Indiana: National Champion of Steel Production. There are countless reasons to be Hoosier Proud. We’re home to the Indy 500, the historic St. Elmo Steak House, the Pacers and the Colts, mild Midwest manners, and incredible state and county fairs. No matter what Kentucky and Illinois try to claim, Abraham Lincoln was raised in our great state.

Those who “fly over” this country are missing out on some beautiful natural gems. Add this to the list: Indiana continues to lead the nation in steel production.

Indiana produced 24.4 million net tons of steel in 2016, 27% of the country’s total output and an impressive 5.1% increase from 2015 production. In 1975, the state took the crown from Pennsylvania after automation and foreign competition gutted Pittsburgh’s steel industry, and for 42 straight years, Indiana has retained its spot at the top.

Most of Indiana’s impressive steel production—almost a quarter of the country’s steelmaking capacity—takes place in the Great Lakes region of Northwest Indiana. Gary Works is the nation’s largest steel mill; ArcelorMittal Indiana Harbor is North America’s largest integrated steelmaking complex.

And finally, Indiana is home to more than 20,000 dedicated steelworkers.

All of this is good news for Hoosier manufacturers and the state more broadly.

This booming steel production plays into a larger thriving Indiana economy. Indiana continues to have the top business tax environment in the Midwest and ranks eighth-best in the nation, so the trend toward growth seems set to continue. We’re so proud to be from a state of such great blue-collar values and industry.