The quiet, rolling hills, peaceful, easy rivers and beautiful, old-growth forests of Owen County are a welcoming area of seclusion just minutes away from the busy cities of Bloomington and Indianapolis, Indiana. Offering plenty of room to go off-roading, hiking, or wherever the day takes you, Owen County’s small-town environment makes it a family friendly place to live, learn, grow, and play.

Roll the windows down and take a leisurely cruise through downtown Spencer, past locally-owned businesses, and wave hello at friends and neighbors. The recently revitalized business area boasts an array of options for your dining and shopping pleasure as well as serving other typical needs. International cuisine, interesting boutiques, and locally-crafted art are all available in the heart of the community. To your culinary delight, you will find Thai at Jitz Thai Bistro, Mexican at El Ranchero, Cantonese-style Chinese at China Wok, and tamales and gyros at Main Street Coffee.

Hike through the forest and hunt morel mushrooms in the spring. Hang out in a hammock all summer. Catch Friday night football at Owen Valley High School on chilly nights in the fall. Gather around the fire pit with family and friends in the winter. Raise your family. Grow old together.

From Sperling’s Best Places:

With the lower cost of living in Owen County, a family with a combined income of $75,000 a year could save as much as $10,000 a year by moving from Bloomington to Owen County. As compared to Bloomington, Owen County ranks higher across the board in terms of housing costs, crime, and environmental health.

Cost of Housing:

A home in Spencer costs, on average, $85,400, compared to $173,000 in Bloomington. Home appreciation in Spencer over the last 10 years is 21% compared to just 12% nationally. The average rent cost of a 2 bedroom house or apartment in Owen County is $699 vs. $786 in Bloomington.


The violent crime rate in Spencer, on a scale from 1 to 100, low crime being 1, is 48. Bloomington’s violent crime rate is 56.9. Property crime in Spencer is 48 (using the same scale) compared to 58.4 in Bloomington.


Air quality in Spencer, Indiana is 98 on a scale to 100 (higher is better.) This is based on ozone alert days and number of pollutants in the air, as reported by the EPA. Bloomington comes in at 95.2.

The Superfund index is 92 on a scale to 100, again, higher is better. This is upon the number and impact of EPA Superfund pollution sites in the county, including spending on the cleanup efforts. Bloomington’s Superfund index is 40. Water quality in Spencer, Indiana is 33 on a scale to 100 (higher is better), compared to 27 in Bloomington.

With its lower cost of living, lower property costs, and zoning ordinances favorable to business owners, Owen County is the quintessential bedroom community to its nearby counterparts of Bloomington, Indianapolis, and Terre Haute. You can have better overall quality of life here, for far less. Welcome to Owen County.