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What’s Living in Columbus Like? 🏬| Moving to Columbus Ohio: Ultimate Guide

Last Updated on: 6th February 2024, 02:28 pm

Moving to Columbus Ohio means becoming part of a city where innovation, history, and diversity converge into an incredible community to call home. Founded in 1812 and named after the famed explorer Christopher Columbus, what was once but a beautiful forest and hunting ground has transformed into the vibrant Ohio capital renowned for its pivotal role in education and research, especially as the home of Ohio State University. So, what’s it like living in Columbus Ohio?

Known as “The Discovery City,” Columbus is a place where new ideas and creativity flourish.

For locals, living in Columbus is about embracing a city that’s constantly evolving yet deeply rooted in its historic past. With its mix of lively arts, a booming food scene, and an extensive park system, Columbus offers a blend of urban excitement and natural tranquility. It’s a city where you can explore the Scioto Mile along the riverfront, enjoy the cultural richness of neighborhoods like the Short North, and partake in the city’s passionate sports culture.

Columbus’s growth from a frontier settlement to a modern metropolis is a testament to the American spirit of progress and resilience, making it an ideal place for those seeking a dynamic and enriching living experience.

Where Is Columbus Ohio?

You know of Ohio, situated just below Lake Erie, but exactly where is Columbus OH?

Columbus OH is located in Franklin County and is the dynamic state capital of Ohio. As a central hub in the middle of the state, Columbus OH is the core city of the greater Columbus metropolitan area, which hosts over 10 other Ohio counties within its border. Columbus is strategically situated at the confluence of the Scioto River and the Olentangy River, enhancing its scenic beauty and opportunity for recreation. At the same time, Columbus is surrounded by various cities and towns, including Grove City, Westerville, Dublin, and Delaware Ohio, each contributing to the metropolitan area’s diversity.

It’s an understatement to say that Columbus is well-connected. Columbus OH to Cincinnati OH is about 107 miles, a beautiful drive south on I-71 that connects these two of the largest cities in Ohio. Just as well, Cleveland OH to Columbus OH is a drive of about 142 miles, linking Northeastern and Central Ohio. Additionally, Columbus OH to Pittsburgh PA is approximately 185 miles, further highlighting how Columbus is an accessible location within the Midwest. This central positioning makes Columbus a pivotal city in the region, and living in Columbus means being at the heart of Ohio’s connectivity and diversity while enjoying urban amenities with accessible natural charm.

Columbus OH Information

  • Columbus Ohio County: Columbus is the county seat of Franklin County, with parts extending into Fairfield and Delaware counties
  • Total Area: 226.26 square miles
  • Columbus Ohio Zip code: 43081, 43085, 43201–43207, 43209–43224, 43226–43232, 43234–43236, 43240, 43251, 43260, 43266, 43268, 43270–43272, 43279, 43287, 43291
  • Area Code for Columbus Ohio: 614 & 380
  • Columbus Ohio Elevation: 781 ft
  • Time zone: Eastern Standard Time (UTC-5)
  • The closest airport to Columbus OH: The John Glenn Columbus International Airport (CMH), is located about 6 miles northeast of downtown Columbus. CMH is a convenient 15-minute drive in typical traffic and is the closest airport to Columbus OH.

Columbus Ohio Population & Demographics

Columbus OH is more than just numbers; it’s a city on the rise! With 905,748 people calling it home (as of 2020 Census Columbus Ohio population numbers) and a metro population of 2.1 million, the population of Columbus Ohio saw an impressive 15% growth from 2010 to 2020.

Even more special and exciting of the Columbus population growth is that 37% of people moving to Columbus came from international migration while 97% are from non-white groups, a true testament to the diversity and allure of this bustling city on an international level.

Columbus isn’t just Ohio’s largest city but also ranks as the 14th largest in the U.S., second in the Midwest after Chicago, and third among U.S. state capitals, trailing only Phoenix and Austin.

What famous people are from Columbus Ohio? This bustling city has given us famous names like the spine-chilling author R.L. Stine, golf legend Jack Nicklaus, and the country music star Dwight Yoakam, among many others.

To summarize the Columbus Ohio Demographics and further highlight its diversity:

  • Sex ratio: 50.8% women, 49.2% men
  • Median age: 32.4 years
  • Racial & ethnic composition: 54.9% White alone (53.1% White, non-Hispanic), 29.1% Black/African American, 0.2% American Indian/Alaska Native, 5.8% Asian, 6.7% Hispanic/Latino.
  • Median Household Income Columbus Ohio: $62,994/year
  • Education: 90.3% of the Columbus population 25+ years old have a high school diploma, while 38.3% have a bachelor’s degree or higher
  • Foreign-born population: 14%

So, is Columbus Ohio a good place to live? Absolutely, especially if you value a blend of cultural diversity, economic growth, and a sense of community. Columbus is a city where these qualities are not just present but celebrated by the growing community that so many love to call home.


Does Columbus Ohio have public transportation? Yes, it does, and it’s very effective and easy to access!

Columbus Ohio public transportation is primarily managed by the Central Ohio Transit Authority (COTA), offering a comprehensive bus service throughout the city and surrounding areas. The Columbus bus network includes regular routes, express services, a bus rapid transit line, and an airport connector. The Columbus transportation department Columbus Ohio handles the transportation for the Columbus public school district.

Columbus also has a range of alternative transportation options like bike-share (COGO bike share Columbus OH) and electric scooters, making it a city with diverse transit choices. While Columbus does not currently have a passenger rail system, it is the largest city in the U.S. to lack this feature. The primary Columbus airport is the John Glenn Columbus International Airport (CMH).

In addition to excellent Columbus public transportation, Columbus Ohio is served by several major highways, making it a well-connected city in the Midwest. Interstate 70 (I-70) and Interstate 71 (I-71) intersect in Columbus, providing direct routes to cities like Cincinnati and Cleveland. Additionally, Interstate 270 (I-270) forms an outer belt around Columbus, linking various suburbs and facilitating easy navigation around the city. These highways are integral to Columbus’s transportation infrastructure, supporting both local commuting and interstate travel.

Cost of Living in Columbus OH

Is Columbus Ohio expensive, and what is the cost of living in Columbus Ohio?

The cost of living in Columbus Ohio, with an index of 91.5, sits 9.5% below the national average, indicating a more affordable lifestyle. If you plan on moving to Columbus Ohio, the Economic Policy Institute suggests a family of four would require $80,911 annually to live comfortably in this metro area, so keep that in mind.

In Columbus, the MIT Living Wage Calculator outlines what individuals and families need to earn to meet minimum living standards. The living wage is $16.14 per hour for one adult with no children. This scales up for families: one adult with one child requires $35.10 per hour, and with two children, $46.32. For two adults raising two children, with only one working, the needed hourly wage is $37.34. These figures showcase the city’s overall affordability relative to varying household and situational needs.

Residents living in Columbus Ohio navigate a range of tax rates. The Columbus Ohio income tax rate varies from 0%, 2.75%, 3.68%, to 3.75% of amounts over certain income thresholds in addition to a set fee. Columbus OH sales tax is taxed at a rate of 7.5%, encompassing most goods and services. Columbus Ohio Property tax, managed by Franklin County, stands at an effective rate of 2.060%.

Columbus OH is recognized for its housing affordability, with the median home price standing at a welcoming $266,100. This figure highlights the city’s accessibility for homebuyers, making it a standout for those seeking quality, affordable housing. The favorable property tax rates further complement the overall cost of living, positioning Columbus Ohio, as a city where homeownership is within reach for a broader population.

Columbus Real Estate | Average Rent & Home Prices

Columbus Ohio real estate is enticing and affordable and is currently experiencing growth, with median home prices at $266K ($173/square foot), a 6.5% increase from the previous year. Homes for sale in Columbus Ohio are selling faster than in the past, with the average time on the market dropping to 38 days. However, the number of Columbus Ohio homes for sale that have sold within the year has slightly decreased.

Although Columbus real estate is affordable, it also caters to those seeking luxury living. High-end Columbus suburbs offer a variety of upscale homes, with amenities and finishes that command prices well above the median, providing options for a more opulent lifestyle. Whether it’s modern condos in downtown Columbus or spacious suburban estates, browsing homes for sale in Columbus Ohio offers a glimpse into a market that blends affordability with luxury.

If you’re not looking to buy, apartments for rent in Columbus average at $1,230/month, and the average rent in Columbus Ohio is markedly lower than the national average of $1,702, highlighting Columbus’s affordability in both the housing and rental markets. In fact, according to ATTOM’s 2022 Rental Affordability Report, residents of this area may find renting a home or apartment in Columbus Ohio more financially viable than purchasing one, so moving to Columbus is practical for many situations.

Columbus Neighborhoods | Where to Live in Columbus OH

When considering where to live in Columbus OH, the nicest neighborhoods in Columbus Ohio, each offer unique, dynamic experiences. Although there are many Columbus neighborhoods to choose from, here’s a look into some of the best neighborhoods in Columbus Ohio:

Far North

Far North Columbus is known for its family-friendly atmosphere, offering a blend of residential comfort and accessibility to city amenities. It’s ideal for those seeking a suburban feel with close proximity to the city’s core and downtown Columbus.

Far Northwest Columbus

Far Northwest Columbus is a blend of scenic beauty and modern conveniences, making it a popular choice for professionals and families alike. The area boasts excellent schools and expansive parks.

South Campus

South Campus is a lively hub, popular among students and young professionals due to its proximity to Ohio State University. This area, known for its vibrant nightlife, also offers a range of student housing options catering to the university community. Its energetic atmosphere makes it an attractive spot for living and socializing

Glen Echo

Glen Echo stands out with its unique cultural and historic charm. This historic Columbus neighborhood known for its artistic community and picturesque park, it’s a haven for those seeking a more eclectic living experience in one of the better neighborhoods in Columbus.

Schumacher Place

Schumacher Place, characterized by its charming, historic homes and close-knit community feel, is a gem within Columbus. This neighborhood is perfect for those who appreciate a blend of urban living with a touch of suburban tranquility.

Each of these Columbus neighborhoods offers a distinct slice of life in Columbus, catering to a range of preferences and lifestyles.

Columbus Weather & Climate

The Columbus Ohio climate is characterized by a humid continental climate, offering a distinct experience of all four seasons. With a wide range of average monthly temperatures in Columbus Ohio to enjoy, the varying Columbus weather makes this a unique destination to call home!

During summer, temperatures often reach an average high of around 85°F, creating perfect weather in Columbus Ohio for a variety of outdoor activities, from exploring the many Columbus Ohio parks to engaging in water sports on local rivers and lakes. The Columbus OH weather in the winter season, in contrast, sees temperatures drop to an average low of around 21°F, creating a cold but picturesque scene for cozy indoor activities and occasional winter sports in nearby areas.

Spring and autumn in Columbus are equally noteworthy, with mild temperatures and changing foliage that provide a beautiful backdrop for hiking, photography, and outdoor festivals.

Columbus receives approximately 40 inches of rainfall, and the average snow in Columbus Ohio is 22 inches annually, aligning slightly above and below the national averages, respectively. This precipitation contributes to the lush greenery and vibrant landscapes throughout the city and its surroundings. With around 178 sunny days each year, residents and visitors enjoy ample sunshine, the Columbus Ohio weather enhancing the city’s overall appeal and the quality of life.

Columbus Restaurants

Looking for delicious Columbus restaurants?

Columbus Ohio is a city celebrated for its diverse and vibrant culinary scene, offering a plethora of dining experiences that cater to every palate. From the historic allure of German Village to the bustling streets of Easton Town Center, each neighborhood boasts Columbus Ohio restaurants that are not just about food but about creating memorable experiences.

Here are three of the best restaurants in Columbus OH, that are sure to have your tastebuds dancing in delight!

  • Schmidt’s Sausage Haus Und Restaurant Columbus OH (German Village): This historic German restaurant in Columbus OH, in operation since 1886, is part of the German Village historic district. Famous for their “Bahama Mama” sausage and jumbo cream puffs, Schmidt’s offers a genuine German dining experience with live music and a cozy atmosphere​​​​.

240 E Kossuth St, Columbus, OH 43206 (614-444-6808).

  • Lola & Giuseppe’s Trattoria: Often acclaimed as the best Italian restaurant in Columbus Ohio, Lola & Guiseppe’s Trattoria is known for its delicious food and charming ambiance. Customers have highly praised the quality of their meals, making it a hidden gem in the city​​.

100 Granville St, Columbus, OH 43230 (614-473-9931)

  • Brio Italian Grille (Easton Town Center): Italian restaurants in Columbus Ohio don’t disappoint. Located in the bustling Easton Town Center, this restaurant offers a range of authentic Italian dishes, including excellent main courses. It’s a great spot for a pleasant dinner while visiting lovely Easton​​.

3993 Easton Station, Columbus, OH 43219 (614-416-4745)

These top restaurants in Columbus Ohio offer a mix of authentic cuisine and unique dining experiences, each reflecting the diverse culinary scene in Columbus.

Things to Do in Columbus

The endless things to do in Columbus Ohio make this a city that seamlessly blends tradition with innovation, offering tons of experiences that tug at the heartstrings of locals and visitors alike. From interactive fun things to do in Columbus Ohio and family adventures to serene nature escapes among a gorgeous Columbus park, this is a place where memories are made and stories begin.

Here’s a comprehensive collection of all the best things to do in Columbus Ohio!

Top Columbus Attractions

LEGOLAND Discovery Center Columbus: 

A wonderland for the young and young-at-heart, LEGO dreams come alive amidst creative play and awe-inspiring models at Legoland Columbus.

Ohio Stadium:

Feel the pulse of Columbus’s deep-rooted football spirit in this iconic stadium, a hallowed ground for sports enthusiasts.

Columbus Trolley Pub Sightseeing Tour:

Embark on a delightful journey through Columbus’s streets, where history meets merriment in a unique trolley pub experience.

German Village Columbus Ohio:

Wander through the storybook streets of German Village Columbus OH, where history whispers in charming brick pathways and cozy eateries.

Columbus Zoo & Aquarium: 

Encounter the wild heart of Columbus, a haven for animal lovers, offering close-up experiences with creatures from around the globe.

Otherworld Columbus:

Step into a realm of imagination at Otherworld, where art and fantasy converge in an extraordinary, interactive adventure.

Vertical Adventures: 

Challenge your limits in this thrilling indoor climbing haven, a perfect blend of adventure and fun for all ages.

Columbus Entertainments & Art

Ohio Theater Columbus: 

Experience the grandeur of the performing arts in this historical gem, where each show at the Ohio Theater is a journey through culture and creativity.

Nationwide Arena Columbus Ohio: 

The beating heart of Columbus’s entertainment scene, hosting everything from adrenaline-pumping sports events to captivating concerts.

Short North Arts District Columbus Ohio: 

Immerse yourself in the vibrant pulse of Columbus’s arts scene at the Short North Art District, a colorful mosaic of galleries, boutiques, and culinary delights.

Brush Crazy: 

Unleash your inner artist in this joyful space where painting becomes an expression of personal adventure.

Columbus Museums

Center of Science & Industry: 

Ignite your curiosity at COSI Columbus, a playground of scientific wonders that sparks the imagination of all ages, ideal for those in search of family things to do in Columbus Ohio.

Ohio History Center: 

Travel through time in Ohio’s storied past, where history comes alive in engaging exhibits and stories.

Central Ohio Fire Museum: 

Honor the bravery of firefighters and explore the evolution of firefighting in this captivating and educational space.

Ohio Craft Museum: 

Discover the richness of Ohio’s artistic heritage in meticulously crafted works that celebrate local artistry.

Columbus Parks & Outdoors

Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens: 

A serene oasis where nature’s artistry is displayed in vibrant flowers and lush greenery, offering a tranquil retreat.

Topiary Park: 

A living art gallery where sculpted greenery tells stories amidst the tranquil beauty of a landscaped park.

John F. Wolfe Columbus Commons: 

A vibrant urban park pulsating with life, hosting events that bring together community and culture.

Goodale Park: 

Revel in the beauty of this historic park, a peaceful haven in the heart of Columbus with picturesque views and a charming pond, one of the more cheap things to do in Columbus OH.

Shopping in Columbus

Easton Town Center: 

More than just shopping, Easton Town Center is a lifestyle experience blending retail with entertainment in an open-air setting.

North Market: 

A culinary journey through local flavors and artisanal crafts, where each stall tells a story of Columbus’s rich culture.

Common Thread Shops on 3rd: 

A boutique lover’s paradise where unique finds and local designs offer a personal touch to your shopping experience.

Map of Columbus Things to Do

Embark on a virtual journey through Columbus with our interactive Columbus Ohio map pinpointing the must-visit attractions and best things to do in Columbus OH. This map of Columbus Ohio is your gateway to exploring the vibrant culture, history, and entertainment that Columbus has to offer, all at your fingertips.

Sports in Columbus OH

If there’s one thing true about living in Columbus Ohio, it’s that the community adores the dynamic sports culture of this city and is one of the most passionate fan bases in the world, an ideal ‘home base’ for sports enthusiasts contemplating a move to this lively metropolis. The Columbus Ohio sports landscape is marked by college and professional teams that capture the hearts of locals and visitors alike, including:

  • The Columbus Blue Jackets: This NHL team, founded in 1997, mirrors Ohio’s rich Civil War heritage (named after the ‘Blue Jacket’ Union soldiers). Playing at the Nationwide Arena Columbus, they bring the thrill of ice hockey right to the heart of the city.
  • The Columbus Crew: A founding member of Major League Soccer, the Crew’s roots date back to 1994. They play their home games at Field, where soccer fervor runs high.
  • The Columbus Clippers: Representing Minor League Baseball since 1977, the Columbus Clippers (affiliated with the Cleveland Guardians) showcase top-tier baseball at Huntington Park. Visit the Columbus Clippers 2024 schedule to see their next game!

Beyond these professional Columbus Ohio sports teams, Columbus is also known for its passionate college sports following, particularly the Ohio State Buckeyes from OSU. Buckeye football adds to the city’s vibrant sports culture and is a major piece of the community. The city of Columbus regularly hosts a variety of sporting events, from traditional games like baseball and soccer to emerging sports like pickleball and lacrosse, reflecting the diverse interests of its residents.

Columbus Ohio sports are more than just games; they are a unifying force that brings the community together, and the events are some of the most enjoyable of things to do in Columbus Ohio!

Columbus Crime Rate

The Columbus Ohio crime rate presents a complex picture, so exactly what is the crime rate in Columbus Ohio and how can you use this insight when moving to the city?

In 2020, the total crime rate in Columbus Ohio was 3,686 offenses per 100,000 people, 70.7% higher than the Ohio average and 57.1% higher than the national average. Violent crimes in Columbus were 80.1% higher than Ohio’s and 43.4% higher than America’s, while the property crime rate in Columbus Ohio was 69.2% higher than the state and 59.8% higher than the national rate. However, it’s important to note that crime rates can vary significantly between neighborhoods, and there are plenty of very safe places to live in Columbus!

For instance, certain areas near the city center report more crimes, while neighborhoods like Amercrest and Fifth by Northwest have fewer incidents. Understanding these nuances is crucial for anyone considering a move to Columbus, and you can read our linked blog for more detailed insights into the crime rate of Columbus Ohio.

So, is Columbus Ohio safe? Although the crime rate is higher than average, overall, there are plenty of beautiful, safe places to call home when living in Columbus, and the many communities are proudly protected by the 1,800 officers of the Columbus Police Department, with stations located throughout various counties in the metro area!

Economy & Jobs in Columbus

Columbus Ohio is a dynamic economic hub with job prospects contributing to a growing and diverse economy. The Columbus Ohio job scene is characterized by a blend of traditional industries and emerging sectors, creating a lucrative environment for businesses and job seekers alike.

One of the key strengths of the economy in Columbus Ohio is its diverse, opportunistic industry base. Major industries in Columbus Ohio contributing to the city’s economic growth include aviation, defense, banking, insurance, health care, finance, fashion, and manufacturing. The presence of Ohio State University jobs adds a significant educational and research dimension to the city’s economy, fostering innovation and skilled workforce development, while other major employers include JPMorgan Chase & Co., Nationwide, and Amazon, among many more major companies providing great jobs in Columbus OH.

The city has shown resilience and adaptability from tougher economic times, like the 2007 recession, with recent Columbus employment and wage data indicating a steady rise across almost all sectors, such as the 41.7% rise in administrative service managers.

The average salary in Columbus is competitive at an impressive $73,000/year, according to Payscale data, reflecting the city’s strong economic position and the demand for skilled labor. This, combined with the lower cost of living in Columbus Ohio, makes this city an attractive destination for professionals seeking both opportunity and quality of life.

Are you on the hunt for jobs hiring in Columbus Ohio? Resources like the many Indeed Jobs Columbus Ohio or available City of Columbus jobs provide a comprehensive view of the current employment market, offering insights into various roles across different industries. The Franklin County Department of Job and Family Services Columbus OH is a wonderful resource for those struggling to find employment.

Overall, the Columbus Ohio economy is marked by its diverse industry base, significant job growth, and a range of opportunities for professionals. Its blend of traditional sectors and emerging industries, combined with the presence of major employers and big-time educational institutions, positions Columbus as a vibrant and economically enticing city to set up shop.

Healthcare in Columbus Ohio

Columbus Ohio boasts a distinguished healthcare landscape led by The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center. This facility has earned national recognition, ranking among the nation’s best in 10 specialties, according to U.S. News & World Report for 2023-2024. The medical center excels in a variety of complex specialty care areas, including cancer, cardiology, neurology, and more which make it arguably the best hospital in Columbus Ohio.

In addition to The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, there are plentiful other top-notch hospitals in Columbus. A few of the excellent hospitals in Columbus Ohio are Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, renowned for its pediatric care and research, Riverside Hospital in Columbus Ohio, and Grant Hospital in Columbus Ohio.

Columbus Schools

Columbus Ohio is served by Columbus City Schools, the largest school district in the area, offering a wide range of educational programs and initiatives. The district is known for its diversity and size, curating a rich learning environment for students in revered schools like Columbus High School, Clinton Elementary School, East Columbus Elementary School, and Henry Karrer Middle School (among many more).

For more information on the district’s schools and programs, visit the Columbus City Schools website or the Columbus Public Schools Ohio Calendar for dates regarding enrollment, schedules, etc.

The city also hosts several higher education institutions, including the prominent Ohio State University, known for its extensive research and academic programs, and accessible Columbus State Community College.

In addition to public schools in Columbus Ohio, there are also various private school options, like Columbus Academy, catering to diverse educational needs and preferences. The city also has a robust public library system, helmed by the Columbus Metropolitan Library, providing valuable resources and educational programs to the community.

Columbus Utilities & DMV Change of Address

As you prepare for a move to the area, learning about Columbus Ohio utilities is a crucial step. The city’s primary utility providers include:

  • Electricity: American Electric Power (AEP) Ohio. For starting, stopping, or transferring service, visit AEP Ohio’s service page.
  • City of Columbus Water and Sewer: Provided by the Department of Public Utilities Columbus Ohio. For more details on obtaining these services, visit the City of Columbus utilities page.

For changes of address with the DMV or obtaining an Ohio driver’s license, the basic steps usually involve visiting your local BMV Columbus Ohio office. Ohio allows many changes to be made online, including address updates, helping you save a trip, so keep that in mind! Also remember to have the necessary documents ready for these processes, like proof of identity, residency, and any required fees, before visiting your BMV near Columbus Ohio.

As you embark on your journey to or from our beautiful state capitol, remember that the best movers in Columbus are here to make your transition smooth and stress-free. At Bell Moving, we pride ourselves on providing top-notch moving services tailored to your needs. For a hassle-free move, give us a call today at 614-503-0035, and let us help you start your new chapter in Columbus with ease!


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