The state’s name means “Land of the Indians,” or simply “Indian Land.” It also stems from Indiana’s territorial history. On May 7, 1800, the United States Congress passed legislation to divide the Northwest Territory into two areas and named the western section the Indiana Territory. In 1816, when Congress passed an Enabling Act to begin the process of establishing statehood for Indiana, a part of this territorial land became the geographic area for the new state.
A resident of Indiana is known as a Hoosier. The etymology of this word is disputed, but the leading theory, as advanced by the Indiana Historical Bureau and the Indiana Historical Society, has “Hoosier” originating from Virginia, the Carolinas, and Tennessee (a part of the upland South region of the United States) as a term for a backwoodsman, a rough countryman, or a country bumpkin.
Indiana’s capital and largest city is Indianapolis.