Columbia, South Carolina Population 2022

138,104
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Columbia is a city located in Lexington County and Richland County South Carolina. With a 2020 population of 138,104, it is the 2nd largest city in South Carolina and the 212th largest city in the United States. Columbia is currently growing at a rate of 0.54% annually and its population has increased by 1.08% since the most recent census, which recorded a population of 136,632 in 2020. Spanning over 139 miles, Columbia has a population density of 1,015 people per square mile.

The average household income in Columbia is $76,118 with a poverty rate of 22.84%. The median rental costs in recent years comes to $956 per month, and the median house value is $186,000. The median age in Columbia is 28.5 years, 27.6 years for males, and 29.3 years for females.

There are many religions observed throughout Columbia, with residents that are Baptist, Methodist, Lutheran, Catholic, and Jewish, to name a few.

Top Employers in Columbia

Columbia’s top employers include Blue Cross Blue Shield, the University of South Carolina and the Palmetto Health hospital system.

Columbia Population Growth

Census data show that for the most part, Columbia’s population has only grown throughout the years. In 1880, the population had exceeded 10,000. This number more than doubled by 1900. In 1930, the city passed the 50,000 mark, and in 1970, Columbia had over 100,000 residents. However, the 1980s and 1990s saw drops in population, falling below 100,000. However, at the time of the 2000 census, the population had bounced back again. Current estimates show that the population has risen almost 4% since the last census taken in 2010, indicating that this city will see continued growth.

The Congaree people were the first known inhabitants of what is now Columbia. In 1540, Hernando de Soto was the first European to come to Columbia. However, the city was not settled until many years later, when the South Carolina General Assembly created the city in 1786. The area was selected as the state’s capital, although some legislators originally wanted to call the city Washington. Columbia was one of the first planned cities in the nation.

The State Legislature first met in Columbia at the end of the 18th century. At the beginning of the 19th century, Columbia was incorporated as a village before achieving city status in 1854.

When first designed, Columbia was divided into 400 blocks across a 2-mile square. Each block was further divided into half-acre plots and sold. There were rules put in place for the houses that were to be built on these plots of land. During the beginning of the 19th century, the city began to grow, with its population closing in on 1,000 residents.

It was also during the beginning of the 19th century that the University of South Carolina was founded, to provide Upcountry and Lowcountry South Carolinians with educational opportunities without having to leave the country.

It was around 1816 when the population grew to over 1,000, and there were about 250 homes in the town. As the 19th century progressed, Columbia received its city charter, a police force, and a railroad, which contributed to further population growth. Around the mid-1850s, the city’s economy revolved around the cotton industry and because of that, thousands of slaves lived in Columbia.

During the Civil War, much of the city was destroyed by fire. In 1865, the city began to rebuild and experienced a construction boom. The city continued to grow.

During the 20th century, Columbia was taking on a role as a hub for textile manufacturing. Six mills employed thousands of workers in the area. In the early 20th century, paved roads were constructed for the first time on Main Street, and there was another construction boom that included the development of a bank, hotels, and a shopping center. This trend only continued through the 1930s when the city had over 800 retail establishments. It was also during the early 1900s when Camp Jackson was established, which later became Fort Jackson.

During the second half of the 20th century, the city took on historic preservation projects to restore and renovate historic buildings which still stand today. Revitalization continued through the 1990s and 2000s, particularly in the downtown area. New additions include shopping centers, a children’s museum, an arena, art galleries, shops, restaurants and more, as well as a very diverse economy based on government, healthcare, and finance. Columbia is also home to major companies including Michelin, SCANA, Honeywell and Westinghouse Electric.

Columbia Demographics

According to the most recent ACS, the racial composition of Columbiawas:

  • White: 52.58%
  • Black or African American: 39.60%
  • Two or more races: 3.41%
  • Asian: 2.84%
  • Other race: 1.22%
  • Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander: 0.21%
  • Native American: 0.14%
The current population of Columbia, South Carolina is 138,104 based on our projections of the latest US Census estimates.The last official US Census in 2020 recorded the population at 136,632.

Columbia, South Carolina Population 2022

2021 and 2022 population is estimated by projecting the 2019 numbers.

Year Population Growth Growth Rate
2010769,6460.00%
2011776,1956,5490.84%
2012783,2507,0550.90%
2013790,8427,5920.96%
2014798,8828,0401.01%
2015809,13610,2541.27%
2016817,1888,0520.99%
2017824,9397,7510.94%
2018831,6906,7510.81%
2019838,4336,7430.80%
2020845,1766,7430.80%
2021851,9196,7430.79%

Columbia Metro Area Population by Year

Population by Race

Race Population Percentage
White70,49152.58%
Black or African American53,08239.60%
American Indian and Alaska Native1880.14%
Asian3,8132.84%
Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander2820.21%
Some Other Race1,6351.22%
Two or More Races4,5663.41%
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Columbia Population by Race

Columbia Population Pyramid 2022

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Columbia Median Age

28.2


Total

27.5


Male

28.8


Female

Columbia Adults

There are 112,052 adults, (13,697 of whom are seniors) in Columbia.

Columbia Age Dependency

Age Dependency Ratio

13.9

Old Age Dependency Ratio

22.4

Child Dependency Ratio

Columbia Sex Ratio

Female

66,111

49.32%

Male

67,946

50.68%

Columbia Population by Age

Columbia Renter vs Owner Occupied by Household Type

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Columbia Household Types

Type Owner Renter
Married74.8%25.2%
All47%53%
Male40.7%59.3%
Non Family36%64%
Female31.9%68.1%

47.0%

Rate of Home Ownership

Columbia Households and Families

Type Count Average Size Owned
All47,3062.2247
Married13,9492.9974.8
Male1,7912.8240.7
Female6,8383.4531.9
Non Family24,7281.436

3.04

Average Family Size

2.22

Average Household Size

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Columbia Households by Type

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Education Attained Count Percentage
Less Than 9th Grade2,0732.75%
9th to 12th Grade5,4437.23%
High School Graduate14,98519.91%
Some College14,44519.19%
Associates Degree5,6657.53%
Bachelors Degree17,82423.68%
Graduate Degree14,82919.70%
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Columbia Educational Attainment by Sex (over 25)

Columbia Educational Attainment by Race

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Race Total High School Bachelors
Asian2,1331,9411,502
White37,17235,73423,036
Other Race787661331
2+ Races1,4541,360558
Hispanic3,1742,7571,095
Black31,45326,0796,445
Native American157982
Islander173144

The highest rate of high school graduation is among white people with a rate of 96.13%.

The highest rate of bachelors degrees is among asian people with a rate of 70.42%.

Columbia Educational Attainment by Race

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Name Average Male Female
Overall$38,057$42,176$34,073
Less Than 9th Grade$18,654$20,067$15,694
High School Graduate$21,801$23,941$20,322
Some College$29,725$32,630$27,085
Bachelors Degree$48,847$52,239$43,545
Graduate Degree$60,767$75,000$53,973

$38,057

Average Earnings

$42,176

Average Male

$34,073

Average Female

Columbia Earnings by Educational Attainment

Columbia Language by Age

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Columbia Language

91.64% of Columbia residents speak only English, while 8.36% speak other languages. The non-English language spoken by the largest group is Spanish, which is spoken by 3.76% of the population.

Columbia Language

Columbia Poverty by Race

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Name Total In Poverty Poverty Rate
Native13911381.29%
Black44,50413,59030.54%
Asian2,90786429.72%
Multiple2,83358020.47%
White50,8908,41016.53%
Hispanic4,46656312.61%
Islander203157.39%
Other326NaN%

22.84%

Overall Poverty Rate

21.36%

Male Poverty Rate

24.21%

Female Poverty Rate

Poverty in Columbia

The race most likely to be in poverty in Columbia is Native, with 81.29% below the poverty level.

The race least likely to be in poverty in Columbia is Other, with NaN% below the poverty level.

The poverty rate among those that worked full-time for the past 12 months was 4.40%. Among those working part-time, it was 34.24%, and for those that did not work, the poverty rate was 37.08%.

Columbia Poverty

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Name Poverty
Less Than 9th Grade39.86%
High School26.27%
Some College16.36%
Bachelors or Greater5.52%

Columbia Poverty Rate by Education

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Rate Poverty
Male Employed9.24%
Male Unemployed45.81%
Female Employed16.43%
Female Unemployed37.07%

Columbia Poverty Rate by Employment Status and Sex

Columbia Income by Household Type

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Name Median Mean
Households$47,416$76,760
Families$70,539$107,206
Married Families$101,814$145,107
Non Families$33,414$47,825
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Income by Household Type

Columbia Marital Status

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Marriage Rates

28.1%

Overall Marriage Rate

29.0%

Male Marriage Rate

27.1%

Female Marriage Rate

Columbia Married by Age and Sex

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Columbia Marriage

The age group where males are most likely to be married is Over 65, while the female age group most likely to be married is 55-64.

Columbia Marital Status by Race

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Columbia Marital Status

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8,245

Number of Veterans

Male Veterans

Female Veterans

War Veterans
Second Gulf War2,567
First Gulf War2,292
Vietnam2,256
Korea314
World War II74

Columbia Veterans by War

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Age Group Veterans
18 to 341,086
35 to 542,693
55 to 641,705
65 to 741,745
75+1,016

Columbia Veterans by Age

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Name Veterans % of Total
White3,9637.06%
Black3,8169.67%
Native American138.39%
Asian612.09%
Islander3221.92%
Other Race1229.58%
2+ Races2388.91%
Hispanic3478.17%

Columbia Veterans by Race

Columbia Veterans by Education

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13.06%

Veteran Poverty Rate

32.39%

Veteran Disability Rate

Columbia Veterans by Education

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64.9%

Labor Force Participation

52.8%

Employment Rate

6.8%

Unemployment Rate

Columbia Employment by Age

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Columbia Employment by Race

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Columbia Employment by Education

Origin of Non-Citizens

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Non citizens include legal permanent residents (green card holders), international students, temporary workers, humanitarian migrants, and illegal immigrants.

Origin of Naturalized Citizens

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51.61%

Born in Columbia

95.03%

Native Born

4.97%

Foreign Born

3.26%

Non Citizen

1.71%

Naturalized

Place of Birth

95.03% of Columbia residents were born in the United States, with 51.61% having been born in South Carolina. 3.26% of residents are not US citizens. Of those not born in the United States, the largest percentage are from Asia.

Columbia Place of Birth

Note: 2021 and 2022 data is projected
Year Population Growth Annual Growth Rate
18303,3100.00%
18404,3401,0302.75%
18506,0601,7203.39%
18608,0521,9922.88%
18709,2981,2461.45%
188010,0367380.77%
189015,3535,3174.34%
190021,1085,7553.23%
191026,3195,2112.23%
192037,52411,2053.61%
193051,58114,0573.23%
194062,39610,8151.92%
195086,91424,5183.37%
196097,43310,5191.15%
1970113,54216,1091.54%
1980101,229-12,313-1.14%
199098,052-3,177-0.32%
2000116,27818,2261.72%
2010129,27212,9941.06%
2011130,0087360.57%
2012130,7447360.57%
2013131,4807360.56%
2014132,2167360.56%
2015132,9527360.56%
2016133,6887360.55%
2017134,4247360.55%
2018135,1607360.55%
2019135,8967360.54%
2020136,6327360.54%
2021137,3687360.54%
2022138,1047360.54%

Columbia Population by Year