Bloomington, Illinois

McLean County History Museum (formerly McLean County Court House) in Downtown Bloomington
Official name: City of Bloomington
Country United States
State Illinois
County McLean
Elevation 797 ft (242.9 m)
Coordinates 40°29′03″N 88°59′37″W / 40.48417°N 88.99361°W / 40.48417; -88.99361Coordinates: 40°29′03″N 88°59′37″W / 40.48417°N 88.99361°W / 40.48417; -88.99361
Area 27.23 sq mi (70.5 km2)
 - land 27.22 sq mi (70 km2)
 - water 0.01 sq mi (0 km2)
Population 78,902 (2013)
 - urban 132,600 (US: 243rd)
 - metro 191,067 (US: 223rd)
Founded 1831
Mayor Tari Renner
Timezone CST (UTC-6)
 - summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5)
Postal code 61701, 61704, 61705
Area code 309
Location of Bloomington within Illinois
Location of Illinois in the United States

Bloomington is a city in Illinois, United States and the county seat of McLean County. It is adjacent to Normal, and is the more populous of the two principal municipalities of the Bloomington-Normal metropolitan area.

The 2010 census showed the city had a population of 76,610,[1] making it the 12th most populated city in Illinois, and the fifth-most populous city in the state outside of the Chicago Metropolitan Area.[2] Combined with Normal, the twin cities have a population of roughly 130,000.


Bloomington is located at 40°29′03″N 88°59′37″W. The city is at an elevation of 797 feet (243 m) above sea level. According to the 2010 census, Bloomington has a total area of 27.229 square miles (70.52 km2), of which 27.22 square miles (70.50 km2) (or 99.97%) is land and 0.009 square miles (0.02 km2) (or 0.03%) is water.[3]

Climate and weather

Bloomington, Illinois
Climate chart (explanation)
Average max. and min. temperatures in °F
Precipitation totals in inches
Source: The Weather Channel[4]

In recent years, average temperatures in the county seat of Bloomington have ranged from a low of 14 °F (−10 °C) in January to a high of 86 °F (30 °C) in July, although a record low of −23 °F (−31 °C) was recorded in January 1985 and a record high of 114 °F (46 °C) was recorded on July 15, 1936 during the 1936 North American heat wave. Average monthly precipitation ranged from 1.71 inches (43 mm) in February to 4.52 inches (115 mm) in May.[4]


Looking northwest from the east side of the downtown square, about 1910

The Bloomington area was at the edge of a large grove occupied by the Kickapoo people before the first Euro-American settlers arrived in the early 1820s.[5] Springing from the settlement of Keg Grove, later called Blooming Grove, Bloomington was named as county seat on December 25, 1830, when McLean County was created.[6]

When the County of McLean was incorporated, a county seat was established. However, the legislation stated the site of Bloomington "would be located later." James Allin, one of the new county's promoters, offered to donate 60 acres (240,000 m2) of his land for the new town. His offer was accepted, and Bloomington was laid out. Its lots were sold at a well-attended and noisy auction on the 4th of July 1831. At this time there were few roads, but rich soils brought new farmers who began commerce by conducting their business in the newly formed county. People came from all over to trade and do business at the town's center, known today as Downtown Bloomington, including Abraham Lincoln who was working as a lawyer in nearby Springfield, Illinois.[5]

In 1900 an officer on patrol discovered a fire in a laundry across the street from the old City Hall and Police Station.[7] He sounded the alarm but the fire destroyed the majority of the downtown, especially the areas north and east of the courthouse. However, the burnt area was quickly rebuilt from the designs of local architects George Miller and Paul O. Moratz.

During the first two decades of the 20th century, Bloomington continued to grow. Agriculture, the construction of highways and railroads, and the growth of the insurance business (mainly State Farm Insurance) all influenced the growth of Bloomington and its downtown area. The downtown area became a regional shopping center attracting trade from adjoining counties. Labor unions grew in strength. This trend has continued to the present day, where expansion has included many restaurants and other businesses.


Historical population
Census Pop.
Est. 201578,292[8]2.2%
U.S. Decennial Census[9]
2013 Estimate[10]

As of the census of 2010, there were 76,610 people and 30,454 households within the city. The population density was 2,814.8 people per square mile (1,099.5/km²). There were 34,339 housing units at an average density of 1,261.5 per square mile (492.8/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 77.5% White, 10.1% African American, 0.3% Native American, 7.0% Asian, 1.42% from other races, and 2.9% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 5.6% of the population.

The City of Bloomington and McLean County comprise the fastest-growing metropolitan area in Illinois. The area's population has grown 28% from 1990 through 2006. The fastest growth has been in Bloomington, as the U.S. Census Bureau conducted a special census of that city in February, 2006, showing a population of 74,975, a 15.7% increase in less than six years.

In 2010, there were 34,339 households out of which 28.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 46.7% were married couples living together, 9.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 41.1% were non-families. 32.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.41 and the average family size was 3.12.

In the city the population was spread out with 27.3% under the age of 20, 9.0% from 18 to 24, 29.8% from 25 to 45, 23.8% from 45 to 64, and 10.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 33 years. For every 100 females, there were 95.4 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $58,662, and the median income for a family was $81,166. Males had a median income of $56,597 versus $39,190 for females. The per capita income for the city was $32,672. About 5.7% of families and 11.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 12.6% of those under age 18 and 6.3% of those age 65 or over.


Beer Nuts are produced in Bloomington
The downtown State Farm Insurance Building, part of the Bloomington Central Business District

Top employers

According to Bloomington's 2011 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report the city is in a good financial position.

The top employers in the area are:

# Employer # of Employees
1 State Farm Insurance 14,450
2 Illinois State University 3,259
3 Country Financial 2,084
4 Unit 5 School District 1,826
5 Advocate Bromenn Medical Center 1,522
6 OSF St. Joseph Medical Center 1,140
7 Afni 900
8 McLean County 806
9 City of Bloomington 743
10 Bloomington School District 87 691
11 Growmark 528
12 Illinois Wesleyan University 468

Bloomington is also home to a convention center at the McLean County Fairgrounds, U.S. Cellular Coliseum, and Beer Nuts.


Interstates 39, 55 and 74 intersect at Bloomington, making the city a substantial transportation hub. US highways 51 and 150 and Illinois state route 9 also run through Bloomington. The legendary highway U.S. Route 66 once ran directly through the city's downtown and later on a bypass to the east. The Bloomington-Normal Public Transit System operates Bloomington-Normal's internal bus system, and several intercity bus lines operate north-south and east-west service through the city.

Bloomington is serviced by passenger rail, bus service, and several airlines.


Recreation and entertainment

Nature and wildlife


In 2005, Golf Digest ranked Bloomington-Normal as the Fifth Best American City for Golf in their "Best in America" Metro Golf Rankings. Golf Digest ranked America's largest Metropolitan Statistical Areas on four different criteria: access to golf, weather, value of golf, and quality of golf.[22]

The golf course at the Bloomington Country Club

The Den at Fox Creek is a 4-star, Arnold Palmer Signature Designed Golf Course that opened in 1997 and features bent grass tees, greens and fairways. Amenities include GPS-equipped carts, club rental, pro shop and snack bar. There are nine holes with water hazards, 131 sand traps and a unique alternative shot closing the 18th hole on this par 72 course. Practice facilities include a large bent grass driving range and tees with practice chipping and putting greens.[23] The Den is home to both the IHSA Boys' Golf State Tournament and COUNTRY Youth Classic each summer.[24]

Located in South Bloomington, the Highland Park Golf Course has numerous challenges including creeks, three lakes, well-placed sand traps and tree-lined fairways. Highland Park sports a pro shop, carts, club rental and snack bar and offers individual or group lessons.[25] The Highland Park Golf Course hosts the COUNTRY Youth Classic each summer.[24]

The Links at Ireland Grove is Bloomington’s newest public golf facility and first executive course. This nine-hole course consists of seven par 3’s and two par 4’s. The driving range has weather protected hitting bays, plus over 1-acre (4,000 m2) of target greens, several bunkers, two fairways and nearly 2 acres (8,100 m2) of natural grass hitting area. In addition, The Links Golf Academy offers a 4-acre (16,000 m2) short game practice facility. The Links’ complex also includes Golf Etc., a pro shop selling everything golf related.[26] The Links is also home to the COUNTRY Skills Challenge portion of the COUNTRY Youth Classic each summer.[24]

Prairie Vista sports 16 water hazards, a wave bunker, two-level greens and fairways, lots of sand, a pro shop, carts, club rental, snack bar, banquet room and driving range. In addition to annually hosting the COUNTRY Youth Classic and IHSA Boys' Golf State Finals, Prairie Vista hosted the 1997 NCAA Division I Women’s Golf East Regional.[27]

There are two private country clubs within Bloomington: Bloomington Country Club and Lakeside Country Club. A third, Crestwicke Country Club, is just south of the city. All three have golf courses.

Arts and theatre

Bloomington-Normal ranks competitively in Richard Florida's creativity rankings. Most noteworthy is Bloomington-Normal’s creative class share of the workforce, which resulted in a No. 1 rating for Bloomington-Normal’s creativity rank.[28]


Annual events

Historic sites

Miller Park Pavilion


Area attractions and businesses also offer a number of tours in Bloomington.





Team Sport League Venue Established Championships
Bloomington Edge Indoor football CIF U.S. Cellular Coliseum 2006 None
Bloomington Thunder Ice hockey USHL U.S. Cellular Coliseum 2014 None
Normal CornBelters Baseball Frontier League The Corn Crib 2010 None
Bloomington Flex Basketball MPBA U.S. Cellular Coliseum 2012 2
Bloomington Crash Rugby MRU SK Nord Fields 2013 None


Bloomington is served by two public school districts. The interior of the city is served by Bloomington Public Schools District 87, which operates one high school, Bloomington High School, one junior high school, Bloomington Junior High School, and six elementary schools (Oakland, Washington, Bent, Irving, Sheridan, and Stevenson elementary schools) and one pre-school, Sarah Raymond (named for the first female superintendent for Bloomington).

Growth has taken the city well into the boundaries of a second district, McLean County Unit District No. 5. Although Unit Five originally served only suburban areas, including Normal, the majority of its students now are from Bloomington itself. Unit Five operates two high schools (Normal Community High School and Normal Community West High School), four junior high schools, and numerous elementary schools. As of 2010, Unit Five was constructing its fourth junior high school which is called George Evans Junior High School more commonly known as EJHS. The construction was finished in 2011 Unit 5 was also making two new elementary schools in Bloomington, and is projecting the need for another high school.

Bloomington is also home to several private schools, including Central Catholic High School, Holy Trinity Elm./Jr. School, Epiphany Elm./Jr. School,St. Mary's Catholic School, Trinity Lutheran School, and Cornerstone Christian Academy. Bloomington students also may enroll at Metcalf Elm./Jr. School and University High School, laboratory schools located at Illinois State University.

The city of Bloomington is home to one university and one trade school:

Neighboring Normal Illinois is home to:

Bloomington/Normal Japanese Saturday School (ブルーミントン・ノーマル補習授業校 Burūminton Nōmaru Hoshū Jugyō Kō), a Japanese weekend school, was established in 1986 and held at the Thomas Metcalf School, an ISU laboratory school in Normal.[57] The school has a separate office in Normal.[58]

Notable people

Sister cities


FM Radio

TeleCourier Tower in Downtown Bloomington

AM Radio

NOAA Weather Radio



Notable companies

Bloomington is home to State Farm Insurance. , Country Financial, and Beer Nuts.[62] The original Steak 'n Shake restaurant was opened in Normal, Bloomington's adjoining city, in 1934. It also has the largest Dairy Queen Restaurant.[63]

See also


  1. "2010 City Population and Housing Occupancy Status". U.S. Census Bureau. Archived from the original on July 21, 2011. Retrieved May 19, 2012.
  2. M.K. Guetersloh (2006-06-16). "Bloomington grows by 10,000". Pantagraph. Retrieved 2008-02-15.
  3. "G001 - Geographic Identifiers - 2010 Census Summary File 1". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2015-12-25.
  4. 1 2 "Monthly Averages for Bloomington, Illinois". The Weather Channel. Retrieved 2011-01-27.
  5. 1 2 History of Bloomington, History of Bloomington
  6. History of Bloomington (City Website), History of Bloomington (from city website)
  7. McLean County Museum of History (Museum Finding Aids), Bloomington Fire of June 1900
  8. "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2015". Retrieved July 2, 2016.
  9. "U.S. Decennial Census". Archived from the original on May 11, 2015. Retrieved June 5, 2013.
  10. "Population Estimates". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2015-01-31.
  11. Amtrak Fact Sheet Illinois 2008
  12. "CIRA:  Central Illinois Regional Airport".
  13. "Press Release & Stories About CIRA".
  15. "Upper Limits". Upper Limits.
  16. US Cellular Coliseum. "US Cellular Coliseum - Home".
  24. 1 2 3 "".
  26. "The Links at Ireland Grove". Ireland Grove.
  28. The Rise of the Creative Class. And How It's Transforming Work, Leisure and Everyday Life, 2002. Basic Books. ISBN 0-465-02477-7.
  29. "City of Bloomington, Illinois : BCPA".
  30. Administrator. "Illinois Symphony Orchestra: Listen Live!".
  31. "McLean County Arts Center - MCAC Home".
  32. "Community Players Theatre". Community Players Theatre.
  33. "The Castle Theatre". The Castle Theatre.
  34. "Illinois Wesleyan: IWU Theatre Box Office".
  35. "Illinois Wesleyan: School of Music".
  37. "USA Ballet". usaballet.
  38. "The American Passion Play, Inc.".
  39. "Home - Illinois Shakespeare Festival - Illinois State". 19 May 2016.
  40. "McLean County Museum of History".
  41. "MCA Art – The McLean County Art Scene".
  42. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 "Welcome to Bloomington-Normal, Illinois". Bloomington-Normal, Illinois.
  45. "David Davis Mansion".
  46. Karen. "The Tea Ladies Inc. Bringing the Art of Victorian Tea to Life".
  51. "File Not Found - BEER NUTS".
  52. "Illinois Fusion Soccer". Illinois Fusion Soccer.
  53. "Apps Parents Should Choose with Caution". Choosing Apps Wisely.
  54. "Game Time Gym II - …Where players are made".
  55. "Illinois Wesleyan: About IWU".
  56. Hairmasters Institute of Cosmetology. "Hairmasters Institute of Cosmetology - Home".
  57. Home page. Bloomington/Normal Japanese Saturday School. Retrieved on March 31, 2015. "The facility of Metcalf Laboratory School that we have been using since 1986 allows us to enjoy full use of class rooms as well as gym and outdoor playground."
  58. "~ 学校の概要 ~." Bloomington/Normal Japanese Saturday School. Retrieved on March 31, 2015. "郵便送付先: 1413 Heritage Road West, Normal, IL 61761"
  59. Normal, Illinois website, Sister City Partnership
  60. 1 2 3 4 "Interactive City Directory". Sister Cities International. Retrieved 11 March 2014.
  61. "KZZ65". National Weather Service Central Illinois, Lincoln IL.
  62. Beer Nuts located in Bloomington, Official Website
  63. Hansen, Karen (2009-12-21). "Nation's largest Dairy Queen Grill & Chill set for B-N". Bloomington Pantagraph. Retrieved 2015-10-15.

Further reading

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Bloomington, Illinois.
Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Bloomington-Normal.

This article is issued from Wikipedia - version of the 12/1/2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.