When a metro area leads a region of the country in job growth, population growth and GDP growth year after year, it raises the question, “Why?” In the Midwest, that metro is Columbus and the reasons are numerous – diverse industry and employment options, well-paying jobs, a variety of living options and an affordable lifestyle.
But those don’t do Columbus justice in explaining the momentum that the entire area is experiencing. What’s it really like living in Columbus, Ohio?
Vibrant People. Vibrant Economy.
Living in Columbus surrounds one with youthful energy, with an average resident age of 32.2 years and a top 10 concentration of millennials. That’s aided by the presence of The Ohio State University, a boon to the Region’s economy, with many graduates choosing to stay local thanks to the high quality of life and cost of living in Columbus, Ohio.
“When my husband and I moved out to Columbus, we fell in love with the city’s youthful energy—the same optimism I felt in Seattle 15 years ago,” says Brady Konya, co-founder of Middle West Spirits, of living in Columbus, Ohio, since 2008. “The people we met here were smart and welcoming. Columbus won us over with its Midwestern charm and East Coast sensibility.”
Among the reasons to consider living in Columbus, Ohio, are a booming technology industry driven by an increasing presence of startup unicorns (those valued at $1 billion or more), an energetic food scene and budding brewery districts. You’ll find trendy taprooms, such as Wolf’s Ridge Brewing in vibrant Downtown Columbus, and landmark family-owned restaurants, such as Lindey’s, a 40-year-old gem tucked away in the city’s historic German Village.
“I just love the fact that you have different neighborhoods that reflect different characters, because people want flavor,” says Alexia Winfield, an analyst at JPMorgan Chase, which has its second largest global operations center and largest technology presence in the Columbus Region. “They want to see a reflection of themselves, but they also want to see a different reflection where they can experience different cultures and not feel as though they have to travel far to experience those things.”
What Do People Do for Fun in Columbus, Ohio?
In Columbus, Ohio, there’s something for everyone. Not only do residents science centers and public libraries in their backyard, but major concerts, professional sporting events, theater and art exhibits to explore year-round.
The Arena District in Downtown Columbus boasts premier entertainment venues, including the Columbus Crew’s one-of-a-kind Lower.com Field (sponsored by a local tech superstar).
An extraordinary array of local talent such as the Travis Reid Ball Band, BearFuzz, Joey Aich and T. Wong take the stage throughout the city. The Columbus Children’s Theater, Opera Columbus, Catco and Balletmet Columbus, for example, are chock full of theater and dance performances. The Short North Arts District, situated along the stretch of High Street between downtown and The Ohio State’s campus, is an arts neighborhood at heart, decorated with murals, more than 100 restaurants, galleries and boutiques among new mixed-use and residential development.
Nature admirers can find 13 acres of lush gardens, special horticulture and art exhibitions at Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, just two miles from Downtown Columbus. Animal lovers can also pay a visit to the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, home to over 10,000 animals.
Great Companies. Great Jobs. Great Value.
Professional opportunities are also plentiful when living in Columbus, Ohio, including careers in key industries like e-commerce, gene therapy and insurtech. Considered the tech hub of the Midwest, plenty of local jobs are available at such industry giants as IBM, Google, Amazon and Facebook.
READY Robotics founder Benjamin Gibbs finds the city so appealing that he relocated from Baltimore in 2018, despite advice from venture capitalist fund leaders urging him to move the company to the West Coast. Since moving, the company has nearly tripled its staff.
Driving this momentum – and an important factor for anyone considering living in Central Ohio or Columbus, Ohio – is housing affordability. The Columbus Region offers lower-than-average home prices, as well as a significantly lower cost of living, allowing you to live your best life without breaking the bank. Columbus housing is also lower than the national average, while at the same time seeing an active reselling market that is setting the stage for real estate investors and those able to buy and hold.
In short, the advantages of living in Columbus, Ohio, are beyond measure. Featuring a robust job market, lower than average home and living costs, countless entertainment options and green options galore, the Columbus Region is vibrant and booming.
“What I’ve learned coming from New York City and Chicago is that when everyone says Columbus is a very easy city to live in, they’re right,” says Edward Liang, artistic director at BalletMet. “It’s so accommodating and easy and friendly, with access to all different types of foods and culture.”
Interested in learning more about living in Columbus, Ohio? Contact us today and we’ll get you connected with the right people to help you find a place to live, find a new job and otherwise plug into the community.
Originally Published: September 23, 2021, Last Updated: April 24, 2023