Southern Indiana

Coordinates: 39°0′N 86°0′W / 39.000°N 86.000°W / 39.000; -86.000
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Southern Indiana
Location of Southern Indiana
Coordinates: 39°0′N 86°0′W / 39.000°N 86.000°W / 39.000; -86.000
 • Total1,386,568
Time zonesCentral
Area code812/930

Southern Indiana is a geographic and cultural region that generally comprises the southern third of the U.S. state of Indiana and borders the states of Illinois to the west, Kentucky to the south, and Ohio to the east. Spanning the state's southernmost 33 counties, its main population centers include Southwestern Indiana (anchored by the city of Evansville), the Louisville metropolitan area (south), and the Cincinnati metropolitan area (southeast). The region's history and geography have led to a blending of Northern and Southern cultures, distinct from the rest of the state. It is often considered to be part of the Upland South and lower Midwest.[1]

The Wabash and Ohio rivers form the region's western and southern boundaries, respectively. Elevation ranges from around 360 feet (110 m) above mean sea level at the rivers' confluence to 1,060 feet (320 m) at the highest point in the Knobstone Escarpment. Southern Indiana's topography is considerably more varied than Central and Northern Indiana, including large tracts of forest, rolling hills, and karst caves. The region is also home to the oldest exposed Devonian fossil beds in the world at the Falls of the Ohio National Wildlife Conservation Area. Situated in the Wabash Valley Seismic Zone, Southwestern Indiana is at elevated risk for earthquakes.

Southern Indiana, home to about 1.4 million people, was the first area of the state to be settled by European colonists. Founded in 1732, Vincennes is the oldest continually inhabited European settlement in Indiana and served as the first capital of the Indiana Territory; Corydon would later serve as the state's first capital. Protected areas include Charles C. Deam Wilderness Area, George Rogers Clark National Historical Park, Hoosier National Forest, and the Lincoln Boyhood National Memorial. Southern Indiana is home to about a dozen higher education institutions, including Indiana University Bloomington, the flagship campus of the Indiana University system. The Catholic Church has a significant presence in the region, including Saint Meinrad Archabbey, the Monastery Immaculate Conception, and Mount Saint Francis. The region is split between the Eastern and Central time zones.[2]




Kentuckiana, a portmanteau of "Kentucky" and "Indiana", is a loosely defined sub-region that spans north-central Kentucky and Southern Indiana's south-central counties. It is primarily centered on the Louisville metropolitan area. Counties typically considered part of the Kentuckiana sub-region include:

Southwestern Indiana[edit]

Southeastern Indiana[edit]

Other counties[edit]

Time zones[edit]

Southwestern Indiana observes Central Time, including Posey, Vanderburgh, Warrick, Spencer, and Gibson counties. The rest of Southern Indiana observes Eastern Time.


Southern Indiana also differs from the rest of the state linguistically. Southern dialect and South Midland dialect of American English are 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.

Educational institutions[edit]

Southern Indiana is home to IU Bloomington, the flagship campus of the Indiana University system, recognized for its academics and Indiana Hoosiers athletic program.

About 12 accredited institutions of higher education are located throughout Southern Indiana, including some private, liberal arts colleges and multiple public university campuses, including the flagship campus of the Indiana University system, IU Bloomington. The "‡" symbol indicates universities with main campuses outside Southern Indiana.




Professional sports[edit]

There are two professional sports teams in the region, both located in Evansville – the Evansville Thunderbolts (founded in 2018), and the Evansville Otters (founded in 1995) play in baseball's independent Frontier League.

College sports[edit]

National Collegiate Athletic Association Division I
National Collegiate Athletic Association Division II
National Collegiate Athletic Association Division III
National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA)
National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Madison, James H. (August 28, 2014). The Story of Us. Indianapolis Monthly. Retrieved February 18, 2021.
  2. ^ Mack, Justin L. (March 8, 2019). "Looking back at Indiana's complicated relationship with time: Why Indiana observes daylight saving time". The Indianapolis Star. Retrieved January 26, 2024.

External links[edit]