Region Six: East Central Indiana

The Area

Region 6 is comprised of seven counties: Blackford, Delaware, Grant, Henry, Jay, Madison and Randolph. Delaware County is the sole county in the Muncie Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA). Madison County is part of the Indianapolis MSA.


Region 6 had 437,293 residents in 2000. Madison County accounted for 30.5 percent of the area's population with 133,358 people. An additional 27.2 percent of the population resided in Delaware County (see Figure 1).

Figure 1

Largest Cities

67,430 Delaware County
59,734 Madison County
31,320 Grant County
New Castle:
17,780 Henry County
9,730 Madison County
Hartford City:
6,928 Blackford County

Region 6 grew just 0.4 percent (1,930 people) between 1990 and 2000. This was slower than any other workforce region in the state, trailing eleventh ranked Region 5 by 3.1 percent. Blackford, Delaware and Grant counties each had a slight population loss, while Madison County experienced the largest growth at 2.1 percent.

Industrial Mix and Jobs

According to labor market analysts at the Indiana Department of Workforce Development, well known employers in Region 6 include: 3-M, Borg-Warner, New Venture Gear, Burlington Trucking, Ball Memorial Hospital, Ball State University, Weaver Popcorn, Thomson Consumer Electronics, DaimlerChrysler, New Castle Chassis, Indiana Glass, Red Gold, Guide, Delphi Automotive, Delco Remy America/Delco Remy International, St. John's Medical Center, Union City Body, and Anchor Glass Container Corporation.

Employment in Region 6 grew 4.4 percent during the 1990s. Henry County had the largest percent gain of 15.3 percent (2,646 jobs), while Delaware County had the greatest numeric increase of 6,521 jobs (10.4 percent). Employment actually declined in Grant (329 jobs), Madison (784 jobs) and Randolph counties (146 jobs).

Figure 2 shows the change in industry employment between 1990 and 2000. The finance, insurance and real estate sector had the largest percent growth at 25.5 percent (2,231 jobs). The largest numeric increase was 10,317 jobs in the services industry (20.8 percent). The services industry also made up the largest segment of the workforce within the region, accounting for 28.2 percent of non-farm employment and 59,897 jobs.

Figure 2

In the five years between August 1997 and August 2002, the service industry grew a mere 0.6 percent (100 jobs) in the Muncie MSA but still accounted for 28.5 percent of all non-farm employment in 2002. Manufacturing jobs declined by 2,200 in the MSA and dropped to 15.9 percent of non-farm employment. Government employment experienced the most rapid growth in the MSA at 23.4 percent (1,800 jobs) during that time period.

Income and Wages

Personal income per capita in the region was $23,945 in 2000. This was almost $3,000 less than the state average of $26,933. Of the 12 workforce development regions, Region 6 ranked eleventh, ahead of  Region 7, which is located in primarily rural west central Indiana.

As seen in Table 1, the average quarterly wage per job in Region 6 for the fourth quarter of 2001 was $744 less than in Indiana overall. With the exception of manufacturing, wages for each industry were lower than in the state. The largest difference occurred in the fast-growing finance, insurance and real estate sector where the average quarterly wage per job was $2,870 lower than in the state.

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Table 1

Rachel Justis
Research Associate, Indiana Business Research Center, Kelley School of Business, Indiana University