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Kokomo, Indiana

Kokomo is a city located in Howard County, Indiana. As of the 2000 census, the city had a total population of 46,113. The city is the county seat of Howard County.



Kokomo is located at 40°28'56" North, 86°7'54" West (40.482238, -86.131754)1.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 42.1 km² (16.2 mi²). 42.0 km² (16.2 mi²) of it is land and 0.2 km² (0.1 mi²) of it is water. The total area is 0.37% water.


Kokomo was named after Miami Indian Chief Ma-Ko-Ko-Mo. There was a trading post for commerce between Native Americans and European-Americans here in the early 19th century. In 1844 Kokomo was made the county seat. It was incorporated as a city in 1865.

Officially known as the "City of Firsts" for, among other achievements, Kokomo was a pioneer of United States automobile manufacturing, with Elwood Haynes test-driving his early internal combustion engine auto there on 4 July, 1894. Haynes and his associates built a number of other autos over the next few years; the Haynes-Apperson Automobile Company for mass-production of commerical autos was established in Kokomo in 1898.

Notable people from Kokomo include jazz musician Jack Purvis, singer Sylvia Kirby as well as AIDS activist Ryan White .


As of the census2 of 2000, there are 46,113 people, 20,273 households, and 12,204 families residing in the city. The population density is 1,099.0/km² (2,847.2/mi²). There are 22,292 housing units at an average density of 531.3/km² (1,376.4/mi²). The racial makeup of the city is 85.10% White, 10.34% African American, 0.38% Native American, 1.14% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 1.17% from other races, and 1.84% from two or more races. 2.61% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There are 20,273 households out of which 28.5% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 42.2% are married couples living together, 14.1% have a female householder with no husband present, and 39.8% are non-families. 35.2% of all households are made up of individuals and 12.5% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 2.24 and the average family size is 2.90.

In the city the population is spread out with 25.0% under the age of 18, 9.4% from 18 to 24, 29.0% from 25 to 44, 22.2% from 45 to 64, and 14.4% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 36 years. For every 100 females there are 89.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 84.8 males.

The median income for a household in the city is $36,258, and the median income for a family is $45,353. Males have a median income of $38,420 versus $24,868 for females. The per capita income for the city is $20,083. 13.0% of the population and 9.6% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total population, 18.5% of those under the age of 18 and 9.3% of those 65 and older are living below the poverty line.

Gas Tower

The Kokomo Gas Tower

The Kokomo Gas Tower had been a symbol of Kokomo since it was constructed in 1954. The tower was 115 m (378 ft) tall and had a capacity of 340,000 m³ (12 million cubic feet). Due to high maintenance costs of $75,000 a year to maintain and up to $1,000,000 to paint, the gas company decided to demolish it in 2003. Other ideas were reviewed before settling on this decision, including a plan to turn the tower into a giant Coca-Cola advertisement. On September 7, 2003, at approximately 7:30 AM, the Gas Tower was demolished by Controlled Demolition Inc. (CDI). Pieces of the tower were sold to the public for $20-30, and proceeds went to a planned Kokomo technology incubation center and Bona Vista.

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Last updated: 05-16-2005 07:51:14