From stunning downtown views to accomplished sports teams and schools to its celebration of diversity, it’s no wonder so many residents are proud to call Columbus, Ohio their home. The city is constantly improving and that is an attractive quality in a place to live. There’s a lot to love about Columbus, which is why we’ve put together some key information that will have you feeling like a local in no time!
Overview & History of Columbus
When Ohio officially became a state in 1803, Columbus did not exist yet. The first state capital of Ohio was a small town called Chillicothe located along the Scioto River. In 1810, Ohio’s general assembly voted to choose a new state capital and wanted its location to be within 40 miles of the city’s actual geographic center. Four businessmen from the small, nearby town of Franklinton offered up 20 acres of free land, and on February 14, 1812, this very land was chosen to be the site of Ohio’s state capital. In 1816 Columbus was incorporated. The original name chosen for the state capital was “Ohio City,” however, they changed it to “Columbus” at the last minute.
Today, Columbus is home to a diverse variety of people of all ages and ethnicities. Ohio State University draws in students from across the globe, and Columbus’ booming music, entertainment, sports, and culinary scenes leave little to be desired.
Cost of Living in Columbus
Considering a city’s cost of living is a critical first step in deciding if you can financially make things work, especially if you have a family. Fortunately, Columbus ranks lower than the national average on a number of necessary expenses. Overall, the cost of living in Columbus is 10% lower than the national average. The median home price is about $260,000 and the average cost of rent is around $800. Housing expenses in general are 23% lower than the national average, and utilities are 22% lower, according to Pay Scale. Transportation costs like bus fare and gas prices come in at 3% lower as well.
The Job Market in Columbus
The job market plays an instrumental role in determining whether a new city is the right fit, whether you are relocating for a current position or hoping to find something new. Fortunately, Columbus’s job market is faring pretty well. Home to a diverse and fairly robust job market, the unemployment rate sits at 3.8%, putting it just below the national average. The workforce breaks down as follows:
- Health care and social assistance. This incorporates everything from nursing to medical administrative positions (Total employment: 139,900).
- Accommodations and food service. This includes everything from hotel employees to restaurant workers to arena staff (Total employment: 90,000).
- Administrative and Support and Waste Management and Remediation Services. With the population growth that Columbus continues to experience, it’s no wonder that the number of these essential services is increasing as well (Total employment: 73,600).
There are several large companies that operate out of Columbus, spanning industries and sparking job creation in fields such as health care, retail, food and nutrition, IT, and finance. Notable companies with headquarters in Columbus include Nationwide Insurance, JPMorgan Chase & Co., Victoria’s Secret, Bath & Body Works, Honda of America, and American Electric Power.
When it comes to the beloved capital of the Buckeye State, Columbus has a number of excellent neighborhoods with something for everyone. Whether you’re into funky music festivals or are a die-hard sports fan, chances are there’s a neighborhood in Columbus that will tug at your heartstrings. Here are some of the most popular neighborhoods in Cowtown:
German Village: This is one of the oldest and most historic neighborhoods in the city, with many of the streets and buildings still resembling their original 1950s structural aesthetic, thanks to meticulous historic preservation efforts. Homes in this neighborhood are highly sought after due to their historic roots, but the area also boasts a variety of boutique shops, destination restaurants, trendy bars, and stunning public parks, making it a great place to raise a family, albeit more expensive than other areas.
Olde Towne East: This is another historic neighborhood located just east of the downtown that used to house the wealthiest residents in the city before the Second World War. Today, it continues to draw residents of all socio-economic statuses, creating a diverse and progressive tapestry of both young and older residents. Olde Towne East has a number of popular eateries that Columbus residents travel to from all over the city, such as Olde Towne Tavern and Yellow Brick Pizza. It also boasts popular coffeeshops like Upper Cup Coffee and unconventional bakeries like The Angry Baker. This area also has a great lineup of outdoor events throughout the year, as well as historic tours that even the most seasoned history buff would enjoy.
Grandview Heights: Located northwest of downtown, this neighborhood is a pleasant mix of urban and suburban life. Offering a variety of restaurants, boutiques, and single- and multi-family homes, its historic roots date back to the 1920s. It’s also the site of America’s first shopping center, known as the Bank Block, built in 1927. Today, the center is still a popular destination for its restaurants, shops, and movie theater. Grandview Heights has great schools and an extremely low unemployment rate, equating to slightly higher than average housing costs, with the median home value upwards of $300,000.
Brewery District: In this increasingly trendy neighborhood, craft beers and music venues, such as Big Room Bar or Columbus Brewing Company, are located inside Victorian-era buildings. What was once merely vast stretches of industrial buildings and warehouses has now become a hip destination for young professionals. The area is also popular for its Scioto Audubon Metro Park, which is a riverside green space with trails, a climbing wall, and a lot of birdlife such as peregrine falcons.
Downtown: The epicenter of downtown Columbus is considered to be the intersection of Broad Street and High Street. Downtown spans 2.2 square miles, and is full of vibrant arts, entertainment, shopping, and residential offerings. With year-round events and festivals always happening, there’s something for everyone, from foodies to nature lovers. The Scioto Mile is also a popular destination, as many locals and tourists alike enjoy the $44M park restoration project. There are a lot of residential offerings in downtown Columbus, from industrial lofts to traditional townhomes to garden apartments. Overall, there are some great options for people of all ages and cultural backgrounds looking for an urban setting that doesn’t sacrifice the importance of green space.
Entertainment & Culture
Columbus truly has no shortage of entertainment, art, and culture, from hip and trendy restaurant scenes to creative arts and music venues. Whether you’re searching for craft beers and cocktails, looking to attend a pop-up exhibit in the Short North Arts District, interested in seeing the latest fashion trends from Columbus College of Art & Design students before they hit the runway, or looking to catch a nationally acclaimed BalletMet performance, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.
There are plenty of outdoor activities and festivals every weekend during the summer months, and light displays throughout the city during the winter. From the Arnold Sports Festival in June, to the Ohio State Fair, to Oktoberfest, and much more! It’s impossible to be bored in Columbus!
Moving to Columbus
Columbus has an unquestionable charm and offers locals numerous opportunities to grow professionally, socially, and personally. While it’s not perfect, there’s certainly enough to love despite any minor flaws. We hope this Columbus city guide has allowed you to get to know Columbus a little more – and perhaps you’re ready to make the move and become the next full-time Columbus resident!
Wherever you may be moving from, Black Tie Moving is ready to help make your move to Columbus an unforgettable VIP experience! We offer comprehensive concierge moving services and can even supply quality packing and supplies to make your transition super easy!
Thinking of moving to Columbus? Give our team of local, industry-leading movers a call today at (614) 412-1949 and get a FREE quote on your moving costs! We would love to help with your move from start to finish, and treat you like a rock star along the way!