Shrinking Bloomington

By: Diane Benjamin

Below is the data reported to the Illinois Comptroller’s office by the City of Bloomington. Bloomington hasn’t released their 4/30/2020 financial statements to the public yet – just to the Comptroller who makes them available to everyone.



Population dropped 632 in just one year. Meanwhile full-time employees increased by 7. Part time employees might have dropped because April was near the beginning of the COVID shutdowns.

The link for 2018 on the Comptrollers site is not working, but I have the data for 2017 and 2018 in this story:



From 2017 to 2020 population dropped 962 people while both budgets and full time employees increased.

Those people didn’t move to Normal, that story next.

Link to Bloomington’s data:,%20EAV,%20and%20Employees&Code=064/025/30&CFY=2020&Menu=Yes&PrintIt=No

14 thoughts on “Shrinking Bloomington

  1. So as the population decreases, the number of government employees and cost of government goes up. Makes perfect sense. [sarcasim] On a somewhat positive note, I’m surprised the population drop isn’t larger. About a 1.2% drop since 2017 seems tame in light of the shuffling over at Big Red. Although, as I’ve commented in the past, the job movements in and out of town don’t seem to be 1-to-1 (e.g. salary, skillset).

    1. My family moved here from out of state for work. We’re millennials with a young family. We’ve stuck around in large part because it’s small and “a good place to raise kids” – but not much has kept us here aside from work. While the taxes here are incredibly expensive, and we’re not necessarily seeing superior public schools for those tax dollars, it’s been comfortable here for the most part.

      However, after the events of the past year, we’ll be selling our house in the spring and relocating. The homicides and trafficking in town have always been on our radar, but the looting this summer sealed the deal – especially with two Bloomington council members advocating to defund the police.

      It’s only going to get more expensive to live here between income and property taxes. And – we’d rather raise our kids somewhere they may want to stay after they leave home – which will probably be near family in TX. It just doesn’t make sense to stay here anymore.

  2. I can’t believe this, wasn’t it just a few years ago when Bloomington council and mayor spent over $200,000 for a pink flamingo exhibit at the zoo. They said it would make Bloomington a go to place, people should be flocking here not leaving.

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