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Figures from the most recent U.S. Census show South Carolina to be the 10th fastest-growing state in the country. And the Columbia area experienced continued vibrant population growth as well. As reported by the Census, Columbia, SC grew 5.7 percent over the last decade, with growth in Richmond County reported to be 8.2 percent, along with 12.0 percent growth in Lexington County.  

Columbia, SC is certainly an attractive market. Continued residential and business growth is expected in the coming years, according to the City’s Director of Economic Development.  

Why is Columbia, SC Such an Attractive Market? 

The reasons that Columbia, SC is so attractive include these factors: 

Location. Columbia is ideally located halfway between New York and Miami. So, South Carolina’s strong transportation system offering a combination of interstates, airports, seaports, and railways, makes it strategically convenient to ship goods to the east coast, U. S., and foreign markets. 

Agribusiness. Columbia has a moderate climate, making it excellent for farmers to produce food throughout the year. Indeed, a large percentage of the city’s population is involved in producing, packaging, or transporting food. 

Industries. Columbia hosts a wide array of robust industries including manufacturing, insurance information and technology, transportation and logistics, green energy, and research and development. 

Government. As the seat of government for South Carolina, Columbia is home to many state government employees, plus Richland County, and Columbia City employees. Also, in Columbia is Fort Jackson, the largest location of basic training for the U.S. Army. 

Healthcare. Healthcare, next to government, is the largest industry in Columbia, SC. Prisma Health has a dozen hospitals in Columbia and employs 15,000 people. Blue Cross Blue Shield of SC is also a large operation with 7,000 employees. 

Higher Education. Columbia is home to great educational institutions including the University of South Carolina, Benedict College, Columbia College, and Midlands Technical College. 

Real Estate. The Columbia, SC real estate market is frequently described as “hot.” Home values are increasing and there is a strong renters’ market. In addition, several major housing developments are in progress and others are in discussion with city officials. 

Quality of Life. The climate in Columbia is inviting with generally mild winters and hot humid summers. Columbia offers great public schools, great arts, great southern hospitality, restaurants, entertainment, cultural events, and multiple outdoor sports. It is no wonder that Columbia has been ranked by Forbes as one of the best places in the U.S. for business and careers. And U.S. News & World Report has rated Columbia as one of the best places in the U.S. to retire.

The Business Environment in Columbia, SC is Indeed Inviting and Competitive 

Job growth in Columbia is projected to be 27.4 percent over the next 10 years, with continued low unemployment, down to 2.8 percent at the end of last year. 

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