Life in Columbus

Young Man Looking at the Columbus Skyline
Columbus is ranked a top 10 city for young professionals and no. 1 city for mid-career professionals, according to Forbes magazine (May 2016).

As Ohio’s state capital, Columbus is a thriving city that’s home to people from all stages and walks of life. Columbus combines big-city attractions and amenities with family-friendly, diverse neighborhoods; endless recreational and entertainment opportunities; exceptional schools; a robust restaurant scene; and major league sports.

Did You Know?

  • Columbus is the 14th largest city in the U.S. and the largest city in Ohio. It is one of the fastest-growing major metropolitan areas in the Midwest.
  • Columbus is centrally located within a one-day drive or a one-hour flight to nearly half the population of the United States and Canada. One-day trips include Atlanta, Chicago, St. Louis, New York City, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C. and Toronto.
  • Columbus is home to one of the largest young professional networks in the country.
  • The international Intelligent Community Forum (ICF) named Columbus its 2015 Intelligent Community of the Year, recognizing our city’s ability to create inclusive economic opportunity, improve competitiveness and raise the quality of life for our citizens.
  • The Columbus region is home to five Fortune 500 and 17 Fortune 1,000 companies.

“Columbus is a fantastic city to live and work in! It's a top notch city without being top budget. Whether you like to eat great food, drink wonderful coffee, spend time in the great outdoors, or sight see from the inside of museums, there is something for everyone! It has a perfect mixture of city and suburbs, and there is so much diversity in the people that live here.” - Melonie Phillips, MD

Vibrant Neighborhood, Easy Commutes

Whether you seek a modern, bustling urban loft or a quiet, family-friendly suburban home, Columbus has a neighborhood for you. And no matter where you live, you won’t spend hours commuting: Average downtown commutes (where Nationwide Children’s Hospital is located) are less than 25 minutes.

Urban Neighborhoods

Urban neighborhoods offer excitement and accessibility for work and play. From districts offering housing steps from sports and entertainment to eclectic communities filled with art galleries and nightlife, our diverse urban neighborhoods offer something for everyone.

Neighborhoods to check out: Brewery District, Discovery District, Downtown Columbus, German Village, Harrison West, Italian Village, Market Exchange District, Merion Village, Olde Towne East, Short North, University District, Victorian Village, Weinland Park and Woodland Park. 

Suburban Neighborhoods

Suburban neighborhoods offer green lawns, family recreation and close-knit communities. It’s no wonder several suburban neighborhoods have been recognized by Money magazine, Business Insider and more as some of the best places to live and raise a family.

Communities to check out: Bexley, Clintonville, Dublin, Gahanna, Grandview Heights/Marble Cliff, Grove City, Groveport, Hilliard, New Albany, Obetz, Pickerington, Powell, Reynoldsburg, Upper Arlington, Westerville and Worthington. 

Rural Communities

If you crave a rural lifestyle, Central Ohio’s outlying towns, villages and countryside offer a unique opportunity to experience a rural Midwestern lifestyle near city amenities.  

Communities to check out: Canal Winchester, Circleville, Delaware, Granville, Lancaster, London, Marysville and Newark.

Strong Workforce, Strong Employment Opportunities

Columbus combines a low cost of living with a thriving economy. From financial services and distribution to state government and retailing, our diverse industries offer a breadth of employment opportunities for your family.

With the world's largest research institutions leading breakthroughs across industries, Central Ohio earned its reputation as an emerging center of innovation. Columbus is nationally recognized for its emerging high-technology focus. Home to Battelle Memorial Institute, Chemical Abstracts Service, and Online Computer Library Center (OCLC,) as well as The Ohio State University and the Abigail Wexner Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, Columbus has become one of the world’s leading centers for scientific and technological research, including biotechnology, nanotechnology and other emerging fields.

Higher Education

The Columbus region boasts more than 46 colleges, universities and technical schools, giving Columbus the nation’s second highest number of college students per capita. Leading the way in enrollment is The Ohio State University with more than 66,000 students.

Columbus City Schools and several outstanding suburban and private school districts are located in Franklin County. The metropolitan area’s K-12 education options include schools that are ranked by U.S. News & World Report as top U.S. high schools. 

Arts and Entertainment Abound

Whether you appreciate fine arts or a great meal, Columbus is bustling with entertainment options for you and your family.

  • A hub of arts and culture, Columbus offers a symphony orchestra, grand and light opera companies and one of the nation’s top 12 ballet companies. Theaters thrive, and eclectic live music can be found every night of the week.
  • Your family will love Columbus’ wealth of museums. From world-renowned exhibits curated by The Columbus Museum of Art to the child-friendly COSI science center, your weekend entertainment options are endless. Additional attractions include the world-famous Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, Franklin Park Conservatory, and historical sites such as the Ohio Statehouse.
  • Annual festivals celebrate Columbus’ past and present, including the nationally renowned Ohio State Fair; diverse Columbus Arts Festival; delicious Jazz and Rib Fest; the Dublin Irish Festival; culturally rich Asian Festival, Latino Festival, Indian Festival, and Greek Orthodox Cathedral’s Greek Festival;  robust German Village Oktoberfest; and the largest Independence Day celebration in the Midwest, “Red, White and BOOM!”
  • If shopping is your ideal form of entertainment, endless retailing and dining opportunities await at Easton Town Center, Polaris Fashion Place and the Mall at Tuttle Crossing.
  • Columbus is known for its hundreds of fine, casual and ethnic restaurants, and several districts offer exciting after-hours nightlife. 

Sports and Recreation 

columbus blue jackets
The Columbus Blue Jackets play in Downtown Columbus at Nationwide Arena. 
  • Columbus is a sports town. The Ohio State University’s home football games regularly attract more than 100,000 fans. Columbus is home to the National Hockey League’s Columbus Blue Jackets, Major League Soccer’s Columbus Crew SC and the Columbus Clippers: the Triple-A affiliate of the Cleveland Indians. Each May, the world’s top golfers gather in Columbus for the PGA Tour’s annual Memorial Tournament.
  • Columbus offers a myriad of recreational sports activities, including cycling, hiking and organized run/walks, such as the annual Columbus Marathon. Many Columbus neighborhoods offer organized recreational sports teams for adults and kids alike. Tennis courts and swimming pools are plentiful in many Columbus neighborhoods.
  • Get outdoors with the nation’s largest metropolitan park system, which offers numerous wooded trails for hiking, skating and biking: and cross-country ski trails and sledding hills in winter months. Columbus’ lakes, rivers and reservoirs offer canoeing, boating, swimming, fishing and camping. 

Getting Away

When you’re in Columbus, you’re only a few hours away from exciting weekend getaways, including Hocking Hills State Park, Paramount’s Kings Island theme park, Cedar Point Amusement Park, Lake Erie’s Put-in-Bay and more.

Columbus Resources

The Official Website for the City of Columbus, Ohio
This site contains information from city officials and government agencies.

Experience Columbus
Explore everything Columbus has to offer. Learn more about our thriving arts, entertainment and nightlife.

Columbus School Report Cards
Information about local school districts in the Columbus area.

Columbus Cost of Living Calculator
Calculate the cost of living in Columbus, Ohio and compare it to your current hometown.

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