Why Move to Columbia SC?
Columbia, SC Overview
Columbia, South Carolina is a vibrant city with over 130,000 people and is located in the center of the state, which is referred to as the “SC Midlands” area of South Carolina. The Capital was moved from Charleston SC to Columbia in 1789 so that it would be strategically placed in the center of the state. Columbia is approximately 120 miles northwest of Charleston, 100 miles southeast of Greenville, 90 miles southeast of Spartanburg, 90 miles south of Charlotte, NC, and 215 miles east of Atlanta, GA. So you can take day trips from the Blue Ridge Mountains one weekend, and to the coast the next weekend. It’s a great place to live and easy to get around.
Even though it is one of the smallest states in the U.S., South Carolina is blessed with beauty, charm, and southern hospitality on a grand scale. Whether you’re planning to move here for the first time or simply move from one Midlands neighborhood to another, you’ll find friendly people, welcoming communities, and a healthy real estate market.
Geography of Columbia SC
Columbia is situated at the confluence of the Congaree, Saluda and Broad rivers. The rivers cut through the heart of the Columbia Riverbanks region where the Saluda and the Broad rivers meet to form the Congaree River. The Three Rivers Greenway features three riverwalks with lighted, paved trails, boardwalks, picnic tables and overlooks. A popular gathering place, many enjoy being out on the water while others stay ashore to enjoy free concerts, picnics, leisurely walks, and watching others float on the smooth river waters in rafts and kayaks.
Real Estate Market in Columbia SC
Market trends in our capital city have shown a steady rise year-over-year in median sales prices. Columbia has a diverse range of neighborhoods, from the newest developments breaking ground in the rapidly growing Northeast Columbia area, to stately and iconic neighborhoods closer to downtown like Shandon, Forest Acres, and Arcadia Lakes. Our city’s housing stock offers something for everyone’s taste and budget, not to mention strong school districts and highly ranked schools for growing families.
Schools in Columbia SC
Columbia, SC offers residents exceptional choices for schools across Richland District 1, Richland District 2, and Lexington District 5. In 2018, there are roughly 21 pre-schools, 82 elementary schools, 39 middle schools, 35 high schools, 66 public district schools, 9 public charter schools, and 181 private schools, and magnet schools.
State Capital of South Carolina
As the state capital and home to the University of South Carolina, Columbia has a vibrant culture that embraces our unique history, heritage, and future. Columbia is also home to Fort Jackson, the largest and most active initial-entry Army training center in the United States.
As of September 2018, Columbia’s 3.1% unemployment rate was 6/10th of a percentage point lower than the national unemployment rate of 3.7% while South Carolina’s unemployment rate was 3.3% -- 4/10th of a percentage point lower than the national unemployment rate.
Columbia’s workforce consists of one nation’s highest percentages of people employed in the mathematics and computer technology fields. This important fact illustrates that our workforce has the in-demand skills needed by today’s most progressive and successful businesses.
Columbia’s largest employers are:Palmetto Health: 9,000 employees
Blue Cross Blue Shield of S.C: 6,773 employees
University of South Carolina: 6,713 employees
Richland County School District 1: 4,009 employees
Richland Country School District 2: 3,341 employees
City of Columbia: 2283 employees
Richland County: 2077 employees
Corrections Department: 2,000 employees
Dorn VA Medical Center: 1,500 employees
Verizon Wireless: 1,350 employees
Columbia SC's Cultural Venues
The Colonial Life Arena (aka The CLA)
S.C. Philharmonic Orchestra
Columbia City Ballet
Columbia Classical Ballet
Trustus Professional Theater Company
Town Theatre – Community Theatre
Columbia Children’s Theatre
Columbia Marionette Theater
Harbison Theater at Midlands Technical College
Columbia Museum of Art
S.C. State Museum
Nickelodeon Theatre – featuring the Indie Grits Film Festival
Nightlife in Columbia SC
In addition to Columbia’s major live entertainment venues, Columbians enjoy a dynamic nightlife at popular places like the Congaree Vista and Five Points,
On the banks of the Congaree River, the Vista is one of Columbia’s most vibrant arts, dining, and entertainment districts. Arising from an old warehouse area, textile mills and a railroad station, the re-imagined Vista sparkles with restaurants, bars, live music, art galleries and specialty shops. It’s a popular destination for locals and visitors.
Popular with college students, Five Points is a charming 100-year-old community near the University of South Carolina campus. It’s filled with eclectic, locally owned shops, restaurants, bars, and stores that appeal to a “college crowd”.
Main Street is making a huge comeback. In fact, it has already come back from being a business center that was traditionally closed during the evenings and weekends, to being wide awake during all hours of the day. Weekends have pulled residents into the city with events like the Third Thursday Art Party, Saturday’s Soda City Market, and the annual Jam Room Music Festival. Real Estate in Downtown Columbia has also made a comeback. City living has brought in suburbanites who want to be less car dependent.