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Muncie, Indiana

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
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 is a city in the U.S. state of Indiana and the seat of Delaware County. Located in East Central Indiana, the city is approximately 60 miles (97 km) northeast of Indianapolis.[7] 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 117,671.[8]

Founded along the White River, Muncie was platted in 1827 as a trading post between the native Delaware and white settlers. The city was incorporated in 1865, flourishing as a manufacturing center after the Indiana Gas Boom of the 1880s. Today, Muncie is home to Ball State University and the birthplace of the comic strip Garfield. Thanks to the sociological Middletown studies first conducted in the 1920s, Muncie is said to be one of the most studied U.S. cities of its size.[9]


  • History 1
    • Middletown studies 1.1
  • Geography 2
    • Climate 2.1
  • Demographics 3
    • 2010 census 3.1
    • 2000 census 3.2
  • Economy 4
  • Culture 5
    • Sports 5.1
  • Education 6
    • Higher education 6.1
    • Elementary schools 6.2
    • Middle schools 6.3
    • High schools 6.4
    • Libraries 6.5
  • Media 7
    • Newspapers 7.1
    • Television 7.2
    • Radio stations 7.3
  • Transportation 8
    • Air 8.1
    • Highways 8.2
    • Rail 8.3
    • Mass transit 8.4
  • Sister city 9
  • Notable natives and residents 10
    • General 10.1
    • Arts 10.2
    • Sports 10.3
  • See also 11
  • References 12
  • External links 13


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.[10] 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

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.[11] 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.[9]


According to the 2010 census, Muncie has a total area of 27.392 square miles (70.94 km2), of which 27.2 square miles (70.45 km2) (or 99.3%) is land and 0.192 square miles (0.50 km2) (or 0.7%) 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[12]
Source #2: Homefacts[13]


2010 census

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

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.


Industrialists and founders of Ball Corporation, the Ball brothers were influential in the city's civic and economic development.

Previously dominated by agriculture, the region's economy experienced a wave of industry brought on by the Indiana Gas Boom of the 1880s. Taking advantage of the boom, the Ball brothers relocated their glass-making foundry from Buffalo, New York to Muncie, beginning glass production on March 1, 1888.[16] Muncie would be home to Ball Corporation's glass manufacturing facilities (until 1962) and corporate headquarters (until 1998).

Like many mid-sized cities in the Harsco), Dayton-Walther Corporation, Delco Remy, General Motors (New Venture Gear), Hemingray Glass Company, Indiana Steel and Wire, and Westinghouse. In 2009, Muncie became the U.S. headquarters for Brevini Wind, an Italian-based company that manufactures gearboxes for wind turbines.[17][19] In 2011, locomotive maker Progress Rail Services (a subsidiary of Caterpillar Inc.) opened in the former Westinghouse facility, which had been vacant since 1998.[19][20]

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.[21] Contention is greatest among residents living in the once-industrialized sections of the city's south side, as much of the economic growth over that last few decades has taken place on Muncie's north side.[22][23][24] Muncie struggles to retain college graduates; despite Ball State's presence, 32.2 percent of Delaware County's working-age adults (ages 25–64) hold a two-year or four-year college degree—below the national average.[25]

The first decade of the 21st century saw a cultural shift toward local businesses and economic empowerment, boosted by the Muncie Downtown Development Partnership[26] 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.[27] In 2014, Forbes ranked Muncie 34th among small places for business and careers, and 20th for cost of doing business.[28]

IU Health Ball Memorial Hospital is Muncie's largest employer.

As of May 2015, the largest employers in the city were:[29]

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.[30]

Many of the city's largest performing arts center belong to Ball State, including the 3,581-seat Emens Auditorium.[31] 600-seat Sursa Performance Hall,[32] and 410-seat University Theatre.[31] 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[33] and Muncie MusicFest.[34] Muncie has a large network of independent art galleries[35] and craft beer enthusiasts.[36]


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.[37] 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).


Higher education

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

Elementary schools

  • 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

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

High schools


Muncie Public Library's Carnegie Library.




As part of the Indianapolis market, Muncie receives Indianapolis' network affiliates. East Central Indiana's PBS member station, WIPB, is located in Muncie.

Radio stations





Mass transit

Muncie Indiana Transit System (MITS) provides 14 fixed bus routes daily, except Sundays.[38]

Sister city

Notable natives and residents

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

Note: This list does not include Ball State University graduates. Please see List of Ball State University alumni for notable alumni.




See also


  1. ^ Ron, Fournier (2012-04-20). "Why Muncie is Middletown and More". National Journal. Retrieved 2013-07-13. 
  2. ^ a b "G001 - Geographic Identifiers - 2010 Census Summary File 1".  
  3. ^ a b "American FactFinder".  
  4. ^ "Population Estimates".  
  5. ^ a b "American FactFinder".  
  6. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names".  
  7. ^ "Indianapolis, IN to Muncie, IN". Google. Retrieved 2015-06-25. 
  8. ^ "Delaware County QuickFacts".  
  9. ^ a b "Center for Middletown Studies". Ball State University. Retrieved 2013-07-17. 
  10. ^ Kemper, General William Harrison (1908). A Twentieth Century History of Delaware County, Indiana. Lewis Publishing Company. p. 113. 
  11. ^ "The aim... was to study synchronously the interwoven trends that are the life of a small American city." Lynd and Lynd 1929: 3
  12. ^ "National Weather Service Climate". NOWdata. June 2014. 
  13. ^ "Muncie, IN Climate Information and Data". July 2013. 
  14. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2014". Retrieved June 4, 2015. 
  15. ^ "American FactFinder". U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved 2015-02-18. 
  16. ^ Hoover, Dwight W. (1980). A pictorial history of Indiana. Indiana University Press.  
  17. ^ a b Davidson, Paul (2011-05-09). "Two Indiana cities symbolize both sides of uneven jobs recovery". USA Today. Retrieved 2013-07-17. 
  18. ^ "Muncie IN". Forbes. 2012. Retrieved 2013-07-13. 
  19. ^ a b Hagerty, James (2012-03-18). "As Unions Lose Their Grip, Indiana Lures Manufacturing Jobs". The Wall Street Journal. Archived from the original on July 1, 2014. Retrieved 2013-07-17. 
  20. ^ "Progress Rail Announces Grand Opening of Muncie, Indiana Locomotive Assembly Operation". PR Newswire. 2011. Retrieved 2013-07-17. 
  21. ^ Gibson, Robin (3 May 2014). "LOST MUNCIE: Current, former Muncie residents revisit the past online". The Star Press. Retrieved 4 May 2014. 
  22. ^ Williams Walsh, Mary (2000-04-19). New economy' deepens the wealth divide"'". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2015-06-25. 
  23. ^ "Muncie Mayor Election: The final vote". Muncie Free Press. 2011-11-06. Retrieved 2013-07-14. 
  24. ^ Ron, Fournier (2012-04-19). "In Nothing We Trust". National Journal. Retrieved 2013-07-13. 
  25. ^ Slabaugh, Seth (2 May 2014). "Where have all the college grads gone?". The Star Press. Retrieved 4 May 2014. 
  26. ^ "MDDP Accomplishments & Awards". MDDP. 2012. Retrieved 2014-05-04. 
  27. ^ "Muncie Tops Most Affordable College Town List". Inside Indiana Business. 2007-11-06. Retrieved 2013-07-17. 
  28. ^ "Muncie, IN". Forbes. Retrieved 4 May 2014. 
  29. ^ "Major Employers". Muncie–Delaware County Economic Development Alliance. 2015. Retrieved 2015-05-26. 
  30. ^ . Horizon Convention Center Retrieved 2015-04-07. 
  31. ^ a b "About Emens". Ball State University. Retrieved 2013-07-14. 
  32. ^ "Sursa Performance Hall". Ball State University. Retrieved 2013-07-14. 
  33. ^ "Downtown Muncie, Muncie Gras". MDDP. Retrieved 2014-05-04. 
  34. ^ "Muncie MusicFest". Muncie MusicFest. Retrieved 2014-05-04. 
  35. ^ "Muncie Indiana Center Visitors Bureau". Muncie Visitors Bureau. Retrieved 2014-05-04. 
  36. ^ "TURNNG A CORNER: Sean Brady's brewery up and running". The Star Press. Retrieved 2014-05-04. 
  37. ^ "History of the Muncie Flyers Football team". Retrieved 2012-08-25. 
  38. ^ Muncie Indiana Transit System. "Routes & Schedules". MITS. Retrieved 2015-06-25. 
  39. ^ "Chicago Ceremony Links Muncie - Zhuji City". Muncie–Delaware County, Indiana Economic Development Alliance. Retrieved 2013-07-12. 
  40. ^ "The Life and Times of George Dale, Muncie Mayor and Editor". Ball State University. Retrieved 2012-08-25. 
  41. ^ "Bertha Fry, World's 3rd Oldest Person, Dies in Muncie". Retrieved 2012-08-25. 
  42. ^ Ray Boltz
  43. ^ The Official Website of Garfield and Friends
  44. ^ Jim Davis :: Profile
  45. ^ Emily Kimbrough
  46. ^ Dave Duerson Past Stats, Statistics, History, and Awards -
  47. ^ Brandon Gorin | NFL Football at
  48. ^ Player Bio: Matt Painter :: Men's Basketball
  49. ^ Bonzi Wells Statistics -

External links

  • City of Muncie, Indiana website
  • Muncie Visitors Bureau
  • Muncie Chamber of Commerce
  • Muncie, Indiana travel guide from Wikivoyage
  • LIFE Magazine May 10, 1937, "Middletown-Muncie", pages 15–25, ("the Picture Essay"), at Google Books.
  • Digitized archival collections related to Muncie and its history (Ball State University Digital Media Repository)
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