The state of Indiana is considered to be both a part of the Great Lakes region and the Midwest region of the United States. Other states in the Great Lakes region are Ohio, Illinois, Michigan and Wisconsin. States in the Midwest region include Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio and Wisconsin.
The Hoosier State, or the state of Indiana, was admitted to the Union on Dec. 11, 1816, and became the 19th state. It is the 30th largest state by area, measuring 36,291 square miles in size. Indianapolis is both the state's capitol and its largest city.
Indiana literally means "land of the Indians," and the name reflects the fact that no Europeans visited the territory until 1679. In this year, Rene-Robert Cavelier, a French explorer, first crossed into the territory at what is now South Bend. He returned the next year for further exploration, which opened the territory up to French-Canadian fur traders who struck up business with the Native Americans living in the territory. In 1787, the territory was defined by the U.S. Congress as the Northwest Territory and included present-day Michigan, Ohio, Illinois and Indiana. In 1800, Ohio was separated from that territory, and Michigan and Illinois followed shortly thereafter.This left Indiana in its present size and shape.