Columbus, Ohio Population 2019
Columbus is the capital of Ohio and the largest city in the state. It is the county seat of Franklin County, and its size has grown as it has annexed areas of Fairfield County and Delaware County. Named for explorer Christopher Columbus, the city was founded in 1812. Columbus has an estimated 2018 population of 879,170, which makes it the 15th largest city in the United States.
Metro Area and Population Density
Columbus has an estimated population of 879,170 in 2018, up from a previous count of 809,800 in 2012. Columbus is the core city of the Columbus Metropolitan Statistical Area, which spreads ten counties and is the third largest metropolitan area in the state, nearly tied with the Cleveland MSA and just behind the Cincinnati MSA. The Columbus metro area is the 28th largest in the country with a population of 2.4 million. The city proper has a population density of 3,625 people per square mile.
Recent Notable Rankings
Columbus was named as one of the top 50 cities in America in 2012 by BusinessWeek, and it was given an A rating by Forbes a year later as one of the top cities for business in the country. It was also recently named as one of the top cities to relocate in the country and the number 3 best city of the future.
Columbus Diversity and Religion
The most common ancestry groups in Columbus are German (19.4%), Irish (11.7%), English (7.9%), Polish (7.2%), and Italian (5.0%). While European immigration to Columbus has declined, the metropolitan area has seen great increases in African, Latin American and Asian immigration, particularly from China, Mexico, India, and Somalia. The city has a diverse Asian population, although the Hispanic community is mostly Mexican with a sizable Puerto Rican population. About 116,000 people in Columbus are foreign-born, which accounts for about 82% of new residents. 40% came from Asia, 23% from Africa, 22% from Latin America and 13% immigrated from Europe.
Columbus also has a large LGBT community of around 35,000. It was rated as one of the best cities in the U.S. for lesbians and gay people, as well as the most underrated gay city.
37.6% of Columbus residents report they are religious. Of this group, 15.7% are Protestant, 13.7% are Catholic, 1.5% are Jewish, 0.6% are Muslim and 0.5% are Mormon.
The Columbus area was once known as the Ohio Country, and the French Empire controlled it in the 18th century during a time when it was a fur trading point. The region was often caught between Native American and European interests. In the 1750s, George Washington was sent to the area by the Ohio Company to survey, and a fight over the territory led to the Seven Years' War with the French and Indian War. The region was ceded to the British Empire in 1763.
After the American Revolution, the Ohio Country came under the control of the United States. When colonists from the East Coast attempted to move to the area expecting empty land, they found several Indian peoples, including the Miami, Delaware, Shawnee, Mingo, and Wyandot nations, who resisted this expansion by the U.S.
After Ohio became a state in 1803, Columbus was chosen as a site for the new capital because it was located centrally and easily accessible. Before this decision, Columbus did not exist. It was designed from the beginning as the capital for the state, and it was founded in 1812 and named in honor of Christopher Columbus. It was chartered as a city in 1834 with a population of 3,500. It became a significant base for the Union Army during the Civil War and housed 26,000 troops as well as 9,000 Confederate prisoners of war in present-day west Columbus. It is now the site of one of the largest Confederate cemeteries in the North.
By 1990, Columbus became the largest city in Ohio in terms of size and population.
Columbus Population Growth
The Columbus area is currently leading Ohio in population growth, as it has been for several years, both in terms of a percentage share and absolute terms. While four northern Ohio counties ranked in the top 10 nationally for population decline in 2013, Columbus grew by 1.4%.
According to the most recent ACS, the racial composition of Columbus was:
- White: 60.45%
- Black or African American: 28.27%
- Asian: 5.25%
- Two or more races: 4.07%
- Other race: 1.72%
- Native American: 0.19%
- Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander: 0.05%