The Biggest Industries In Indiana

The automobile industry is one of Indiana's major industries.
The automobile industry is one of Indiana's major industries.

Indiana is the seventeenth most populous (6,619,878 people) American state, which occupies an area of about 36,418sq miles. Indiana is situated in the Great Lakes and Midwestern parts of North America. Indiana is surrounded by Kentucky, Illinois, Ohio, Michigan, and Lake Michigan. Indiana was the nineteenth U.S. state to gain statehood on December 11, 1816. Indiana had the nineteenth biggest GDP in the country in 2018. The capital and largest city in Indiana is Indianapolis.

The Economy Of Indiana

Indiana has a diverse economy, which had a GDP of $359.12billion in 2017. The state has several smaller industrial towns and cities and metropolitan regions with a population of 100,000people. Indiana had a civil workforce of about 3.4million, the fifteenth in the country, in 2017. Indiana's unemployment rate in 2017 was 3.4percentage points lower than the country average. A considerable percentage of the state's income comes from the manufacturing sector. Over 17% of Indiana's non-farm labor force works in the manufacturing industry. Indiana was home to 7Fortune-500 firms with combined revenue of $142.5billion in 2016.The manufacturing industry dominated the economy of Indiana for much of the twentieth century. The availability of essential materials, labor, and extensive interstate highway infrastructures, among other factors, contributed to the growth of Indiana's economy. Heavy industrialization made Indiana vulnerable, and by the twenty-first century, the manufacturing industry had started giving way to the service sector. Biological science had become one of the principal focus of Indiana's development efforts by the twenty-first century.

The Biggest Industries In Indiana

Energy Sector

The principal source of power in Indiana is fossil fuels, particularly coal. There are 24coal power plants in Indiana, and this includes Gibson Generating Station, the biggest coal power plant in the country. Indiana is home to Gallagher power plant (a coal-fired plant with the highest sulfur dioxide emission in the country). Indiana has 57billion ton coal reserves, and it produces 35million tons annually. Coal accounted for over 88.5% of the energy produced in Indiana in 2009. Indiana has 6hydroelectric dams, including Oakdale and Norway Dams, which provide electrical power to the locals. Oakdale Dam created the Freeman Lake while Norway Dam created Shafer Lake. Markland Dam also produces electricity.Indiana is one of the leading American states in biofuel production. Indiana is home to 4biodiesel and 12ethanol plants. Reynolds town is nicknamed BioTown USA since it's experimenting on using organic fuels and biofuels to power the entire city. Indianapolis airport had the biggest airport solar farm in the country in 2013. Commercial wind power began in the state when Benton-County-Wind Farm came online in 2008. The state installed 130MW of wind turbines in June 2008, and by the end of 2009, Indiana had installed 1,035.95MW of wind power.


The manufacturing industry experienced steady growth from the mid-nineteenth century to the late twentieth century, and during that time, it was the main source of income in Indiana. However, by the early twenty-first century, growth in the manufacturing industry had slowed down even though the sector still contributed over 25% of the state's gross state product. The automotive and steel industries are the leading players in this sector. In terms of automotive GDP, the automobile industry in Indiana was ranked second in the country, right behind Michigan in 2013. Indiana is the leading producer of mobile homes, caskets, electrical products, and hardwood furniture, among others.

Pharmaceuticals And Medical Devices

Indiana is one of the leading manufacturers of pharmaceuticals in the U.S. and home to the international headquarters of Eli-Lilly. Johnson Nutritionals, a branch of Bristol-Myers Squibb, is situated in Evansville, Indiana. Another big pharmaceutical firm found in Indiana with a strong economic base in Elkhart. Indiana is ranked fifth in the United States in total shipments and sales of pharmaceutical goods. It is ranked second in the country in the number of biopharmaceutical-related-jobs. Warsaw is known as the Capital of Orthopedic in the world. Warsaw is home to over 33% of the $38billion orthopedic industry. Some of the companies found in Warsaw include Depuy Synthes, Biomet, and Zimmer Biomet. Other companies that produce medical devices include Cook Group Incorporated and Roche Diagnostics.


Indiana is known for its decorative limestone, which is mined in the southern mountainous part of the state, particularly in Lawrence County. The limestone from Indiana has been used to decorate various iconic structures in the U.S. such as the Washington National Cathedral, Pentagon, and the Empire State Building, among other structures. The limestone produces chemical raw materials and crushed aggregate cement. The lime that is produced by heating crushed limestone is used in the steel and agriculture industries. Indiana produces gravel, sand, stone, and coal for energy. Indiana produces over 36million tons of coal annually. The underground mines below the mountains of Martin County produce gypsum. There are numerous operational petroleum fields in the Southwestern parts of the state, although some oil derricks can be spotted on the outskirts of the city of Terre-Haute.


Indiana boasts that over 75% of the country's population is within a day's drive, making rail, trucking, distributions, and warehousing a crucial sector in the region. Indiana has over 4,255railroad-route miles of which 91% is operated by Class-I railroads, particularly the Norfolk Southern Railway and CSX Transportation. The remaining miles are managed by 37local, switching-and-terminal, and regional railroads. About 13 main U.S. interstate highways are in Indiana. The several highways intersecting in Indianapolis, together with the state's historic status as the leading railroad hub, are the sources of the state's motto "the Crossroads-of-America".  Indiana has numerous main airports, including the Indianapolis International Airport, among others. The southeastern parts of Indiana are served by the Cincinnati/Northern-Kentucky Airport, while the southern region is served by Louisville International Airport. Over 50% of Indiana's boundary is water, and this includes 400miles of direct access to 2 main freight transportation arteries (the inland waterway system and St Lawrence/ Great Lakes Seaway). Indiana ships more than 70million tons of cargo via water annually, and its ranked fourteenth among all the American states.


Even though the agricultural sector of Indiana has employed a small percentage of the population, it is still one of the biggest producers of mint, soybeans, and corn in the United States. Technological advances have helped increase production in the state despite the reduction in total farm acreage. The principal vegetable crop in the region is tomatoes. However, watermelon is still crucial in the lower Wabash Valley. Indiana is one of the primary producers of dairy and hog products in the country. Other important livestock reared in Indiana includes sheep, ducks, and turkey.


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