Waterfront view in Columbia, Maryland

Best Places to Live in the US in 2022 Sponsored by: eXp RealtyeXp Realty

Columbia, MD is the #24 Best City to Live in the USA

Outdoor concert in Columbia, MD
Howard Hughes
Columbia, MD
Quality of Life
Liv Score

How We Calculate Our Data
Civics 66
Demographics 82
Economy 67
Education 56
Health 61
Housing 58
Infrastructure 51
Amenities 36

Why Columbia is one of the best cities to live in

Nestled between Baltimore and Washington, D.C., (what some might call the perfect location), Columbia, MD, is a unique city with a blossoming downtown, tantalizingly good cuisine and an arts scene that punches high above its weight class. The Columbia Festival of the Arts (think concerts, exhibits, workshops and more) adds a burst of creativity to the city each year, while live music and public art can be enjoyed year-round. 

Also, making Columbia one of the best places to live in the U.S.? The city is highly committed to diversity and inclusion and boasts a more racially diverse population than America as a whole. Here, everyone can find their niche, especially when it comes to a rewarding career. Providing jobs are more than 2,500 small and large businesses, over 50 nonprofits and the U.S. Department of Defense. And when it comes to staying active, the area’s nonprofit community services corporation, Columbia Association, offers a variety of classes, workshops and facilities to stay happy and healthy, including sports leagues, golf, martial arts and more.

What are Columbias major industries and employers?

A few major employers include Howard County General Hospital and Howard Community College. Some of the other major industries in the area are health care, research and development, and telecommunications. 

What are the major colleges and universities in Columbia?

Howard Community College

What is the weather like in Columbia? 

Residents are met with chilly winters, warm springs, moderately hot summers and enjoyable autumns.

What is there to do outside in Columbia?

Walk, run or bike the Elkhorn Branch Trail.

Columbia, MD is Remote Ready

What makes Columbia a great place for remote workers?

Columbia is an ideal location for the hybrid worker. The city’s conveniently located near both Baltimore and Washington D.C., so employees can reap the benefits of its neighbors and quick commute into the office when needed. In addition, Columbia residents can get more bang for their buck when it comes to renting, so the ever-elusive idea of a home office is entirely possible.

What Locals Love in Columbia, MD

What is the best local bookstore in Columbia?

Second Edition Books offers a wide selection of new and used favorites. 

How do you spend a weekend in Columbia?

The Mall in Columbia is the perfect place to shop and dine. Or, if you’re looking to spend time outdoors, spend the day exploring the 18 acres of Robinson Nature Center, then catch a show at the center’s full-dome planetarium or head to Merriweather Post Pavilion for an outdoor concert.

What can you do for free in Columbia?

Explore the Howard County Farmers Market (open May through November). You’ll love the local finds and live music. 

Whats the best way to spend happy hour in Columbia?

Savor some tacos and a beer at Ale House Columbia.

Whats something only locals know about Columbia?

Each year, the Columbia Festival of the Arts hosts a free, three-day outdoor festival called LakeFest, featuring musical acts, art performances, food and more. 

Is Columbia, MD a good place to live?

A unique downtown, a thriving arts scene and a diverse population make Columbia a best place to live in Maryland.

Thinking of Moving to Columbia?

What is the Columbia, MD Real Estate Market Like?

Columbia, MD real estate is an affordable gold mine in the D.C. metro area. Homes for sale in Columbia, MD are about $200K less than what you’ll find in nearly any other suburb of D.C. Because of this, real estate agents are selling Columbia homes within 6 days after listing on average. Check out the Kings Contrivance neighborhood if you’re looking for high end housing with safe, jogger-friendly streets.

Quick Facts About Columbia, MD

Average Commute
Median Home Value
Med. Household Income
Total Population
Walk Score
Median Property Tax

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