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General Facts


Indiana's form of government is closely modeled on the federal government with three branches: executive, legislative and judicial. The Governor, elected for a four-year term, heads the executive branch. The General Assembly, the legislative branch, consists of the Senate and the House of Representatives. Indiana's fifty State Senators are elected for four-year terms and one hundred State Representatives for two-year terms. In odd-numbered years, the General Assembly meets in a sixty-one day session. In even-numbered years, the Assembly meets for thirty session days. The judicial branch consists of the Indiana Supreme Court, Court of Appeals and local circuit courts. On the national level, Indiana is represented in Congress by two Senators and nine Representatives.


In Indiana, public schools for K-12 are set up as consolidated school districts with local school boards, along with the state, responsible for meeting the educational needs of the local community. Indiana also has several nationally known private schools such as Howe and Culver military academies.

Public institutions of higher learning include Ball State University at Muncie, Indiana State University at Terre Haute, and Vincennes University at Vincennes. The two largest public universities are Purdue University at West Lafayette and Indiana University at Bloomington. Both have established regional campuses around the state. Purdue leads the nation in undergraduate engineering enrollment and IU graduates more medical doctors than any other school. The University of Notre Dame at South Bend is one of the most prestigious Catholic universities in the world. Butler University, Indianapolis; DePauw University, Greencastle; Wabash College, Crawfordsville; and Earlham College, Richmond are other notable private institutions.

Recreation and Sports:

Over 1.1 million acres of land are available for outdoor recreation in Indiana. The Department of Natural Resources operates parks, forests, nature preserves, fish and wildlife areas, museums and memorials across the state. Brown County State Park and the Indiana State Museum at Indianapolis are two of the more popular facilities.

Indianapolis has become a major center for sporting events. Besides being home of the Indiana Pacers professional basketball team and the Indianapolis Colts in pro football, Indianapolis is also host to the "Indy 500" in May and the "Brickyard 400" in August, run at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, and the RCA Championship tennis matches each summer.

Famous Hoosiers:

Political Figures: Sarah Evans Barker, Evan Bayh, Benjamin Harrison, Richard Lugar, and J. Danforth Quayle

Entertainers: Hoagy Carmichael, David Letterman, John Mellencamp, Jane Pauley, and Cole Porter

Artists & Authors: William Forsyth, Gene Stratton Porter, James Whitcomb Riley, Kurt Vonnegut, Jr., and Lew Wallace

Sports: Larry Bird, Don Mattingly, Knute Rockne, Oscar Robertson, and Tony Stewart

Others: Johnny Appleseed, Elwood Haynes, Eli Lilly, and Ball Brothers

Most of the information contained above and on previous page was compiled by and placed here courtesy of: the Indiana State Library

Admitted to the Union:

As 19th State on December 11, 1816


"The Hoosier State"

State Capital:

Indianapolis (Corydon was state capital until 1825)

State Population:

Population: 6,195,643 (2003 estimate)

Geographic Area:

36,291 square miles (38th in size among United States)


Average 700 feet, ranging from 320 feet (in Posey County) to 1257 feet (in Wayne County)

  • four distinct seasons
  • average annual rainfall: 40 inches
  • average summer temperature: 70 to 80 degrees fahrenheit
  • average winter temperature: 25 to 35 degrees fahrenheit
Additional Indiana History Sources:
Talk: 1-800-457-8283
Text: 1-855-463-5292
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