The town of Columbia is located between the Duck River and the Highland Rim in central Tennessee. It is small, with a population of about 38,000 spread over about 30 square miles. It was incorporated in 1817, spanning only four blocks at that time. Although it has grown, Columbia is still an old-fashioned town, with a mix of historic buildings, suburban homes, and farms sitting on acres of open land.
Despite its sleepy atmosphere, the city of Columbia is striving to expand and become more progressive. The city has approved projects to enhance the community and infrastructure, with the hope of creating jobs in an area that has an unemployment rate twice the state's average. The projects include redeveloping roads and building new public facilities.
The major sources of jobs for Columbia residents are the retail, health care, and food service industries. Columbia does have its share of restaurant chains, but a good portion of the dining scene is dominated by local restaurateurs.
Maury Regional Hospital employs more than 2,000 workers, making it one of the largest employers in the area. Some residents commute twenty minutes north to Spring Hill to work in the General Motors assembly plant located there.
Compared with the rest of the United States, Columbia has a low cost of living and does not impose high taxes on residents or businesses. Its crime rate is higher than the national average, however. Columbia is mostly comprised of suburban districts, but it does boast several neighborhoods known for their farms and historic sophistication:
Columbia has strong ties with its community. Despite its small size, it provides several recreation centers, parks, and community centers for its residents. It is home to many churches, and WMRB 910 AM, a Christian radio station, broadcasts from Columbia.
There are quite a few public and private schools for residents of Columbia, and the city is also home to Columbia State Community College, a public two-year post-secondary school. In addition, the King's Daughters' School Center for Autism is located here; it is a nonprofit program that provides individual attention to children with autism.
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