Main Births etc
Bloomington, Indiana
—  City  —
City of Bloomington
Official logo of Bloomington, Indiana
Nickname(s): B-Town
Location in the state of Indiana
Coordinates: 39°09′44″N 86°31′45″W / 39.16222, -86.52917Coordinates: 39°09′44″N 86°31′45″W / 39.16222, -86.52917
Country United States
State Indiana
County Monroe
Townships Bloomington, Perry, Richland, Van Buren
 • Mayor Mark Kruzan (D)
 • City 23.36 sq mi (60.50 km2)
 • Land 23.16 sq mi (59.98 km2)
 • Water 0.20 sq mi (0.52 km2)
Elevation[2] 771 ft (235 m)
Population (2010)[3]
 • City 80,405
 • Estimate (2014[4]) 83,565
 • Density 3,471.7/sq mi (1,340.4/km2)
 • Metro 175,506
Time zone EST (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP codes 47401-47408
Area code 812, 930
Twin cities
 • Santa Clara Cuba
 • Posoltega Nicaragua
FIPS code[2][5] 18-05860
GNIS ID[2][5] 431207

Bloomington is a city in and the county seat of Monroe County in the southern region of the U.S. state of Indiana.[6] 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.[7]

The population was 80,405 at the 2010 census.[8]

Bloomington is the home to Indiana University Bloomington. Established in 1820, IU Bloomington has approximately 40,000 students and is the original and largest campus of Indiana University. In the 1991 book entitled The Campus as a Work of Art, author Thomas Gaines named the Bloomington campus one of the five most beautiful in America. Most of the campus buildings are built of Indiana limestone.

Bloomington is also the home of the Indiana University School of Public and Environmental Affairs, Indiana University Maurer School of Law, the Jacobs School of Music, the Kelley School of Business, the Kinsey Institute, the Indiana University School of Optometry, and the Midwest Proton Radiotherapy Institute.

Bloomington has been designated a Tree City for more than 20 years . 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.


Bloomington was platted in 1818.[9]


A Fourth of July parade passes the Monroe County courthouse in Bloomington.

According to the 2010 census, the city has a total area of 23.36 square miles (60.5 km2), of which 23.16 square miles (60.0 km2) (or 99.14%) is land and 0.20 square miles (0.52 km2) (or 0.86%) is water.[10][11] Bloomington is the sixth largest city in Indiana, based on population.


Southern Indiana receives an abundance of rain, with a yearly average of nearly 45 inches.

Climate data for Bloomington, Indiana
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 78
Average high °F (°C) 38.8
Average low °F (°C) 21.2
Record low °F (°C) −21
Precipitation inches (mm) 2.66
Snowfall inches (cm) 5.7
Source #1: Weatherbase[12]
Source #2: Homefacts[13]


Bloomington is an area of irregular limestone terrain characterized by sinks, ravines, fissures, underground streams, sinking streams, springs and caves.[14] 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 other portions of Indiana.


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 itself, nor is much groundwater available for wells.[14] 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. Unfortunately, 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 reservoir.[14]

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.[14] (Presently, it is 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 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, and as of summer 2012, the lake has been drained for repairs to the main dam.[15]


PCB pollution, associated with Westinghouse's operations, long was a concern in the area.[16][17] A number of sites,[18] 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.,[19] while cleanups at the other sites were completed in 2012.


Location of the Bloomington Metropolitan Statistical Area in Indiana

Historical populations
Census Pop.
1850 1,305
1860 2,419 85.4%
1870 1,032 −57.3%
1880 2,756 167.1%
1890 4,018 45.8%
1900 6,460 60.8%
1910 8,838 36.8%
1920 11,595 31.2%
1930 18,227 57.2%
1940 20,870 14.5%
1950 28,163 34.9%
1960 31,357 11.3%
1970 43,262 38.0%
1980 52,044 20.3%
1990 60,633 16.5%
2000 69,291 14.3%
2010 80,405 16.0%
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[20] and had a combined population of 175,506 at the 2000 census.[21]

2010 census[]

As of the 2010 census,[3] 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 49.7% female.

2000 census[]

As of the census[21] 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 language.

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. However, traditional measures of poverty can be highly misleading when applied to communities with a large proportion of students, such as Bloomington.


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.[22]

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.[23]

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 Entrepreneurs." Additionally, Forbes Magazine ranked Bloomington No. 3 in its "Best Places for Business Careers" feature.

Major employers[]

# Employer # of Employees[23]
1 Indiana University Bloomington 7,000
2 Cook Group, Inc. 3,330
3 Indiana University Health-Bloomington 2,246
4 Monroe County Community School Corporation 1,882
5 Baxter Healthcare Pharmaceuticals 1,100
6 Naval Surface Warfare Center Crane Division [1] 791
7 City of Bloomington 690
8 Cook Pharmica 564
9 Monroe County 532
10 Premier Healthcare 393
  • Richland-Bean Blossom Community School Corporation
  • Walmart Supercenter
  • Ivy Tech Community College of Indiana
  • Moduslink
  • Bloom Marketing
  • Author Solutions
  • General Electric
  • Hoosier Energy

Arts and culture[]

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 Indiana University Auditorium, which is a 3,000-seat performing arts venue which brings in national tours of musicals, plays and other live entertainment.

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 mentioned by name in many songs by Ghost Mice, and DIY. Bloomington is currently the home-base of Plan-It-X Records, and is home to the record labels Eradicator Records, Secretly Canadian, 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 at 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 Ethnomusicology at 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, Ken Perlman, and numerous backporch pickers who support the active contra dance, Irish, and bluegrass music scenes. From 1985-1993 Bloomington was home to the 1 time Drum Corps International champion Star of Indiana. The corp then decided to move on in 1993 to musical theatre which created the group Blast!.

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 these two one-way arteries, 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.



  • College Mall
  • Fountain Square Mall
  • Kirkwood Avenue
  • Westside Strip Malls and Big-Box Retailers
  • Eastside Strip Malls and Big-Box Retailers

Locally, the Bloomington Community Farmers' Market operates at city hall on Saturday mornings, April through October. The market gives the city a chance to buy, sell, and trade goods. Fountain Square Mall, a mini mall, is a historical landmark because it still has bricks from the original building structure. The Square also consists of Buskirk Chumley Theater, the Monroe County Court House, many locally owned and operated local restaurants, nightclubs and businesses, as well as several churches. Due to building constraints placed on the area in around the College Mall by the city council, most of the retail expansion in the last decade, has been on the west side of Bloomington including a Super Wal-Mart, several strip malls and many national chain restaurants. The majority of the downtown restaurants are locally owned.


Post-secondary education[]

  • Indiana University
  • Ivy Tech Community College

Elementary schools[]

  • Arlington Heights Elementary School
  • Bloomington Montessori School
  • Childs Elementary School
  • Clear Creek Elementary School
  • Fairview Elementary School
  • Grandview Elementary School
  • Harmony School
  • Highland Park Elementary School
  • Lakeview Elementary School
  • Lighthouse Christian Academy
  • Marlin Elementary School
  • Pinnacle School (K - 12)
  • Prep Academy
  • 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

Middle schools[]

  • Batchelor Middle School
  • Harmony School
  • Jackson Creek Middle School
  • Lighthouse Christian Academy
  • St. Charles Catholic School
  • Tri-North Middle School

High schools[]

  • Bloomington High School North
  • Bloomington High School South
  • Aurora High School [2] (shut down)
  • Bloomington New Tech High School
  • Harmony School [3]
  • Bloomington Montessori School
  • Clear Creek Christian School
  • Pinnacle School
  • Hoosier Hills Career Center
  • Indiana University High School (distance education)
  • Lighthouse Christian Academy [4]


  • Monroe County Public Library [5]
  • MCCSC Adult Education [6]



  • The Herald-Times
  • Indiana Daily Student


  • Bloom Magazine
  • The Ryder


  • WTIU
  • WTTV (targets Indianapolis)

Bloomington also receives stations from Indianapolis; it is part of the Indianapolis market.

Radio stations[]

  • WBWB
  • WCLS
  • WFHB
  • WFIU
  • WGCL
  • WHCC
  • WIUX
  • WTTS
  • WVNI



  • Monroe County Airport (No Commercial flights)
  • Indianapolis International Airport (Nearest commercial airport 50 miles (80 km) away)


  • SR 37
  • SR 45
  • SR 46
  • SR 48
  • SR 446

Bloomington is one of the largest cities without an Interstate or Freeway Expressway. However, State Road 37 (SR 37) is currently a four-lane state highway between Indianapolis and Bloomington. In Bloomington itself SR 37 is nearly up to Freeway standards with four interchanges and only one traffic light within the city limits.

Interstate access to Bloomington is not too far off as the Interstate 69 (I-69) expansion between Indianapolis and Evansville will run directly through Bloomington with SR 37 becoming I-69. The section between Evansville and Bloomington is set for completion in 2014 and is presently open for travel up to US 231 about 25 miles southwest of the city. The upgrading of SR 37 to I-69 does not have a firm date but it is estimated to be complete between 2016 and 2020.

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 on the lightly traveled part past Ivy Tech Community College outside the city limits.

Sister cities[]

Bloomington has four sister-city relationships.

  • Nicaragua Posoltega, Nicaragua
  • Cuba Santa Clara, Cuba
  • Republic of China Luzhou District, New Taipei, Taiwan (ROC)
  • People's Republic of China Jiaxing, Zhejiang, People's Republic of China

Notable people[]

Note: This list does not include students attending Indiana University. Please see List of Indiana University (Bloomington) people for famous alumni.

  • 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 conductor
  • Austin Lucas, folk-punk singer/songwriter
  • Meg Cabot, author
  • Dana Carpender, author and columnist
  • Hoagy Carmichael, singer-songwriter
  • Calbert Cheaney, NBA basketball player, currently an assistant coach at St. Louis University.
  • William Cook (entrepreneur), founder of Cook Inc.
  • James Counsilman, US Olympic Swimming Coach
  • John Merle Coulter, former president of Indiana University
  • Malcolm Dalglish, hammered dulcimer player, composer, and choral director
  • Grey Damon, Actor
  • John Darnielle, singer-songwriter
  • Defiance, Ohio, folk punk band
  • Joe Dowell, singer-songwriter
  • Mick Foley, former professional wrestler and author — born in Bloomington, but moved to Long Island as an infant
  • Karen Joy Fowler, author
  • Rex Grossman, NFL Quarterback
  • David F. Hamilton, Judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
  • Bobby Helms, writer and singer of Jingle Bell Rock
  • Elaine Irwin Mellencamp, supermodel and former wife of John Mellencamp
  • Douglas Hofstadter, cognitive scientist
  • Jared Jeffries, basketball player, New York Knicks
  • David Starr Jordan, former president of Indiana University and Stanford University
  • 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 and Reproduction
  • Brad Leftwich, musician
  • Ross Lockridge, Jr., novelist, author of Raintree County
  • Cory Martin, shot putter
  • Sean May, NBA basketball player
  • John Mellencamp, rock musician
  • Denny Miller, actor
  • Thubten Jigme Norbu, brother of Tenzin Gyatso, 14th Dalai Lama
  • Elinor Ostrom, Nobel-prize-winning political scientist
  • Jeff Overton, PGA tour golfer
  • Angelo Pizzo, screenwriter and producer of Hoosiers and Rudy
  • Scott Rolen, Major League Baseball player
  • David Lee Roth, lead singer of band Van Halen
  • Alfred Ryors, former president of Indiana University
  • Jeff Sagarin, statistician for sports, contributor to USA Today
  • Ronnie Schneider, ATP tennis player
  • György Sebők, pianist
  • János Starker, cellist
  • John Strohm, indie rock singer, guitarist, and lawyer
  • Jill Bolte Taylor, Neuroanatomist
  • Herman B Wells, former president and chancellor of Indiana University
  • Camilla Williams, opera singer
  • Andrew Wylie, first president of Indiana University
  • Max Zorn, German-born mathematician

Fictional residents[]

Bloomington, Indiana is also the hometown of Captain Kathryn Janeway in the science fiction series Star Trek: Voyager.[24]

Nearby points of interest[]

  • The Bloomington Playwrights Project – produces only new plays by American playwrights
  • Bloomington Speedway (Bloomington)
  • Brown County State Park
  • Buckner Cave
  • Griffy Lake Nature Preserve
  • Hickory Ridge Fire Tower
  • Hoosier National Forest
  • Indiana University Bloomington
  • Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender, and Reproduction (Bloomington)
  • Lake Lemon
  • Lake Monroe
  • McCormick's Creek State Park
  • Monroe County Airport
  • Morgan–Monroe State Forest
  • Naval Surface Warfare Center Crane Division
  • Ransburg Scout Reservation
  • Rhino's All Ages Youth Center
  • Upland Brewing Company – Currently the largest microbrewery in the state of Indiana.

See also[]

  • List of public art in Bloomington, Indiana


  1. ^ "Places (2010)" (Zipped TXT). 2010 Census Gazetteer Files. United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2012-12-11. 
  2. ^ a b c "Feature ID 431207". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey. Retrieved June 30, 2014. 
  3. ^ a b "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2012-12-11. 
  4. ^ "Population Estimates". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2013-06-25. 
  5. ^ a b "FIPS55 Data: Indiana". FIPS55 Data. United States Geological Survey. February 23, 2006. Retrieved June 30, 2014. 
  6. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  7. ^ Monroe County History Center. "A Short History of Bloomington & Monroe County". City of Bloomington, Indiana. Retrieved September 9, 2012. 
  8. ^ Staff. "Blooming Census Data". City of Bloomington, Indiana. Retrieved October 15, 2011. 
  9. ^ History of Lawrence and Monroe Counties, Indiana: Their People, Industries, and Institutions. B.F. Bowen. 1914. pp. 435. 
  10. ^ "Places: Indiana". 2010 Census Gazetteer Files. United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2012-04-21. 
  11. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23. 
  12. ^ "Weatherbase: Historical Weather for Bloomington – Indiana University, Indiana, United States of America – Travel, Vacation and Reference Information". Canty and Associates LLC. October 2011. 
  13. ^ "Bloomington Monroe County Indiana average temperature, sunshine and precipitation data". October 2011. 
  14. ^ 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): 159–161, 
  15. ^ Water Basics: Stream (City of Bloomington)
  16. ^ Mellowitz, Jim (October 21, 1985), "Pcb Solution Creates More Controversy", Chicago Tribune, 
  17. ^ "PCBs: Toxic Chemical Waste A Tragic Legacy For Ind. Town". The News and Courier. October 20, 1985.,6414224. 
  18. ^ City of Bloomington / Environmental Commission / Bloomington Environmental Quality Indicators (BEQI) / BEQI Waste / PCBs
  19. ^ Superfund Site Progress Profile BENNETT STONE QUARRY (EPA ID: IND006418651)
  20. ^ Metropolitan statistical areas and components, Office of Management and Budget, 2007-05-11. Accessed 2008-07-30.
  21. ^ a b "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  22. ^ "Local Businesses". Retrieved March 19, 2013. 
  23. ^ a b "Facts & Figures". Retrieved March 19, 2013. 
  24. ^ Mentioned in episode 2 of season 7. 'Imperfection'

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