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College of Arts and Sciences

Cost of Living Information

Living in Bloomington.

Here are some facts about Bloomington, which may be particularly useful for international students considering an offer to graduate study in Physics at Indiana University.

  • The Bloomington area is located in the gently rolling wooded hills of southern Indiana. The Bloomington area has roughly 100,000 residents, and is located 50 miles southwest of Indianapolis, the capital of Indiana.
  • Bloomington is generally regarded as an excellent place to live. Bloomington was selected as one of the Eight Most Desirable Places to Live in the US, by the Rand McNally company. This was based on the following factors: cost of living, housing, climate, personal safety, services and leisure activities.
  • Bloomington was chosen as one of the Top Ten College Towns in America by Edward Fiske, former education editor for the New York Times.
  • For graduate students with children, the Bloomington school district was selected as one of the top two school districts in Indiana, in a 1993 study.
  • Bloomington is a safe location which provides many services for its residents. Many bicyclists and hikers take advantage of the rolling hills in the area. Bloomington is renowned for its classical music, recreational activities at nearby national forests and Lake Monroe, and both cross-country and downhill skiing at nearby locations.

Bloomington Cost of Living

Cost of Living Index 93.12 (national average is 100)
3-Bedroom House Price US $146,600
2-Bedroom Apartment Rent US $610
Property Tax Rate 1.70 %
Sales Tax (state and local) 6.0 %

Bloomington's Cost of Living Compared

Location Cost of Living
Compared to
Indianapolis 104.69 12.5
Detroit 111.0 19.2
St. Louis 121.33 30.3
Minneapolis 122.25 31.5
Chapel Hill, N.C. 113.49 22
Boulder, Colo. 118.06 27
New Haven, Conn. 120.96 30
Chicago 174.96 88
Washington, D.C. 173.14 86
Boston 165.10 77.3
Los Angeles 169.86 82
San Francisco 233.74 151
New York (Manhattan) 251.35 169

Source: ACCRA Cost of Living Index (2005) and the National Association of Realtors


Finding off-campus housing

Off-campus housing includes apartments, houses, townhomes, and single rooms within houses for rent - all of which can be either furnished or unfurnished. A few of the following websites give more information about renting in Bloomington as well as listings.