With a population of over 6 million, Indiana ranks 17th in the nation for state population despite ranking only 38th in area. It is located in the Great Lakes region of the midwestern United States, bordering both Lake Michigan and the state that bears its name, along with Illinois, Kentucky, and Ohio. One of Indiana’s quirks is that, for the most part, it did not observe daylight savings time until 2006. In addition, a total of twelve counties observe Central Time while the rest of the state observes Eastern Time. Residents of Indiana are officially known as “Hoosiers” although the origin of the name remains unclear.

Economics

With a gross state product of approximately $360 billion, Indiana boasts a diverse economy. Since 1975, Indiana has been the largest steel-producing state in the country. Other significant economic sectors in Indiana include the following:

  • Agriculture
  • Automotive
  • Mining
  • Pharmaceuticals and medical devices

Indiana’s per capita income is estimated at anywhere from $27,000 to $45,000.

Education

While only about a quarter of adults in Indiana hold a bachelor’s degree or higher, 88.3 percent have graduated from high school, which is higher than the national average of 87.2 percent. Indiana
universities awarded 103,729 degrees in 2016, and some of the top schools include the following:

  • Purdue University
  • Indiana University-Bloomington
  • Ivy Tech Community College

Best Places To Live

Indiana is made up of rural areas, small industrial communities, as well as some large cities with over 100,000 in population. Some of the best places to live include the following:

1. Batesville
Located in southeastern Indiana, Batesville has a population of approximate 6,000 and ranks as one of the top small cities in the state. It boasts a 2 percent unemployment rate, a 90 percent high school graduation rate, a cost of living index of 95, and a crime rate approximately 40 percent lower than both Indiana and the United States.
2. Jasper
With a population of approximately 15,000, Jasper ranks as one of the top 10 medium-sized cities in the state. Its crime rate is over 50 percent lower than in either Indiana or the United States, unemployment is only 3 percent, and students’ test scores are 58 percent higher than the average for the country. Jasper is located in southwestern Indiana.
3. Carmel
Carmel is a city of approximately 86,000 people in central Indiana. The high school graduation rate in Carmel is 97 percent, while the unemployment rate is 2 percent and the median household income is $106,546. The crime rate in Carmel is 72 percent and 73 percent lower than the national and statewide averages, respectively, and your chance of becoming a crime victim is only one in 131.