Area, 36,291 sq mi (93,994 sq km). Pop. (2000) 6,080,485, a 9.7% increase since the 1990 census. Capital and largest city, Indianapolis. Motto, Crossroads of America. State bird, cardinal. State flower, peony. State tree, tulip poplar.
Although Indiana is primarily a manufacturing state, about three quarters of the land is utilized for agriculture. With a growing season of about 170 days and an average rainfall of 40 in. (102 cm) per year, Indiana farms have rich yields. Grain crops, mainly corn and wheat, are important and also support livestock and dairying industries. Soybeans and hay are also principal crops, and popcorn and widely varied vegetables and fruits are also produced. Hogs, eggs, and cattle are also important. Meatpacking is chief among the many industries related to agriculture. Although the urban population exceeds the rural, many towns are primarily service centers for agricultural communities.
The capital and largest city is Indianapolis , in the central part of the state. Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, with a 3-mi (4.8-km) frontage on Lake Michigan, is noted for its beautiful shifting sand dunes. Formerly a state park, the area was made a National Lakeshore in 1966. Four years earlier, in 1962, the U.S. Congress authorized the establishment of the Lincoln Boyhood National Memorial in S Indiana. The Indianapolis Motor Speedway is the site of the famous 500-mi (800-km) auto race, held annually.
*Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition, Copyright (c) 2003.