Muncie, Indiana

Muncie, Indiana
City of Muncie, Indiana
—  City  —
Muncie downtown from the northwest
Nickname(s): Middletown USA
Location in the state of Indiana
Coordinates: 40°11′36″N 85°23′17″W / 40.19333°N 85.38806°W / 40.19333; -85.38806Coordinates: 40°11′36″N 85°23′17″W / 40.19333°N 85.38806°W / 40.19333; -85.38806
Country United States
State Indiana
County Delaware
Township Center
 - Mayor Dennis Tyler (D)
Elevation 932 ft (284 m)
Population (2010)[1]
 - Total 70,085
 - Demonym Munsonian
Time zone EST (UTC-5)
 - Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP codes 47302-47308
Area code(s) 765
FIPS code 18-51876[2]
GNIS feature ID 0439878[3]

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, is 70,085.[1]



The area was first settled in the 1770s by the Delaware Indians, who had been transported from their tribal lands near the east coast 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. Muncie was one of the considerations for state capital when it was moved from Corydon. It was considered by many to be a suitable location due to its location on the White River. 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 Delaware tribe.

Note: Munsee is one of the Algonquian languages (nearly extinct) spoke by the Lenape (Delaware).

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.[4] 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. Ironically, a Henry County farming community actually called Middletown is only a 20-minute drive from Muncie.


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%

As of the 2010 United States Census, the population is 70,085.

As of the 2000 census, the population was 67,430. There were 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.

Federally, Muncie is part of Indiana's 6th congressional district, represented by Republican Mike Pence, elected in 2000.

The state's senior member of the United States Senate is Republican Richard Lugar, elected in 1976. The state's junior member of the United States Senate is Republican Dan Coats, elected in 2010. The Governor of Indiana is Republican Mitch Daniels, elected in 2004.


Since the late 19th century, Muncie’s economic backbone had been the 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.[5] 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), Indiana Steel and Wire, General Motors (New Venture Gear), Warner Gear (later BorgWarner), Broderick Co. Inc., Dayton-Walter, and Ball Corporation. However, most of these factories closed during a tumultuous period for the city from the late 1980s and late 1990s. As of 2010, none of the aforementioned factories operated within Muncie. 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.

Ball Memorial Hospital Complex

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. In 2008, Italian manufacturer Brevini Power Transmission announced that Muncie will be its new U.S. headquarters and plans to create 450 jobs in Muncie by 2011.[6]

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 notoriety 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.[7] The "Bearcats" of Muncie Central High School has 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.[8] Muncie Central also boasts 6 state championships in girls volleyball. Burris Laboratory School has also gained notoriety 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.[9] Muncie Southside High School also has had success in winning two Wrestling State Championships (1975 & 1990) as well as a runner-up finish in the Class 3A Boys Basketball State Championship (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). .[10]

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


Shafer Tower on the campus of Ball State.
Muncie City Hall, 2005.
The former C&O depot, restored and now used as the office for the adjacent bicycle trail.

Elementary schools

  • 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 schools

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

High schools

For other Delaware County high schools, click here.

Colleges and universities

Notable natives & residents


  • Ball Brothers, founders of the Ball Corporation, originally a producer of glass canning jars but now a producer of various products.
  • Benjamin V. Cohen - a key figure in the administrations of Presidents Franklin D. Roosevelt and Harry S. Truman.
  • George R. Dale, editor of the Muncie Post-Democrat (1920–1936) who gained national attention by speaking out against the Ku Klux Klan.[12]
  • Bertha Fry - At the time of her death on November 14, 2007, the 3rd oldest person living on earth at 113 years.[13]
  • RobbieDiva-Socialite of Muncie grauated from Muncie Central High School.


  • Ray Boltz - Contemporary Christian musical artist [14]
  • Angelin Chang, GRAMMY®-award winning classical pianist
  • Trevor Chowning - Pop artist and former Hollywood talent agent/producer
  • Jim Davis - cartoonist, creator of the Garfield comic strip, which has become popular since its debut in June 1978.[15] Attended Ball State.[16]
  • Emily Kimbrough - Noted author and magazine editor. Author of Our Hearts Were Young and Gay and How Dear to My Heart a recount of her childhood in Muncie.[17]


Popular culture

Figures from Muncie have appeared on several American movies, such as:

  • Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex* (*But Were Afraid to Ask) - On the show What's My Perversion?, contestant Chaim Baumel is from Muncie.
  • The Hudsucker Proxy - Main figure Norville Barnes grew up and graduated from business college in Muncie. Coincidentally, reporter Amy Archer wrongly claims to be from there. As a result, she has to sing with Barnes the song of the local college sports team Eagles.

See also


  1. ^ a b "U.S. Census Bureau Delivers Indiana's 2010 Census Population Totals". Retrieved 11 February 2011. 
  2. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  3. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  4. ^ "The aim... was to study synchronously the interwoven trends that are the life of a small American city." Lynd and Lynd 1929: 3
  5. ^ Hoover, Dwight W., A pictorial history of Indiana, Indiana University Press, 1980
  6. ^ Trade and Industry Development,
  7. ^ Stodghill, Dick and Jackie, BEARCATS!: A History of Basketball at Muncie Central High School, JLT Publications, 1988
  8. ^ USA Today,
  9. ^ The Indianapolis Star,
  10. ^ IHSAA,
  11. ^ The Muncie Flyers,
  12. ^ Ball State University Archives
  13. ^ The article requested can not be found! Please refresh your browser or go back. (C7,20080325,,80214016,AR). | The Star Press - - Muncie, IN
  14. ^ Ray Boltz
  15. ^ The Official Website of Garfield and Friends
  16. ^ Jim Davis :: Profile
  17. ^ http://query.nytimes.comgst/fullpage.html?res=950DE7DC123EF932A25751C0A96F948260 Emily Kimbrough
  18. ^ Dave Duerson Past Stats, Statistics, History, and Awards -
  19. ^ Brandon Gorin | NFL Football at
  20. ^ Player Bio: Matt Painter :: Men's Basketball
  21. ^ Bonzi Wells Statistics -

External links

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