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+6.6% since 2010
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Bloomington is a true college town, with a large and attractive campus to the northeast of downtown; an area of shops, restaurants, and nightlife serving the student community; and a typically Midwestern town square with a courthouse at the center. Indiana University, founded in 1820 and currently serving some 35,000 students, provides a variety of culture and entertainment and is the dominant factor in the local economy and character. Sports, particularly basketball, are a local obsession. The university is also home to one of the top music schools in the nation. Educational attainment here is among the highest in the state, crime is low, the economy is steady and attitudes are progressive.
Compared to other Indiana cities, housing is in relatively short supply and expensive, and some arriving from other places may find good jobs in short supply. Nearby Lake Monroe, the Hoosier National Forest, and Nashville’s Brown County State Park provide good outdoor recreation; the adventurous can swim in abandoned limestone quarries.
The area is mostly deciduous wooded hills crisscrossed by creek drainages. The climate is continental with changeable weather. Summers are warm and humid with frequent thundershowers, but with diminished severity compared to areas to the north. The city is on the borderline between cold air from the north and warm, moist Gulf air from the south, creating periods of wet, unstable weather. The area is far enough south of Lake Michigan to avoid much of its snows and bitter cold. First freeze is mid-October, last is late April.
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