Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Columns

December 30, 2013

BRIAN HOWEY: Ranking the Hoosier condition

Ranking Hoosier life reveals great upside.

(Continued)

Nearly 17 percent of Hoosiers in the non-farm workforce are employed in manufacturing, the most of any state according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Since 2010, Indiana has added the third-most manufacturing jobs of any state in the country — an impressive 9 percent growth rate.

We rank seventh in coal production, producing more than 36 million tons annually, and coal-fired electric power plants provided 82 percent of our net electrical generation in 2011.

Indiana ranked 20th in the number of patents granted in 2012, with 1,963 awarded. We ranked second in prosthesis patents; seventh in surgery instruments; sixth in drug, bio-affecting and body treating compositions; eighth in power plants; second in communications; and fifth in international combustion engines.

Gentlemen and women, start your engines!

Indiana ranked 26th in venture capital deals, and second in the United States in adjusted dollars per deals. According to the Chronicle of Philanthropy, we ranked 21st in giving, with Hoosiers donating an average of 4.5 percent of their discretionary income to charity. We are generous in giving of our time: Three in 10 said they volunteered at a nonprofit organization.

The 62,000 Indiana farms ranks 14th in the nation in 2010, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. We rank first in the nation in ducks; second in popcorn, ice cream and processed tomatoes; third in spearmint; fourth in eggs and peppermint; fifth in hogs, soybeans, corn, cantaloupe and watermelons; sixth in turkeys; seventh in cucumbers; 10th in blueberries; 14th in milk cows; and 17th in marijuana.

Our state forester, Burnel C. Fischer, observed that 200 years ago, 85 percent of Indiana was covered with forests. A century ago, much of that had been cleared for our farms and industry, and in 1922, State Forester Charles Deam predicted Indiana would be treeless in 15 years. “I’m pleased to report that as we enter the 21st century, forests have rebounded and now comprise almost 20 percent of the State (4.5 million acres),” Fischer reported.

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