The Town of Normal and the City of Bloomington are twin communities that are adjacent to each other. In fact, when travelling around, it is difficult to tell when going from one municipality to the other. Together, they form an urban area about 10 miles (east-west at the widest) by 9 miles (north-south). It is possible to get from anywhere to anywhere else in the community in 25 minutes or less. There is a public transit (bus) system and several taxi companies.

The combined population is in excess of 125,000, with another 50,000 in suburban areas. Normal's population of 50,500 is over 40% college students, as it is the home to Illinois State University and two smaller colleges. Bloomington is the home to Illinois Wesleyan University. Bloomington-Normal is the fastest-growing metro area in Illinois.

The Central Illinois Regional Airport in Bloomington is served by five airlines (AirTran, American, Delta, Northwest, and United). An Amtrak station near the Illinois State University campus in Normal has five round-trip trains a day to Chicago and four to St. Louis.

Bloomington-Normal is the center of the Central Illinois region, which includes the state capital of Springfield (113,000 people), the industrial city of Peoria (111,000), Champaign-Urbana (105,000, again about 40% college students because of the University of Illinois), and Decatur (70,000). About 1.1 million people live within this region, and all of it is within a 50-60 minute drive of Bloomington-Normal. Many people commute in the region.

See the TripAdvisor listings for Bloomington for more complete information on the Bloomington-Normal community.