Best Places to Live

Columbia, MO

Population: 115,391
DJ Schulte

Once again ranked on our Top 10 Best College Towns, Columbia is a college town turned vibrant small city with a booming high-tech sector. Dubbed the “Athens of Missouri,” this city ranks in the top 10 for small business loans on our list and the top 15 for a low unemployment rate. This city is an ideal place to plant roots and get to work, with high wage job growth ranking in the top 15, not to mention affordable housing and food spend ranking in the top 15. Need more proof? Columbia has ranked on our Top 100 Places to Live three years in a row so far.