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Overview

Introduction to Columbia, Maryland

Columbia is an unincorporated planned community located in Howard County, Maryland. It is situated about 20 miles southwest of Baltimore. Neighboring communities include Ellicott City (to the north), Elkridge (to the east), Laurel (to the south), and Gaithersburg (to the west).

The planning of Columbia began in 1963 when creator and developer James W. Rouse acquired more than 14,000 acres in Howard County with the intention of creating a visionary community planned along sociological as well as economic and engineering lines. To help determine how to incorporate the most vital social and institutional components of a new city into a physical environment, the Rouse Company convened a group of nationally known experts in the social sciences who met regularly over a six-month period. What evolved was a development plan focusing on the creation of neighborhood and village centers to preserve a small-town feel while adhering to four main goals: meeting residents basic needs (housing, jobs, recreation, education, health care); respecting the land; providing for growth and improvement; and achieving financial success.

Over the past three decades, the population of Columbia has grown more than ten-fold. There are thousands of businesses employing tens of thousands of people. The centerpiece of the community is the Mall in Columbia, which stands today as a large regional shopping mall with five anchor department stores and over 200 smaller stores and restaurants. Although the community has over time gradually acquired many of the characteristics of other contemporary U.S. suburbs, Rouse's vision has remained relatively intact and his experiment can be termed a success.

Things to do in Columbia

In the summer, live entertainment can be found at the Columbia lakefront. Merriweather Post Pavilion, located in Symphony Woods in Columbia's Town Center, offers outdoor concerts performed throughout the summer. Every June, the Columbia Festival of the Arts electrifies the community with featured world-class music performers. "Wine in the Woods" is an annual celebration held in May showcasing wineries from across the state, and featuring live entertainment, food from local vendors, unique arts and crafts, and live demonstrations of food and wine.

For outdoor recreation, Columbia has three lakes (Kittamaqundi, Wilde, and Elkhorn) ideal for sailing, fishing, and boating. Surrounding the lakes are parks equipped with miles of jogging, strolling and biking paths, as well as hundreds of play areas for kids. Also in Columbia are a variety of recreational facilities, including numerous swimming pools (indoor and outdoor), water slides, ice and roller skating rinks, an equestrian center, a skateboard park, a sports park with miniature golf, batting cages, picnic pavilions, running tracks, and numerous indoor and outdoor tennis, basketball, volleyball, racquetball and squash courts.

Columbia's planners were careful to preserve some of the community's historic buildings such as Dorsey Manor, the stone house at Wilde Lake, the Barn at Oakland Mills, Oliver's Carriage House, and Historic Oakland (also known as Oakland Manor), one of the most beautiful and historic buildings in Howard County. Museums and galleries in Columbia include the African Art Museum of Maryland, Columbia Arts Center, and the Howard County Center of African-American Culture.

Sports fans in Columbia can enjoy the very best of professional sports of many varieties in nearby Baltimore, home to the following teams:

  • Orioles (MLB baseball)
  • Ravens (NFL football)
  • Blast (MISL soccer)
  • Bayhawks (MLL lacrosse)
  • Pearls (ABA basketball)

Baltimore is also the home of the U.S. Lacrosse Museum and National Hall of Fame.

Demographics

People

Total Population103,439
Male Share of the Population49.4%
Female Share of the Population50.6%
Senior Citizens13.3%
Employed Population 16+57,072
Age of the Population38

Families

% of people married52.4%
Average household size3

Education and Earnings

Population % with Bachelor Degree or Higher63.6%
Median Earnings25+$61,758
Median Earnings Without High School Qualification$27,968
Median Earnings With High School Degree$31,079

Wealth

Median Family Income$123,595
% Above Poverty Level92.8%
% Below Poverty Level7.2%

Commute & Sprawl

Average Commute Time30 minutes
% Working from Home4.8%
% Walking and Biking to Work1.5%
% Using Public Transportation4.8%

Housing

People Living Alone26.6%
Median Gross Rent$1,604
Median House Value$364,900

Ancestry

Other(often includes Hispanic and African American)42.9%
German12.5%
Irish10.2%
English8.7%
African5.2%
Italian5.1%
Polish3.5%
Russian2%
Scottish2%
West Indian1.8%
French Except Basque1.6%
Nigerian0.9%
Jamaican0.8%
Swedish0.7%
Haitian0.7%
Norwegian0.7%
Ukrainian0.7%
Arab0.6%
Dutch0.6%
Greek0.6%
Welsh0.6%
Iranian0.5%
Czech0.5%
Swiss0.5%
Hungarian0.5%
Ethiopian0.5%
Slovak0.4%
Liberian0.4%
Lithuanian0.4%
Canadian0.4%
Portuguese0.3%
Somali0.3%
Brazilian0.3%
Turkish0.3%
Ghanaian0.3%
Romanian0.2%
Austrian0.2%
Finnish0.2%
Egyptian0.2%
Kenyan0.2%
British0.1%
Lebanese0.1%
Syrian0.1%
Trinidad Tobago0.1%
US/American0.1%
Moroccan0.1%
Sierra Leone0.1%
Israeli0.1%
Latvian0.1%
Serbian0.1%
Guyanese0.1%
Croatian0.1%
Danishn0.1%
South African0.1%
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Columbia Almanac

CategoryValue
County Howard County
Standard Zip Codes21044, 21045, 21046
Company Zip Codes20588
Phone Area Codes240,301,410,443
Time ZoneAmerica/New_York
Approximate Latitude39.21
Approximate Longitude-76.88

Columbia Climate

Nearest Weather Stations

Notes:

  • Temp ranges are avg daily min and max for the month
  • Precipitation is rainfall (and rainfall equiv of snowfall)

StationCLARKSVILLE 3 NNE
Distance5.1 miles
Jan Temp22 to 41 F
Apr Temp39 to 66 F
Jul Temp63 to 87 F
Oct Temp42 to 68 F
Annual Precip45.2 inches
StationWOODSTOCK
Distance6.6 miles
Jan Temp23 to 42 F
Apr Temp41 to 67 F
Jul Temp64 to 88 F
Oct Temp44 to 68 F
Annual Precip45.6 inches
StationBALTIMORE-WASHINGTON AP
Distance9.8 miles
Jan Temp24 to 41 F
Apr Temp42 to 65 F
Jul Temp66 to 87 F
Oct Temp44 to 67 F
Annual Precip41.9 inches

Nearby Cities and Towns

LocationPopulationMedian Family Income
Baltimore621,000$53,168
Brookeville161$126,875
Laurel25,703$78,403
Owings Mills33,332$79,494
Sykesville3,940$118,609

Columbia Hospitals

Howard County General Hospital
(Non-profit)
5755 Cedar Lane
(410) 740-7710

Columbia Public Schools

Atholton High
6520 Freetown Rd
ZIP: 21044
(410) 313-7065
High
Total Enrollment 1460
Bryant Woods Elementary
5450 Blue Heron Ln
ZIP: 21044
(410) 313-6859
Primary
Total Enrollment 353
Clemens Crossing Elementary
10320 Quarterstaff Rd
ZIP: 21044
(410) 313-6866
Primary
Total Enrollment 487
Harpers Choice Middle
5450 Beaverkill Rd
ZIP: 21044
(410) 313-6929
Middle
Total Enrollment 521
Longfellow Elementary
5470 Hesperus Dr
ZIP: 21044
(410) 313-6879
Primary
Total Enrollment 453
Running Brook Elementary
5215 W Running Brook Rd
ZIP: 21044
(410) 313-6893
Primary
Total Enrollment 529
Swansfield Elementary
5610 Cedar Ln
ZIP: 21044
(410) 313-6907
Primary
Total Enrollment 588
Wilde Lake High
5460 Trumpeter Rd
ZIP: 21044
(410) 313-6965
High
Total Enrollment 1234
Wilde Lake Middle
10481 Cross Fox Ln
ZIP: 21044
(410) 313-6957
Middle
Total Enrollment 521
Cradlerock Elementary
6700 Cradlerock Way
ZIP: 21045
(410) 319-7601
Primary
Total Enrollment 482
Jeffers Hill Elementary
6001 Tamar Dr
ZIP: 21045
(410) 313-6872
Primary
Total Enrollment 464
Lake Elkhorn Middle
6680 Cradlerock Way
ZIP: 21045
(410) 313-7600
Middle
Total Enrollment 500
Long Reach High
6101 Old Dobbin Ln
ZIP: 21045
(410) 313-7117
High
Total Enrollment 1434
Oakland Mills High
9410 Kilimanjaro Rd
ZIP: 21045
(410) 313-6945
High
Total Enrollment 1085
Oakland Mills Middle
9540 Kilimanjaro Rd
ZIP: 21045
(410) 313-6937
Middle
Total Enrollment 423
Phelps Luck Elementary
5370 Oldstone Ct
ZIP: 21045
(410) 313-6886
Primary
Total Enrollment 581
Stevens Forest Elementary
6045 Stevens Forest Rd
ZIP: 21045
(410) 313-6900
Primary
Total Enrollment 440
Talbott Springs Elementary
9550 Basket Ring Rd
ZIP: 21045
(410) 313-6915
Primary
Total Enrollment 466
Thunder Hill Elementary
9357 Mellenbrook Rd
ZIP: 21045
(410) 313-6922
Primary
Total Enrollment 528
Waterloo Elementary
5940 Waterloo Rd
ZIP: 21045
(410) 313-5014
Primary
Total Enrollment 624
Atholton Elementary
6700 Seneca Dr
ZIP: 21046
(410) 313-6853
Primary
Total Enrollment 392
Guilford Elementary
7335 Oakland Mills Rd
ZIP: 21046
(410) 880-5930
Primary
Total Enrollment 496
Hammond High
8800 Guilford Rd
ZIP: 21046
(410) 313-7615
High
Total Enrollment 1226

Columbia Private Schools

Atholton Adventist Academy
6520 Martin Rd
ZIP: 21044
Combined Elementary And Secondary
Total Enrollment 170
Bryant Woods Montessori Childrens House
10449 Green Mountain Cir
ZIP: 21044
Elementary
Total Enrollment 1
Columbia Montessori School
10508 Marble Faun Ln
ZIP: 21044
Elementary
Total Enrollment 20
Gan Israel Day School
770 Howes Ln
ZIP: 21044
Elementary
Total Enrollment 1
Kindercare
10820 Little Patuxent Pkwy
ZIP: 21044
Elementary
Total Enrollment 10
Celebration Christian Academy
6080 Foreland Garth
ZIP: 21045
Elementary
Total Enrollment 19
Childrens Manor School
9008 Red Branch Rd
ZIP: 21045
Elementary
Total Enrollment 13
Global Children Montessori School
8995 Lambskin Ln
ZIP: 21045
Elementary
Total Enrollment 3
Goddard School
8866 Columbia 100 Pkwy
ZIP: 21045
Elementary
Total Enrollment 10
Julia Brown Montessori School
9760 Owen Brown Rd
ZIP: 21045
Elementary
Total Enrollment 36
Nurturing Nest Montessori
5885 Robert Oliver Pl
ZIP: 21045
Elementary
Total Enrollment 2
Columbia Academy Elementary & Middle School
10350 Old Columbia Rd
ZIP: 21046
Elementary
Total Enrollment 235
Sources :
Additional Details
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Columbia Graduate Schools
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