2010: 129,272 #192 in U.S., #1 in South Carolina

1950: 86,914, #129 in U.S.

2010 Metropolitan Area: 767,598, #70 in U.S.

1950 Metropolitan Area: 142,565, #121 in U.S.


Columbia, located in the middle of South Carolina on the Congaree River, was founded in 1786 to be the state capital. The University of South Carolina is just south of downtown.


Tallest building: Capitol Center, 349 feet (1987)

List of tallest buildings

The South Carolina State House (1907) is 180 feet tall.


Columbia has no downtown department stores. The Congaree Vista district is a former warehouse area that now has art galleries, shops, and restaurants.


Amtrak’s Silver Star goes through Columbia in the night, north to New York City and south to Miami. Amtrak uses a small station (1991) located southwest of downtown.

Downtown Columbia


The Columbia Museum of Art is downtown, and the South Carolina State Museum and Edventure children's museum are just west of downtown.


Downtown Columbia has no first-run movie theaters. The Nickelodeon Theater shows independent films.

The Koger Center for the Arts (1989) at the University of South Carolina hosts the South Carolina Philharmonic and touring Broadway shows. The Town Theatre is also downtown.


The Colonial Life Arena (2002) at the University of South Carolina has sporting events and concerts.

Map of Downtown Columbia

Convention and Visitors Bureau