Columbia, MO
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Columbia profile


Living in Columbia


Columbia is a larger medium-sized city located in the state of Missouri. With a population of 120,612 people and 24 constituent neighborhoods, Columbia is the fifth largest community in Missouri.

Columbia is a decidedly white-collar city, with fully 89.46% of the workforce employed in white-collar jobs, well above the national average. Overall, Columbia is a city of professionals, sales and office workers, and service providers. There are especially a lot of people living in Columbia who work in office and administrative support (12.57%), teaching (11.33%), and sales jobs (10.60%).

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.

Combining city textures and college town sensibilities, Columbia really has a nice blend of characteristics. While not a huge city, Columbia is big enough to offer a healthy dose of diversion, opportunity, and amenity to its residents and to the thousands of college students who descend on it every fall. Its size and diversity makes Columbia more than just a college town, but removing the students from the equation would undeniably change Columbia’s character and quality of life.

One of the benefits of Columbia is that there is very little traffic. The average commute to work is 17.96 minutes, which is substantially less than the national average. Not only does this mean that the drive to work is less aggravating, but noise and pollution levels are lower as a result.

For the size of the city, public transportation in Columbia is quite heavily used. Mostly, people who use it for their daily commute are taking the bus. For Columbia, the benefits are reduced air pollution and congestion on the highways.

If knowledge is power, Columbia is a pretty powerful place. 54.76% 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 $27,487, which is wealthy relative to Missouri, and upper middle income relative to the rest of the US. This equates to an annual income of $109,948 for a family of four. However, Columbia contains both very wealthy and poor people as well.

Columbia is a very ethnically-diverse city. 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 French .

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