Introduction to Bloomington, Indiana

Located about 50 miles southwest of Indianapolis is the Indiana city of Bloomington, which is also the county seat of Monroe County. Incorporated as a city in 1818, Bloomington got its start as a settlement when U.S. President James Munroe selected the site as the location of a seminary, originally known as Indiana Seminary. The seminary later became a college and in 1848 finally became Indiana University (IU). The first college west of the Allegheny Mountains, the University has evolved into one of the most beautiful university campuses in the U.S. offering several nationally recognized programs for students.

Owing to its location in the heart of the Midwest, Bloomington is within a day's drive of over half of the U.S. population. The city can be accessed from two major state highways: Indiana State Highways 37 and 46, both of which provide easy access to several Interstates. The primary source of air service to Bloomington is the Indianapolis International Airport, located just 50 miles to the north, although private aircraft can fly to and from Monroe County Airport, located just west of Bloomington.

Points of Interest in Bloomington

The area's natural beauty makes Bloomington ideal for an outdoor excursion. Home to the state's only national forest, its largest inland lake, and a large number of parks, Bloomington offers a wide variety of outdoor recreational opportunities. The Hoosier National Forest offers over 230 miles of hiking, horseback and mountain biking trails. Lake Monroe is a large and popular venue for boating, fishing, water-skiing, and more. Other recreational sites in or near Bloomington include:

  • Balloon Safaris and Vencel Hot Air Balloons: Offers balloon trips in and around Monroe County
  • Bluespring Caverns Park: Explorations of the underground world of caves
  • Hoosier Heights Indoor Climbing Facility: Over 8,000 square feet of indoor climbing terrain
  • Leonard Springs Nature Park: Includes caves, steep forested slopes and a wetlands area
  • Riddle Point Park: Features a 1,650 acre lake
  • Stone Creek Ranch: Horse riding and hay rides on more than 15 miles of trails
  • Barn Yard Friends: Live animal frontier and petting area
  • Upper Cascades Skate Park
  • Wapehani Mountain Bike Park
  • Bloomington Speedway
  • Freeman Family Farms

Educational and cultural sites are also plentiful in Bloomington. Some of the more popular include:

  • Kirkwood Observatory: Built in 1900 and named after astronomer and IU professor Daniel Kirkwood
  • Buskirk-Chumley Theatre: A downtown Bloomington site listed in the National Register of Historic Places
  • Monroe County History Center
  • John Waldron Arts Center
  • Mathers Museum of World Cultures
  • Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center
  • Tibetan Cultural Center

Bloomington is home to several annual events and festivals. Some of the area's most notable include:

  • Bloomington Early Music Festival: Held annually towards the end of May
  • Canopy of Lights: A December event celebrating the holiday season
  • Eagle Watch Weekend: A weekend event held in February featuring three days of birding and wildlife programs
  • IU Summer Music Festival: Takes place from mid-June to mid-August
  • Picnic with the Pops: Held every 4th of July weekend
  • Fourth Street Festival of the Arts
  • Bloomington ArtsWeek
  • Lotus World Music and Arts Festival
  • BubbleFest
  • Chocolate Festival
  • Monroe County Fair
  • Winter Wine Festival

Indiana University's intercollegiate athletics program has a long tradition of excellence. The Hoosiers, a member of the prestigious Big Ten Conference, have won a total of 24 National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Championships, including the 1975-76 men's basketball team coached by Bobby Knight which remains the last Division I squad to go undefeated for an entire season and then go on to win the NCAA championship.

Fans craving sports of the professional variety can take the one hour drive to Indianapolis and see a variety of pro teams. The Indianapolis Colts of the National Football League (NFL) and the Indiana Pacers of the National Basketball Association (NBA) represent the area's two major sports franchises. Also in Indianapolis are the Women's National Basketball Association's (WNBA) Indiana Fever and the United States Hockey League's (USHL) Indiana Ice. Minor League Baseball in the city is played by the Indianapolis Indians, a Triple-A affiliate of Major League Baseball's Pittsburgh Pirates. The Indianapolis 500, often called "The Greatest Spectacle in Racing," is held annually over the Memorial Day weekend in Speedway, Indiana, which is just outside of Indianapolis.


Total Population 82,813
Male Share of the Population 49.8%
Female Share of the Population 50.2%
Senior Citizens 8.2%
Employed Population 16+ 36,996
Age of the Population 24


% of people married 23.5%
Average household size 2

Education and Earnings

Population % with Bachelor Degree or Higher 57.2%
Median Earnings25+ $26,396
Median Earnings Without High School Qualification $16,974
Median Earnings With High School Degree $21,816


Median Family Income $55,326
% Above Poverty Level 61.7%
% Below Poverty Level 38.3%

Commute & Sprawl

Average Commute Time 16 minutes
% Working from Home 4%
% Walking and Biking to Work 19.2%
% Using Public Transportation 6.6%


People Living Alone 38.8%
Median Gross Rent $821
Median House Value $173,400


Other(often includes Hispanic and African American) 24.1%
US/American 0.1%
English 10.9%
Irish 12.3%

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

Bloomington Almanac

Category Value
Nearest Large City 46 miles SW of Indianapolis, Indiana
County Monroe
Metro Area Bloomington
Standard Zip Codes 47401, 47403, 47404, 47405, 47406, 47408
P.O. Box Zip Codes 47402, 47407
Company Zip Codes 47490
Phone Area Codes 812
Time Zone Eastern (-5 hours from GMT)
Daylight Savings The city observes Daylight Saving Time.
Latitude 39.165
Longitude -86.526

Bloomington Climate

Nearest Weather Stations


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

Distance 0.5 miles
Jan Temp 19 to 37 F
Apr Temp 41 to 64 F
Jul Temp 65 to 86 F
Oct Temp 44 to 67 F
Annual Precip 44.9 inches
Distance 15.2 miles
Jan Temp 15 to 35 F
Apr Temp 37 to 62 F
Jul Temp 61 to 84 F
Oct Temp 38 to 65 F
Annual Precip 45.9 inches
Distance 32.8 miles
Jan Temp 19 to 37 F
Apr Temp 41 to 64 F
Jul Temp 65 to 86 F
Oct Temp 42 to 67 F
Annual Precip 41.9 inches

Neighborhood and Nearby Area Names

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

Woodbridge (47408)

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

Nearby Cities and Towns

Location Population Median Family Income
Ellettsville 6,434 $56,609
Gosport 740 $51,375
Nashville 1,255 $53,875
Paragon 791 $42,656
Spencer 2,374 $37,609
Stinesville 183 $32,813

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

Bloomington Public Libraries

Monroe County Pl
Bloomington, Indiana
(812) 349-3050
Library Web Site

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More Information for Librarians

Bloomington Hospitals

(Voluntary non-profit - Private)
(812) 353-9555
Emergency Service: Yes

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Bloomington High Schools

(Sorted by Number of Students)

Serves 1,809 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 20.7

Serves 1,411 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 20

A Non-traditional School
Title I eligible, not participating.
Serves 80 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 12.1

Serves 32 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 64

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