Columbia was incorporated in 1826 and is the county seat of Boone County. Columbia is home to the University of Missouri, the flagship campus, and several other college campuses.
Columbia offers small-town friendliness with big city features and a high quality of life for people of all ages and interests. Columbia is a great place to live with a low cost of living, excellent education system, outstanding health care facilities, abundant entertainment opportunities, beautiful parks and trails and much more.
Columbia’s centralized location offers quick access to St. Louis and Kansas City, as well as the State Capitol, Jefferson City, and the beautiful vacation getaway, Lake of the Ozarks. Columbia is also minutes away from a host of historic towns and state parks featuring boating, fishing, hiking, biking and more. Columbia's downtown area features restaurants and unique shopping experiences, many of which Southern Living Magazine has highlighted over the years.
Columbia is consistently rated among the top cities in the nation by national magazines and organizations:
- Great Place to Retire from Kiplinger’s Personal Finance Adviser in July 2020
- The Most Educated City from Insurify in July 2019
- The Fastest-growing city in Missouri from MSN in April 2019
- One of the Best Places to Retire in 2019 from Forbes in April 2019