Columbia, MD
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Living in Columbia


Columbia is a larger medium-sized town located in the state of Maryland. With a population of 107,318 people and 18 constituent neighborhoods, Columbia is the second largest community in Maryland.

Housing costs in Columbia are among some of the highest in the nation, although real estate prices here don't compare to real estate prices in the most expensive communities in Maryland.

Columbia is a decidedly white-collar town, with fully 91.97% of the workforce employed in white-collar jobs, well above the national average. Overall, Columbia is a town of professionals, managers, and sales and office workers. There are especially a lot of people living in Columbia who work in management occupations (14.19%), computer science and math (10.63%), and office and administrative support (9.34%).

Also of interest is that Columbia has more people living here who work in computers and math than 95% of the places in the US.

Of important note, Columbia is also a town of artists. Columbia has more artists, designers and people working in media than 90% of the communities in America. This concentration of artists helps shape Columbia’s character.

One downside of living in Columbia is that it can take a long time to commute to work. In Columbia, the average commute to work is 30.93 minutes, which is quite a bit higher than the national average. On the other hand, local public transit is widely used in the town, so leaving the car at home and taking transit is often a viable alternative.

Although the majority of commuting trips in the town are by private automobile, Columbia is somewhat unusual for a town of its size for having a substantial number of people who use public transportation. For a lot of people, the bus helps to get to and from their jobs every morning, which benefits everyone in the Columbia area by reducing both traffic and air pollution.

If knowledge is power, Columbia is a pretty powerful place. 63.51% of the adults in Columbia have earned a 4-year college degree, masters degree, MD, law degree, or even PhD. Compare that to the national average of 21.84% for all cities and towns.

The per capita income in Columbia in 2010 was $47,031, which is wealthy relative to Maryland and the nation. This equates to an annual income of $188,124 for a family of four. However, Columbia contains both very wealthy and poor people as well.

Columbia is an extremely ethnically-diverse town. The people who call Columbia home describe themselves as belonging to a variety of racial and ethnic groups. The greatest number of Columbia residents report their race to be White, followed by Black or African-American. Important ancestries of people in Columbia include Irish, English, Italian, and Polish.

Foreign born people are also an important part of Columbia's cultural character, accounting for 19.08% of the town’s population.

The most common language spoken in Columbia is English. Other important languages spoken here include Spanish and Chinese.