Bloomington is a city in and the county seat of Monroe County in the
southern region of the
U.S. state of Indiana. It is the
seventh-largest city in
Indiana and the fourth-largest outside the
Indianapolis metropolitan area. According to the Monroe County History
Center, Bloomington is known as the "Gateway to Scenic Southern
Indiana." The city was established in 1818 by a group of settlers from
Kentucky, Tennessee, the Carolinas, and
Virginia who were so impressed
with "a haven of blooms" that they called it Bloomington.
The population was 80,405 at the 2010 census. The city's population
was estimated at 84,067 as of July 2016 by the U.S. Census Bureau.
Bloomington is the home to
Indiana University Bloomington. Established
in 1820, IU Bloomington has 49,695 students, as of September 2016,
and is the original and largest campus of
Indiana University. Most of
the campus buildings are built of
Bloomington is also the home of the
Indiana University School of
Indiana University School of Public and Environmental
Indiana University Maurer School of Law, the Jacobs School of
Indiana University Press, the Kelley School of Business, the
Kinsey Institute, the
Indiana University School of Optometry, the
Midwest Proton Radiotherapy Institute, and the
School of Informatics.
Bloomington has been designated a Tree
City for 32 years, as of
2015. The city was also the location of the Academy
Award-winning 1979 movie Breaking Away, featuring a reenactment of
Indiana University's annual
Little 500 bicycle race. Monroe County's
famous limestone quarries are also featured in the movie.
3.1 2010 census
3.2 2000 census
4.1 Major employers
5 Arts and culture
6.1 Post-secondary education
6.2 Elementary schools
6.3 Middle schools
6.4 High schools
7.4 Radio stations
9 Sister cities
10 Notable people
11 Points of interest
12 See also
14 External links
Bloomington was platted in 1818. A post office has been in
operation at Bloomington since 1825. Bloomington was incorporated
The Elias Abel House, Blair-Dunning House, Bloomington
Bloomington West Side Historic District, Cantol Wax Company Building,
Coca-Cola Bottling Plant, Cochran-Helton-Lindley House, Courthouse
Square Historic District, Hinkle-Garton Farmstead, Home Laundry
Company, Illinois Central Railroad Freight Depot, Johnson's Creamery,
Legg House, Millen House, Millen-Chase-McCalla House, Monroe Carnegie
Library, Monroe County Courthouse, Morgan House, J.L. Nichols House
and Studio, North Washington Street Historic District, The Old
Crescent, Princess Theatre, Prospect Hill Historic District, Second
Baptist Church, Seminary Square Park, Steele Dunning Historic
District, University Courts Historic District, Vinegar Hill Historic
District, Wicks Building, Woolery Stone Company, and Andrew Wylie
House are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
According to the 2010 census, Bloomington has a total area of 23.359
square miles (60.50 km2), of which 23.16 square miles
(59.98 km2) (or 99.15%) is land and 0.199 square miles
(0.52 km2) (or 0.85%) is water.
Indiana receives an abundance of rain, with a yearly average
of nearly 45 inches.
Climate data for Bloomington, Indiana
Record high °F (°C)
Average high °F (°C)
Average low °F (°C)
Record low °F (°C)
Average precipitation inches (mm)
Average snowfall inches (cm)
Source #1: Weatherbase
Source #2: Noaa.gov
Bloomington is an area of irregular limestone terrain characterized by
sinks, ravines, fissures, underground streams, sinking streams,
springs and caves. It is situated in the rolling hills of southern
Indiana, resting on the intersection of the Norman Uplands and the
Mitchell Plain. The relatively varied topography of the city provides
a sharp contrast to the flatter terrain more typical of central to
northern portions of Indiana.
Griffy Lake, once the central source of drinking water for the city.
Bloomington is located on a comparatively high ground, the summit of
the divide between the basins of the West Fork and East Fork of
Indiana's White River. Accordingly, there are no major watercourses
within the city, nor is much groundwater available for wells. The
largest stream within the city itself is Clear Creek, with its eastern
branch known on the
Indiana University campus as Jordan River.
Due to the absence of either natural lakes or rivers or groundwater in
or near the city, a number of dams have been constructed on nearby
creeks over the last 100 years to provide for the water needs of
Bloomington and Monroe County. Early 20th-century damming projects
occurred at a number of locations southwest of the city, the most
notable of them being the Leonard Springs Dam. Due to the limestone
formations underlying the reservoirs and the dams, water kept seeping
from the reservoirs through naturally developing underground channels.
Despite all efforts, the city was never able to fully stop the
leakage, and had to resort to pumping leaking water back to the
By the 1920s, a more radical solution was needed to deal with the
water crisis. A new reservoir, known as Griffy Lake, was constructed
in a more geologically suitable area north of the city. (It is now
within Bloomington's official city limits.) Later, in the 1950s, two
much larger reservoirs,
Lake Lemon and Lake Monroe were created in the
northeastern and southeastern parts of Monroe County. Monroe Lake was
created by the US Army Corps of Engineers for flood control, but has
since been used to supply the city and the county with water. The
water pumping station at
Griffy Lake has been mothballed.
PCB pollution, associated with Westinghouse's operations, long was a
concern in the area. A number of sites, in particular,
Bennett's Dump and Lemon Lane Landfill at the northwestern edge of the
city and Neal's Landfill in the county, were listed as Superfund
sites. Clean-up operations at the Bennett Quarry site, started in
1983, were largely completed by 2000., while cleanups at the other
sites were completed in 2012.
Location of the Bloomington Metropolitan Statistical Area in Indiana
Source: US Census Bureau
Bloomington is the principal city of the Bloomington Metropolitan
Statistical Area, a metropolitan area that covers Greene, Monroe, and
Owen counties and had a combined population of 175,506 at the 2000
As of the 2010 census, there were 80,405 people, 31,425 households,
and 11,267 families residing in the city. The population density was
3,471.7 inhabitants per square mile (1,340.4/km2). There were 33,239
housing units at an average density of 1,435.2 per square mile
(554.1/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 83.0% White, 4.6%
African American, 0.3% Native American, 8.0% Asian, 0.1% Pacific
Islander, 1.2% from other races, and 3.0% from two or more races.
Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3.5% of the population.
There were 31,425 households of which 16.6% had children under the age
of 18 living with them, 25.3% were married couples living together,
7.5% had a female householder with no husband present, 3.1% had a male
householder with no wife present, and 64.1% were non-families. 38.2%
of all households were made up of individuals and 7.5% had someone
living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household
size was 2.09 and the average family size was 2.76.
The median age in the city was 23.3 years. 11.4% of residents were
under the age of 18; 44.5% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 23%
were from 25 to 44; 13.3% were from 45 to 64; and 7.9% were 65 years
of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 50.3% male and
As of the census of 2000, there were 69,291 people, 26,468
households, and 10,454 families residing in the city. The population
density was 3,511.1 people per square mile (1,356.0/km²). There were
28,400 housing units at an average density of 1,439.1 per square mile
(555.8/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 87.03% White, 4.24%
African American, 0.29% Native American, 5.26% Asian, 0.07% Pacific
Islander, 1.10% from other races, and 2.01% from two or more races.
Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.49% of the population. 22.9%
were of German, 10.2% Irish, 9.1% English and 8.4% American ancestry
according to Census 2000. 89.3% spoke English, 2.9% Spanish, 1.3%
Korean, 1.1% German and 1.0% Chinese or Mandarin as their first
There were 26,468 households out of which 17.9% had children under the
age of 18 living with them, 29.2% were married couples living
together, 7.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and
60.5% were non-families. 39.1% of all households were made up of
individuals and 7.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age
or older. The average household size was 2.09 and the average family
size was 2.76.
In the city, the population was spread out with 12.7% under the age of
18, 42.3% from 18 to 24, 24.6% from 25 to 44, 12.6% from 45 to 64, and
7.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 23 years.
For every 100 females there were 94.4 males. For every 100 females age
18 and over, there were 92.8 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $25,377, and the
median income for a family was $50,054. Males had a median income of
$32,470 compared to $26,100 for females. The per capita income for the
city was $16,481. About 10.3% of families and 29.6% of the population
were below the poverty line, including 17.3% of those under age 18 and
7.6% of those age 65 or over.
The Bloomington and Monroe County region is home to major employers
representing a diverse collection of fields, including education, the
life sciences, advanced manufacturing and technology.
Bloomington is a regional economic center anchored by Indiana
University and home to a diverse business community involved in
pharmaceuticals, medical devices, technology, health care, and the
arts. Bloomington's concentration of employment in the life sciences
is six times greater than the U.S. average, and employment in the
technology sector has grown by over 80 percent in recent years.
Bloomington has been recognized by Inc. Magazine as one of
"America’s Best Cities for Doing Business" and as one of
Entrepreneur Magazine's Top 50 "Hottest Small Cities for
Forbes Magazine ranked Bloomington No. 3
in its "Best Places for Business Careers" feature.
# of Employees
Indiana University Bloomington
Cook Group, Inc.
Indiana University Health-Bloomington
Monroe County Community School Corporation
Baxter Healthcare Pharmaceuticals
Naval Surface Warfare Center Crane Division
City of Bloomington
Arts and culture
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Bloomington is home to several professional and amateur theater
companies, among the most notable are: the
Indiana University Dept. of
Theatre & Drama; Cardinal Stage Company; the Bloomington
Playwrights Project; Theatre of the People; and the
Auditorium, which is a 3,000-seat performing arts venue which brings
in national tours of musicals, plays and other live entertainment.
Buskirk-Chumley Theater in downtown Bloomington.
Bloomington is home to the Buskirk-Chumley Theater, which is a
renovated 616 seat vaudeville and movie house built in 1922. Known
locally as the "
Indiana Theater" or the "Bus-Chum", it was operated
until 1995 as a movie theater. In 1995, the building was donated to
the community for use as a performing arts center. In 2006, the
theater played host to more than 260 public performances. Bloomington
also offers artists and entertainers performance space at the Ivy Tech
Waldron Arts Center, a community arts center that has hosted hundreds
of performances through the last two decades.
Bloomington also has a large folk punk music scene. The town is home
Chris Clavin who runs the DIY punk rock record label Plan-It-X
Records and is in the folk punk band
Ghost Mice who frequently sing
about Bloomington. Every other year
Plan-It-X Records organises
Plan-it-X Fest, a large DIY punk music festival held in Bloomington.
Bloomington is also home to the record labels Eradicator Records,
Jagjaguwar and BlueSanct. The Grammy Nominated band
The Fray recorded their Triple Platinum debut album How to Save a Life
at Echo Park Studios in Bloomington. Bloomington is also the hometown
of dark folk rockers Murder By Death. The "Zine" publishing company,
Microcosm Publishing, is also located in Bloomington, as is the Lotus
Festival of World Music, which occurs each fall.
Much of Bloomington's music originates in the Jacobs School of Music
Indiana University, its Opera Theater and public performances
numbering more than a thousand each year.
Traditional music is popular in Bloomington due to the presence of the
Archives of Traditional Music and Department of Folklore and
Indiana University. Bloomington has been home to a
number of musicians and "scholars" over the years, including
Strawberry McCloud, Lotus Dickey, Miles Krassen, Anthony Seeger, Bob
Lucas, Caroline Peyton, Mark Bingham, Willy Schwartz, Jessica
Radcliffe, Hawk Hubbard, Linda Higginbotham, Brad Leftwich, Ruthie
Allen, Grey Larsen, Cindy Kallet, Bruce Anderson, Pete Sutherland,
Malcolm Dalglish, Sam Bartlett, Jamie Gans, and Ken Perlman. From
1985-1993 Bloomington was home to the one-time Drum Corps
International champion Star of Indiana. In 1993, the corp moved to
musical theatre which created the group Blast!.
Bloomington is also home to a variety of museums and galleries such as
the Mathers Museum of World Cultures, Eskenazi Museum of Art at
Indiana University, the Monroe County History Center, Wylie House
Museum, and the Grunwald Gallery of Art.
Downtown Bloomington is typically referred to as the area between
First to Eleventh Streets and Madison to Lincoln Streets, with the
vast majority of the dining, shopping and drinking establishments
being located on the two main north/south thoroughfares of Walnut
Street and College Avenue, which run parallel on either side of the
courthouse. Portions of this one-way pair, along with segments of the
east/west Sixth Street and Kirkwood Avenues, comprise Bloomington's
historic courthouse square.
Bloomington and Monroe County's B-Line walking trail, on the site of a
former railroad line, bisects the downtown area as well, providing an
area for walking, biking, running and hiking.
One community service based organization, Habitat for Humanity,
provides opportunities to help build hope in families, while Mother
Hubbard's Cupboard provides free food to families in need.
Ivy Tech Community College
Arlington Heights Elementary School
Bloomington Montessori School
Childs Elementary School
Clear Creek Elementary School
Clear Creek Christian School
Fairview Elementary School
Grandview Elementary School
Highland Park Elementary School
Lakeview Elementary School
Lighthouse Christian Academy
Marlin Elementary School
Pinnacle School (K - 12)
The Project School (K - 8)
Rogers-Binford Elementary School
St. Charles Catholic School
Summit Elementary Schools
Templeton Elementary School
Unionville Elementary School
University Elementary School
Batchelor Middle School
Edgewood Jr. High
Jackson Creek Middle School
Lighthouse Christian Academy
St. Charles Catholic School
Tri-North Middle School
Bloomington High School South
Bloomington High School North
Edgewood High School
The Academy of Science and Entrepreneurship
Bloomington Graduation School
Lighthouse Christian Academy
Bloomington has a public library, a branch of the Monroe County Public
MCCSC Adult Education
Indiana Daily Student
WTTV (targets Indianapolis)
Bloomington also receives stations from Indianapolis; it is part of
A five-channel public-access television station is housed in the
Monroe County Public Library. The station, known as Community Access
Television Services or CATS, was established in 1973 and serves as a
"dedicated constitutional forum." In April 1995, Rox, a program
produced at CATS (then Bloomington Community Access Television),
became the first TV series distributed via the web, with an episode
titled "Global Village Idiots."
Monroe County Airport (No Commercial flights)
Indianapolis International Airport
Indianapolis International Airport (Nearest commercial airport 50
miles (80 km) away)
Bloomington is a gold-rated bicycle-friendly community by the League
of American Bicyclists.
Bloomington, for many years was one of the largest cities without an
interstate or freeway expressway. However, interstate access finally
occurred in December 2015 when the Interstate 69 expansion between
Indianapolis was completed to Bloomington.
The upgrading of SR 37 from a 4 Lane Highway to Interstate
standards for the next section of I-69 between Bloomington and
Martinsville is under construction and will be completed by the middle
of 2018. The last section between Martinsville and
still several years away.
State Road 45 (SR 45) and State Road 46 (SR 46) run through
Bloomington together on a four-lane highway known as the "bypass".
State Road 48 (SR 48) starts as a four-lane highway on the city's
west side before narrowing to two-lanes at Oard Rd outside the city
Bloomington has four sister-city relationships.
Santa Clara, Cuba
Luzhou District, New Taipei,
Taiwan (ROC) inactive.
Jiaxing, Zhejiang, People's Republic of
Note: This list does not include students attending Indiana
University. Please see List of
Indiana University (Bloomington) people
for famous alumni.
David Anspaugh, director of Hoosiers and Rudy
Kenny Aronoff, drummer
David Baker, symphonic jazz composer
Arija Bareikis, actress
Paul Baribeau, folk punk singer and musician
Joshua Bell, violinist
Abraham Benrubi, actor
Kent Benson, basketball player
Diane Bish, organist, concert and recording artist, composer and
Lil Bub, famous cat, internet sensation
Austin Lucas, singer-songwriter
Meg Cabot, author
Dana Carpender, author and columnist
Hoagy Carmichael, singer-songwriter
Calbert Cheaney, basketball player, assistant coach at St. Louis
Chris Clavin, singer-songwriter, plan-it-x records owner
Terri Conn, actress
William Cook (entrepreneur), founder of Cook Inc.
James Counsilman, US Olympic Swimming Coach
John Merle Coulter, former president of
Malcolm Dalglish, hammered dulcimer player, composer, and choral
Grey Damon, Actor
John Darnielle, singer-songwriter
Joe Dowell, singer-songwriter
Mick Foley, former professional wrestler and author
Karen Joy Fowler, author
Rex Grossman, NFL quarterback
David F. Hamilton, Judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the
Elaine Irwin Mellencamp, model
Douglas Hofstadter, cognitive scientist
Jared Jeffries, basketball player, Retired
David Starr Jordan, former president of
Indiana University and
Kraig Kinser, an ARCA driver
Sheldon Kinser, Indy car driver
Steve Kinser, race car driver
Alfred Kinsey, founder of
Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender
Amelia Laskey, ornithologist
Brad Leftwich, musician
Ross Lockridge, Jr., novelist, author of Raintree County
Cory Martin, shot putter
Sean May, NBA basketball player
John Mellencamp, musician
Denny Miller, actor
Thubten Jigme Norbu, brother of Tenzin Gyatso, 14th Dalai Lama
Elinor Ostrom, Nobel Prize–winner, political scientist
Jeff Overton, PGA tour golfer
Angelo Pizzo, screenwriter and producer of Hoosiers and Rudy
Kevin Pritchard, NBA front office executive
Scott Rolen, former Major League Baseball player
David Lee Roth, lead singer of band Van Halen
Alfred Ryors, former president of
Jeff Sagarin, statistician for sports, contributor to USA Today
Ronnie Schneider, ATP tennis player
Frithjof Schuon, philosopher and mystic
György Sebők, pianist
János Starker, cellist
John Strohm, singer, guitarist, and lawyer
Jill Bolte Taylor, neuroanatomist
Herman B Wells, former president and chancellor of
Camilla Williams, opera singer
Andrew Wylie, first president of
Max Zorn, mathematician
Points of interest
Bloomington Playwrights Project – produces only new plays by
Indiana University Bloomington
Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender, and Reproduction
Lake Lemon - located approximately 10 miles northeast of Bloomington.
Upland Brewing Company – the largest microbrewery in the state of
List of public art in Bloomington, Indiana
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Indiana University Bloomington: About".
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^ "2013 Tree Cities USA Communities in Indiana". Arbor Day Foundation.
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Industries, and Institutions. B.F. Bowen. 1914. p. 435.
^ "Monroe County". Jim Forte Postal History. Retrieved September 5,
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Indiana: Historical and Biographical. F.A. Battey & Company.
National Park Service
National Park Service (2010-07-09). "National Register Information
System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park
National Register of Historic Places
National Register of Historic Places Listings". Weekly List of
Actions Taken on Properties: 3/24/14 through 3/28/14. National Park
Service. April 4, 2014.
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File 1". United
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University, Indiana, United States of America – Travel, Vacation and
Reference Information". Canty and Associates LLC. October 2011.
^ a b c d Maxwell, Donal H. (January 1921), "Impounded water in
Bloomington, Ind.", Municipal and county engineering: design,
construction, maintenance, and operation of all public works, 60 (1):
^ Water Basics: Stream Archived September 16, 2012, at the Wayback
City of Bloomington)
^ Mellowitz, Jim (October 21, 1985), "Pcb Solution Creates More
Controversy", Chicago Tribune
^ "PCBs: Toxic Chemical Waste A Tragic Legacy For Ind. Town". The News
and Courier. October 20, 1985.
^ "PCBs". in.gov. Archived from the original on February 2, 2015.
Retrieved February 18, 2015.
Superfund Information Systems Home - US EPA". epa.gov. Archived
from the original on October 14, 2013. Retrieved February 18,
^ Metropolitan statistical areas and components Archived May 26, 2007,
at the Wayback Machine., Office of Management and Budget, May 11,
2007. Accessed 2008-07-30.
^ a b "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Archived
from the original on September 11, 2013. Retrieved January 31,
^ "Local Businesses". Archived from the original on March 26, 2013.
Retrieved March 19, 2013.
^ a b "Facts & Figures". Archived from the original on October 15,
2012. Retrieved March 19, 2013.
^ "Bloomington Forecast 2012". indiana.edu. Retrieved February 18,
^ "Hours & Locations". Monroe County Public Library. Retrieved 10
^ "About CATS".
^ Quittner, Josh (May 1, 1995). "Radio Free Cyberspace". Time.
^ "Biking in Bloomington".
City of Bloomington. Retrieved January 30,
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Bloomington, Indiana.
Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Bloomington, Indiana.
City of Bloomington,
Greater Bloomington Chamber of Commerce
Bloomingpedia – Bloomington's own
City Wiki (released July 2005)
Indiana Convention and Visitors Bureau (tourism
Herald Times (local paper)
MCCSC – Monroe County Community School Corporation
Indiana University of Bloomington website
Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Bloomington". Encyclopædia
Britannica. 4 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.
County seats of Indiana
In order by county
Bold indicates county of 100,000+
Municipalities and communities of Monroe County, Indiana, United
County seat: Bloomington
Forest Park Heights
Van Buren Park
West Brook Downs
State of Indiana
Congressional districts (Delegations)
National Historic Landmarks
Index of Indiana-related articles
Seal of Indiana
East Central Indiana
Indiana University Bloomington
Located in: Bloomington, Indiana
Hutton Honors College
School of Medicine
School of Law
Jacobs School of Music
Kelley School of Business
School of Education
School of Journalism
School of Public and Environmental Affairs
School of Library and Information Science
"Indiana, Our Indiana"
Kentucky basketball rivalry
Indiana–Michigan State football rivalry
Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall
Bill Armstrong Stadium
John Mellencamp Pavilion
Bart Kaufman Field
Wildermuth Intramural Center
Indiana Memorial Union
Women's Little 500
Indiana Daily Student
Endowment: us$1.986 billion