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New Harmony was build by the Harmony Society, headed by George Rapp. This was the second of three towns built by the German religious group. When the society decided to move back to Pennsylvania, they sold this site to Robert Owen, the English utopian thinker and social reformer. Owen recruited residents to his model community, but a number of factors led to an early breakup of the communitarian experiment.
The experiment was established in 1825 and dissolved in 1829 due to constant quarrels. The town banned money and other commododies.
As of the census of 2000, there are 916 people, 382 households, and 228 families residing in the town. The population density is 552.6/km² (1,441.5/mi²). There are 432 housing units at an average density of 260.6/km² (679.8/mi²). The racial makeup of the town is 98.91% White, 0.00% African American, 0.55% Native American, 0.22% Asian, 0.00% Pacific Islander, 0.00% from other races, and 0.33% from two or more races. 0.44% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There are 382 households out of which 27.0% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 46.9% are married couples living together, 9.9% have a female householder with no husband present, and 40.1% are non-families. 38.0% of all households are made up of individuals and 21.2% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 2.12 and the average family size is 2.80.
In the town the population is spread out with 20.3% under the age of 18, 4.5% from 18 to 24, 21.2% from 25 to 44, 24.7% from 45 to 64, and 29.4% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 47 years. For every 100 females there are 82.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 71.4 males.
The median income for a household in the town is $28,182, and the median income for a family is $40,865. Males have a median income of $39,250 versus $21,607 for females. The per capita income for the town is $17,349. 12.4% of the population and 12.2% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total people living in poverty, 14.8% are under the age of 18 and 17.1% are 65 or older.