Columbia, SC
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Columbia profile


Living in Columbia


Columbia is a larger medium-sized city located in the state of South Carolina. With a population of 134,309 people and 80 constituent neighborhoods, Columbia is the largest community in South Carolina.

Columbia is a military town: the armed forces employs 10.31% of the workforce, making the military a major focus of life in the city. In the civilian sector, Education and Healthcare are important in the local economy and are the city’s largest civilian employers, employing 14.15% and 12.41% of the civilian workforce respectively.

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 17.88 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.

Although the majority of commuting trips in the city are by private automobile, Columbia is somewhat unusual for a city 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.

Columbia is one of the most well-educated cities in the nation. 41.63% of adults in Columbia have at least a bachelor's degree. Compare that to the average community in America, which has just 21.84% with a bachelor's degree or higher.

The per capita income in Columbia in 2010 was $25,990, which is upper middle income relative to South Carolina and the nation. This equates to an annual income of $103,960 for a family of four. However, Columbia contains both very wealthy and poor people as well.

Columbia is an extremely 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 English, Irish, Scottish, and Italian.

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