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One of the most scenic parts of the state is the hilly south-central region around Brown County.
This situation was remedied somewhat with the dedication in 1972 of Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore.Annual precipitation varies from about 45 inches (1,150 mm) in the south-central region to about 37 inches (940 mm) in the north.Snow may fall over a six-month period and averages more than 20 inches (510 mm) annually, with the cities along the northern border often reporting more than 100 inches (2,540 mm).In addition, average daily temperatures are warmer in the fall and cooler in the spring (April through June) as a result of this “lake effect.” Indiana is part of a belt of Midwestern states with an unusually high frequency of severe storms.Spring, with its generally erratic and unstable weather, is the season with the greatest number of tornadoes.Thus, Indiana’s population is to some extent black and Hispanic in the urban north and mostly white in the less industrialized south.
Though generally considered a conservative and Republican stronghold, Indiana has voted into both state and national office nearly as many Democrats as Republicans. Population (2010) 6,483,802; (2017 est.) 6,666,818. Indiana forms part of the east-central lowlands that slope downward from the Appalachian Mountains to the Mississippi River.
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.
In the early 19th century Indiana was almost entirely covered with the deciduous hardwood forests common to the eastern United States.
The nonforested portion of the state, primarily in the northwestern corner, consisted of grasslands—an extension into Indiana of the central Great Plains.
Indiana, constituent state of the United States of America. states in terms of total area and, except for Hawaii, is the smallest state west of the Appalachian Mountains.