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Muncie, Indiana
Muncie City Hall
Muncie City Hall
Nickname(s): Middletown, U.S.A.[1]
Location in the state of Indiana
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, 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)[3]
 • Total 70,085
 • Estimate (2012[4]) 70,087
 • 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[5]
GNIS feature ID 0439878[6]
Interstate Highways
  • I-69 (just west of town)
U.S. Highways
Major State Roads
Waterways West Fork of White River
Airports Delaware County Regional Airport
Public transit MITS

Muncie /ˈmʌnsi/ is a city in Center Township and the county seat of Delaware County in east central Indiana. As of the 2010 Census, the city's population was 70,085. It is the principal city of the Muncie, Indiana, Metropolitan Statistical Area, which has a population of 118,769.[7]

Muncie is the home of Ball State University and the Ball Corporation (1888–1998) and the birthplace of the comic strip Garfield. Thanks to the Middletown studies first conducted in the 1920s, it is said to be one of the most studied U.S. cities of its size.[8]


Aerial view of downtown Muncie, looking southeast.

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.

In 1818, the tribes were forced to cede this land to the federal government and move farther west. The area was opened to white settlers two years later.

The city of Muncie was incorporated in 1865.[9] Contrary to popular legend, the city is not named after a mythological Chief Munsee; it was actually 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 studies[edit]

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.[10] 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. Due to the extensive information collected from the Middletown studies over the last century, Muncie is said to be one of the most studied cities of its size in the United States.[8]


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.[2]


Muncie has a humid continental climate (Köppen climate classification Dfa) experiencing four distinct seasons.

Climate data for Muncie, Indiana
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 65
Average high °F (°C) 34
Average low °F (°C) 19
Record low °F (°C) −29
Average precipitation inches (mm) 2.21
Average snowfall inches (cm) 6.2
Source #1: NOAA[11]
Source #2: Homefacts[12]


Historical population
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%
Est. 2013 70,316 0.3%

2010 census[edit]

As of the census[3] 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 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 census[edit]

As of the census of 2000,[5] 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.


The Frank A. Bracken Administration Building on the campus of Ball State University, Muncie's largest employer.

From the late 19th century, Muncie's economic backbone has been industry, primarily manufacturing.

The Indiana Gas Boom of the 1880s drew many factories to the region. The Ball Brothers moved their glass factory from Buffalo to Muncie, beginning glass production there on March 1, 1888.[14] This relationship with Muncie ended 110 years later, when the Ball Corporation moved its corporate headquarters to Broomfield, Colorado, in 1998.

Other notable manufacturers with plants in the city have included BorgWarner, The Broderick Company (former division of Harsco), Dayton-Walther Corporation, Delco Remy, General Motors (New Venture Gear), Hemingray Glass Company, Indiana Steel and Wire, and Westinghouse. Most of these factories closed or moved during a tumultuous period for the city beginning in the 1970s. From 2001 to 2011, thousands of jobs were lost.[15] Many smaller, non-unionized, manufacturing businesses have survived this transition, such as Maxon Corporation (now Honeywell), Duffy Tool (now North American Stamping), Reber Machine & Tool, Magna Powertrain, and a dozen or so other shops which employ anywhere from a few dozen to a few hundred workers. In 2009, Muncie became the United States headquarters for Brevini Wind, an Italian-based company that manufactures gearboxes for wind turbines.[15][16] In 2011, locomotive maker Progress Rail Services (a subsidiary of Caterpillar Inc.) opened in the former Westinghouse facility, which had been vacant since 1998.[16][17]

Like many mid-sized cities in the Rust Belt, Muncie diversified its economy as blue-collar manufacturing jobs disappeared in the latter part of the 20th century.[18] Today, Muncie's economy is based primarily on health care, education, retail, and other service-related industries.[18] The local economy is a controversial topic among Munsonians; while many older unemployed or underemployed residents strongly identify with the manufacturing identity of the city, newer residents identify with the city's shift towards educational and health services.[19] Animosity is greatest among residents living in the once-industrialized sections of the city's south and east sides, as much of the economic growth over that last few decades has taken place on the north and west sides in connection with Ball Memorial Hospital and Ball State University.[20][21] Others note that Delaware County has a relatively low rate of college graduates despite Ball State's presence.[22]

The first decade of the 21st century saw a cultural shift toward local businesses and economic empowerment, boosted by the Muncie Downtown Development Partnership[23] and the residents, patrons, and business owners of the downtown community. In 2007, Muncie was rated the most affordable college town in America by real estate company Coldwell Banker.[24] In 2014, Forbes ranked Muncie 34th among small places for business and careers, and 20th for cost of doing business.[25]

IU Health Ball Memorial Hospital employs 3,000.

As of May 2015, the largest employers in the city were:[26]

Rank Employer # of employees
1 IU Health Ball Memorial Hospital 3,000
2 Ball State University 2,800
3 Muncie Community Schools 843
4 Navient 650
5 Meridian Services 610
6 Walmart 597
7 Marsh Supermarkets 592
8 First Merchants Corporation 516
9 Progress Rail Services 500
10 Ivy Tech Community College of Indiana 482


The Fine Arts Building on the campus of Ball State University, home to the David Owsley Museum of Art.
The visitor center for the Cardinal Greenway occupies the restored former C&O depot.

The David Owsley Museum of Art collection, which includes over 11,000 works, has been in the Fine Arts Building on the Ball State University campus since 1935. The Horizon Convention Center, located downtown, offers 47,000 square feet of exhibition space and houses the Muncie Children's Museum.[27]

Many of the city's largest performing arts center belong to Ball State, including the 3,581-seat Emens Auditorium.[28] 600-seat Sursa Performance Hall,[29] and 410-seat University Theatre.[28] Downtown performing arts spaces include the Muncie Civic Theatre and Canan Commons, an outdoor amphitheater and greenspace that opened in 2011. Muncie Ballet and the Muncie Symphony Orchestra are prominent in the city's arts community.

Minnetrista Cultural Center, just north of downtown along the White River, is a museum featuring exhibits and programs focusing on nature, East Central Indiana history, and art. The 40-acre (160,000 m2) campus includes historic homes once owned by the Ball family, themed gardens, outdoor sculptures, and a portion of the White River Greenway. Also on the Ball State campus is an 18-acre (7.3-ha) arboretum, Christy Woods, home to three greenhouses and the Wheeler Orchid Collection and Species Bank.

The longest rail trail project in Indiana, the Cardinal Greenway, stretches 60 miles (97 km) from Richmond to Marion. Designated a National Recreation Trail in 2003, it is part of the American Discovery Trail.

Muncie's music scene has been home to such acts as Brazil, Everything, Now! and Archer Avenue (ex-Margot & the Nuclear So and So’s). Muncie also hosts several local music festivals, including Muncie Gras[30] and Muncie MusicFest.[31] Muncie has a large network of independent art galleries[32] and craft beer enthusiasts.[33]


A Ball State Cardinals football game at Scheumann Stadium in 2008.

Muncie is home to the NCAA Division I Ball State Cardinals which is a member of the Mid-American Conference. Notable sports include football (played at Scheumann Stadium), men's basketball (played at John E. Worthen Arena), and baseball (played at Ball Diamond).

Professionally, Muncie was once home to the Muncie Flyers of the National Football League (NFL). Also known as the Congerville Flyers, the team played professional football from 1905 to 1925 and were one of the 11 charter members of the NFL, playing in the league from 1920 to 1924.[34] Not to be confused with the Muncie Flyers of the NFL, the city was also home to a minor league hockey team, the Muncie Flyers of the International Hockey League for a single season (1948–1949).


Colleges and universities[edit]

Daniel Chester French's Beneficence, emblem of Ball State University.


Elementary schools[edit]

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

Middle schools[edit]

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

High schools[edit]




  • WIPB (PBS)
  • Muncie receives Indianapolis' network affiliates.

Radio stations[edit]





Mass transit[edit]

Sister city[edit]

Notable natives & residents[edit]

From left to right: George, Lucius, Frank, Edmund, and William Ball.




See also[edit]


  1. ^ Ron, Fournier (2012-04-20). "Why Muncie is Middletown and More". National Journal. Retrieved 2013-07-13. 
  2. ^ a b "Places: Indiana". 2010 Census Gazetteer Files. United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2012-04-21. 
  3. ^ a b "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2012-12-11. 
  4. ^ "Population Estimates". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2013-06-25. 
  5. ^ a b "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  6. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  7. ^ "U.S. Census Bureau Delivers Indiana's 2010 Census Population Totals". Retrieved 11 February 2011. [dead link]
  8. ^ a b "Center for Middletown Studies". Ball State University. Retrieved 2013-07-17. 
  9. ^ Kemper, General William Harrison (1908). A Twentieth Century History of Delaware County, Indiana. Lewis Publishing Company. p. 113. 
  10. ^ "The aim... was to study synchronously the interwoven trends that are the life of a small American city." Lynd and Lynd 1929: 3
  11. ^ "National Weather Service Climate". NOWdata. June 2014. 
  12. ^ "Muncie, IN Climate Information and Data". July 2013. 
  13. ^ "American FactFinder". U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved 2015-02-18. 
  14. ^ Hoover, Dwight W. (1980). A pictorial history of Indiana. Indiana University Press. ISBN 9780253146939. 
  15. ^ a b Davidson, Paul (2011-05-09). "Two Indiana cities symbolize both sides of uneven jobs recovery". USA Today. Retrieved 2013-07-17. 
  16. ^ a b Hagerty, James (2012-03-18). "As Unions Lose Their Grip, Indiana Lures Manufacturing Jobs". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 2013-07-17. [dead link]
  17. ^ "Progress Rail Announces Grand Opening of Muncie, Indiana Locomotive Assembly Operation". PR Newswire. 2011. Retrieved 2013-07-17. 
  18. ^ a b "Muncie IN". Forbes. 2012. Retrieved 2013-07-13. 
  19. ^ Gibson, Robin (3 May 2014). "LOST MUNCIE: Current, former Muncie residents revisit the past online". The Star Press. Retrieved 4 May 2014. 
  20. ^ "Muncie Mayor Election: The final vote". Muncie Free Press. 2011-11-06. Retrieved 2013-07-14. 
  21. ^ Ron, Fournier (2012-04-19). "In Nothing We Trust". National Journal. Retrieved 2013-07-13. 
  22. ^ Slabaugh, Seth (2 May 2014). "Where have all the college grads gone?". The Star Press. Retrieved 4 May 2014. 
  23. ^ "MDDP Accomplishments & Awards". MDDP. 2012. Retrieved 2014-05-04. 
  24. ^ "Muncie Tops Most Affordable College Town List". Inside Indiana Business. 2007-11-06. Retrieved 2013-07-17. 
  25. ^ "Muncie, IN". Forbes. Retrieved 4 May 2014. 
  26. ^ "Major Employers". Muncie–Delaware County Economic Development Alliance. 2015. Retrieved 2015-05-26. 
  27. ^ . Horizon Convention Center Retrieved 2015-04-07.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  28. ^ a b "About Emens". Ball State University. Retrieved 2013-07-14. 
  29. ^ "Sursa Performance Hall". Ball State University. Retrieved 2013-07-14. 
  30. ^ "Downtown Muncie, Muncie Gras". MDDP. Retrieved 2014-05-04. 
  31. ^ "Muncie MusicFest". Muncie MusicFest. Retrieved 2014-05-04. 
  32. ^ "Muncie Indiana Center Visitors Bureau". Muncie Visitors Bureau. Retrieved 2014-05-04. 
  33. ^ "TURNNG A CORNER: Sean Brady's brewery up and running". The Star Press. Retrieved 2014-05-04. 
  34. ^ "History of the Muncie Flyers Football team". Retrieved 2012-08-25. 
  35. ^ "Chicago Ceremony Links Muncie - Zhuji City". Muncie–Delaware County, Indiana Economic Development Alliance. Retrieved 2013-07-12. 
  36. ^ "The Life and Times of George Dale, Muncie Mayor and Editor". Ball State University. Retrieved 2012-08-25. 
  37. ^ "Bertha Fry, World's 3rd Oldest Person, Dies in Muncie". Retrieved 2012-08-25. 
  38. ^ Ray Boltz
  39. ^ The Official Website of Garfield and Friends
  40. ^ Jim Davis :: Profile
  41. ^ Emily Kimbrough
  42. ^ Dave Duerson Past Stats, Statistics, History, and Awards -
  43. ^ Brandon Gorin | NFL Football at
  44. ^ Player Bio: Matt Painter :: Men's Basketball
  45. ^ Bonzi Wells Statistics -

External links[edit]

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