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Indiana is a US state, admitted to the United States as the 19th on December 11, 1816. It is located in the midwestern and Great Lakes regions of North America. Indiana is the 38th largest by area and the 15th most populous of the 50 United States. Indiana is the least extensive state in the continental US west of the Appalachian Mountains. Its capital and largest city is Indianapolis. Before it became a territory, varying cultures of indigenous peoples and historic Native Americans inhabited Indiana for thousands of years. Angel Mounds State Historic Site, one of the best preserved ancient earthwork mound sites in the United States, can be found in Southwestern Indiana near Evansville. Residents of Indiana are known as Hoosiers. The etymology of the word is disputed, but the leading theory as advanced by the Indiana Historical Bureau and the Indiana Historical Society has "Hoosier" originating from the upland South region of the U.S. as a derogatory slang term for a rough countryman, a country bumpkin.

The state's name means "Land of the Indians," or simply "Indian Land." This name dates back to at least the 1760s but was first applied to the region by the United States Congress when the Indiana Territory was incorporated in 1800, separating it from the Northwest Territory.Since its founding as a territory, settlement patterns in Indiana have reflected regional cultural segmentation present in the Eastern United States; the state's northernmost tier was settled primarily by people from New England and New York, Central Indiana by migrants from the Mid-Atlantic states and from adjacent Ohio, and Southern Indiana by settlers from the Southern states, particularly Kentucky and Tennessee.

Indiana has a diverse economy with a gross state product of $214 billion in 2005. Indiana has several metropolitan areas with populations greater than 100,000 and a number of smaller industrial cities and towns. Indiana is home to several major sports teams and athletic events including the NFL's Indianapolis Colts, the NBA's Indiana Pacers, the WNBA's Indiana Fever, and the Indianapolis 500 and Brickyard 400 motorsports races.

The state has several universities ranked among the best in 2011 rankings of the U.S. News & World Report. Purdue, Indiana, and the University of Notre Dame are ranked among the top 50 in the National Universities Rankings, while Butler, Valparaiso and the University of Evansville are ranked among the top 10 in the Regional University Midwest Rankings.