Southern Indiana, in the United States, consists of the 33 counties located in the southernmost part of the state. The region's history and geography has led to a blend of Northern and Southern culture distinct from the remainder of Indiana. It is often considered to be part of the Upland South. Southern Indiana was the first area of the state to be settled, and Indiana's first state capital was located in Corydon in Harrison County near the Ohio River. The city of Vincennes, located in the region, is the oldest continually inhabited settlement in Indiana and was the first capital of the Indiana Territory.
The Catholic Church has a significant presence in the region. Noteworthy Catholic institutions in Southern Indiana include St. Meinrad Archabbey, one of two Catholic archabbeys/seminaries in the United States and Mount St. Francis, a large retreat center in Floyd County.
Southern Indiana also differs from the rest of the state linguistically. The South Midland dialect of American English is prevalent, as opposed to the Inland North dialect in far Northern Indiana and the North Midland dialect in Central and North-Central Indiana. Southern Indiana is the northernmost extent of the South Midland region, forming what linguists refer to as the "Hoosier Apex" of the South Midland dialect.
Southern Indiana's topography is considerably more varied and complex than Central and Northern Indiana, and includes large tracts of forest (such as the Hoosier National Forest), rolling fields, and a chain of hills (800-1,000 ft.) called the Knobstone Escarpment, or simply "The Knobs." The region also includes the oldest exposed Devonian fossil beds in the world at the Falls of the Ohio state park in Clarksville.
The region's largest city is Evansville, in the southwest corner of the state. As of the 2000 census, the city had a total population of 121,582, and a metropolitan population of 342,815. The south-central counties of Clark, Floyd, and Harrison are part of the greater Louisville, Kentucky metropolitan area and have a combined population of over 200,000.
Read more about Southern Indiana: Colleges and Universities
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“The Great South Beach of Long Island,... though wild and desolate, as it wants the bold bank,... possesses but half the grandeur of Cape Cod in my eyes, nor is the imagination contented with its southern aspect.”
—Henry David Thoreau (18171862)
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—Ronald Reagan (b. 1911)