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Living in Bloomington IL Guide 🌳 | Is Bloomington IL a Good Place to Live?

Last Updated on: 26th December 2023, 03:38 pm

Bloomington is one of the most popular and lively cities in Central Illinois. The area was first occupied by Euro-American settlers in the 1820s who called the area “Keg Grove.” Later, the city boasted the name “Blooming Grove” before being officially incorporated as the city of Bloomington in 1831. Today, Bloomington IL is a good place to live and is known for its thriving job market, wonderful educational opportunities, and low crime rates. These are the essential facts you need to know before moving to Bloomington IL.

Where Is Bloomington IL?

Where is Bloomington Illinois? Bloomington is in McLean County and is also the county seat. The city is only 2.3 miles from Normal, and it is about 134 miles from Chicago to Bloomington IL.

Additional cities near Bloomington IL include:

  • Lincoln: 32.4 miles away
  • Peoria: 38 miles away
  • Springfield: 67.4 miles away
  • St. Louis: 162 miles away

The City of Bloomington IL is a major transportation hub as Interstates 39, 55, and 74 all intersect in the city. You will also have many public transportation options when living in Bloomington IL. Amtrak operates five trains that run between St. Louis and Chicago every day and the Bloomington-Normal station is Illinois’ third-busiest station. Greyhound also provides a bus service from Bloomington Illinois to Chicago and St. Louis.

Bloomington is mostly an urban area, although there are plenty of outdoor recreation opportunities on the outskirts of the city. You will find over 1,100 acres of parks maintained by the Bloomington Parks & Recreation Department.

It is also important to note that the City of Bloomington is conterminous with Bloomington Township. Although the areas share the same geographical boundaries, they have separate governmental duties. Bloomington Township handles tasks such as property assessments and road maintenance.

Bloomington IL Population & Demographics

The population of Bloomington IL is 78,680, making it the fifth-most populous city in Illinois outside of the Chicago Metropolitan area. The city is also a part of the Bloomington-Normal metropolitan area, and the Bloomington Normal population sits just above 130,000.

Residents living in Bloomington IL have a higher than average level of education. 95.0% of residents have a high school degree (or higher), compared to the Illinois average of 89.9%. 47.4% of residents have a bachelor’s degree (or higher), compared to the Illinois average of 36.2%. Bloomington is largely occupied by singles, with only 44% of residents being married.

Additional Bloomington IL Demographics:

  • Sex ratio: 50.5% female, 49.5% male
  • Median age: 37.8
  • Racial and ethnic composition: 76.1% White (73.1% non-Hispanic), 9.5% Black or African American, 8.5% Asian, 4.5% two or more races, 0.2% American Indian
  • Foreign-born population: 10.3%
  • Notable people from Bloomington: Basketball player Jim Crews, NFL player Brandon Hughes, musician Pokey LaFarge

Is Bloomington IL safe? The Bloomington IL crime rate is well below the state and national averages. The overall crime rate in Bloomington IL is 689 crimes per 100,000 people, which is 65.3% lower than the state average and 70.6% lower than the national average. The violent crime rate is also 4.7% lower than the state average, while the property crime rate is 81.9% lower than the state average. As such, Bloomington Illinois is safe. After moving to Bloomington, you will be protected by the City of Bloomington Police, which is led by Police Chief Jamal A. Simington.

Bloomington IL Cost of Living

The cost of living in Bloomington IL is below the national average. The Cost of Living Index (COLI) in Bloomington is 98.1, meaning that the city is 1.9% more affordable than the national average of 100. Housing, utilities, and transportation costs are below the national average, while groceries and health care costs are above the national average.

According to the Economic Policy Institute, a family of four living in Bloomington would need to earn $86,282 per year to live in the city.

Typical Bloomington Living Expenses

  • Average Bloomington utilities per month: $148.41
  • Average Bloomington water bill: $2.50 for 400 gallons
  • McDonalds meal: $10.00
  • Gallon of milk: $3.44
  • Pound of chicken: $4.30
  • Gallon of gas: $3.72
  • Movie ticket: $10.25

Source: Numbeo

The Bloomington IL real estate market is booming (and is incredibly affordable). According to Redfin, the average home price in Bloomington is $197,000, which is down 12.7% compared to last year and is much lower than the national average of $412,080. The city recently ranked number two on the Spring 2023 Top 20 Emerging Housing Markets Index Report, which was put together by the Wall Street Journal and Realtor.com. New construction homes in Bloomington are also on the rise, with 244 permits for new home construction granted in 2022, which is up 51% from the year before, according to WGLT.

If you are looking for apartments in Bloomington IL, you will also find many affordable options. According to RentCafe, the average rent in Bloomington IL is $1,099.

Bloomington Neighborhoods | Where to Live in Bloomington

Some of the most popular Bloomington neighborhoods include Downtown Bloomington IL, Oakwoods, and Clearwater

Downtown Bloomington IL | Busy Area With Apartment Living Options

Downtown Bloomington is one of the best neighborhoods in Bloomington IL for young professionals. There are plenty of Downtown Bloomington IL events and festivals that take place in this area, and you will be within walking distance of some of the city’s best food and shopping opportunities.

Oakwoods | Popular Neighborhood Among Retirees

Oakwoods is located in southwestern Bloomington and is very popular among older couples and retirees. This quiet neighborhood is close to some of the best golf in Bloomington, including Den at Fox Creek and Prairie Vista Golf Course.

Clearwater Park | Quiet Area Close to Top-Rated Schools

Are you looking for a calm neighborhood with big homes and schools nearby? The Clearwater Park area is within walking distance of both Stevenson Elementary School and Central Catholic High School.

Bloomington IL Weather & Climate

According to the Köppen Classification, Bloomington has a hot-summer humid continental climate. This means that the weather in Bloomington IL is characterized by very hot summers and cold, wet winters.

Bloomington IL Weather Statistics:

  • Average summer Bloomington temperature: 74ºF
  • Average winter Bloomington temperature: 26ºF
  • Average Bloomington IL snow (per year): 25 inches
  • Average Bloomington IL rainfall (per year): 39 inches

Things To Do In Bloomington IL

Looking for fun things to do in Bloomington IL? You can complete grocery shopping at stores such as Schnucks and Fresh Thyme Market. You’ll find retail shopping at Eastland Mall, Lakewood Plaza, and Bloomington Commons. Here are a few Bloomington IL activities you can’t miss out on.

Miller Park Zoo

When it comes to fun things to do in Bloomington Illinois, you can’t ignore the Miller Park Zoo. This public park has thousands of animals as well as mini-golf and several restaurants.

 

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1020 S Morris Ave, Bloomington, IL 61701, 309-434-2250

McLean County Museum of History

The McLean County Museum of History is one of the best indoor activities in Bloomington IL. This county museum has 7 galleries containing over 19,000 precious artifacts and archives.

200 N Main St, Bloomington, IL 61701, 309-827-0428

Children’s Discovery Museum

Don’t know what to do in Bloomington IL with your children? This hands-on museum located just outside of Bloomington provides science and engineering exhibits for children of all ages.

101 E Beaufort St, Normal, IL 61761, 309-433-3444

Additional Bloomington Illinois Attractions

Looking for additional Bloomington IL things to do? You can check out upcoming Bloomington events on the city’s official website.

Bloomington Restaurants

Grab a bite to eat at one of these incredible restaurants in Bloomington IL.

Parkview Inn

If you’re looking for good old-fashioned American comfort food, then head over to Parkview Inn for a burger, french fries, and a chocolate milkshake.

1003 S Morris Ave, Bloomington, IL 61701, 309-827-4280

Keller’s Iron Skillet & Catering

Keller’s Iron Skillet & Catering serves up some of the best breakfast in Bloomington. This family-owned hole-in-the-wall restaurant will make your mouth water with their incredible breakfast combos.

609 Hannah St, Bloomington, IL 61701, 309-828-3533

Brass Pig Smoke & Alehouse

Located in the heart of Downtown Bloomington IL, Brass Pig Smoke & Alehouse is open 7 days a week from 11 AM to 11 PM, serving up the best BBQ in town.

602 N Main St, Bloomington, IL 61701, 309-585-2978

Jobs in Bloomington IL

If you are moving to Bloomington for a career change, then you are in luck. There are thousands of Bloomington IL jobs for you to choose from. According to WGLT, the Bloomington-Normal labor market has the lowest unemployment rate of any metro area in Illinois. The metro area added over 6,000 jobs from 2021 to 2022, and this number is only expected to grow in the coming years.

One of the biggest industries in the area is manufacturing, with 2,400 jobs added since January of 2022. The electric car manufacturer Rivian is a large contributor to this job boom. Rivian is located in Normal and continues to provide thousands of residents in the metro area with consistent work.

Other major employers in Bloomington are State Farm Insurance Company, Illinois State University, OSF HealthCare, and District 87 Employment.

If you need help finding jobs in Bloomington IL, then check out the City of Bloomington jobs or search for “Bloomington IL jobs” on Indeed.

Bloomington IL Schools

There are two Bloomington IL school districts serving the students within the city. The main Bloomington school district is District 87. This district contains one preschool, six Bloomington elementary schools, one junior high school, and one high school. Bloomington High School has an enrollment of 1,560 and a student-to-teacher ratio of 16 to 1. The other district that oversees Bloomington public schools is McLean County Unit District No. 5. This district serves over 13,000 students across 24 different schools.

Looking for Bloomington schools that aren’t public? There are plenty of private schools in Bloomington Illinois for you to choose from. Central Catholic High School, Corpus Christi Catholic School, and Cornerstone Christian Academy are just a few of the most popular options.

If you are moving to Bloomington IL with older children, then check out Illinois Wesleyan University. This is a private residential university in Bloomington with an enrollment of 2,100 students. The university consists of the College of Liberal Arts, which consists of 17 academic departments, as well as the College of Fine Arts and the School of Nursing. You will also find Illinois State University and Heartland Community College in the nearby city of Normal.

 

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Students and residents living in Bloomington IL can enjoy access to the Bloomington IL Library.

Bloomington Statistics & Information

  • County: McLean
  • Bloomington IL area: 27.24 square miles
  • Bloomington IL zip code: 61701, 61704, 61705
  • Bloomington IL area code: 309, 861
  • Bloomington IL elevation: 840 feet
  • Bloomington time zone: Central Standard Time (CST)
  • Closest airport to Bloomington: Central Illinois Regional Airport at Bloomington-Normal (CIRA), 5.4 miles away

Bloomington IL Map


Living in Bloomington has never been better! The city is full of friendly people, fun things to do, and endless opportunities. When you’re ready to make the move to this extraordinary city, then get in touch with Federal Companies. Call the best Bloomington movers today at 800-747-4100 for a free quote.

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