Nappanee is a city in Elkhart County, Indiana, United States. The population was 6,710 at the 2000 census. The name Nappanee probably means "flour. Nappanee holds the distinction of having the longest place name in the United States containing each letter in its name twice.
A tornado touched down in Nappanee around 10:30 pm on 18 October 2007, injuring at least five people and damaging 200 to 250 buildings, half of them severely. The tornado was classified as an EF3. The damage included three recreational vehicles factories that are among the community's largest employers: Fairmont Homes, Franklin Coach, and Gulf Stream Coach.
As of the census of 2000, there were 6,710 people, 2,521 households, and 1,792 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,818.9 people per square mile (702.1/km²). There were 2,647 housing units at an average density of 717.5/sq mi (277.0/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 95.48% White, 0.28% African American, 0.22% Native American, 0.34% Asian, 2.52% from other races, and 1.15% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 4.98% of the population.
There were 2,521 households out of which 39.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 57.1% were married couples living together, 9.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 28.9% were non-families. 23.9% of all households were made up of individuals and 8.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.65 and the average family size was 3.15.
In the city the population was spread out with 29.7% under the age of 18, 10.6% from 18 to 24, 30.9% from 25 to 44, 17.9% from 45 to 64, and 11.0% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 31 years. For every 100 females there were 99.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 97.5 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $45,988, and the median income for a family was $53,329. Males had a median income of $36,200 versus $21,733 for females. The per capita income for the city was $19,229. About 4.5% of families and 4.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 5.9% of those under age 18 and 8.4% of those age 65 or over.
Nappanee is a regional center for both the RV manufacturing industry and the Amish craft and tourism industry. Many Amish and Mennonite families live in the area, often farming as well as working in the RV industry or woodworking trade. Since the storms and sluggish economy, Nappanee has experienced a high rate of job loss. On July 17, 2008, Monaco Coach announced that the company was closing their operations in Nappanee.