Many of Indiana’s people take pride in a self-image derived largely from 19th-century America that values hard work, is oriented to the small town and medium-sized city, and is interested in maintaining the prerogatives of local self-determination.It is not by coincidence that the Indianan’s nickname, Hoosier, remains a symbol in the country’s lore for a kind of homespun wisdom, wit, and folksiness that harks back to what is popularly regarded as a less-hurried and less-complicated period of history.Steady growth of agriculture, urban areas, and industry and the consequent pollution have taken a toll on natural life, however.Pollution of both air and water has been particularly severe near the industrial areas along the southern tip of Lake Michigan.The climate of northwestern Indiana is modified greatly by its presence in the lee of Lake Michigan.Cold air passing over the warmer lake water in fall (October through December) and winter (January through March) induces heavy precipitation, and winter snowfall especially is several times greater than in other parts of the state.One of the most scenic parts of the state is the hilly south-central region around Brown County.
The nonforested portion of the state, primarily in the northwestern corner, consisted of grasslands—an extension into Indiana of the central Great Plains.
Its northern areas lie in the mainstream of the industrial belt that extends from Pennsylvania and New York to Illinois.
Agricultural activity is heaviest in the central region, which is situated in the Corn Belt, which stretches from Ohio to Nebraska.
The cities near the state’s northwestern corner form an industrial, economic, and social continuum with neighbouring Chicago.
Their significant African American and Hispanic populations and the political aspirations contrast strikingly with life in the smaller cities and towns near the state’s southern boundary.