Homes for Rent in Bloomington, IL: What You Need to Know
Bloomington, Illinois, is physically close to and culturally entwined with Normal, so locals hardly make any distinction as to where Bloomington begins and Normal ends. The central Illinois area is commonly known as Bloomington-Normal.
Back when Bloomington was a village, it was called Blooming Grove for its abundant wildflowers. In 1831, the name was changed to Bloomington upon its designation as a town. The city is famous as the site of Abraham Lincoln’s fervent anti-slavery speech before he became U.S. president. Lincoln gave a speech at Major’s Hall during the first Republican Convention in Illinois in 1856. It’s known as Lincoln’s “lost speech” because no copy of it exists.
Cost of Living
Bloomington (population: 77,330) is roughly the midpoint between Chicago and Saint Louis, Missouri. It’s cheaper to live in Bloomington than in either city. Its cost of living rate and housing costs are 7% and 27.1% lower than the national average, respectively, although food cost is 4.9% higher than the national average. Bloomington’s median gross rent is $825. The Land of Lincoln collects a flat income tax of 4.95% and 6.25% to 11% in sales tax.
Know Your Neighborhoods
Residents describe their hometown as “the biggest small town” you’ll ever find. It’s a small city but it has big-city amenities and good schools. Living downtown means being close to over 100 shops, restaurants, and services, including a weekly farmers market. Normal, just two miles away, has excellent schools. About 45% of Normal residents are renters. McLean County suburbs Twin Grove and Le Roy are known for their great schools and overall safety.
Schools and Higher Education
Out of the 38 universities within 100 miles of Bloomington, Illinois State University (20,635 students) and Illinois Wesleyan University, a private school founded in 1850 (1,693 students), are the closest. The Bloomington Public School District 87 operates nine schools with a total enrolment of 5,295 students. Top-ranked schools include Washington Elementary School and Oakland Elementary School.
Connect Transit helps residents get to their destinations as an alternative to driving. It offers 11 fixed routes throughout the Bloomington-Normal area. All Connect Transit buses are wheelchair accessible with wheelchair lifts. For travel outside the city or the state, Amtrak trains service Bloomington-Normal on a daily basis. Out-of-town travel by bus is also easy with a few choices: Greyhound Bus, Megabus, Burlington Trailways, and Peoria Charter Coach. The closest airport is the Central Illinois Regional Airport.