Columbia, Illinois

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Columbia, Illinois

Introduction to Columbia, Illinois

Columbia, Illinois, in Monroe county, is 13 miles S of St. Louis, Missouri. The city benefits from easy access to the nearby cities and towns that it shares the Saint Louis metropolitan area with. Columbia’s population is approximately 7,922.

Columbia History

Frenchmen were the first Europeans to settle in the community, arriving in the mid-1600s. The area was then known as L’Aigle, which is a French term for The Eagle. The British took possession of the area in the mid-1700s, but were forced to move out of the area after the Revolutionary War. The first permanent settlements American were established by colonial American settlers in the areas of Fort Whiteside, Columbia and Fort Piggot. The forts were made out of log cabins to ensure protection against Indian raids. Columbia was plotted as a town in 1820. Germans began to immigrate into the area in 1833. Columbia was officially incorporated as a town in the year 1859, and the first rail road tracks were laid out in the area in the year 1868.

Columbia and nearby Attractions

  • Scott Joplin House State Historic Site
  • Cahokia Mounds
  • Saint Louis Holocaust Museum
  • Cahokia Mounds
  • Frank Holten State Recreation Area

Things To Do In Columbia

Local museums include the Eugene Field House and Toy Museum, the Soldiers' Memorial Military Museum and the Saint Louis Holocaust Museum. Local wildlife parks and areas include the Horseshoe Lake State Fish & Wildlife Area-Madison and the Peabody River State Fish & Wildlife Area. The Frank Holten State Recreation Area is a popular local spot as well.

Columbia Transportation

Lambert-St. Louis International is the nearest major airport.

Columbia Higher Education

Nearby colleges and universities include Saint Louis University, Washington University and Southwestern Illinois College.

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High Points

Columbia strengths, compared to Peers (similar size places nationally) or State (other places in Illinois):

Category Trophy
Low Rate of Poverty
(vs. Peers)
Top 7% Columbia Low Rate of Poverty
People in Middle Class or Better
(vs. Peers)
Top 9% Columbia People in Middle Class or Better
Well-Paid Single Women
(vs. State)
Top 11% Columbia Well-Paid Single Women
Well-Paid Single Men
(vs. State)
Top 11% Columbia Well-Paid Single Men
Median Family Income
(vs. State)
Top 15% Columbia Median Family Income
College Educated Adults
(vs. State)
Top 17% Columbia College Educated Adults

Comparative Profile of Columbia, Illinois

Comparing Columbia to similar size places nationwide (Peers) and to other places in Illinois (State):

Ratings range from 1 (lowest) to 10 (highest).

The People

Characteristic Compared
to Peers
to State
Well-Paid Single Men 9 9
Well-Paid Single Women 9 9
Age of the Population 6 6
Senior Citizens 6 6
Male Share of the Population 6 6
Children Under 5 Years Old 5 6
Female Share of the Population 5 6
Racial Diversity 1 4


Characteristic Compared
to Peers
to State
Portion of People Married 8 8
Average Household Size 5 6


Characteristic Compared
to Peers
to State
People Above Poverty 10 10
People in Middle Class or Better 10 9
Median Family Income 9 9
College Educated Adults 8 9

Commute & Sprawl

Characteristic Compared
to Peers
to State
Working at Home 8 8
Walking and Biking to Work 5 7
Short Commute Times 4 5
Public Transportation Use 4 5


Characteristic Compared
to Peers
to State
Housing Recently Built 8 9
People Living Alone 5 5
Affordability of Rents 5 3
Affordability of Property Taxes 4 4
Studio & One-Bedroom Rentals 3 5
Seasonal and Vacation Housing 1 3

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Columbia Almanac

Category Value
Nearest Large City 13 miles S of St. Louis, Missouri
County Monroe
Metro Area Saint Louis
Standard Zip Codes 62236
Phone Area Codes 618
Time Zone Central (-6 hours from GMT)
Daylight Savings The city observes Daylight Saving Time.
Latitude 38.443
Longitude -90.201

Columbia Climate

Nearest Weather Stations

  • Temp ranges are avg daily min and max for the month
  • Precipitation is rainfall (and rainfall equiv of snowfall)
Distance 8.1 miles
Jan Temp 20 to 38 F
Apr Temp 45 to 66 F
Jul Temp 68 to 89 F
Oct Temp 47 to 69 F
Annual Precip 42.1 inches
Distance 13.6 miles
Jan Temp 21 to 38 F
Apr Temp 47 to 66 F
Jul Temp 71 to 91 F
Oct Temp 49 to 69 F
Annual Precip 38.8 inches
Station FESTUS
Distance 16.3 miles
Jan Temp 18 to 39 F
Apr Temp 41 to 67 F
Jul Temp 64 to 88 F
Oct Temp 42 to 70 F
Annual Precip 39.9 inches
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Columbia Population (2000)

Category Count Percent
Total Population 7,922 100%
Male 3,829 48.3%
Female 4,093 51.7%
Under 18 2,055 25.9%
18+ 5,867 74.1%
65+ 1,204 15.2%
Median Age 37.6
Average Family Size 3.01
White 7,805 98.5%
African-American 8 0.1%
Asian 27 0.3%
American Indian & Alaskan 15 0.2%
Other 16 0.2%
Mixed Race 51 0.6%
Hispanic (included in categories above) 76 1%

Estimated Columbia Population Growth 2000-2005

Category Value
Est. 2005 Population 8,902
Growth 980
Growth % 12.4%

Columbia Ancestry

(From 2000 Census, as reported by individuals)

Note: This is national, not racial, ancestry, so, e.g., the Census doesn't have categories for Hispanic and African-American people. CityTownInfo is currently gathering additional ancestry data for this site.
Ancestry Percent
German 51.9%
Irish 10.3%
English 6.3%
US/American 6%
Other (often includes Hispanic and African American) 4.7%
Italian 3.8%
French (except Basque) 3.1%
Polish 2.6%
Scotch-Irish 2.3%
Welsh 1.1%
Hungarian 1.1%
Scottish 0.8%
Swedish 0.8%
French Canadian 0.7%
Norwegian 0.7%
Belgian 0.6%
Canadian 0.6%
Czech 0.4%
Finnish 0.4%
Dutch 0.4%
Lithuanian 0.3%
Russian 0.3%
Swiss 0.2%
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Nearby Cities and Towns

Location Pop. Median Family
Income (2000)
Columbia 7,922 $69,059
Cahokia 16,391 $35,582
Dupo 3,933 $47,000
East Carondelet 267 $39,583
Millstadt 2,794 $56,378
Valmeyer 608 $58,646
Waterloo 7,614 $57,894

Columbia Public Libraries

Columbia P.l.
Columbia, Illinois
(618) 281-4237

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Featured Colleges in the Columbia Area (QuickSchools™)

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Columbia High Schools (2004)

Serves 539 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 15.8

Columbia Colleges

(List of Illinois Colleges)

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