Muncie, Indiana

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Muncie, Indiana
—  City  —
Muncie downtown from the northwest
Nickname(s): Middletown USA, Timeshare Capital of Indiana
Delaware County Indiana Incorporated and Unincorporated areas Muncie highlighted.svg
Location in the state of Indiana
Coordinates: 40°11′36″N 85°23′17″W / 40.19333, -85.38806Coordinates: 40°11′36″N 85°23′17″W / 40.19333, -85.38806
Country United States
State Indiana
County Delaware
Township Center, Hamilton, Liberty, Mount Pleasant
 • Mayor Dennis Tyler (D)
 • Total 27.39 sq mi (70.94 km2)
 • Land 27.20 sq mi (70.45 km2)
 • Water 0.19 sq mi (0.49 km2)
Elevation 932 ft (284 m)
Population (2010)[2]
 • Total 70,085
 • Estimate (2011[3]) 70,080
 • Density 2,576.7/sq mi (994.9/km2)
 • Demonym Munsonian
Time zone EST (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP codes 47302-47308
Area code(s) 765
FIPS code 18-51876[4]
GNIS feature ID 0439878[5]

Muncie (play /ˈmʌnsi/) is a city in Center Township, Delaware County in east central Indiana, best known as the home of Ball State University and the birthplace of the Ball Corporation. It is the principal city of the Muncie, Indiana, Metropolitan Statistical Area, which has a population of 118,769. The city population, as of the 2010 Census, was 70,085.[6]

History Edit

The area was first settled in the 1770s by the Lenape people, who had been transported from their tribal lands in the Mid-Atlantic region (all of New Jersey plus southeastern New York, eastern Pennsylvania, and northern Delaware) to Ohio and eastern Indiana. They founded several towns along the White River including Munsee Town (according to historical map of "The Indians" by Clark Ray), near the site of present-day Muncie. The tribes were forced to cede their land to the federal government and move farther west in 1818, and in 1820 the area was opened to white settlers. The city of Muncie was incorporated in 1865. Contrary to popular legend, the city is not named after a mythological Chief Munsee, rather it was named after Munsee Town, the white settlers' name for the Indian village on the site, "Munsee" meaning a member of the Lenape people or one of their languages.

Middletown studiesEdit

Muncie was lightly disguised as "Middletown" by a team of sociologists, led by Robert and Helen Lynd, who were only the first to conduct a series of studies in Muncie—considered a typical Middle-American community—in their case, a study funded by the Rockefeller Institute of Social and Religious Research.[7] In 1929, the Lynds published Middletown: A Study in Contemporary American Culture. They returned to re-observe the community during the Depression and published Middletown in Transition: A Study in Cultural Conflicts (1937). Later in the century, the National Science Foundation funded a third major study that resulted in two books by Theodore Caplow, Middletown Families (1982) and All Faithful People (1983). Caplow returned in 1998 to begin another study, Middletown IV, which became part of a PBS Documentary entitled "The First Measured Century," released in December 2000. The Ball State Center for Middletown Studies continues to survey and analyze social change in Muncie. An enormous database of the Middletown surveys conducted between 1978 and 1997 is available online from ARDA, American Religion Data Archive. Coincidentally, a Henry County farming community actually called Middletown is only a 20-minute drive from Muncie.


According to the 2010 census, the city has a total area of 27.39 square miles (70.9 km2), of which 27.20 square miles (70.4 km2) (or 99.31%) is land and 0.19 square miles (0.49 km2) (or 0.69%) is water.[8]


Historical populations
Census Pop.
1850 606
1860 1,782 194.1%
1870 2,992 67.9%
1880 5,219 74.4%
1890 11,345 117.4%
1900 20,942 84.6%
1910 24,005 14.6%
1920 36,524 52.2%
1930 46,548 27.4%
1940 49,720 6.8%
1950 58,479 17.6%
1960 68,603 17.3%
1970 69,082 0.7%
1980 76,460 10.7%
1990 71,035 −7.1%
2000 67,430 −5.1%
2010 70,085 3.9%

2010 censusEdit

As of the census[2] of 2010, there were 70,085 people, 27,722 households, and 13,928 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,576.7 inhabitants per square mile (994.9 /km2). There were 31,958 housing units at an average density of 1,174.9 per square mile (453.6 /km2). The racial makeup of the city was 84.0% White, 10.9% African American, 0.3% Native American, 1.2% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 0.8% from other races, and 2.8% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.3% of the population.

There were 27,722 households out of which 23.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 31.5% were married couples living together, 14.1% had a female householder with no husband present, 4.6% had a male householder with no wife present, and 49.8% were non-families. 35.2% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.22 and the average family size was 2.85.

The median age in the city was 28.1 years. 17.8% of residents were under the age of 18; 27.5% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 21.4% were from 25 to 44; 20.2% were from 45 to 64; and 13% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 47.5% male and 52.5% female.

2000 censusEdit

As of the census of 2000,[4] there were 67,430 people, 27,322 households, and 14,589 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,788.2 people per square mile (1,076.7/km²). There were 30,205 housing units at an average density of 1,248.9 per square mile (482.3/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 83.72% White, 12.97% African American, 0.27% Native American, 0.79% Asian, 0.09% Pacific Islander, 0.67% from other races, and 1.49% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.44% of the population.

There were 27,322 households out of which 23.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 36.4% were married couples living together, 13.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 46.6% were non-families. 34.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.24 and the average family size was 2.86.

In the city the population was spread out with 19.8% under the age of 18, 24.6% from 18 to 24, 24.2% from 25 to 44, 18.3% from 45 to 64, and 13.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 29 years. For every 100 females there were 89.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 86.5 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $26,613, and the median income for a family was $36,398. Males had a median income of $30,445 versus $21,872 for females. The per capita income for the city was $15,814. About 14.3% of families and 23.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 24.2% of those under age 18 and 9.7% of those age 65 or over.

Economy Edit

Since the late 19th century, Muncie’s economic backbone had been in the industrial sector, primarily in manufacturing. Drawn to the region during the Indiana Gas Boom of the 1880s, many factories sprang up in the area that relied on the combustible natural resource. The Ball Brothers moved their glass factory from Buffalo to Muncie, beginning glass production there on March 1, 1888.[9] This relationship with Muncie ended 110 years later, as Ball Corporation moved its corporation headquarters to Broomfield, Colorado in 1998. Other notable factories that were located in Muncie include: Delco Remy, Westinghouse (later ABB, now the site of Progress Rail), Indiana Steel and Wire, General Motors (New Venture Gear), Warner Gear (later BorgWarner), The Broderick Company (former division of Harsco), Dayton-Walther Corporation, and Ball Corporation. However, most of these factories closed during a tumultuous period for the city from the late 1980s and late 1990s. However, many smaller, non-unionized, manufacturing businesses have survived this transition such as Maxon Corporation, Duffy Tool (now North American Stamping), Reber Machine & Tool, MAGNA Powertrain, and a dozen or so other shops that employ anywhere from a few dozen to a couple of hundred workers. In 2009, Muncie became the United States headquarters for Brevini Wind, an Italian-based company. In addition to headquarters, the Muncie Division makes gearboxes for wind turbines use to create renewable wind energy. In 2011, Progress Rail Services (a subsidiary of Caterpillar Inc.) opened a location in Muncie, housing the former Westinghouse (later ABB Group) building which sat vacant since 1998. The location is in the division of the company's Locomotive & Railcar Service, which produces locomotives.


Like many mid-sized cities in the Rust Belt, Muncie has had to economically reinvent itself due to the collective fall of the manufacturing industry in the latter part of the 20th century. Muncie’s current economic backbone is in health care, education, retail, and other service industries. The largest employers in Muncie are Ball Memorial Hospital (an Indiana University Health partner), Ball State University, Muncie Community Schools, The city of Muncie, Sallie Mae, Wal-mart, and The Youth Opportunity Center.

The local economy is one of the most controversial topics for Muncie residents, and the city has at times struggled to find cohesion between older unemployed/underemployed Muncie residents who strongly identify with the manufacturing-identity of the city, and newer residents who identify with the city's shift towards educational and health services. Animosity is greatest amongst those in the older, once industrialized parts on the south and east parts of town as much of the economic growth over that last 20+ years has taken place primarily on the northwest portions of town in connection with the growth of both Ball Memorial Hospital and Ball State University. Muncie, once a factory town with a small teacher's college, is now considered by many as a college-town with a manufacturing past.


Muncie has gained fame as having a rich tradition in prep sports. Muncie Central High School has fielded a boys basketball team for over 100 years and is the most successful such program, with more state championships (8 State Titles, 7 runner-ups) in the state noted for boys' high school basketball and Hoosier Hysteria.[10] The "Bearcats" of Muncie Central High School have called the Walnut St. Fieldhouse home since 1928. The 6,000+ (once 7,600) seat facility was one of the largest facilities of its kind when built, and still ranks in the top 20 in being the largest high school gymnasium in the world.[11] Muncie Central also boasts 6 state championships in girls volleyball. Burris Laboratory School has also gained recognition on a national level for its girls volleyball program. The elite program has won 21 state championships, including the last 13 2A state titles, as well as 4 national championships all under the helm of former coach Steve Shondell.[12] Muncie Southside High School also has had success in winning two Wrestling State Championships (1975 & 1990) a 3a State runner up in 1999 as well as a State Championship in the Class 3A Boys Basketball (2001). Lost to consolidation in 1988, Muncie Northside High School also found success in athletics winning three Girls' Volleyball State Championships (1975–1978) and one Wrestling State Championship (1974).[13]

Professionally, Muncie was once home to a National Football League team. The Muncie Flyers (also known as the Congerville Flyers) were a professional football team from 1905 to 1925 and were one of the 11 charter members of the NFL, playing in the league from 1920 to 1924.[14]



Shafer Tower on the campus of Ball State

Former C&O depot, Muncie, Indiana

The former C&O depot, restored and now used as the office for the adjacent bicycle trail

Elementary schoolsEdit

  • Burris Laboratory School
  • East Washington Academy
  • South View Elementary
  • Grissom Elementary
  • Storer Elementary
  • Longfellow Elementary
  • Sutton Elementary
  • Mitchell Elementary
  • North View Elementary
  • West View Elementary
  • Heritage Hall Christian School
  • Hoosier Academy Muncie
  • St. Lawrence Elementary School
  • St. Mary Elementary School

Middle schoolsEdit

  • Burris Laboratory School
  • Northside Middle School
  • Wilson Middle School
  • Heritage Hall Christian School
  • Hoosier Academy Muncie
  • Pope John Paul II Middle School

High schoolsEdit

Colleges and universities Edit

Notable natives & residents Edit




Popular culture Edit

  • Toby Keith's song "I Wanna Talk About Me" contains the lyric: 'We talk about your nanna up in Muncie, Indiana.'
  • In the 1994 film The Hudsucker Proxy, the main protagonist Norville Barnes (Tim Robbins) grew up in Muncie and graduated from the fictional Muncie College of Business Administration. In an attempt to gain Norville's confidence, reporter Amy Archer (Jennifer Jason Leigh) falsely claims to be from there. As a result, she has to sing with Barnes the fight song for the local college sports team, the Eagles.
  • NBC show Parks and Recreation, which takes place in the fictional Indiana town of Pawnee, frequently references Muncie.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "US Gazetteer files 2010". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2012-12-11. 
  2. ^ a b "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2012-12-11. 
  3. ^ "Population Estimates". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2013-01-02. 
  4. ^ a b "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  5. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  6. ^ "U.S. Census Bureau Delivers Indiana's 2010 Census Population Totals". Retrieved 11 February 2011. 
  7. ^ "The aim... was to study synchronously the interwoven trends that are the life of a small American city." Lynd and Lynd 1929: 3
  8. ^ "2010 Census U.S. Gazetteer Files for Places - Indiana". United States Census. Retrieved 2012-04-21. 
  9. ^ Hoover, Dwight W. (1980). A pictorial history of Indiana. Indiana University Press. ISBN 9780253146939. 
  10. ^ Stodghill, Dick and Jackie (1988). BEARCATS!: A History of Basketball at Muncie Central High School. JLT Publications. 
  11. ^ Ruibal, Sal. USA Today. Retrieved 2012-08-25. 
  12. ^ The Indianapolis Star,
  13. ^ "IHSAA State Championships by School". Retrieved 2012-08-25. 
  14. ^ "History of the Muncie Flyers Football team". Retrieved 2012-08-25. 
  15. ^ "The Life and Times of George Dale, Muncie Mayor and Editor". Ball State University. Retrieved 2012-08-25. 
  16. ^ "Bertha Fry, World's 3rd Oldest Person, Dies in Muncie". Retrieved 2012-08-25. 
  17. ^ Ray Boltz
  18. ^ The Official Website of Garfield and Friends
  19. ^ Jim Davis :: Profile
  20. ^ Emily Kimbrough
  21. ^ Player Bio: Maggie Bird :: Women's Swimming
  22. ^ Dave Duerson Past Stats, Statistics, History, and Awards -
  23. ^ Brandon Gorin | NFL Football at
  24. ^ Player Bio: Matt Painter :: Men's Basketball
  25. ^ Bonzi Wells Statistics -

External linksEdit

This page uses content from the English language Wikipedia. The original content was at Muncie, Indiana. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with this Familypedia wiki, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons License.

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