Located along the Connecticut River, Middletown has had a varied life as a Dutch trading port, industrial hub (it has a Pratt & Whitney factory on Airport Road), college town (Wesleyan University is located here), and looney bin (Connecticut Valley Hospital for the Criminally Insane is located here).
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 109.6 km² (42.3 mi²). 105.9 km² (40.9 mi²) of it is land and 3.7 km² (1.4 mi²) of it is water. The total area is 3.36% water.
As of the census of 2000, there are 43,167 people, 18,554 households, and 10,390 families residing in the city. The population density is 407.5/km² (1,055.4/mi²). There are 19,697 housing units at an average density of 185.9 persons/km² (481.6 persons/mi²). The racial makeup of the city is 80.01% White, 12.26% African American, 0.23% Native American, 2.68% Asian, 0.05% Pacific Islander, 1.99% from other races, and 2.79% from two or more races. 5.30% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There are 18,554 households out of which 25.7% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 41.3% are married couples living together, 11.6% have a woman whose husband does not live with her, and 44.0% are non-families. 35.0% of all households are made up of individuals and 10.1% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 2.23 and the average family size is 2.90.
In the city the population is spread out with 21.7% under the age of 18, 8.3% from 18 to 24, 35.1% from 25 to 44, 21.5% from 45 to 64, and 13.4% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 36 years. For every 100 females there are 93.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 90.2 males.
The median income for a household in the city is $47,162, and the median income for a family is $60,845. Males have a median income of $45,790 versus $34,648 for females. The per capita income for the city is $25,720. 7.5% of the population and 4.3% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total people living in poverty, 7.5% are under the age of 18 and 6.6% are 65 or older.