiana is primarily a manufacturing state, but approximately ¾ of land is used for agriculture.

– Located in the Corn Belt, more than 20% of the United State’s popcorn supply comes from Indiana. Every year, almost half of all farmland in Indiana is used for corn.

– Indiana is also a major state in growing grain and soybeans.

– Fossil fuels, mostly coal, still run the state of Indiana. Although, Indiana is growing in the world of wind energy.

– Lake Michigan the closest major body of water to the otherwise landlocked state.

– Indiana Dunes National Park is 45 miles of wetlands, dunes, rivers and forests.

– Indiana is known for having the highest quality quarried limestone in the country. Limestone is a staple of many cities in Indiana and all over the U.S.


Natural Events

            – According to the U.S. Tornado Index, Indiana ranked 4th in state most at risk of tornadoes.

– Indiana is also prone to ice storms and blizzards many associate with the Midwest.

– The Great Blizzard of 1978, also known as the White Hurricane, hit the Midwest, including Indiana. The storm lasted 5 whole days.

– Earthquakes do occur in Indiana. The largest was in 1909 in Terre Haute. It was a 5.10 magnitude.

– At the end of the most recent Ice Age, a glacier melted while passing though Indiana, leaving half state flattened and the other remained hilly.



– The population of Indiana grew by more than 400,000 people between 2000 and 2010. The fastest growing area in the state is Fishers/Noblesville.

– The areas with the most decline in population are Hammond and Gary.

– Many residents are moving out of the urban areas and prefer the comfort of the growing suburbs, especially those surrounding Indianapolis.

– The five fastest-growing counties in the state all boarder Marion County.

– There’s been a 2.4% growth in residents in Lake County, many of which are Chicago commuters.

– The majority of in-migrants from 2001 to 2008 were from Illinois and the South.

– The highest amount of out-migrants from Indiana went to Florida or the rest of the South, probably in search of warmer weather.

Works Cited

Alesia, Mark. “Indy’s Final Four Teams Are Especially Good for Business.” Indy Star. Indianapolis Star. Web.


“Indianapolis 500 Fast Facts.” CNN. Cable News Network. Web


Higgins, Will. “April 4, 1968: How RFK Saved Indianapolis.” Indy Star. Indianapolis Star. Web. 2 Apr. 2015.


“Hoosiers by the Numbers.” Hoosiers by the Numbers. Web.


“Migration Trends and Population Change Between the Censuses.” Indiana Business Review. Indiana Business Research Center, Indiana University Kelley School of Business. Web.


“Indiana: Facts, Map and State Symbols –” Indiana: Facts, Map and State Symbols – Web.


“How Indiana’s RFRA Differs from Federal Version.” Indianapolis Star. Web.


“Largest Indiana Public Companies.” Largest Indiana Public Companies. Indiana Business Journal. Web.


“Migration.” Migration Topic Page: STATS Indiana. Indiana’s Public Data Utlity. Web.


“U.S. Tornado Index State Rank.” U.S. Tornado Index State Rank. Web.


United States. National Park Service. “Lincoln Boyhood National Memorial (U.S. National Park Service).” National Parks Service. U.S. Department of the Interior, 2016. Web.


“Fun Facts.” Visit Indiana. Visit Indiana. Web.


“2015’s Metro Areas That Most and Least Resemble the U.S.” WalletHub. Web.


“Who Was Ryan White?” U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Health Resources and Services Administration. Web.