Central Indiana refers to the 33 counties in the middle third of the state. However, many Hoosiers consider Central Indiana as the Indianapolis metropolitan area. The region's dominant city by far is Indianapolis. Other prominent cities include Lafayette, Anderson, Muncie, and Terre Haute. Central Indiana is the most populous region of Indiana. The primary economic engines of Central Indiana are education and research, agriculture and manufacturing, and as a result, some of the larger cities in the region are dealing with Rust Belt issues similar to Northern Indiana. Major universities include Purdue University, Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis, Ball State University, and Indiana State University.
Physically, the land in Central Indiana is characterized primarily by low, gently rolling hills and shallow valleys. Some counties of the region, like Howard County, are more flat in nature, while others, such as Morgan County are more rugged and hilly, while Tippecanoe County, trisected by the Wabash River, Tippecanoe River, and Wildcat Creek, has perhaps the most diverse physiography of the region. Elevation ranges from 600 feet to over 1,000 feet above sea level. Forests and farmland line Central Indiana's gently rolling plains, and river valleys dissect the otherwise monotonous landscape. The highest point in Indiana is Hoosier Hill, at 1,257 feet above sea level in northern Wayne County.