Introduction to Bloomington, Illinois

Bloomington is located in McLean County and is part of the Bloomington-Normal Metropolitan area. The city is home to the Illinois Shakespeare Festival, which is recognized as one of the best Shakespearean events in the nation. In 2007 the publication, Computerworld selected Bloomington-Normal as the sixth most "techiest" community in the country. In 2008 Forbes.com recognized the metropolitan area as the twentieth smartest community in the nation. Golf Digest named Bloomington-Normal as one of the five best locations for playing golf in the country. State Farm Insurance is one of the city's major employers.


The Kickapoo Indians were the original inhabitants. The first group of non-native settlers arrived in the 1820's. Farmers were attracted by the fertile soil and agriculture became an important factor for the economy. Downtown became a thriving agriculture and commerce center. It has been noted that Abraham Lincoln, while working in the field of law would do business in the town center.

In the year 1900 a major fire destroyed most of the downtown. During the early portion of the 20th Century, Bloomington experienced significant growth due to agriculture and the building of highways and railroads and the flourishing insurance companies, especially State Farm Insurance.


  • Challenger Learning Center located at the Prairie Aviation Museum provides opportunities for simulated space and science activities with team programs for students, the public as well as corporate organizations.
  • Grady's Family Fun Park includes a miniature golf course, go-carts and rides for kids.
  • The Pepsi Ice Center offers indoor ice skating and incudes a hockey program.
  • The U.S. Cellular Coliseum is utilized for sporting events, family entertainment, concerts and other events.
  • The Bloomington Extreme are part of the United Indoor Football League.
  • The Prairie Thunder participate in the International Hockey League.
  • Upper Limits Indoor Rock Climbing Gym has a variety of climbing areas including a boulder area located outside.
  • The Miller Park Zoo contains a variety of noteworthy exhibits.
  • The McLean County Museum of History offers exhibits regarding the history of Central Illinois.


The Bloomington-Normal Constitution Trail provides opportunities for jogging, walking and cycling. The city is renowned for its golf courses. The Den at Fox Creek is a popular four star course. There are numerous other quality courses including Highland Park Golf Course, the Links at Ireland Grove, and Prairie Vista Golf Course.

Arts and Theatre

  • The American Passion Play
  • Bloomington Center for the Performing Arts
  • The Illinois Shakespeare Festival
  • Illinois Symphony Orchestra
  • McLean County Arts Center

Historic Sites

  • Ewing Manor is situated in a wooded environment and is a wonderful example of the Channel-Normal style of architecture.
  • The David Davis Mansion was designed with Italianate and Second Empire features.
  • The Vrooman Mansion is included in the National Register of Historic Places.
  • Rubin Benjamin House.
  • McLean County Courthouse.
  • Stevenson House.
  • Robert Greenlee House.

Higher Education

Bloomington is home to Illinois Wesleyan University.


Total Population 78,206
Male Share of the Population 49%
Female Share of the Population 51%
Senior Citizens 11%
Employed Population 16+ 40,075
Age of the Population 34


% of people married 49%
Average household size 2

Education and Earnings

Population % with Bachelor Degree or Higher 46.7%
Median Earnings25+ $42,098
Median Earnings Without High School Qualification $20,518
Median Earnings With High School Degree $25,322


Median Family Income $82,026
% Above Poverty Level 87.3%
% Below Poverty Level 12.7%

Commute & Sprawl

Average Commute Time 16 minutes
% Working from Home 2.5%
% Walking and Biking to Work 3.7%
% Using Public Transportation 2%


People Living Alone 31.2%
Median Gross Rent $769
Median House Value $163,800


Other(often includes Hispanic and African American) 28.9%
US/American 0%
English 9.8%
Irish 13.2%

Source: American Community Survey, U.S. Census Bureau, 2015, www.census.gov/programs-surveys/acs/.

Bloomington Almanac

Category Value
Nearest Large City 118 miles SW of Chicago, Illinois
County McLean
Metro Area Bloomington - Normal
Standard Zip Codes 61701, 61704
P.O. Box Zip Codes 61702
Company Zip Codes 61709, 61710, 61791, 61799
Phone Area Codes 309
Time Zone Central (-6 hours from GMT)
Daylight Savings The city observes Daylight Saving Time.
Latitude 40.484
Longitude -88.993

Bloomington Climate

Nearest Weather Stations


  • Temp ranges are avg daily min and max for the month
  • Precipitation is rainfall (and rainfall equiv of snowfall)

Station NORMAL
Distance 2.3 miles
Jan Temp 14 to 31 F
Apr Temp 40 to 61 F
Jul Temp 65 to 86 F
Oct Temp 42 to 65 F
Annual Precip 37.4 inches
Station CHENOA
Distance 22.6 miles
Jan Temp 15 to 32 F
Apr Temp 40 to 63 F
Jul Temp 64 to 86 F
Oct Temp 43 to 66 F
Annual Precip 34.6 inches
Distance 29.2 miles
Jan Temp 15 to 33 F
Apr Temp 39 to 63 F
Jul Temp 64 to 86 F
Oct Temp 41 to 67 F
Annual Precip 38.3 inches

Neighborhood and Nearby Area Names

According to the US Postal Service, Bloomington, its neighborhoods, and/or surrounding areas are also referred to as:

Barnes (61701)

Bloomington Heights (61701)

Covell (61704)

Eastland Commons (61701)

Eastland Shopping Center (61701)

Fletcher (61701)

Gillum (61701)

Kerrik (61701)

Oldtown (61701)

Yuton (61701)

Note that not all alternate names are acceptable for use in US Post Office addresses.

Nearby Cities and Towns

Location Population Median Family Income
Carlock 613 $61,875
Danvers 1,204 $79,018
Downs 972 $81,923

Source: American Community Survey, U.S. Census Bureau, 2015, www.census.gov/programs-surveys/acs/.

Bloomington Public Libraries

Bloomington P.l.
205 E. OLIVE ST.
Bloomington, Illinois
(309) 828-6091
Library Web Site

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More Information for Librarians

Bloomington Hospitals

(Voluntary non-profit - Church)
(309) 662-3311
Emergency Service: Yes

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Bloomington High Schools

(Sorted by Number of Students)

Serves 1,544 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 16.4

A Non-traditional School
Serves 106 students.

A Non-traditional School
Serves 68 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 7.6

Bloomington Colleges

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Historic Bloomington


Adlai Stevenson's residence between 1890 and 1901

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Adlai Stevenson's residence between 1890 and 1901

C. & A. Chicago and Alton Railroad shops between 1900 and 1905

Track to be straightened in the Bloomington yards. between 1900 and 1905

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