The economy of Columbus has become quite diverse with no single major industry sector representing more than 18% of employment. The largest industries in the region include finance, insurance, advanced manufacturing, health, logistics, education (as the home of largest university in the country — The Ohio State University), retail (as the national headquarters of Limited Brands, Inc.), research and development, and government (as the capital city of Ohio). Continued investment in Rickenbacker Global Logistics and other facets of the region’s logistics sector has led to major growth in transportation and utilities. Columbus also has an enviable geographical position — closer to more of the U.S. and Canadian population than any other major distribution center in the country. Columbus’s population — the second fastest growing population in the Midwest — is a young and educated one. The median age is two years below the national average and 1/3 of the population has at least a bachelor’s degree. Columbus is home to 15 Fortune 1000 headquarters, the world’s largest private contract research organization (Battelle Memorial Institute) and the #2 industry-led research facility (OSU). These indicators demonstrate Columbus’ success and have helped the region to be listed #4 in the On Numbers Economic Index, which ranks the nation’s top 102 economies.
Columbus is a major center of higher education and learning, including such institutions as: The Ohio State University; Capital University; Columbus College of Art and Design; Franklin University; Otterbein University; and Columbus State Community College. Education outside the classroom is equally valued as Columbus is home to the #1 Zoo, #1 Library and one of the top centers of science in the U.S.
Columbus is home to many diverse populations. In fact, 7% of its population is foreign born. It is also a great supporter of the arts, with the Columbus Symphony Orchestra; the Contemporary American Theater Company; the Columbus Jazz Orchestra; and the Columbus Museum of Art. Columbus is home to the NHL hockey team Columbus Blue Jackets, the professional soccer team (and 2008 MLS champions) Columbus Crew, and the Triple-A baseball team Columbus Clippers.
COLUMBUS ON THE INTERNATIONAL STAGE
Now, more than ever, Columbus is taking its place as a major player in the international arena. In recent studies, Columbus was found to be home to nearly 600 international firms and 39,000 of Columbusites are employed by foreign owned companies in the Columbus Region. In a comparative study of 15 major U.S. Metros, The Global Report ranked Columbus 1st in number of Global 500 Company Headquarters, 4th in number of immigrants entering the U.S. since 2000, and 6th in total value of international trade in a foreign trade zone. It found that more than 1500 passengers fly internationally through Columbus every day and 3000 of our citizens actually live abroad. These statistics, as well as the fact that 109 different languages are currently spoken by students in grades K-12, mean that we ARE an international community. International relationship-building as well as welcoming and cultivating a strong diverse population right here in Columbus, are all the more important as Columbus develops its role on the global economic stage.