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A
Overall Niche Grade
How are grades calculated?
  1. Public Schools
    B
  2. Crime & Safety
    C
  3. Housing
    B-
  4. Nightlife
    A
  5. Good for Families
    A-
  6. Diversity
    A
  7. Jobs
    B-
  8. Weather
    B+
  9. Cost of Living
    B
  10. Health & Fitness
    B-
  11. Outdoor Activities
    A-
  12. Commute
    A
Columbia is a city in South Carolina with a population of 133,352. Columbia is in Richland County and is one of the best places to live in South Carolina. Living in Columbia offers residents an urban suburban mix feel and most residents rent their homes. In Columbia there are a lot of restaurants and parks. Many young professionals live in Columbia and residents tend to lean liberal. The public schools in Columbia are above average.
About Columbia...
Population
133,352

Real Estate

Median Home Value
$173,400
National
$184,700
Median Rent
$910
National
$949
Area Feel
Urban Suburban Mix
Rent vs. Own
  • Rent
    55%
  • Own
    45%
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Columbia Rankings

Niche rankings are based on rigorous analysis of key statistics from the U.S. Department of Education and millions of reviews.

Columbia Neighborhood Map

Crime & Safety

Crime & Safety
C
Based on violent and property crime rates.
Violent Crimes
  • Calculated annually per 100,000 residents
National
  • Assault
    491.2
    282.7
  • Murder
    12
    6.1
  • Rape
    67.4
    40.7
  • Robbery
    167.7
    135.5
Property Crimes
  • Calculated annually per 100,000 residents
National
  • Burglary
    753.3
    500.1
  • Theft
    3,728.5
    2,042.8
  • Motor Vehicle Theft
    575.1
    284

Residents

Diversity
A
Based on ethnic and economic diversity.
Age
  • <10 years
    9%
  • 10-17 years
    7%
  • 18-24 years
    27%
  • 25-34 years
    18%
  • 35-44 years
    10%
  • 45-54 years
    10%
  • 55-64 years
    9%
  • 65+ years
    10%
Education Levels
National
  • Master's degree or higher
    19%
    12%
  • Bachelor's degree
    24%
    19%
  • Some college or associate's degree
    26%
    29%
  • High school diploma or equivalent
    20%
    28%
  • Less than high school diploma
    11%
    13%

Working in Columbia

Jobs
B-
Based on employment rates, job and business growth, and cost of living.
Median Household Income
$45,663
National
$55,322
Places like Columbia
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Columbia Reviews

548 reviews
All Categories
Okay place to live! It's feels small, housing prices are cheap and there is a large amount of good but unhealthy food. It is a pretty terrible city for pedestrians and cyclists, but a great city if you're looking for car accessibility. The university is a strong presence here, and SEC football reigns supreme. There are liberal enclaves, but in general it's a pretty conservative place.
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Columbia, also nicknamed Cola City (short for columbia) is known for 1. Capital of SC and 2. Univeristy of SC, Gamecocks. With a lot of opportunities with schools, local urban agriculture, city life, and other major cities surrounding makes Columbia all worthwhile. There is a old saying that suggests "home is where the heart is at", and Columbia represents that in many ways due to community involvement. Many people may choose to get involved in Soda City farmers market which is held every Saturday, this is one of the examples of how expansive the opportunities are in Gamecock territory!
Columbia can be incredibly cliquey, and the suburbs are blatantly racist. We moved from Irmo to Elmwood Park and have been overall much happier.

The infrastructure here is lacking; traffic could be significantly improved were issues addressed. Driving is also dangerous, as people run red lights with impunity.

The food scene is above average. The craft-cocktail scene is somewhat lacking, but improvements to this are being made rapidly via new businesses.

The work-life balance is terrible. Old mentalities --- lack of flex time, for instance --- prevail, abusing staff and limiting recreation opportunities severely.