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Renter's Guide to Columbus
The city of Columbus, Ohio is the largest city in the state and is also the capital. Columbus is the 15th largest city in the country with a population of around 805,100 people. In 2012, Columbus was ranked as one of Business Week’s Best Fifty Cities in America. Forbes magazine also recognized Columbus as being one of the top cities for businesses in the nation in 2013, giving it an A rating.
Columbus is only 106 miles from Cincinnati, the third largest city in Ohio. Columbus is 143 miles to Cleveland, the second largest city in Ohio. Columbus is about 350 miles to Chicago, Illinios another major city in the Midwest and a mere 146 miles to Toledo, Ohio. Columbus is only 183 miles from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
The weather in Columbus is humid in the summer and Columbus is known for having warm summers. However, the winters do not have heavy snowfall due to the city being too far south from Lake Eerie to experience the lake effect. Columbus is also out of the path of Nor’easters, further sparing it heavy winter snowstorms.
Columbus, OH Demographics
- Total Population852,144
Female 415,208Male 436,936
- Median Age32.2
Cost of Living in Columbus, OH
The limited public transit in Columbus is known as COTA (Central Ohio Transit Authority) and consists of buses. The COTA is very affordable with crosstown and local fares at only $2.00. An express fare is just $2.75. The CBUS is a free downtown shuttle that runs every 10-15 minutes from the Short North Arts District to the Brewery District. Columbus also has a bike sharing system called CoGo.
A meal out at an inexpensive restaurant in Columbus will only cost around $12.00 and a meal for two and a mid range establishment will be around $45 dollars. The cost of an imported beer in Columbus is around $5.00 and a cappuccino is $3.35. Columbus has a low cost of living when compared to cities across the nation.
The average utility costs for a 914-square-foot apartment in Columbus are around $156 which includes heat, electricity, water and garbage pick up services. This is a bit higher than the national average of $147.
Average Rent in Columbus, OH
- Columbus, OH Average Rental Price, December 2019 $945 /mo
Columbus, OH Apartment Rent Ranges
- < $5001%
- > $2,0002%
Columbus, OH Rent Trends
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Living in Columbus
Columbus is probably best known as being the home of The Ohio State University. The Ohio State University football team is a top ranked team year after year and their home games attract hundreds of thousands of people to the city. Columbus is also well known for its Zoo. Columbus has a top tier Zoo and Aquarium and a lively art scene but lack of public transit is one of Columbus’s weak spots.
Things to do in Columbus
Columbus has a fantastic dining scene. Brassica was named Columbus' Best New Restaurants of 2015 by Alive.com. Schmidt's Sausage Haus is an excellent place for German cuisine lovers, whereas Skillet, Rustic.Urban.Food is the go-to-place for those who fancy New American fare.
The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium offers wonderful opportunities to see animals such as the Zoo’s new polar bear cub, Nora. The aquarium also offers hands on opportunities for guests to touch marine animals like starfish. The Heart of Africa is a new Columbus zoo exhibit that spans 43 acres and features giraffes.
The Columbus Museum of Art, COMA, is a stand out in the Columbus art community. The museum hosts rotating exhibits, notably a Picasso exhibit, and also has its own impressive collection of art. This cultural hotspot offers fantastic opportunities to experience art in Columbus.
The Columbus Arts Festival has been held annually for nearly forty years and takes place along the Scioto River east side featuring nearly 300 artisans and craftspeople along with entertainment and food, ranging from gourmet to “street treats.”
The Ohio State Fair is an annual event that the Travel Channel calls “one of the country’s best state fairs.” The state fair is held every summer from late July until early August.
Parks in Columbus
Columbus has a variety of parks for residents to enjoy. Schiller Park is a favorite of many Columbus residents. Schiller Park features green space, a playground, tennis courts, fishing ponds and has an open air stage for outdoor entertainment. Whetstone Park is another top park in Columbus. The park is 146 acres with a rose garden, community center and athletic fields. Both these parks are free to the public.
Shopping in Columbus
Top tier shopping in Columbus can be found at Easton Town Center. Easton Town Center has stores like Nordstrom, Coach, and Apple and over twenty-one million shoppers visit Easton Town Center each year. The Short North district also offers shopping with many funky and unique boutiques.
Sports in Columbus
In addition to Ohio State University’s sports programs, Columbus has other exciting sports teams to follow. Columbus has a professional hockey team, the Blue Jackets. Attending a Blue Jackets game is fun for the entire family or a great date night. Columbus also has a minor league baseball team, the Columbus Clippers, who are a Triple A affiliate of the nearby Cleveland Indians. Columbus has the football fan, hockey fan, and baseball fan covered.
Employment & Economy
The largest employer in Columbus is Ohio State University, which employs 29,000+ people. The State of Ohio is the second largest employer. Since Columbus is the capital it is no surprise the state employs so many people, around 22,000. JP Morgan Chase, which employs around 12,000 people is another top employer and Nationwide Financial is behind JP Morgan Chase employing around 11,000 people. In many ways Columbus is a “college town” due to the Universities influence but the finance sector is also a major industry in the city.
Columbus, OH Households
- Total Number of Households345,282
Family 184,978Non-family 160,304
Children 98,814No Children 246,468
- Average People Per Household2.4
- Median Household Income$49,478
- Median Housing Costs Per Month$955
Education in Columbus
In addition to Ohio State University, Columbus is also home to Columbus State University, which offers undergraduate and graduate programs. The campus is 132 acres, situated in downtown Columbus, and the enrollment is around 8,300 undergraduates and graduate students. In contrast, Ohio State University has an enrollment of around 65,000 students making it one of the largest universities in the nation. It covers 1,764 acres.
Columbus has a large public school district with around 110 schools for younger students. The public school system offers top notch education for students from kindergarten to high school. The vision of the public school district in Columbus is to provide a “world class model of public education” and prepare students in Columbus to meet their full potential.
Columbus, OH Education Statistics
- No High School3%
- Some High School34%
- Some College24%
- Associate Degree7%
- Bachelor Degree22%
- Graduate Degree11%
Tips for Renting in Columbus
In Columbus, renters’ rights are protected under the Ohio Landlord Law. One tip; before taking possession of an apartment, a good idea is to walk through and check items that may need to be repaired. If there are any, it is advisable to delay moving in until the repairs can be made.
Make sure the landlord promises to make the repairs in writing if a move cannot be stalled. Keep detailed records and request promises in writing from a landlord.
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